Friday, February 28, 2003

Does Anybody Know What Time It Is?
I have no idea what time it is. Every clock I use is set to a different time, all within about 8 minutes of each other. Which one is right?

My cel phone clock matches my watch. And my watch is the time I use to set everything else that I can set. So at one point, I thought I had everything set correctly. Things were running smoothly. But lately, time has become an issue.

My alarm clock is set 5 minutes faster than my watch, to fool myself when I wake myself up in the morning into being 5 minutes ahead of schedule. Of course, I've been doing that for years. I don't think I'm really fooled anymore. I'm late to work almost everyday.

The clock in my Jeep is faster than my watch, too. But I'm not sure by how much. It came set from the factory, and I haven't gotten that far in the manual, yet. Clock setting. So, sfter running late to get out the door every morning, I give myself a heart attack everyday when I get in the Jeep and see how much later I am. I know it doesn't take 5 minutes to get from my front door to my car door, but the Jeep clock would give the impression that time literally speeds up as I walk down the stairs. By the time I get to work, my Jeep clock tells me I'm really late. But my watch tells me I'm only sort of late. So that's nice, once I get out of the Jeep and look at my watch. I feel okay being sort of late.

The clock on my computer at work is about 3 minutes faster than my watch, so I definitely go by that clock when it's time to leave at 5:00. 3 minutes faster gets me out the door 3 minutes sooner.

However, the clock on my phone on my desk is 11 minutes slow. I hate when I look at that thing and I catch the time because it totally messes up my perception of the general time of day. Especially if it's a few minutes after the hour in the real world, because the phone clock will still say there are several minutes to go to get to the hour. It's like time repeats itself because I can't do the quick math to reset my brain to the correct time. It's not an even number of minutes off. It's 11 minutes. That's just wrong.

At home, my VCR clock is 4 minutes behind my watch and the times that television shows begin at the hour or half hour. I've set and re-set that clock many times. It still seems to always be behind. So when I tape something, I have to program in an extra 4 minutes of buffer time before and after a show, to make sure I get the whole show.

The microwave clock is about 2 minutes behind my watch, but still in between the watch and the VCR. The time on the microwave really has nothing to do with its use or how my food comes out of it, so it really doesn't affect me. Although it is the last clock I see out the door every morning. And we already covered the Jeep clock issue. Maybe the microwave clock is the real problem.

The clock on my computer at home doesn't match the VCR or my watch, but I don't know if it's behind or ahead of my watch.

The bathroom clock was set to match my watch, so that after I get up in the morning according to the time on the alarm clock, the idea is that I'll stumble into the bathroom and see that the real time is actually 5 minutes earlier, and I'll be relieved and refreshed to know that it's not as late as I thought it was. Again, I don't think I fool myself. And I manage to waste that 5 minutes every morning. Somewhere.

Now, the key to everything was my watch. I don't know why the watch is the Clock Master, but that was my decision somewhere along the way. However, the last time I traveled to another time zone, being therefore forced to move my watch to the time for said time zone and back again upon returning home, the watch got messed up. It doesn't match up with anything anymore! So now the whole elaborate time system that I've adapted to is unraveled, and I have no idea what time it is.

I could reset all the clocks so that they match. But then that would ruin my whole routine throughout the day, as I come into contact with each clock. I'm not sure how I would handle seeing all the clocks on time with each other. And I still have no idea where to start with the correct time.

I just have no idea what time it is.

I don't know why people say that only time will tell. Time only tells me what time it is. Is it supposed to say something else?


Official Tyrannical Disclaimer
I think a fear for writers, or at least a fear I have as a writer wannabee, is that honesty in my writing will offend people I know and who know me. Well, some people write with the intent to offend. I don't.

However, eventually I will write about things in my life that involve other people or mutual situations involving people other than me. And in being honest about how I feel, or what happened, or just in observing situations, people may not like what they read. Part of who I am comes out of things that happen to me, people who have interacted with me, disappointments, frustrations, joys, loss, life. The things we go through in life help determine who we become by how we handle it and what we learn from it. And as these things are a part of my life, I own that, and the freedom to write about it. Scares you, doesn't it?

We've all disappointed someone at some point in our lives. We've all been disappointed by someone at some point in our lives, as well. Yes, it is likely the Cynical Tyrant will disappoint you someday. I'm only human. I think there's a fear about other people knowing those things about us, the times we disappoint or the times we've disappointed others. Especially if the stories are told by people other than us, to people we don't know. I have that fear. There's something to be said for telling a story in your own words, emphasizing what you want to be heard and de-emphasizing the things you feel are less important, or unflattering. Truths can be told in a variety of ways, and still remain true.

I think a lot of creativity comes from what we go through, be it joy or sorrow, anger, fear, or just plain weirdness. I'm inspired to write by the things I deal with daily. Some of our most important moments come from disappointment specifically, because disappointment forces us to deal with joy, anger, sorrow, fear, and weirdness all at once. We are disappointed because something or someone has damaged our trust, and trust is a major building block supporting many other emotions. What we thought something would be turns out not to be what it really is, and that is unsettling on many levels. Sometimes being unsettled is what we need in order to feel. And feeling leads to choices we have to make to move forward with progress and discovery, or to be consumed by the emotions that hit.

So my disclaimer is this: I write honestly. Sometimes it's silly, sometimes it's thoughtful, sometimes it's emotional, sometimes it's spiritual. I write about things I observe, disappointments I've dealt with, situations I've experienced, or things that have happened to create what I am today. I value all of it, because I value what I am. The disappointment and pain isn't pretty to read, and it certainly wasn't pretty to go through. It's definitely not the stuff easily made into something fun to read. But I think it's too important to leave that stuff out, for the sake of pleasing everyone, or pacifying fears we have about reading things about ourselves that we don't necessarily want people to know. I don't think I can write a good blog without tapping into everything.

I'll promise you this: I'll never use real names, or write about people in a hurtful way. I hope to be able to share stories about myself, or things I've gone through, and people that have come and gone and some who remain, in ways that are constructive, yet not blantantly pointing out who may have been involved. Could be tricky since some of you may know each other and certain situations. But I hope you'll be able to read here without fear, and maybe with appreciation for the things I've learned in knowing you. It's a beautiful thing to realize what you learn from people who have really tested you at times. And it's an amazing thing to understand what you learn from the people who have really meant something special to you on many occassions. Sometimes, those are all the same people.

My goal here is not to point fingers or lay blame or point out the wrongdoings of the world around me. I'm not here to tell stories first, or 'my way'. This isn't a forum for me to convince the world, or the few readers I may have, that I'm better than anyone else, or that I have it all figured out, or that I am right. The Cynical Tyrant makes no claims to be wise, prolific, correct, or inspirational at any time. I just write what I know, some of what I don't know, and some of it utter nonsense. How it affects you is up to you.

I'm not here to complain about people I value in my life. Maybe about people I don't value. But definitely not to hurt those of you that I like. I've shared this blog first with the people I trust and who have encouraged me, so please trust that I haven't drawn you here to publicly flog you for any reason. Truthfully, every word I write here is more a testimony of who I am before it is ever a reflection of anyone or any situation. I'll be sharing much more about myself than anyone else here. It's really not my goal for anyone to form an opinion of me, or about the people or situations I write about. My hope is that you enjoy it and to allow me to continue to explore this little hobby of mine. Perhaps read with the understanding that 'them's just stories'.

Bottom line, please don't take things I write here personally. Truthfully, at this point I'm still hesitant to put many 'real' musings in here. It gets a little scary to write real stuff. I want people to know me, yet I don't want to do any damage. Hence the disclaimer, so that everyone has fair warning about what is fair game for me to write about. So far, you can see most of my blogs are silly, and that's the theme I think you'll find more than any other here. I'll do my best to avoid portraying stories in ways that could be taken personally. I will always be discriminitory in the things I share here. This is a creative outlet for me, and hopefully something that will be entertaining to those who read it. I do not intend to hurt anyone's feelings in what I write. But as is typical with me, I do unintentionally hurt feelings from time to time. The exciting thing is that this is an interactive blog, so please, interact.

Should it be the case that you read something here that is offensive to you, hurts your feelings, or tells a story you resemble but would prefer not to resemble, you can respond in two specific and handy ways:

1) Shout Out- I have added a comment section for each posting, and that is your area to respond directly to any post that you like or dislike. That is your chance to be heard on any Cynical Rant blogged here. As always, please keep it clean and appropriate. I can remove posted comments that I deem unworthy to be here, but if I don't need to, I won't. So don't make me.
2) Email me- You'll notice on the right a section with a link to email the Cynical Tyrant. I encourage it. As freely as I speak my mind here, you are free to do the same back at me. Be aware, however, that emails sent to me may be posted if the response is appropriate and if it makes for good content, unless you specify that you don't want it posted. And, don't email me to ask detail or scoop about a story you read here. If you email to ask if that story was really about 'Joe', I will not answer that. Go ask Joe.

