Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I Just Don't Get It...

I'm so pissed I can't nap right now...so I figured I'd type some of it out to vent.

I got the worst grade I've gotten on a paper today. It's not a "low" grade, but considering I do one thing in school well, that being write, it pisses me off that a class that doesn't really matter is going to say I can't write. More importantly, the class is completely graded upon if I can say what the teacher wants to hear instead of what I know. Half of the time, I try and figure out what he is looking for when the answers are clear to everyone...not to mention, learning "leadership" from a book is utter nonsense anyway. That being said, my teacher spent today telling me that I "had very low neuroticism" and needed to "contribute to the dialogue". Here is the list of comments on my paper:
  • "Ambition is not a trait natural to me." his comment-I disagree! (let's keep in mind...I submitted this paper after three weeks of class...which means I had seen him for seven hours of my life. I'm pretty sure you will all vouch that I have very little, if any, ambition. Sure, I want to change the world, but I want to do so while wearing flip flops and never working.)
  • "I took time to explain to him that I, as a Cadre member and Cadet Sergeant, still had doubts as to if the military was my "calling," but that I was comfortable enough to know that it was something I could, with effort, dedicate myself to." his comment- Re-look.
  • "Since plebe year, I have, according to the personality survey, grown less ambitious and self-disciplined." his comment-Relook this argument
  • "Since childhood, mediocrity was good enough for me." his comment-How can this be true?
  • "According to the PL300 workbook, experience, new knowledge, reflection and time are all necessities to improving ones leadership capabilities." (I should note that this was followed by two paragraphs about what new experience in particular I needed to improve) his comment-What experiences?
  • two paragraphs were circled with "Good!"

This was all followed with the comment, "Great Reflections. C+"

Seriously, what the fuck? How can you say "write a paper about how your weak and how to improve" and then say you "disagree" with my self-evaluated weakness? Am I supposed to assume that we're all ambitious because we're cadets? That's bullshit. Cadets are the laziest and most apathetic people I've met. Whatever. Me and my "low neuroticism" self are going to nap...

Re-used Stuff...

I have a lot to write about...politics (Dick Cheney retiring? Could it possibly be? Does God love me again?), my Psychology teacher "disagreeing" that I'm not ambitious and that I am comfortable being mediocre, water treatment being far more interesting than I'd expected or the politics of the Supreme Court and Law School (yes...more about law school). But...right now, I'm reading this website which pointed me to this clock:
The guy makes all his clocks out of discarded electronics and trash. This one in particular is made out of an old banjo and some other trash. I think it's awesome and am considering buying it. It's expensive though...but still...you can't deny it's pretty cool.

Monday, February 27, 2006

I'm Brown??

her: that's pretty gross
me: sorry...TMI?
her: um...yeah
me: have I ruined the camelot image?
her: what camelot image? dude, you're brown
her: last time I checked King Arthur wasn't Mexican, or Arabian, or anything of color
her: and it's a damn shame too
her: he could have pimped out his horse
her: and had a really cool accent

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I'm An Asshole...

Wow...talk about backfiring.

I had a whole blog written about about the Air Force Academy I might post later, but then this happened: I fucked up. I made a myspace page for my best friend Adam as a joke back in September using my gmail account. I email him everytime some random desperate girl or guy tries to sleep with him and we both get a kick out of it.

Tonight, he (I?) got an email from the girl who had his son three years ago. It's the first picture he's seen of his son and she's now married with a daughter also. I feel like an ass.

I had to call him up, "Adam...I just got an email from Alicia..."

Three years later, seeing your son for the first time. Man, I feel like an asshole.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Holy Shit-Balls Funny...

I don't think I've ever ever ever posted about celebrities or fashion, but this shit was just too funny. From this website, anyone who is, has been, or knew someone who was or had been a fan of Bjork will get a good laugh:
Oscar Dress Watch: Bjork
Icelandic singer/professional crazy person Bjork (we're not computer literate enough to deal with umlauts) has purchased her new Oscar gown. The furry part (foreground) will wrap around the bodice, while the yellow dangly things will be stapled around the back. The circular half red/half beige globe will be used as a handbag.

Air Force Academy...

