Gas Stations Go High Tech
February 22, 2004

So yesterday my errands brought me to the Upper Eastside of Seattle. Actually, it's just the Eastside, but I like saying "Upper" because it's sounds more hoity. The Eastside of Seattle is commonly known as Bellevue or what I like to call "Snootyland". Bellevue is one of the more premier neighborhoods you'll find here. I actually like it, I just pretend I don't for the sake of good blogging.

Prior to getting on the freeway, I figured I'd "fill up" at the local 76 station no matter how disgusted I was at the ghastly gas prices. Not long after I started pumping gas, the screen more commonly known for displaying payment instructions turned into a television and all of a sudden I was watching Larry King Live. Yes. Watching it. Live. At a gas station. Am I the first to catch onto this trend or what? But I was completely blown away. I certainly know they don't show CNN at the gas stations 'round my part of town. I could not contain my excitement. I felt like running over to the woman pumping gas across from me and sharing my revelation. She seemed not to enthused that we could watch tv and pump gas simultaneously. Plus, that wouldn't been uncivilized right? I certainly didn't want to act that way in Snootyland of all places. At first I thought it was great, I mean, I love watching Larry King, then I realized what a brilliant idea it was. My $5.00 fill up turned into $7.00, $8, $9, $13 (okay, okay so I have a fuel-efficent car). I would've filled the whole tank if Larry had a good guest on. Unfortunately, it was the former president of Enron, who I had no interest in hearing anything from. Am I left out here? Does everyone have televisions at their gas stations? I thought I lived in a relatively nice neighborhood. Apparently, I'm not snooty enough.

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MTV Reaches a New Low
February 21, 2004

Almost literally. Lowering Dodge Neons, adding chrome rims and crushed velvet seats to your '84 Gremlin, MTV's newest show Pimp My Ride encourages everyday citizens to fall further into the abyss of materialistic un-reality. Sad.

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The Metermaid Saga Continues
February 20, 2004

Last month I began what looks to be a battle of epic proportions. The battle against the metermaids. I mentioned last month how I had been wrongly ticketed for parking in an "unmarked crosswalk". That's right. A crosswalk that was unmarked. A crosswalk with NO MARKINGS. Nadda. A crosswalk so ambiguous, pedestrians don't even know it's there. It doesn't get more irritating than that. Well, actually, it does. In 2001, I got a ticket for wrongly parking in a spot I was never in, by a phantom metermaid who SENT me the ticket in the mail. When I showed up in court to contest it, the judge dismissed it because the guy that wrote it had a reputation for writing illegitamate parking tickets. To which the judge noted, "That guy would even write his own MOTHER a ticket." That's another story. In any case, I contested my crosswalk ticket most happily.

So I received a letter a few weeks ago informing me I had been assigned a "pre-trial hearing" date to determine if I have enough of a case to have a real trial. If we are unable to "settle" then we'll go to trial. A pre-trial hearing for a $38 parking ticket people!!! What a stinking waste of my time. These people are playing games right now, but they have no idea I'm about to go Perry Mason on their butts. Two can play this game. The City of Seattle has encountered one of its hard-headed citizens again. I take my finances very seriously and the City of Seattle won't be getting $38 from me because one of their employees in the Police Department was having a bad day and feeling a bit indignant. They made sure to note on the letter, "If you wish to pay the ticket at this time you may do so by checking here and enclosing payment for the full amount." Translated: We're sending you to a pre-trial hearing because we're stalling. We're hoping that you'll get ticked off and just pay us (which is what we really wanted in the first place) so we can pay the salaries of some ineffective city council members and continue to waste dollars doing absolutely nothing.

Indeed not. I will be attending my "pre-trial" hearing with evidence in tow. This metermaid regime is goin' down baby.

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The Fallen Man
February 19, 2004

Do you ever look at someone and think they have latent terroist capabilities? Liar. Well, I do. It's probably from a stereotypical perspective, but who knows, maybe I have a future as an airport security screener. In high school, I remember this one kid named Micah Broadsky. Make sure you roll the "r" when you say that for the full effect of the last name. I think it's Russian. Anyway, he was a 10th grader who left mid-day to take math classes at the University of Washington Graduate School because our high quality private school wasn't "challenging" him enough. No doubt, Micah was very smart but he had the social skills of a 5-year-old. I kid you not, he threw temper tantrums and cursed at teachers when he got a low score. He didn't know how to share, how to be respectful, or how to hold a normal conversation. I always thought Micah would snap one day; like he would do something crazy and blow up the school. People used to think I was joking when I said that but i was VERY serious. Micah was smart, but Micah had issues. Unfortunately, in this country, the first outweighs the latter. Teachers could care less that Micah didn't know how to relate to people because he got good grades right?