You can also ask me to remove something that I've written in my blog, and I will always consider reasonable requests. I have complete control over this blog, so nothing is written in stone. Anything can be deleted with the touch of a button. This blog is an effort for me to become a better writer. That involves feedback, constructive criticisms, and yes, even edits and re-writes.

I do not promise to please everyone. But I do promise that this is a safe and mostly fun environment. Above everything else, please remember this is my blog, and I will write about what I want to write about. My intended audience is the world at large, much larger than just the people I know who read my blog because I beg them to. So for people to get to know me and to understand what I have to say, you may find yourself anonymously and ambiguously resembling a part of a story, here or there. But please trust me that it is a friendly blog. Please be honored to be given a place in my blog if you feel you resemble anything here. And please come often and stay awhile. I am so excited that I have a few readers (as you can see by the counter at the bottom of the page), and I hope to continue to have more. If you like what you read here, please pass it on.

Alas, I am a Tyrant of the people. I mean you no harm. I come in peace.

Now that I've appropriately disclaimed, you can go back through all of my blogs to read yourself into any situations I've already written about and wonder if I meant you. I didn't. Don't be so paranoid.


P.S. None of this applies to any stories or recounts of my affair with The Bachelor. I want the whole world to know I met Aaron, The Bachelor. No need to be ambiguous about that.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

A sweater that could stand on it's own
My office is generally cold in the mornings. So I bought a sweater to put on when I get in the office. I wear it over my clothes. It took the place of an old shirt I used to wear for warmth, also over my clothes. The sweater, I feel, looks nicer. Not that I have anyone here to impress. Actually, I don't want to impress anyone here. But I felt it was time to look more like a Director, even though I am not convinced that I am one.

I've owned the sweater for a couple of months. It also serves as a bib. Not only does it keep me warm, but I wear it while eating lunch. I've noticed since I've had the sweater, my clothes go home a lot cleaner. It's a black sweater, so it doesn't show dirt. So either I've gotten a lot neater in my eating, which is highly unlikely. Or my sweater is serving as a bib, as well as keeping me warm, while still looking nice, since you can't see stains or dirt on the blackness of the sweater. It's multi-tasking.

I realized today, the sweater has never been washed. I wear it everyday, all day at work. Granted, over clothes. But still, it's got a couple of months of wearing, with no washing. I don't purposely deny it the right to be washed. I just don't think to take it home when it's laundry weekend.

Is that gross?


Angry Charity Meets for a Good Cause
The high of two unexpected days off is now followed by an extreme low of being back at work today. To top it off, the heater is broken in my section of the building, and seeing as I get frostbite when temperatures dip below 70 degrees, I am pretty much a Tyrant-cicle right now. It's proving a challenge to type with gloves on. What a fun day for me!

I saw an ad today for a charity event. It was titled 'Women Against MS Luncheon'. Now, I am not making light of the event or being cynical of the good cause these women are luncheoning to support. But isn't there a better way to say that? It sounds like a protest. Angry women having an angry lunch, to take a stand against something that did not create itself, cannot do away with itself, and generally cannot be influenced as a result of speaking out against it. Like these women will be picketing outside their luncheon, with signs saying 'Make Love, Not MS', or 'Take a Stand Against MS', hoping MS will eventually give up and go away. Again, I'm not making fun of the seriousness of the cause. Just the way they phrased the promotion of their event.

I mean, I know what they are doing. They are having a lunch to support the cause to fight MS. It is a very noble event for a worthwhile cause. But really, 'Women Against MS' makes it sound like a bunch of angry women protesting a disease, as though it is an entity capable of reform. And really, if you are not taking a luncehon stand against MS, does that mean you are for MS, supporting the disease? I hope not. I can't go to the luncheon, but I certainly am anti-MS.

Wait, maybe these women are against the MS Luncheon itself? 'Women Against MS Luncheon'. Are these women protesting another group of women luncheoning about MS? I just don't know.

Anyway, I just found their ad a little odd.

If you haven't perused my blog much, feel free to read through the archives. I need to figure out a way to list my blogs topically, rather than by date. But until I figure that out, be sure to snoop around a bit. You'll find wonderful rantings about roadkill, The Bachelor, Reality TV, nose-picking, the Grammys, and such.

As always, feel free to leave a Shout Out. Which is apparently blogish for 'comment'. You know, if you read something here and you think, 'Good heavens! That is the most prolific thing I've ever read!', or 'Good heavens! The Cynical Tyrant is a complete idiot!', or 'Good heavens! I laughed, I cried, I read it again. Where can I get more of this masterful author of the written word??' Whatever you think and want to share, feel free to do so. Please try not to make me cry.

Some people are just asking to be laughed at. But they don't usually have to ask to get me to laugh at them.


Wednesday, February 26, 2003

A Survivor of Joe Millionare's Hot Bachelor Mole
I have to admit I really like reality television shows. Not all of them. But for the most part, they intrigue me. Most of them are just so ridiculous, it's like I can't change the channel. I'm drawn in to the insanity. I have to watch and discuss it with friends. It's addicting.

Like, Joe Millionare. Sorry, but that was one of the dumbest shows ever. I didn't know whether to feel sorry for the girls who were under the impression they were trying to win a millionare, or to be amused as they were picked off one by one. I almost felt they deserved to be tricked because they were such a bunch of whiney, mean, silly, deceptive girls, asking to be put in their place. 'Joe' himself was nothing more than Puddy from Seinfeld, but with curly greasy hair. Not much of a catch, even with the 50 million dollars. That guy never had one interesting thing to say, or even an original facial expression. I wasn't a fan of this show. But, obviously I watched enough of it to know I didn't like it.

I'm a big fan of Survivor. I liked that one from the very first season. I like to travel, and there are a million places all over the world I want to see. I get a glimpse of exotic places by watching Survivor. And this show actually takes some intelligence to play and win. Good backstabbing fun.

I've already written about The Bachelor. I was interested in the show when it aired the second time, more than the first. And more from the 'staring at something horrific but I can't not watch' point of view. I just can't believe anyone can find true love in that kind of situation. But it sure is entertaining to watch people try. Of course, I became more obsessed with the Bachelor after meeting him. But we all know he's in love with me now that he's met me, so I am justified in being obsessed with him. I think my rose must be trapped in all this bad weather, which is what's keeping it from reaching my house.

Hmmmm. What was that about reality?

Anyway, one show that really makes me laugh, although I am morally opposed to the whole idea, is Are You Hot. I've only been able to watch it once, and only part of it. But all I did was laugh through what I watched. These people are serious! Serious about winning the show, like the opinion of Lorenzo Lamas, Rachel Hunter, and some other guy I've never heard of really determines if they are hot or not. And then America gets to vote, on top of that! Not only do they want to win the show, they really think they are hot. Like, seriously serious about their hotness. What they don't realize is that if you have to tell people you're hot, you're not hot. They come out on the stage with their 'hot' attitude, saying how hot they are. But that does not make them any hotter. Hot people don't need to make a big deal about how hot they are on national television.

I mean, I say I'm hot quite often. But it's not to convince anyone. It's just conversation. I don't have to convince anyone of something that is common knowledge and conversationally appropriate.

What I see these days is that there are more 'reality' shows than scripted shows. But I have to wonder how real these shows really are. FOX is coming out with a new show where America gets to pick a bride or groom for someone to marry, and these people have to get married on the spot, sight unseen. Is that reality? Are any of these shows actual reality? I don't think 16 people usually find themselves stranded in an exotic jungle with Jeff Probst for 39 days, but he keeps finding these people in these weird locations. I know it's never happened to me. That's not to say I wouldn't love to try it. But that's not reality for me.

They say The Osbournes is reality, because cameras follow their family around all day everyday, and it isn't scripted. But I wouldn't say that's reality. Maybe it's reality for them. But again, it's not reality for me. It may be interesting to some people, to watch an old rock icon stumble down the street in his pjs, drunk or stoned. And that may actually be his reality. But in all reality, 'reality' television is far from reality.

I don't even think people aspire to be on reality shows because it is 'reality' to them. I think reality television has become more of an ideal for people. They are searching for something that takes them away from their reality, or to change their reality. It's brought being on television within the grasp of the common people, and that's exciting for us. There was a time when you actually had to be an actor or professional of some sort to make it onto a television show. Now, pretty much anyone can get on tv by doing any number of bizarre things. Fear Factor attracts people who are supposedly not afraid to do anything on tv. But is it reality to make people jump from a helicopter onto a pile of cardboard boxes in the middle of a lake? Sure, I do that all that time.