Yep. That's where I'm heading tomorrow morning with a paper due Thursday only half written to seek out people to attend our ethics conference next year. Ha ha, I love how self-serving the academies are...how pompous..."oh, no...ha ha, I'm not here to learn about ethics really, I'm just hear to shop around for speakers for our ethics conference. You should come." I hope we have more like the ones we had this year. I think at one point, we had a panel of the guy who wrote Chicken Soup for the Soul (who is every bit as used-car-salesman-like as you might imagine[side story, when we were talking about values and ethics he said "every decision is easy once you've decided upon your values. Simply follow through with the logical conclusion of your values and you'll always know the right decision." To which I asked about conflicing values, such as prolonging life but shortening suffering and he said, "it sounds to me like you just need to sit down and rethink your bedrock values and then those decisions wont be difficult anymore." I was about to hit him in the face for being an arrogant over-paid asshole when the buzzer sounded and we changed groups])

I'm slightly excited to go to the AFA mainly because I'm excited to see what I've only dreamt about...being promoted at Thanksgiving, fridges in the rooms, private bathrooms, optional breakfasts and no formations...mmm...sounds nice.

What else is going on in the world (and yes, by "the world" I mean, what has occupied my time and thoughts)? I've been thinking a lot about the whole wire tapping thing, which seems to have faded away. Hmm...I wonder if Cheney shot that dude in the face for a reason now (que Hitchcock music). Man, it really seems this administration and anyone involved with them can do no wrong. From Abramof, DeLay, Libby and Cheney, not to mention the entire "oops...so we didn't go to war for the best reasons," they can do anything and walk away clean. Well...hopefully not.

This article is an interesting discussion of the implications of the wire tapping business. Moreover, I heard a really interesting discussion on NPR about how Alito spoke of the "Unitary Executive" durring his nomination trials. While I am, admitedly, un-informed on the full implications of that, the two scholars who were debating were in agreement that it basically meant Alito believes that, particularly in a time of "war" (even, apparently, prolonged, unending war) the President has the authority to do as he pleases (yes, this is a gross overstatment and oversimplification but hey...it sounds scary enough, right?)

And what else? This business about selling US ports to Dubai is absurd. Even without mentioning that the White House has financial ties and seeks to make gains from the sell (suprise...again...man, I hope the Dubai government contracts Halliburton to rebuild anything they need in the ports), the idea of selling our ports to a company that is state owned to begin with seems absurd. I need to read more about it to come up with a good reaction though...but considering the right and left have said it's a bad idea, I can't help but think maybe he should listen ("he" being Bush).

Monday, February 20, 2006

4 Day Weekend...

Something I discovered creates fun on its own accord: giving a dozen twenty-somethings 30k with relatively no strings attached. My friends have bought guitars, suits, trips to Canadia and New Zealand, clothes, cars and some investments. It makes for a good night at the bar wherein instead of the usual, "But I bought the last round!" we were all reaching for our wallets each rounds...for 15 people. Good times.

I also got to hang out with Adam and, as usual, things went well. It seems we always change, but never change so much we don't fall right back into step with each other. We ate dinner at a diner one night and sat in a booth next to two girls who were wearing matching sweats and hooker boots (so hot right now). They spoke of milk for a full hour and Adam and I spent the whole time trying not to laugh at them (and playing a game where you cound NorthFace fleeces without looking over your shoulder). When the girls got up to leave, one stopped suddenly by our booth, spun around and said, "OMG! Britney really wants you to give back her Mean Girls DVD!" We couldn't stop our laughter and, rude as it is, looked straight at them and laughed. Good times.

This is part of an unrelated email conversation that made me "lol":
i wonder if she would give me head while I watched porn. i'd touch her boob if she did that for me. even if it had a rash on it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


I just read this on a right wing blog:
Sharpened debate is arguably helpful with respect to domestic issues, but not for the management of important foreign and military matters. The United States, an unrivaled superpower with unparalleled responsibilities for protecting the peace and defeating terrorists, is now forced to discharge those duties with its own political house in disarray. ... Denmark or Luxembourg can afford to exhibit domestic anguish and uncertainty over military policy; the United States cannot. A divided America encourages our enemies, disheartens our allies, and saps our resolve--potentially to fatal effect. What Gen. Giap of North Vietnam once said of us is even truer today: America cannot be defeated on the battlefield, but it can be defeated at home. Polarization is a force that can defeat us.

Am I the only one who thinks that last line sounds exactly like what they used to say about Vietnam? What utter bullshit. I'm so sick of people saying that by being against what we're doing we "help" the enemy.

Sorry, I realize that's a rather pointless rant and post, but I had a conversation with someone today, after three years of this bullshit war, who has apparently not read a newspaper since we declared "mission accomplished" and continues to hold to that. What the hell is wrong with these people and why do they find it so difficult to grasp reality?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentines Day...