Continue reading "The Fallen Man">>>

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Well It's About Time...
February 18, 2004

Dean quits the race. We need to get this guy into the body of Christ. He's tenacious. LOL

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Well Boo Frickin' Hoo
February 18, 2004

This morning, on the way out the door, I caught a commercial for an upcoming Deborah Norville interview. The clip went something like this, "Tired of your kids being shown violence? Well some are saying Mel Gibson's new movie the Passion of Christ is entirely too violent." This could be its own expository essay. The average kid's so desensitized to violence these days, I'm sure little Tommy will be fine. As for the media, I say sob sob sob, cry me a river. I've not seen the movie, but I can predict that their depiction of Christ's death doesn't even come close to reality. I believe it was the most horrendous crime ever committed against another man. Unfathomable. And I am so thankful for it because God only knows where I'd be right now without Christ's redemption power. A mess.

Political Columnist, LaShawn Barber offers her perspective on the film in her blog. The girl speaks her mind always :-)

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The Passion
February 16, 2004

Seeking to have a truly fruitful President's day off, I immersed myself in the idiot box for most of the day (This is something I don't often get to do). It only takes a minute or so to realize that American television is quickly becoming like European telvision: lude and disgusting. Coincidentally, I taught a Bible study on Sunday morning from 1 Peter 4 which begins: "1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do--living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. "This pretty much covers all that is in television right now. Amidst news on the San Francisco same-sex marriage licensing (our real life Sodom & Gommorah) and Seattle rallies for the same, I caught reports on the controversy that is currently being caused by Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Admittedly, Gibson has made some choices throughout his career that don't exactly represent the best witness of Christ. I myself only came to know he was Catholic a few years ago. Nevertheless, Christ is being preached and if the movie's not against us, it's for us and I am excited that the issue is even being broached by the media. I am actually looking forward to viewing the film myself. In general, I shy away from viewing depictions of Jesus. I think we tend to downplay Him as a person. He's long been portrayed as this weak, feeble, dark-haired, blue-eyed, white man. I'm sorry, I just don't think my Savior really looks like that. In spite of that, I believe there's something in this movie for me and for others. With all the controversy at hand, I can only think that God is at work.

Tonight I caught Dateline with Diane Sawyer on the channel I hate: "abc". I must say, Gibson handled himself well. He seemed visibly nervous, however He continued to point his answers back to scripture and not his own opinion. I didn't agree with all that he said like, "Everyone can get into the Kingdom of Heaven, it's just easier if you're a Christian". I can't agree with that, but by and large, he did a tremendous job combatting the questions about anti-semitism and the film being "God-ordained". I've stated in the past that Diane Sawyer practices bad journalism. In general, she comes off as very naïve and horribly biased in most of her interviews. I understand that "things of the spirit" are difficult for non-believers to comprehend, but Diane Sawyer either plays dumb very well or she just is dumb; I'm not sure yet.

Regarding The Passion, a Seattle Rabbi was quoted as saying, "I fear this movie will perpetuate this whole idea of there being a good side and an evil side...." I am restraining myself from saying something entirely too sarcastic in response to that. Let's just say, this is the delusion of the non-messianic Jews. To forsake that there is both good and evil at work on the earth is to deny what God has established on the Earth. Reportedly, the Pope gave the film thumbs up at first, then he didn't, then he did again. I myself can't believe the Pope was coherent enough to even watch the movie. The guy is just plain old. That's another post.

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It's Black History Month...I Forgot
February 10, 2004

You will never guess who I saw downtown tonight. Henry Louis Gates Jr. Probably doesn't ring a bell right? Well it wouldn't to most. Mr. Gates is a well-known African-American studies scholar, author, lecturer, and professor, and once worshipped by the likes of me. I even hunted him down once at a schmooze party and got him to write me a recommendation to Harvard. Apparently, he didn't have much influence over the board of admission. I got rejected. Yes, I was an unstoppable black studies fanatic my senior year of high school determined to go to Harvard and wrap myself in the so-called "genius" of Henry Gates and Cornel West; who, needs to comb his hair by the way. Even now I see, there was only partial truth in Mr. West's teachings. It just happened to be tastefully woven into lies. I was convinced I'd be a noted author in African-American studies one day. That may prove itself yet, however, probably contrary to how I would've imagined it in a contextual sense. My perspective has changed immensely over the last 4 years and I find myself believing less than 25% of what I believed then. Five years ago, I would have stopped the car in the middle of traffic to go greet Mr. Gates and tell him how much I loved his last book. This time, the urge didn't strike me. I'm thinking the reason he's in town has something to do with black history month which I actually forgot we were in.