But, this is why I love reality television. It makes television even something I could do. Sure, I'd love to be on tv. It's a few minutes of exposure, the possibility to win money, or a husband (if I were that desperate), and to do something I would never get to do in my normal, real life. I enjoy watching people like me have the opportunity to do stuff in the public eye. It's amusing to me that these people become the topics of conversations. They become newsmakers, sometimes more than actual celebrities. It's fascinating from a sociological perspective. Not that I know tons about sociology, but I do think the obsession with reality television is an interesting trend for both television and the public. After many years of television being an elite group of people entertaining the masses who are typically intrigued by the magic of television, it has now become the elite television people seeking out the masses, in search of less magic and more 'reality'. It seems we're more entertained with ourselves, than with the art that created television in the first place.

So what does this mean for society today? Will the reality insanity ever end? Well, I have no idea. I do know I'm entertained by the 'reality'. And if I keep applying to enough shows, I could one day be a Millionare, or a Mole, or a Survivor, or an Osbourne.

I'd make a great Osbourne. Do they accept auditions?


Ice Day - Part Deux
Another day at home, free from work! I could get used to this. Although that would likely mean I'm unemployed, and I've suffered through that already. It's not so much fun. Being home all day is way more fun knowing you do have a job to go to at some point.

However, I have found the one drawback of the free day off in the middle of the week. The drawback that puts a damper on my fun is the knowledge that tomorrow the weather will be better, and I will actually have to go back to work. It means I have to go to bed at my 'work week' time tonight. I have to do my 'getting ready for work' routine that I do in the evening, so I don't have to get up unreasonably early in the morning. I'll have to get up and fight the remnants of slick streets in the morning, to get to work. And then, to top it all off, I'll actually have to be at work tomorrow, doing, well, work. That's almost enough to ruin a perfectly good free day off.

Oh well. It's been wonderful to have two unexpected days off this week. Any days I don't have to be at work are good days. As long as it doesn't mean I'm doing something more horrible than being at work.

And for the record, I have not wasted two days worth of free time. I have paced myself so as not to overdo it. Safety first, that's my motto.


Tuesday, February 25, 2003

I May be a Hermit
I'm pretty sure I'm a hermit. Not like, 'crazy old lady living at the end of the street or in a cave with 108 cats who never comes out of her home but you hear weird sounds coming from her place from time to time' hermit. But that could be me someday. Except that I hate cats.

I live alone, and I'd almost be fine if I never was around people. Well, that's not entirely true. I do have friends and family and people I care about and look forward to seeing and talking to throughout the week. But I can go all day and not talk to anyone and it's almost like I don't notice. It doesn't occur to me to pick up the phone or seek people out. I sink into my own world and before I know it, the day has passed and I've not seen or talked to anyone. It doesn't bother me, until people inquire as to what I've done all day or who I've talked to lately, and I come up with nothing and no one. Then I seem a little strange to myself. I probably seem more strange to others. But I'm still okay with it.

I do have some weird hermit traits. Like, if my neighbors are outside their door or walking around outside, I wait til they leave before I come out. I don't want to have to talk to them. I hate awkward conversation, and awkward conversation always comes before knowing people well enough to get past awkward conversation. Maybe I just prefer an air of mystery about myself.

I hate the phone. Maybe it's a phobia. I mean, I'll talk on the phone sometimes. Like to my mom, or friends sometimes, or to make plans, or to people at work when I have to. But you won't catch me on the phone all day, or calling lots of people, or really anyone for that matter. It's not that I don't want to talk to people, because I do. But when it comes down to picking up the phone to call someone, it's a big debate, with myself. Do I really need to use the phone, or can I get by without it? I usually talk myself out of it. I'll stare at the phone for awhile, hold it in my hand, and hopefully get brave enough to dial the number. But, often I chicken out.

I think my friends think I don't call because I don't want to talk to them, or I don't care, or I'm not interested. It's not that at all. It's the dang phone. Great invention, but it scares me.

When I'm home I don't even answer my phone. I don't have caller ID, and I hate talking to people I don't know when I don't know why they're calling me. I get nervous on the phone talking to people I do know, so people I don't know really don't have much of a chance with me on the phone. I usually let the machine get the phone. Most people who know me and have a reason to call me just call my cel phone anyway, and I'll answer that. But for the most part, the phone freaks me out. Anyone who's talked to me on the phone knows that it'll usually be an awkward conversation with me over the phone. Totally different than talking to me face to face. It's just not easy to have conversations when you can't see the person you're talking to. And I never know if I'm calling and interrupting something, or if I'm getting a machine because whoever I'm calling doesn't want to talk to me. Leaving messages is something I fear. I never know what to say, or how to sound when I say it. Really, it's a wonder I ever make contact with anyone.

Yesterday I came home and when I touched my answering machine to hear my messages, it freaked out and went blank. Then I freaked out, because I need the machine to answer the phone for me. So I scrapped my usual 'getting home from work' routine, in favor of figuring out what was wrong with the machine. I finally discovered it needed a new battery. But I pretty much couldn't function til the machine was back up and running, there to receive the few calls I get on that phone. Hermits are weird. What can I say.

It's not a dislike of people. I'm just used to being alone, and I'm comfortable with that. I'm used to doing things for myself, by myself. Mostly because that's the situation I'm in most of the time. So I've adapted to that. I also may be afraid of people, just slightly. Once I get to know people, I'm fine. I'm funny, I'm relaxed, I enjoy their company. I just get very particular about having ample time to myself, to be not around people. I get a little cranky when I've been around people too much for too long. So, that's where it's handy to be a hermit. I can disappear into my world and take time to be not around people, so that I can later be around people.

Anyway, I don't see it as a problem. One day when I fall in love and attempt to get married, then it may be a problem. Unless I marry another hermit. That might work well.


Ice Day
I would call it a 'snow' day, but the stuff outside on the ground right now doesn't exactly resemble snow. It's an icy sleet-ish mix. Whatever you call it, it equals treacherous roads for driving, say, to work. Thus, my office is closed and I am home all day. WOO-diddily-HOO!!!!

The best days off are unexpected days during the middle of the week. Vacations are great, weekends are wonderful. But those days when you aren't sick, but you don't go to work, and it's not even playing hookey- those are the best. Rare and non-planned, and that's what makes them so, so good.

I don't have to go anywhere. Truthfully, I can't go anywhere since my Jeep is a Jeep-cicle. I'm all toasty warm in my house. Plenty of food to munch on. I slept in. I sat around in my pj's most of the day, til my funk started funking me out. I don't have to do a single thing today. I don't even have to talk to anybody. And I'm in heaven.

I love having nothing to do. It doesn't bore me. I figure I've been given a free day off, so that's what I should make it. A complete day off. No errands, no cleaning, no projects, no feeling like I should be doing something. Today there is no pressure. I just get to be. And it's completely okay.

If it wasn't so dangerous, I'd wish it would sleet more often. Once a week or so. That'd be nice.

Hope your day is as peaceful as mine. If it's not, I don't really care. I don't have to care about anything today.


Monday, February 24, 2003

Grammy and Me
Aah, how I do so love award shows. These shows are reality TV at it's finest. Forget 'Survivor'. The Grammy's never disappoint when it comes to fuel for making fun of the stars, seeing them in their natural element of bad fashion, and flamboyantly ridiculous and mostly bad performances. It's a fun-filled evening of entertainment, drama, and many, many opportunities to poke funs at the ones who are supposed to be the best and brightest of the entertainment world. Here is my recap, after the 45th Annual Grammy Awards last night:

You'll note it was the first time the show was done without a host. I'll go ahead and admit that was my fault. I was scheduled to host, but I TOTALLY forgot about it til I was in the middle of church last night. They couldn't hold the show for me to get there, since they'd started the 'awards given earlier in the evening to the people who don't deserve to be seen, applauded, or appreciated on national TV', and the cranky music celebrities were getting ancy sitting still for that long. So they went on without me. Next time I will totally write that down so I don't forget.

I also auditioned for the role of 'girls hanging from the ceiling twisted in a large piece of rope' for the No Doubt performance. But it turns out to get up on the ropes you actually had to climb up the rope, and I failed that in 2nd grade P.E. class. I mastered the getting tangled and flailing about part, so I would have fit right in with the girls in the show. But I could never get up that darn rope! So they had to perform without me. I did loan the drummer my bra. But it turns out he's several cup sizes larger than I am, so he had to borrow someone else's. Oh well. I tried to help.