Or, if you're less pessimistic

Two Ways...

I have 30k dollars. There are two ways of looking at this:
1) I have a lot of money (that's the good way)
2) I have more money than 90% of the world. (the not so good way someone said it at the breakfast table that made me feel kind of sick).

Monday, February 13, 2006

Ignorant Fuckers...

I know this post might seem a bit random at first, but try and follow me as I explain my thoughts.

I mentioned this morning, as my friend talked about crashing his car in the snow, that I'm probably going to get a Beetle. My aunt has one in her garage she hasn't driven since her husband died in '79 and it's in good condition. My pops used to drive one and my mom's boyfriend is working on one at my house right now...it's a nice car with good gas mileage, great style and a lot of memories. It's a nice ride for single folk (like myself) and I think I'd be happy in one. Now, of the people I've told, I've either gotten the thumbs up "Yeah, that's perfect!" or a look of digust. Now, I realize cars, like music or books, are a matter of taste (and thus, I can discount anyone who disagrees) so, I don't mind too much that not everyone thinks it's a cool car. What bothers me, however, is the reason for the dislike...

Most people (three) who have said they don't like it have given me some lame reason like, "you'll never get laid" or some other reason that makes it very obvious they've still got high school, "But what will people think?" mentalities. They're the same people who skoff and give dirty looks to people with mohawks (which I once had) or think that any girl who doesn't cheerlead or guy who doesn't want to play football simply aren't people...

Yes, this is a gross over generalization, but I sat around in all my free time and thought about the three who reacted the way they did and came to the conclussion that was their common denominator. I hate fuckers like that...you know, the ones who take a high school mentality and project it forward through the rest of their lives. I hope to God they don't reproduce.

Speaking of God, I went to Mass yesterday and, for the first time in my life, had a priest who was my age or younger. Wierd. Anyway, back to my point...I'm getting a Beetle...it's going to kick some mad ass and you all will be jealous...oh so jealous.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Donnie gets owned

I just thought everyone should see this video.

Middle America...

I went to Upstate New York today, a very "middle America" kind of place where the school is k-12 and everyone knows everyone. It's an annual trip the glee club takes and it's always kind of strange. Because we go every year, it's like seeing life in stop motion photography. Same people, just a year older...and what happens in a year is always interesting. There are births, deaths, marriages and other things that you know happen to everyone, but, when you don't hear anything and get it all at once, it can be both shocking and interesting.

The family I stayed with my freshman year lost their son to a drowning since I was last there. They've moved out of the house they were in when I first stayed with them and their daughter, who was a freshman in high school, is now a junior. She's all grown up and woman-like now, which is odd.

This year, I stayed with a really old couple who are very nice. They made me sandwiches of meat and bread and stayed in the room with a fireplace and read the National Geographic or Barak Obama's book most of the time. We watched the opening of the Olympics and me and the father sat in front of the TV for womens ice hockey. We both slept and snored until we scored, then we'd wake up, try and figure out what just happened and pretend not to be asleep.

I ate Cranberry Gravy for the fist time.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


I stumbled across the Wikopedia entry for Midshipmen and found this nugget:
The academy also supports the Navy core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment and in addition the general idea of "excellence without arrogance."
Ah ha ha ha! Apparently they've never met a middie. Excellence without arrogance. What a hoot.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


It's funny...for the first time in my life, I'm really happy and content with what I'm doing. Instead of feeling like I'm just floating along in life with no direction or course ahead, I feel like I've chosen what I'm doing, and chosen well. I'm happy here, I like what I'm doing, and, for the first time, I feel like I'm headed somewhere.