So here we are thrust into what my mom calls "Black people work month". She's a lecturer and professor so you can imagine she's in high demand this month. The reality, is black history month is not much exciting in my book. It's a token. In general, I think we just need to do a better job of realizing and teaching multiculturalism in the US. year-round. On top of that, the black history that gets discussed doesn't interest me. This is mostly because it's had the crap beat out of it over the years. I find church history, great movements of God as it relates to my heritage more interesting. In fact, there is much African-American history that has yet to be openly discussed. I'm more interested in the spiritual roots of African-Americans; how many of us have somehow managed to be raised in church and ended up not even serving God as adults. Most people don't know that the Assemblies of God, commonly known as a predominately white denomination was the result of a split from the Church of God in Christ, a historically black denomination. Stuff like that facinates and befuddles me. I'm hungry to know what God has been doing all these years in history. In my opinion, this is the heritage we lack in general. How many of us (back, white or yellow) have actually had our grandparents sit down and tell us about how God's moved in our lineage? Well, depending on what generation you are (Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob), you may be the first to establish a Godly legacy in your family. However, it is commonly known in African-American circles that there is a rich history of Christianity in our past. Do we hear much about it? Not really. In fact, we make light of that fact a little too often. I wonder if this is one of the curses of this generation: lack of generational transfer. Oh how we need it.

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Fashion Trends
February 7, 2004

There is a horrible fashion trend that has descended upon the consumers of America and beyond. They are Australian sheepskin boots. They are called Uggs. I'm assuming the name comes from the fact that they are UGG-LY. Not since the 80's have I seen such a horrendous fashion trend. Who is responsible for this? The Australians. Thank God Hillsong Music has redeemed my opinion of Australians. But for upwards of $200 a pop, what in tarnation would cause someone to actually think these suckers are cute? I've even seen girls wearing them with skirts?!? Now I've tried these on (burning curiousity I suppose) and I'll admit, they're both comfortable and warm. But "going hiking in the mountains warm" not "I wanna be part of a fashion trend warm". These boots seem to be the most popular in sunny California (someone help me understand the logic there). Whatever the case may be, these shoes are all the rave and I don't get why. Collectively, we Americans have brains the size of peas when it comes to consumerism. We do very little thinking for ourselves and usually rely on the media and what we see to dictate what we should be buying; especially in the fashion world. I've usually found that image creates desire and if you see something enough times, what was once ugly now seems chic. This is a marketing nightmare. But no matter how many times I see these uggified boots, they still seem hideous to me.

Another strange phenomenon is the fact that we consumers have some need to spend lots of money on things that shouldn't cost lots of money. Like jeans. And I'll be the first to admit, the combined market value of 5 pairs of jeans in my closet is about $800. I of course, being a bargain hunter didn't pay that price, but the concept still sickens me nonetheless. Truth be told, there's not a heck of a lot of difference between a pair of generic and designer jeans but the label. Sometimes quality differs, but even that's fargone these days.

I've been observing the Gap, Inc. over the last couple of years. Their sales were WAY down around this time last year--about 10%--which in the retail world is horrible. Interestingly enough, the Gap still had their same quality, same basic clothes. One of their main problems was, get this: their price point. Their jeans were too cheap. People wanted to buy "expensive jeans". So you guessed, it, sometime last year, the Gap introduced "1969" their upscale denim line. What a load of crap. The reality is, there's no difference in this new line of jeans. They're just more expensive. Currently, the Gap's sales are up. My hypothesis on this: We consumers want to have the best of the best, even if we can't afford it. "Faking the funk" so to speak, is a nice consolation prize for not being "well-off" enough to afford to pay $185 for a pair of Diesel Jeans without going into debt. So we'll buy the expensive pair of Gap jeans over the cheap ones because it makes us look more successful. This is the craziest concept to me. While the discount stores (Target, Walmart, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack) are extremely successful these days, it's the (middle stores) whose clothes aren't too expensive but aren't too cheap that are losing in sales. Why? All because of some ugly boots. Well, not really but I'd like to think so.

Posted in Culture, Fashion Faux Pas | Permanent Link | Comments { 1 }
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A Word About Content
February 7, 2004

I often struggle with the content of my site. I bounce around from politics to social commentary, to Biblical doctrine, to fashion. I can be deep when I feel like it, and I can be shallow too. I know this bothers people. When I listed my site under Blogs4God, I placed it under journals because I am in no way a political pundit, nor an excellent writer. I'm me, so the content of my site comes directly out of my brain and is more a testimony to the type of personality I have. Teaching is a gift I have from God, so that gets wrapped into all that I do. If my words ever come off "preachy", that's why. Most of all, I think to view things with "God-colored glasses" aka Biblical worldview. I believe God is in everything.

Readers find my site in a number of ways. They clicked a link from another site; I personally told them about it; they found it on a blog listing; or they did some strange search on google.com for "banana republic poncho" and bam, they landed here. Well, however you got here, I hope there is something that speaks to you and your life. God Bless You!

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Why I'm Not a Republican Parts I, II, III, IV
Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
The ROI of a Kid
The Double-Minded Haters
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Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
Oh parent Where Art Thou?
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