Is it just me or does John Mayer perform a lot like Dave Matthews, without the band to back him up? He's kinda got a similar guitar strum, one dancing leg thing going for him, as well as the singing completely unintelligibly thing, too. I've not heard much of his music, but I finally figured out he was singing 'Your Body is a Wonderland' thanks to the caption feature on my TV. He sounds okay, but he may also be the guy who plays Abby's brother Eric on ER. I guess starring in 'That Thing You Do' kicked off his music career and earned him a Grammy.

So are we all in love with Norah Jones? I don't have that cd. But I'm completely hating myself about it now. She gave a great performance, with actual singing and hitting the right notes. I love it when new people win so many awards and they are truly thankful and just not sure what to say. She seemed grateful, and that's nice to see. So is her cd any good? I should get it.

Does anyone else notice that Vanessa Carlton and Michelle Branch are the same person? Apparently in an attempt to win as many Grammys as Norah Jones won all on her own, Vanessa Branch has masqueraded this entire year as two people, putting out two cds, and never ever performing at the same events, getting photographed together, or being seen at the same place at the same time. Yes, they were both at the Grammy's last night, but never together. Strange, don't you think? Unfortunately, the two of them were no match for Norah. Hopefully one of either Vanessa or Michelle will survive to aftermath of a failed ploy to deceive the world. I've figured you out, Michelle Carlton. But your tunes are kinda catchy, so it'll be tough to decide which personality gets to stay.

I love Avril Lavigne. I'm too old to love her, but I do. She gets out there and has fun, whether she sounded great or not. And I do own that cd, I'm proud to say. She rocks. I was sad to see her not win more awards. Did she win any? I was too busy singing along to 'Sk8tr Boy' to notice.

Why is Dustin Hoffman speaking at the Grammy's? Did I miss his new cd? Clearly he's a huge music monger, knowing all the words to No Doubt's 'Say, Baby, Say', and giving a great commentary on Bruce Springstreet.

Don't hate me, but I've never been a Bruce Springstreet fan. I realize he's a legend and the entire world is his fan. But I'm not. And I really don't enjoy seeing him perform. Clenched jaw, strumming his poor guitar like he's mad at it. He always look angry, or like he's had a stroke on the right side of his face and he can't move it, or like he's really got to go to the bathroom. He makes me uncomfortable. But if that's what makes a star, he rocks.

I always dig the Dixie Chicks. 'Home' is a great cd. I hate country music, but I'm a Chicks fan. But what's with their clothes these days? They had this phase where they looked great all the time. Now they scare me. I loved 'Landslide' last night, but Natalie's attempt to bring back the banana clip has failed already, so why does she keep slinging her hair up like that? Is it a banana clip, or a Hairdini? I can't tell, what with the ratted nest of hair all over the place. Good song, good Chicks, bad hair.

If I'm ever known to be half as cool as Sheryl Crow, consider me happy. She's just cool, rockin' it last night with the bass guitar, although she seemed a little afraid of either the mic, or standing next to Kid Rock. Her voice came through a wee bit timid. And, her outfit confused me. She's out there rockin' with Kid Rock, and it was a total leather pants, tight tank top, wild, loose hair song. Instead she looked like an extra from all the Austin Powers movies, with the short skirt, tall boots, and 60's hairdo. She couldn't even move, her outfit was so confining. And her guitar strap apparently had 'No War' printed on it, but her hair was covering the 'No' part. So it said 'War'. She should have written her message on her thighs, which were bare and remaining still enough for the world to read quite clearly. Instead, America is now pro-war because Sheryl Crow said so.

Nelly. Not a fan, am I. Not that his poignant take on global warming isn't impressive, with lines such as 'It's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes.' I mean, yes this is obviously the best solution to cooling the earth's atmosphere, but we've heard it enough. Does he have other songs? Oh yeah, his ballad duet with Kelly Rowland. It mixed SO well with his other song. Truly a beautiful Grammy moment. Did the naked dancing girls trapped in the floor come with the floor, or did Grammy have to special order that? Did anyone else notice how tasteless his pyrotechnic, flaming stage was after the nightclub fire a few nights ago?

I love the BeeGees, so there is no fun to poke at the tribute to Maurice Gibb. I wasn't too annoyed by N'Sync, as I usually am. I'll miss the BeeGees.

I was disappointed in Eminem. I really wanted him to get up there and cuss out the Grammy academy for not winning more awards. Or do something outrageously stupid and offensive. This kinder, gentler Eminem is unsettling.

Was that Aretha Franklin, or a MUCH larger, darker Queen Amidala draped in glittery bubble wrap, garnished with saran wrap? Reminiscent of Kathy Bates greeting her husband at the door dressed only in saran wrap in 'Fried Green Tomatoes'. Whatever it was, eeeyeew.

Great to see Simon and Garfunkel back together again. Did they realize they were back together again? They seemed unaware they were 6 inches apart. At least Garfunkel's funky hair didn't disappoint. A wee bit of bedhead in the back of the head, going on there.

Why is Dave Grohl the only Foo who gets to do anything? He presents awards, he plays, he speaks when the Foos receive awards. Poor other Foos.

How stoned was Erykah Badu? Her hair seemed angry that it had been wrapped up in all the garb for so many years, what with the 'more ratted than a troll doll after a run-in with static electricity on a planet that hasn't invented the comb, yet' look. I almost didn't recognize her outside of her tribal garb, but it was nice to see that she didn't take the time to shave her armpits, and that all of her tattoos were in order. Clearly getting groomed and ready for the show isn't what kept her from coming to rehearsal. I hope she didn't smell as bad as she looked. I think I saw her later playing drums for The Roots?

Faith Hill, or 'let me belt out another movie hit.' I don't dislike her. But I almost couldn't see her for half of her song, what with her platimun blonde 'do, and white and silver sequin-y thing (again with the mini-skirt- why won't it die???) reflecting the blinding giant spotlight behind her. She blended right into the lighting, which is definitely something tough to pull off. Props for that. It also explains her mega-tan. I'd be that tan if I stood in front of a light that bright for a few seconds, too. Tan, or nuked to a crisp.

I liked the New York Philharmonic part of the Coldplay performance, better than Coldplay. I know Coldplay is supposed to be this amazing new band and all, and again, I don't dislike them. But again, couldn't understand a word he sang. Aren't songs with words supposed to tell a message? Are we getting that message if the whole song is one long syllable over a bunch of whiney notes? And, I took many years of piano lessons. Had I played as enthusiastically as he played last night, I'd have 10 broken fingers, and a concussion from slamming my head into the top of the piano while head-banging. How did he survive that song? Hopefully he's not in a coma. I give him props for a passionate performance.

I was hoping Fred Durst's ad-libbed sentence, then long pause, would lead to more pleas about his love affair with Britney Spears. Why stop with his website and news articles? You've got a much bigger audience on national television during one of the biggest shows of the year. I'm sure if he'd gone on just a little bit more about how he and Britney really ARE in love, the world would believe him.

Did Alicia Keys notice someone cut off the bottom half of her shirt? I assume that was Alicia underneath that hat covering her face with a dark shadow. Yo.

Oscar Nominee Queen Latifah ( I never thought those words would go together accurately in a sentence) showed off her bust assets with that lovely bodice fitting pink leather top. You could have fit about 10 of me in there. And been disappointed at how I filled it out.

I was waiting to hear the Charlotte Church-Mystikal-Blue Man Group medley tribute to bad medleys performed by groups that should never appear on stage together.

Apparently Yo Yo Ma has to carry his cello in when he comes down the red carpet. So that people know he is Yo Yo Ma. Would you recognize him without his cello? Me neither.

Well, that about sums it up for this year. If I left anything out, I'll add it later. Thank you, Grammy's, for another great show!

The Cynical Tyrant

Friday, February 21, 2003

WWJD- What Would Jesus Do . . . as your lawyer?
Find yourself in court? Maybe Christ can help. Check it out. The graphic depiction really makes the story.

People like this make a great case to explain why other people have a hard time taking christianity seriously. I almost don't blame them!

Sometimes, stuff I come across is way better than anything I could write.

Why is that interesting?
I've been perusing some of the many blogs that are out there. It's hard to stumble onto new blogs with the way Blogger is currently set up. Unless I'm missing some wonderful way they are listing blogs for easy finding. But sometimes I click on the blogs listed on the Blogger homepage as the '10 most recently posted blogs'. I like to see what other people are doing with their blogs. I like to read interesting, funny, thought provoking things. I'm not finding much of that.