The wierd thing is, accompanying that feeling is this intense fear that I'm going to lose it all. I guess it's because I finally have something to lose, but still...I don't like this feeling much.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Random things I notice durring the game:
  • A moment of silence for Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks seems like a good idea...until you realize you're got a crowd there for the Superbowl...in which case, you realize "moment of silence" is easy to confuse with hooting, whisteblowing and cheering
  • A commercial for Pizza Hut with Jessica Simpson singing about pizza to the tune of "These Boots Were Made For Walking" and a voice over by Queen Latifah...just seems like an odd hodgepodge of "stars". No wonder she got divorced...didn't she? Well, I would if my wife sang about pizza.
  • The pre-game was sponsered by "Full Throttle" (that should have an echo)
  • The game is on ABC, but the online site is sponsored by CBSonline.com
  • Harrison Ford delivering "Oh, The Places You'll Go" is scarey not funny (where do they get these ideas from? "yeah...Harrison Ford...and, who else? I don't know...Dr Seuss?"
  • Do you think Lofa Tutupu got made fun of because of his name before he was monster sized and a professional football player?
  • The Rolling Stones are really really old
  • MTV, it's sad to say, make a better halftime show than Sprint
  • Cadillac Post-Game show...I think football needs more coorporate sponsorship...it would really add to the game
  • Hyperbolic rhetoric about the game said by either players or commentators, "This is the biggest game in the world." and "Football is the most difficult most team-building sport in the world."
  • My favorite comment of the night from my friends girlfriend, "Do you think John Madden has ever had sex?" the reply was a long pause followed by her fiance saying, "Probably not...can you name anyone uglier?"

Anyway...that's what I thought about as I watched the game...I'm quitting now about halfway through the third quarter. I'm bored and have homework.

Bad Bands W/ Bad Hair...

I went to a concert in Brooklyn last night and got back around 4 in the morning...it's OK, I had pass. It is now 8 in the morning and I'm sitting at a desk protecting freedom.

The concert was cool, full of hipsters. What I noticed is there is a correlation between how hip someone wants to be and how bad a haircut he has. There were also other rules that had to be followed, such as not taking your jacket off even if it was insanely hot, not moving ones feet to dance (swaying, instead, from side to side and letting your head slowly bobble like the chihuahua from taco bell commercials of yore) and, of course, the requisite ugly glasses.

The opening band was horrendous. There was a bassist who was really cool...she couldn't sing for shit, but she played well and had this really cool haircut that covered one eye and one ear, but was short on the otherside. She also wore a dress that appeared to be made out of paper and red boots. The lead singer was a girl who looked like Lili Taylor...but as though Lili Taylor had done far more drugs earlier in life and bleacher her hair blonde. She didn't really "fit" with the rest of the band and had this horrible gimmick where she purposely had no stage presence and instead stood with her hands behind her back and eyes shut. I think it was supposed to make her whining drone more meaningful and deep...instead, it was just sad and annoying. The last guy in the band was some dude who was as tall as me but weighed maybe 120 lbs. He had on a black t-shirt with a huge rip under the arm and his arms were the size of my wrists. He had, of course, a horrible horrible haircut that covered both his eyes and was incredibly greasy. Hip. (I thought back to how Adam Graf used to say the world would be better if we all walked around naked. People would be less pretentious because they wouldn't have to hide behind clothes to make themselves seem like something they weren't. This guy was the verification of that...without his black shirt and pants, he wasn't hip...he was just a weak, skinny pasty boy with bad hair.)

The second band was even worse...far more gimmicks. On stage, they looked a little like a casting call for a volkswagon commercial...every trendy hip twenty-something personality you could think of. I half expected them to pile into a jetta and drive around for a while on stage just so we could see how really hip they were. Their music sucked and that's really all there is to say about that. Oh wait, there was one thing...the lead was the antithesis of the girl before. He had nothing but stage presence. He moved, swayed and gyrated like a rock star. He sung like a dog with a tick up its ass.

The last band was really good, but, because we're cadets, we had to leave early to catch the last train. There was a dude on the subway who was singing country tunes and playing his guitar...he was really good. When he finished one song and we still had three stops left, my friend Dan said, "Hey, music man, we're on till 6th Ave, how about another?" He then played Ring of Fire. He ended out on the same stop as us and Dan talked to him...unfortunately, he too was a bit pretentious. Man, it seems like New York is full of pretentious people.

Apparently, something about our network wont let me read Chuck's blog anymore. I'm kinda pissed about that one.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Any Thoughts?

My friend's girlfriend bought me a shirt that reads, "Liberals in the military?" and on the back, "We do exist."

It's a great shirt, and I love it...I wear it to the bar on Thursday nights...I don't, however, wear it around the barracks. I don't think it would be right to bring my own politics into the workplace. Sure, it's a difficult line to mantain since I live where I work, and, step into my room for just a moment and you'll be baraged with Liberal books, stickers and whatever else I'm allowed to have. Anyway, my friend wanted to wear the shirts tonight to dinner...I said no since we have formation and the freshman would see it. Here was our conversation:

Him: do you have a costume for tonight, or do you wanna make the dual debut of the shirt?

CaliCdt: I don't think I'm going to wear the shirt around much in the barracks. I wore it to the Cow Club...but I figured it'd be just as inappropriate for me to wear a hard core Bush shirt in front of hte plebes, you know...mantain neutrality as much as possible...

Him: i guess it seems diff. since libs are in the minority, kinda like a subversion of power thing

CaliCdt: ha ha...argh...you and that argument, being a minority doesn't give us the right to play by different rules

Him: i'm not saying it does in this case, it's just that i feel less guilty about, but in general, when a group is marginalized, it should have more of a right to things, as a way of equalizing.....that's why affirmative action's ok, or black guys making white jokes but not white guys making black jokes....or black power ok/white power not

CaliCdt: sorry, totally disagree with you. you can't subvert respect and expect respect back

Any thoughts? Does being a minority somehow give us different rights or expectations than the majority?

Big Year Ahead...

I had my first official meeting as Respect Captain Elect today. It was with the Officer who is in charge of gender issues and sexual harrassment/assault at West Point. I've always considered myself to be fairly open minded and try to consider things from different points of view. In fact, if you read my blog regularly, you'd have read that someone once said that doing so was one of my hallmarks.

Taking on the Respect Program at West Point wasn't something I had always planned, in fact, it kind of "happened"...and I'm excited, but I'm also a little scared and nervous. It is, if I want to do it well, a huge undertaking. If I do my job well, I can leave this place better than I'd left it. If I do my job poorly, the sky wont fall in, but maybe, next year, the year after, or sometime in the future, someone will have to deal with some sort of issue relating to race, gender, religion, orientation or other defining characteristic of personhood...and it will have been my fault because I didn't do well enough.

So, what am I getting at? Well, I was talking to the Officer and she said things that I had never thought of. In one hour, I can count four times where I was visibly taken aback by what she said...things relating to women, religion, sexual harrasment, homophobia...officers and others who had said or done things, different reports she's read, her own personal experiences, that made me gasp audibly (OK, that might be an exaturation, but still...)

One way she looks at being a cadet, that I had previously heard a Jew articulate, was that every person is born with inherent dignity and worth. The day you get to West Point, every male (and to some degree, by extention, every straight white male) retains that dignity, but every female has to slowly buy hers back. We talked about that for a while, and I can see her point.

There are going to be changes next year...some bigger some smaller, but I'm glad I'll be able to have a chance to help...to make a difference in some small part in what goes on here. Luckily, my job is one of the few where, if I do it really well, I will make a lasting difference. Even the First Captain, no matter how good he or she does, when gone, is simply gone. There may be a legacy...but no lasting change. I will have the opportunity to make this place safer, stronger and more functional...if I do my job well.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Yes, the State of the Union was last night and I watched it after drinking a lot of wine. I got asked to go to a wine tasting to choose what we would drink at the next ball (I think Mom and Kristie are going to come out for that one). Anyway, something made it less infuriating being drunk, but, here are some my favorite quotes and reactions for those of you who care:
In a system of two parties, two chambers, and two elected branches, there will always be differences and debate. But even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger. To confront the great issues before us, we must act in a spirit of goodwill and respect for one another -- and I will do my part.

Mmm...something tells me Valerie Plame, Shinseki and the other people this administration has crushed along the way would disagree.
Democracies replace resentment with hope, respect the rights of their citizens and their neighbors, and join the fight against terror.

Disingenuous at best...Democratic Peace Theory is not prooven, hotly debated and, as shown in Palestine, elections, even free and fair ones, can lead to governments that aren't about to join our War on Terror let alone lead to more freedom for the citizens. Shit, look closer to home...we've had plenty of democratically enacted laws that restrict freedom for women, minorities, gays...were it not for the Supreme Court, we would simply have straight up majority rule...speaking of the Supreme Court, nothing infuriates me more than listening to Bush speak about "judicial activism" and "legislating from the bench". He knows nothing of which he speaks and can barely pronounce the words, but because he had a mandate, he has now shifted the court for the next thirty years.
I will continue to nominate men and women who understand that judges must be servants of the law, and not legislate from the bench.

Here was a nice kickback...didn't we use this exact paragraph four years ago? I literally think they just switched "Iraq" and "Iran":
Tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America respects you, and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran.

I won't get into the rest, but I think everyone who reads blogs has seen this now, and we all know to be afraid...

be very afraid...
The Human-Animal Hybrid is coming.