Most blogs seem to be a diary for the person publishing the blog. Not only a diary, but a painful moment by moment recap of their day. Typically, these days seem to involve a whole lot of nothing. What they had for lunch, who they like or don't like, what class they skipped today, yada yada. Why is that interesting? Do people actually come to these blogs often to read about the drab lives of 17 year old kids who have access to the internet and can therefore inflict their teenage angst upon the world? I want people to be drawn to my blog, to come in search of wisdom, wit, and wonderful writing. I don't know that I provide that, but I want people here often in search of it. I want a fan club, basically.

Granted, I don't lead exciting days everyday of my life. In fact, most days are pretty bland. The difference is that I know people aren't interested in that, so if I'm going to write about stuff that happens in my life, I at least try to make it sound interesting, or silly, or intriguing. Or repulsive. You know how you see things that horrify you, yet you can't turn away? I'd be happy if people came here for that. Or, because I may promise huge prizes to whoever visits my blog most frequently.

I want people to want my life, even though I'm not sure I always want it. There is some truth to what I write, in that I'm inspired by what goes on around me. I have a tendency to get myself into weird situations, or observe situations in a unique way. Inner monologue is great for that. But what makes it entertaining to repeat to others, and hopefully interesting to hear or read about, is the art of embellishment. I can stretch a tale like nobody's business.

Like, meeting The Bachelor. Yes, I actually met the guy on a plane a few weeks ago. But that sentence is not interesting! I could tell the story in that one simple sentence, and nobody would care about my good fortune, or understand how cool I am that I met a reality show television star who was famous for 15 minutes. OR, I could draw it out into a long, detailed adventure, with many twists and turns, suspense, humor, sarcasm, hopes and dreams, and a hint of unbelievability. THAT makes a good story! Did everything I told in the story of my encounter with him happen just as I portrayed it? Not necessarily. Yes, I did stalk him a bit. But what's important is that it makes a good story. It does not matter that I am possibly profoundly disturbed.

So you'll notice that I haven't listed links to any other blogs, yet. It's not that I have to find blogs that are worthy of being listed on my humble page. I just want to promote good, fun, interesting, pure writing. I haven't found that, yet. I'm not even saying my blog meets that standard, so far. But before anything makes it onto my page as a suggestion to my readers to check it out, I have to believe in it and give it my approval as something worthwhile. I'm still looking. Til then, keep reading my blog. It's blog-riffic.

They say if you love someone, let him go. I say keep him close by, possibly tied up, if he's trying to escape. You might as well have him near you while he's taking time to realize he loves you.
The Cynical Tyrant

Thursday, February 20, 2003

The Real Reason the Bachelor broke up with Helene
I have the real story, the inside scoop. You'll see an interview tonight about why Aaron and Helene called it quits. But the truth is, Aaron is in love with me. I came between them.

I met Aaron a few weeks ago on a plane leaving from LA. I spotted him at LAX while I was waiting for my plane. I was immediately drawn to him. He was sitting quietly waiting for the same plane I was about to board, reading a magazine and drinking a lemonade. I'd first spotted him walking by on his way to purchase his magazine. I'd chosen a seat in the waiting area with a great view of the terminal, so I could people watch (a favorite pasttime). I happened to be sitting next to a local Dallas news reporter, but when I spotted Aaron, she immediately became not worth my time to stalk. I mean, talk to.

Having spotted and identified Aaron, I called a friend for advice. She suggested I go hit on him. Clearly, that was the only thing I could do. So, I popped into the bathroom for a quick makeup check and to practice saying "I love you", in the mirror. Once I had that down, I re-emerged from the restroom.

I was shocked at what I saw next. Apparently the University of Alabama ladies basketball team was on my flight as well, and they had spotted Aaron quietly sitting by himself. He was clearly waiting for me to introduce myself, yet they had swarmed him and formed a red warm-up suited coccoon around him. I could barely see him! At first I thought I should rescue him. Could he even breathe in there?? Should we call 911?? Then I realized what was really happening. I had prepared for this moment throughout the fall season of The Bachelor episodes. I'd trained relentlessly for weeks of Wednesday nights on the couch, glued to the romance reality insanity on my screen. Ladies and gentleman, THIS was my very own episode of The Bachelor! Not in prime time, but the scenario was the same. I was now in competition with 20 young college girls, fighting for the attention of one very handsome Bachelor. And I only had a few hours to get him to choose me.

I had to quickly re-assess my approach. I'm not in college anymore, but really I'm not that much older than these basketball girls. True, they were taller, stronger, and fortunately many of them scarier than I am. But when it comes down to the important things in life, I was having a great hair day, I was wearing a cute tight shirt and some fabulous, yet casual jeans, and being a bit older, wiser, more mature, and having a job surely put me in a higher category than the rest of the mob. While these girls were falling all over themselves to get pictures and autographs, Aaron was surely noticing me standing aloof, yet very cutely, against the wall in his line of sight. I showed him that I noticed the hub-bub, yet I wasn't concerned enough to trample other people for a trophy signature on a dirty napkin. I was playing hard to get.

As the girls began to disperse, another interception impeded my advances. Some guy came over to talk to Aaron! What is this?? Guys can't compete in this game!! He wanted Aaron to call his girlfriend on his cellphone. Of all the un-original things! I quickly put my phone away, and continued my pose along the wall. I could overhear his conversation with the lame-o guy. He was in LA doing some interviews, and was now on his way home. He mentioned that his relationship with Helene had been rocky, but he didn't elaborate. I continued to wait, alternating stares out the window with short glances in his direction, trying to catch his eye. I didn't want to seem too disappointed that this idiot wanted to impress his girlfriend, and was therefore blocking my pending introduction to Aaron. Yet I did want Aaron to see that I was still interested in him, undeterred in my quest. I continued to wait for the dorko to lose interest and go away. I had all the time in the world to wait for Aaron.

Until that moment. Time suddenly became an issue as they began calling passengers to board the plane. What do I do?? I can't miss my chance to let him know that he is in love with me!! I had no choice at that point but to move towards the door of the plane. My seat was in the first group called, seeing as I was lucky enough to have a fine seat in the rear of the plane. I knew Aaron would be in first class, and that I may never see him again. I tried not to let him see my tears as I passed by.

But wait! There he was behind me!! What's this?? Is he stalking me now?? Of course! It all makes sense!! I didn't want him to know that I knew he was stalking me, so I quietly handed my ticket to the gate attendant and made my way onto the plane. Aaron followed right behind me. He followed right through first-class, all the way through business-class, and into coach, where my seat awaited. In fact, I found my seat and as I turned around to get situated, he smiled and walked right past me. Apparently his seat was even further toward the butt of the plane than my seat. What luck! Obviously we were meant to be together, because I could easily turn around to see him in his seat across the aisle, therefore keeping a close eye on him. And he could constantly gaze lovingly at the back of my head, wondering who this mysterious and beautiful woman of his dreams might be. This was good.

I realized that I only had about 3 hours to plan my next move. Essentially this was the ideal dating environment because the plane provided a closed, escape-proof situation. I just had to use my time wisely to win his love. I didn't want to seem too forward, but I could tell he was interested. That smile he gave me as he passed by said more than a thousand words to me, most of them "I love you." I could tell he probably practiced in the mirror like I did. Let the stalking begin!

For the first hour or so, I calmly read my book while listening to my mp3 player. By 'read' I mean, stared at the same page. By 'listening to my mp3 player' I mean, wore my headphones so the guy sitting next to me would leave me alone. I didn't want Aaron to think I was 'with' that guy. I periodically glanced behind me, to check on Aaron. He quietly read his magazine, then he slept for awhile. I tried to think of ways to 'accidentally' find myself sitting next to him, having a conversation with him. Killing the guy sitting next to him wasn't an option. His body would be too big to fit in the overhead bin, thus freeing up the seat. I could tie and gag one of the flight attendants, then steal her uniform, but none of them were my size. And I didn't want to be stuck serving those little packets of peanuts to everyone on the plane. I was quickly running out of ideas, and we were getting closer to our destination by the minute.

Suddenly, the opportunity presented itself! Aaron got up to use the restroom. Why didn't I think of that!! He walked to the bathrooms in the section in front of our seats, and I made a note of which bathroom he chose. This was my chance! I didn't want to seem too eager to follow him to the bathrooms, so I waited a minute. I slowly removed my earphones, secured my book, and unfastened my seatbelt. I thought my timing was perfect, but sadly I misjudged by just a few seconds. As I began walking up the aisle (unfortunately the wrong kind of aisle and not with Aaron on my arm, yet!), Aaron emerged from the bathroom and headed down the other aisle to his seat. He clearly didn't see me or I'm sure he would have come down my aisle to talk to me. At that point I had committed myself to a bathroom break, having gone too far up the aisle to turn back without looking stupid. I was passing through the section of Lady Alabamians, and I couldn't risk looking like a dork in front of the competition. So I continued towards the bathrooms and Aaron was once again swarmed by the basketball mob-ettes. Clearly they were not focused on the game at hand because none of them had come up with the brilliant idea of stalking Aaron to the restroom. I was way ahead!!

Even though I did not bump into Aaron near the bathroom as I had intended, my trip to the restroom was not entirely in vain. I did manage to be the next one in the very same bathroom which Aaron had just occupied. How lucky was I?!?! Once inside the bathroom, I wasn't quite sure what to do. Aaron had just been in here! I did what I needed to do since I did actually need to use the facilities, and then paused. I decided the best thing to do would be to not scour for evidence that he'd been in there, but just to take a moment and appreciate where I was. Then get out of the bathroom before people started to wonder what I was doing in there. I savored the moment, then exited the bathroom as though it meant nothing to me.

I headed slowly back to my seat, noticing Aaron was still trapped by the basketball leeches. He was being quite the gentleman, chatting and having his picture taken repeatedly. As I made my way back to my seat, I overheard the girls plan to take more pictures with Aaron after getting off of the plane. I realized this was my opportunity to let Aaron profess his love to me. I began to prepare for arrival.

I got my camera out, ready for easy access in case Aaron needed a picture to remember me. I sat calmly and quietly, thinking through what I would say, and how I would react when he presented me with a rose. I was so excited! He was still patiently fending off the Alabama college crew, but I could tell he'd rather be talking to me. It was only a matter of time.

The plane landed and we began to dismount the plane. I nonchalantly kept an eye on Aaron and the pack of females. Once out in the terminal, the pack circled him again. I realized I would have to become a part of their clan if I wanted to get anywhere near him before he left. I walked over to one of the tall ones, held out my camera, and asked her if she would take my picture with Aaron. She said yes, but she wasn't excited about it. And she was very confused since I'm sure she couldn't remember me being on their team. I was WAY too cute to be from Alabama.

I turned toward the mob closing in on Aaron, and realized that this was actually a situation in my favor. He would see that I am not like the other girls, as I would stand out in my ultra-hip street clothes. He would notice that I was not clawing at him as though I wanted to devour him, but I was instead waiting patiently for the other girls to get bored with him, so he would be free to marry me on the spot.

I eventually made my way over to him and politely asked if he would mind taking one last picture with me before he headed off to catch his connecting flight. He flashed a big, fabulous smile at me and he said he wouldn't mind at all. He put his arm around me, and I around him, noting the super soft texture of his suede jacket. I was hugging The Bachelor!! It felt completely right.

The girl with my camera emerged from the pack and clicked a picture of us, immortalizing us forever in that moment. Aaron turned to leave, but I think before he left I felt one last squeeze of his arm around me. We were both caught up in the moment, the excitement, the chemistry. He said goodbye, the girls squeeled at him as they watched him disappear down the hall, and I reveled in the moment, knowing he and I had truly connected. Then I remembered I needed to retrieve my camera from the tall one.

As I left Aaron, I knew I had accomplished my mission. It came out in the news a few days later that he and Helene had broken up. They didn't say it in words, but I heard the message loud and clear. The Bachelor had chosen me over Helene, even through our brief chance encounter. I know it's hard to believe that love could blossom in such extreme circumstances amidst a flurry of women. Truthfully I'm still waiting for my rose to arrive via Fed Ex. But I know in my heart it'll be here any moment now. I have the picture to prove it.

Love can find you in the most unexpected places. Sometimes you may not realize you're in love, til someone stalks you enough to let you know.
The Cynical Tyrant

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Daytime Blogging
You've probably noticed that I blog during the day, when you'd think I should be working. You are right. The reason for the daytime blogging is threefold: One, all blogs are not necessarily written at the time they are posted. Writing sometimes occurs at times other than when what I write makes it into the blog. Two, I have a very strange working environment. I spend A LOT of time waiting on other co-workers to do things I need from them in order to my job. Therefore, I feel I might as well be productive with my time. Hence, the daytime blog-time. Three, like I've mentioned before, I think a lot and have many random thoughts throughout the day. Therefore, I tend to take a break from working for a few minutes in which to get my thoughts down. I apparently have a short attention span when it comes to focusing on things I don't particularly like to do (ie: my job). So to blog helps get that out of my system so I can get back to work.

See, I can justify anything if I put enough words together.

I never understood the saying about not wanting to bite the hand that feeds you. The hand that feeds you should be your hand, so why would you want to bite your own hand? If someone else's hand is feeding you, you've got more problems than worrying about whether you should bite their hand or not.
The Cynical Tyrant

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

SPAM - evil spawn of the internet
And by 'spam', I mean those unwanted, non-requested emails we all get, filling up our email Inboxes everyday.

I used to be really annoyed by spam. And by 'annoyed', I mean downright angry. I have a free email account as my primary account, and when it gets filled with the spam, I can't get emails from people I actually want to hear from. Yes, I do the blocking and the filters. We all know that only provides minimal assistance against the onslaught of mass emails sent all day, everyday.

Then I stumbled across the idea to respond to the spam emails. Yes, every online advice giver will say never to respond to spam, and never click the 'unsubscribe' link, because that only indicates to the spammers that they did actually reach your Inbox with their email. But I figured since these spammers feel okay about sending unwanted email to me, why not have a little fun with it and give them some unwanted responses? And by 'responses', I mean LONG, DETAILED, RIDICULOUS stories and whatnot. Basically the same things they send us, right?

You should try it. I've actually gotten less spam emails in one email account since I've been responding. Maybe they've actually gotten annoyed with me. I got the idea from a website by a guy who started doing this a long time ago. He posts the initial spam emails along with his responses on a website. Some of them are really funny, and the whole idea is hysterical. But I hesitate to link to it because some of them get really inappropriate and the Cynical Tyrant doesn't necessarily support some of the directions he takes with his responses. I give him credit for my inspiration, but that's as far as I'll go. It's up to you to find his site. Think 'spam' and 'letters', and hopefully you'll Google your way to his world.

So that you can see what I mean, I'll post one of my finer examples below. Really, if you have the time, try this. It's a very fulfilling passive protest against spam. It's long to include both emails (the spam and my response), so to sum up the initial spam email, it was a pyramid thing sent by someone with Rainmaker as part of his email address. The email scam involved printing 'reports' and putting your name on a list so people will order the 'reports' from you, sending cash, and thus you make tons of money. Here's my response:

Hello Rainmaker-
What an interesting name. Were your parents hippies,
or are you just prone to creating rain?

Well, as many times as you implored me to read to the
end of the email, I am happy to report that I did! It
took awhile, since this may be the longest email I've
ever received. But, I stuck with it and finally trudge
my way through to the finish. I will admit I did take
a break or two. One was a potty break, and one to do
some research about the national television show you
say did a story on this 'business' deal. While I found
no record of such a show, I actually did find a news
website stating specifically that any email saying
they ran a story supporting this 'business'
opportunity is absolutely false. But still, I forged
ahead and read to the end of your proposal.

Still, I say 'bull'. You asked me not to, and I don't
necessarily say it in response to your proposal. I
just like to say 'bull'. I wasn't allowed to say that
word as a kid, as I was raised in an Amish home just
outside of Los Angeles. It's a lesser known Amish
community, hidden away in the outskirts of Beverly
Hills. We could only say 'bull' in reference to our
large family bull, which we kept in a pen next to the
outhouse. But even then, we usually referred to it as
'man-cow'. My mother felt that was much more

Anyway, do I get a prize for reading your entire
email? You cheered me on to completing the monstrous
task, and I would hope to receive something in return
for even opening, let alone making it through your
monstrous, yet ridiculous, proposal.

Alas, I'm afraid it was a waste of my time, as well as
yours. I read what you no doubt labored over
intensively, writing and writing and writing, so much
man-cow excrement! As I could care less about your
time, the real issue here is that you've grieved me
greatly by taking time from me that I can no longer
get back. Do you realize how precious time is? I could
have written a letter to my sick grandma, or listened
to a favorite song, or written my first novel, or
stared at the wall doing absolutely nothing. All of
which are better uses of my time than reading your

But having said that, would you happen to have phone
numbers or mailing addresses for your testimonials
below? I mean, as skeptical as I am, I am always open
to ways to make more money. I would like to check up
on your sources to make sure I'd be investing in a
worthwhile opportunity. Being Amish, I don't have
much. While greed and things of the world are frowned
upon, what my folks don't know won't hurt them, right?
In fact, I stole this computer from the last traveling
salesman who came to our door. He was selling vacuum
cleaners. As if he didn't know how quickly those
contraptions get clogged up on our dirt floors!!
Anyway, his unsolicited sale attempt cost him his
computer, and he now lives in the pen with the
man-cow. He's proven to be good, cheap labor when it's
fence mending season in the briar patch.

Anyway, if you can provide me with more information
and some clearer instructions, we may be in business.
The one problem is that I can only be online for 3.5
minutes a day when I can sneak over to the feed shop,
where they have the only phone line within 20 miles. I
break in at night, and can usually check my email
within the 3.5 minutes it takes the old man who lives
in the feed store to stumble down the stairs to see
what's going on. I haven't been caught yet, but last
night I had to hide in a barrel full of chicken feed.
I had to eat my way out. It wasn't good.

Thanks for contacting me! I hope this works out!

Amish Annie

I hope you enjoyed my take on spam. See what fun can be had at another's expense?? Don't worry. Spammers don't have feelings. They are inhuman. And remember, annoying.

If you point and laugh at other people, remember one thing. The rest of your fingers are pointing back at you. . . in a fist-type fashion. Which will come in handy when the person at whom you are pointing and laughing comes to hurt you.
The Cynical Tyrant

I think this blogging idea is the greatest thing ever. It's pure genius. I've read bits and pieces of several blogs lately, and while I don't like many of them because I think I'm just not on their 'wavelength', I love that Blogger has created a forum for anyone to say anything they want to say, anytime, for public viewing. It's perfect for those of us who desire to be published someday. And perfect for those of us who are in their element, typing the random thoughts we have as though other people could possibly be interested in those thoughts. It's different than a journal, in that I feel like I am writing to an audience. Yet, it's personal, easy and fun. And if the world hates it, no big deal. There are some really good blogs out there. I'm still exploring, and as I find ones I like, I'll link to them. Hopefully they'll return the favor at some point.

Now I must figure out how to get people here reading my blog. One thing I don't like about Blogger is that there seems to not be an easy way to search for, or publicize a blog. I tried a search and kept getting error messages. I'm here writing away, and still I'm the only one who has read my blog. Don't get me wrong, if I'm the only one who ever reads my blog, I am highly entertained and enlightened by what I write. But, the more the merrier. Of course I'll be passing it on to friends soon enough. I have to be comfortable with it first. But I do wish there was an easier way to spread my blog.

If you were reading that last sentence and had no idea what a 'blog' is, it might sound like I'm trying to spread some weird exotic disease. I'm not. I am relatively disease-free.

Anyway, if you happen to stumble upon my blog, and you then happen to read some of it, and even then you don't hate it, please pass it on to friends, family, anyone who can read. I appreciate the attention. And remember, whatever you think about it, feel free to leave a 'Shout Out'. But keep it clean. Mean, fine, if you must. Clean, a must.

Never laugh out loud at someone else's expense. Unless you are far enough away that they are certain to be out of earshot.
The Cynical Tyrant

Roadkill and Nose-picking
My Mamaw lives in a very small town in Louisiana. My parents grew up there. My uncle and his family still live there. We would visit there a lot as kids, so it's always nice to be back there. It's a familiar place. But very different than the big city where I live now. Very slow-paced, very relaxed. I guess the predominant theme there would be white trash. Not that my family is white trash, per say. But the town, well, swims in it.

It's right along the Mississippi river. There's a dock for the casino boats, near where the city dump used to be. My Mamaw's small town doesn't have a lot of the important things in life. So we have to go to Mississippi to go to the mall, or Wal-Mart, or to see a movie. They did just get a Blockbuster, which is a big deal. Where is it? Oh, it's in Mississippi. Right next to Wal-Mart.

It's a six hour drive to visit my Mamaw. I try to entertain myself as best I can while driving. I sing a lot. I think a lot. I watch people in other cars. I try not to think about needing a bathroom break.

Roadkill is not necessarily entertaining. I don't want to appear insensitive to the wee critters. But it is something worth mentioning. This weekend I drove to visit Mamaw and family, and it seemed that all wildlife in the state of Louisiana on the road to Mamaw's had lost the will to live. Maybe the constant downpour of rain made all living furry creatures suicidal. Maybe they were hoping the Ark would float by and give them a lift as they waited alonside the highway. Whatever the reason, very large and very small animals met their end on the side of the road to Mamaw's this weekend. I'd never seen such a thing. Many were unrecognizeable as to the type of animal it once was. The body count was on both sides of the road. I lost count, there were so many carcasses. But I did notice that on the way back home, much of the same roadkill was still there. Where does roadkill go, anyway?

The things people do in cars is always a great source of speculation and entertainment while driving. Why do people choose to do the things they choose to do in a car? There are the usual things, like applying make-up or reading a map. If you are someone who applies make-up in a car, I am here to tell you to take the 3 minutes out of your busy schedule to put the make-up on before or after you drive. One, you swerve a lot and you drive slower because you are doing too many things at once. So you really aren't saving any time, and there is no way you are getting any of the make-up on your face in the places it's supposed to be. Two, you make me nervous, and since I'm nervous just being in a car, I don't need you adding to that. Three, you'll poke your eye out with a mascara wand, and that is never a good look for anyone.

What I don't get is the nose-picking in a car. Are these people not aware that they are surrounded by windows that are clear, and that not only can they see out of their car, we can see in? True, a car is technically a private place. But you must realize that whatever you are doing in your car is on display to the world. Unless you drive a tank. But you don't. Although I imagine you could pick your nose in a tank and it would likely be a private moment for you.

As I drove home yesterday, traffic was completely stopped on the highway for a good twenty minutes or so. Which meant I had nothing better to do than stare out of my windows. There was a fairly decent looking woman in a new Nissan truck behind me. About as far from white trash as one could seem. Until I caught her in my rearview mirror with her finger up her nose. I was horrified, until I saw her stick her finger in her mouth following pulling it out of her nose. Then I was sickened. Yep, it went straight from nose to mouth, for cleaning. Of course I'd seen that before. But I'm always shocked when I see it again. I guess I figure people will one day learn that people with eyes and decent vision CAN SEE YOU AND YOUR DISGUSTING BEHAVIOR. And even people without eyes can sense a nose-pick within a five mile radius.

I mean, I'm not saying I've never picked my nose. In fact, my mom has a great story of me as a first grader, in the church Christmas pageant playing the role of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. I was the chosen one, the most proper, the most worthy, out of all the other girls in first grade. Nearly holy. My mother was so proud. Until one day at rehearsal. Apparently there is a hidden scripture in the Bible that only I knew about, where Mary shalt pick her nose as an offering to the Son of God. Or something. Whatever reason I had as a five year old, I proudly picked my nose in front of all the other kids, and all the moms. I actually don't think I realized what I was doing. The kids were oblivious. But all the moms knew. Good heavens! Mary is picking her nose!!

Really, we don't know if Mary picked her nose or not. It is not mentioned in the Bible, and we have no historical documentation to suggest she didn't pick her nose. As a five year old, I could have portrayed the most accurate re-inactment of the birth of Jesus. Unfortunately, we will never know. So please don't judge me. I was ad-libbing, and acting from my heart.

Anyway, a little advice for all of you public nose pickers: using your pinky finger to hunt for treasure does not make it any more acceptable or dainty. So if you're going to do it anywhere outside of your home, go ahead and use your pointer/picking finger, and really get into it. You've been seen already, so you might as well make it a good show.

For example, I was in Moscow, Russia, returning from a mission trip. As we waited in line at the airport, we spotted a man who was extremely consumed by his nose-picking activity. He was putting his whole body into it. Really, it may have been a form of interpretive dance, but I'm really just learning about Russian culture, so I'm not sure. Maybe he just had some illegal contraband stuffed way up there that he was trying to secure, or perhaps remove. Whatever his logic, he spent a good fifteen minutes or so exploring the regions of his sinus cavity. Not just a scratch, it was a PICK. He wasn't even trying to hide it. I don't think he noticed our pointing and staring, but he would stop just as we got the video camera out. This guy would have been a great short film all on his own. As soon as we put it away, we'd spot him going at it again. It was a traveling nose-pick. He went through the airport from check point to check point, still checking to see what was up there. It was the most disgusting, yet heartfelt display of nose-picking I had ever witnessed. I give him props for keeping us entertained during a long wait at the airport. Hopefully he didn't develop a brain aneurism from excessive picking. I'm pretty sure at one point his whole fist disappeared up there somewhere.

Anyway, to sum up: Don't be afraid to pick your nose. I'm not against it. I am pro-pick. Just don't do it where I can see it.

In honor of 300 episodes of the Simpsons, I leave you with: Smell ya later.
The Cynical Tyrant

Friday, February 14, 2003

Valentine's Day
So, it's occured to me that it's Valentine's Day. I mean, I knew that, but since I never usually have cause to celebrate, it's just another day to me.

I'm a single gal in a couples' world. It seems most of my friends are hooked up these days, and singleland is an increasingly decreasing pool of people. Don't get me wrong, I am totally happy for all of my coupled friends. They are happy, and their happiness means much to me. Still, it would be nice to be hooked up myself. At least so I could see them every once in awhile. Do you notice that couples hang out with couples, and singles only get to 'tag along' sometimes? No, that's not awkward for us singles at all . . .

Again, don't get me wrong. I love being with my coupled friends. They are very special people to me, friends and their husbands and wives alike. I just sometimes don't enjoy being in the middle of coupledom when it comes to spending time with them.

But, don't feel sorry for me. I try not to feel sorry for myself. It's not like I'm a loser. I'm pretty darn good-looking, young, active, interesting, good hair, tall, thin, athletic, charming, witty, sensitive, and I smell pretty good, if I do say so myself. I am a catch, most definitely. My situation is that I'm just not with anyone. And that's okay. For now.

Sometimes I wonder if it'll ever happen. Especially lately seeing so many of my friends find their mates for life. I've thought a lot lately about falling in love, I think finally at a point where that sounds really good to me. It's been a journey to get there, and even though I don't have a special someone for this particular Valentine's Day, I'm finding a lot of joy just in feeling like I want that to happen someday. The past few years, the thought of love has been overwhelming, to say the least.

To give you some brief history about me, my sister was killed in a car accident about 3 1/2 years ago. I was dating a guy at that time, and he turned into a total needy freak when my sister died. I couldn't stand to be around him anymore because he couldn't get over himself to be there for me when I really needed him. I was appalled that he could take the most devastating event in my life and turn it into a situation where I need to take care of his needs. He felt neglected, and he was. I'll give him that. But I was focused on, oh I don't know, planning a funeral for my younger, and only sibling. Needless to say, I broke up with him. And since then I've had a really hard time feeling like it would be safe to let someone into my world now.

My world totally changed when my sister died. This guy I was dating didn't know what to do with that. I was always the strong one before, and I think even just showing him my tears freaked him out. My tears definitely freaked me out. It's been tough to trust that I can be vulnerable with a boy and not have to take care him through it. Over the past years since she died I've had to re-learn how to be me, having gone through a life-destroying experience. I've had to learn how to be vulnerable and work through all the feelings, emotions, struggles of dealing with loss. I'm finally starting to get to a place where I'm comfortable with me again, and ready to let someone else in to who I am.

So, while this Valentine's Day will find me home alone tonight, I'm okay with that. It's a tremendously good feeling to me to just feel secure in knowing my heart is getting closer to the day when I will fall in love and be 'hooked up'. Plus, I'll be spending time with my parents and Mamaw this weekend, and if Valentine's Day is truly about being with people you love, I am blessed to have the opportunity to be with these loved ones at this time.

I hope Valentine's Day is a secure day for each of you, with or without someone special in your life.

Or, go toilet paper the houses of your friends who are out on Valentine's dates tonight.

If the laughter ever stops, you're clearly not paying close enough attention to the bad fashion begging to be laughed at around you.
The Cynical Tyrant

Same Day, Second Verse - About the Blog
Like I said, it'll be hard for me not to blog several times a day. And the funny thing is, at this point no one is even reading my blog, except for me. How I do so love to read what I write. . .

I spent some time customizing my blog. I wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing, yet simple. I think I achieved simple, since I've managed just words on a page. So here it is. I am determined to get the most out of the 'free' blog, without being tempted to pay money for an upgrade!

To explain the links on the right and get that out of the way, I'm sure they'll change from time to time, adding or subtracting some as I go. These will be links that I enjoy or visit regularly, or that might prove useful to the general public. I'm obsessed with road biking, so you'll see there's a link to an online source I found for researching bikes, parts, and whatnot. Good fun for the Tyrant!

As far as learning about me, note the link to my church and evening/weekend gig (Journey). I attend this church, and I'm also part-time staff here. No, I am not a pastor or religious leader. I just serve as best I can, doing miscellaneous stuff that seems to help in one way or another. In all my years of existence, this church has been the only church I've found where I truly feel at home, welcome to worship and pursue Christ as who I am. I've grown a lot here. But I have also learned some valuable things in working with the homeless at a very conservative faith-based homeless shelter (my full-time day job), which I'm sure is serving a purpose in shaping me into what Christ wants of me. No doubt you will hear more about both church and work as the blog goes on.

I've also included a link to email me. I'm not particularly trying to remain anonymous under my Cynical Tyrant moniker. So please feel free to email anytime. Also note the 'Shout Out' link for each blog. I'd love to hear your comments as I go. The 'Shout Out' is there for your convenience, rebuttal, praise, discussion, or discontent. Whichever suits your fancy. I do ask that you keep it clean. You never know when my parents might stop by for a read. . .

Life is full of humor. If you're not laughing, then someone is probably laughing at you. So I suggest laughing constantly. That way you win.
The Cynical Tyrant

Hello, and welcome to my blog. I've read a few of these lately, so I thought I'd give it a shot. So far, fairly simple. However, I've tried to make a few changes (ie: the inital misspelling of 'cynical' in my title) and I've already encountered some technical issues. I get an error message when I try to save the changes, but now it seems to have made the changes, so all is well. Phew! I pride myself on proper speeelling.

Anyway, I like to write. I can't speak for the public at large, as to whether they like to read what I write. But the fact remains, I like to write.

The title of my blog? Glad you asked. A friend of mine suggested the title 'Cynical Rantings' for a collection of some silly 'deep thought' type of things I write regularly. I do hope to publish a book or two or more someday, hopefully writing something beyond my deep thoughts. It's questionable how 'deep' my thoughts really are. But if you wander through a bookstore one day and you see a stack of 'Cynical Rantings' in the bargain bin, hopefully the book you see is one of my published works. You can say you knew me when I was just a blog.

What do I write about? Life. I know that sounds prolific and noble, but my life is nothing of the sort. It's fairly ordinary, some highs, some lows. Yet I manage to come up with some interesting perspectives. Or so I've been told. I enjoy making people laugh through writing. Or making them laugh by forcing some sort of laughter-type sound out of them while I twist their arm behind their back. Either way, I find that if I can make people laugh often with me, there is less of a chance they will be laughing at me just as often. I beat them to the punch. Sometimes with a punch, in the gut. And that makes me feel better about myself.

So what will my blog be about? In the fine tradition of Seinfeld, this will likely be a blog about nothing. But I'm okay with that. I embrace the challenge of turning nothing into a funny, or perhaps poignant something. And basically I enjoy any opportunity to ramble via the written word.

I know the 'humor as a defense mechanism' sound to what I've already written here has sent up a red flag to all the counselor and counselor wannabees who may stumble across my blog. Please don't try to find me and help me. I'm ok. Trust me, I've been through enough counseling and hard times to realize what I'm doing. Or maybe I'm just having a manic episode right now. Whatever the cause, I actually see the beauty in finding humor and laughter in places and situations where you'd think it shouldn't be. While I may come across as cynical and self-deprecating, therefore typically indicating depression or just plain mean-ness, that's part of the gimmick. I am not a sociopath. Although I am anti-social. But cheerful and perky just ain't me. I'd consider myself happy, not hating life, but making dry, sarcastic comments about it along the way. Without looking for the humor in as many situations as possible, I would not be where I am today.

So, where am I today? That's the question of the moment. Who is this Cynical Tyrant? Another question. The answers remain to be uncovered as my blog unfolds. I think I will find it hard not to blog several times a day. Yes, I have a 'day' job where I'm forced to be all day, 'working'. But fortunately I have an office with a door that closes, basically no supervision, unlimited access to the internet, and not much of a desire to do my job. It will be tempting to blog often throughout the day. I think a lot, and therefore have many random thoughts throughout the day. Since blogging doesn't come with anyone telling me to shut up or get to work, we'll see how self-disciplined I will be to not blog incessantly all the live long day.

That should do it for my first blog. I don't want to give away too much. Always leave your audience wanting more, is what they say. Or at least leave before they want more things to throw at you.

Til next time, I guess. I'll be exploring how to customize my blog. Layout, colors, graphics, etc. Can you feel the excitement?? If so, send it my way.

May your days be filled with a plethora of opportunities to laugh, be it at yourself or others.
The Cynical Tyrant