November 2005 - Posts
I have a cat now that I've officially claimed as my own. I mentioned him in another post, when he was a kitten. He's still a kitten now too, technically, even though he's 9 months old. Took him to the vet yesterday and the vet asked me how I chose his name. His name is the long form of an acronym, LKAI. What does it mean? Haha, "Let's keep animals intact". I thought it would be kind of funny to give him a hidden protest, especially since he's now fixed :P. So far he's been very lazy, neutering really does reduce cat's aggressiveness. Then again, maybe he'll perk up more after a few days.
Long time no update. The last time I wrote we were still in Central America but now we're in good old U.S. of A, ugh. The state of choice this episode is Utah.
The Paolos are gone since me not watching the last episode in entirety and the Godlewskis have come in first the last two legs. And so with them we start this leg of the race. Trekking across miles and miles of nothing in Utah to find a destination where helicopters await them. The Linzs and the Weavers are right behind them. All three teams pass the road they're supposed to turn onto, and since they're carrying mobile homes behind them doing a U-turn isn't quite so easy. The Weavers manage this feat first and so end up at the destination first. The Linzs turn around next but in their haste to get to the clue box they miss the queue numbers they're supposed to pull to designate their order of flying. This little mistake allows the Godlewskis to skip ahead of them since they pulled their number first. As an aside, the show spends some time this episode showing how there's really only one member of the Godlewski team that is a chatterbox. Chatzilla talks so much her own teammates are starting to get irritated by her :).
Anyway, the teams fly high in the sky, land on top of some rock formation in the desert, and retrieve the next clue. Next up, biking or rappelling. Every team but the Weavers choose to rappel down a cliff. Up until this point the Bransens have been last but due to a production glitch the Godlewskis have been forced into last place. Apparently a battery went out and they got a replacement car, but still, kind of sucks a production glitch impacts the race this way. Anyway, after the challenges the teams head to a sleepover where their departure time is dependent upon when they come in. This somewhat puts the teams on an even keel with each other again.
In case you didn't know, it seems every team is against the Weavers, who are now outcasts. The Bransens say they're neutral to them while the Godlewskis and Linzs are outright hostile. Well maybe hostile is too strong of a word, but they're definitely not neutral. After the sleepover it's time to find Bart, a half-ton grizzly bear. Bart gives the teams their next clue which directs them to the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Yep, I just said Winter Olympics and we're in a desert. But hey, if the world can have a Jamaican bobsled team why can't Utah, a desert state, host a wintry event?
So the task here is for a team member to ride down a steep ski ramp and splash into a pool of water. In addition to this Roadblock there's a Yield, the last one on the race, and guess who gets it first? Well, I should really phrase that, "guess who doesn't get it", since nearly every team is gunning for the Weavers and it is the Weavers who get yielded by the Linzs. It's kind of wasted too since the Weavers make a horrible mistake by taking a scenic route to this destination and thus don't arrive until the other three teams have completed the task and left. So after all that time on the road they discover they're yielded.
The Linzs finally win a leg, and after them are the Bransens and the Godlewskis. The Weavers come in last and expecting to be eliminated but are actually somewhat dismayed to find out this leg is a non-elimination leg so they are still in it. It takes a bit of encouragement from Phil, the host, to lift their spirits and keep them in the game.
I got back from my 10 year high school reunion yesterday and I actually had fun! As the subject indicates it was in Atlanta, although my high school was in Decatur; a suburb of Atlanta. I took a day off from work and drove down Friday. I stayed with my mom since the person I wanted to go with couldn't come; it also gave me a chance to see my mom since she's always bugging me to come down. I got there late, around 10 maybe, so there was no dinner ready for me :). I've been collecting coupons on the boxes of Morningstar Farms veggie patties for a Veggie Burger at Burger King so I decided to go there.
I go in and order my food and while I'm waiting a guy walks in and starts looking at me. He asks me if I'm someone he knows and I say no, but he persists in talking to me assured that he knows me. Eventually he realizes I'm not the guy but he starts telling me a story about how he and his wife don't have enough money to catch a bus back home. Apparently I look like someone he knows so he thought to ask me before he realized I wasn't him. Was he just some beggar looking for some money? Maybe, I don't know. I gave him $5 and felt pretty good at least. He wants God to bless me :)
I get home and Burger King's Veggie Burger tastes an awful lot like the Morningstar Farms veggie patties I eat, hmmm. Anyway, I finish that off, watch some TV and go to bed.
I wake up pretty late Saturday afternoon and my mom makes me breakfast. She's into juicing now and makes me fresh juice. She put in apples, carrots, grapes, and something else and it's actually really good! She's retiring next year too and she starts to inform me of her various financial accounts and passwords so that I know what she has if she dies. It's kind of weird facing mortality so realistically like this, for so long it's been this far off thing, you know it's coming but you just kind of ignore it... I watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit on TV, wash my car, and get ready to go out.
It takes me 30 minutes of driving in circles around this one block in downtown Atlanta to find the right place because our reunion is in a bar :). How ghetto fabulous. When I finally find it I'm standing behind a guy that I used to play with when I was younger, around 10, but I don't immediately recognize him. After a while I do, he recognizes me, I ask what he's been up to -- something to be my standard greeting for the night. I walk in and notice more people I haven't seen in 10 years and see others I never knew. Most people have gotten married and bring their spouses, some people have kids, many people have extra weight on their bones :P.
The bar has two levels, and after a video montage of past events from high school, we go upstairs to talk some more and dance to music from when we were young(er). A friend to a friend of mine is there and he notices me and we start talking. He tells me he's going to a deep house club later that night and if I wanted to join him to call him. The bar owners booked another party that night and soon high school kids start appearing on the dance floor. Not amused, we all leave to finish up the reunion at another location. Trying to get there though is an ordeal for me since I lost my car in a different parking deck, haha. By the time I find it everyone has left so I call my deep house clubbing friend for directions.
Thanks to him I find a parking spot and as we walk over there he coolifies me by reminding me to unbutton the top button on my shirt :). He's been in Atlanta for a while, while I've more or less been in the country for a long time. We talk on the way there. It's cool because in high school we never really spoke but now we're heading over to a hotel together. When we get there he notices the line and decides it's too long since he has to be at the club fairly soon. When he says that it will cost $20 maybe to even get in, and I think that I'll probably miss the club, I tag along and skip the rest of the reunion. We drive some ways and eventually arrive at MJQ, the club of the night.
I must say that I've never actually been to a dance club before so I'm excited. I walk in and hear the familiar rhythm of 130 beats per minute house music. It is so cool, I'm actually in a house club! At first I hug the wall and talk with my friend as I sip on a drink he bought for me. He leaves so that he can get a signal on his cell phone to round up the friends he's supposed to meet. As I stand alone and eye the crowd I start to smile: this is going to be a fun night. I bob my head up and down, then my left foot, then my body starts to sway, I notice my legs are moving, I notice I'm moving closer to the dance floor, my drink is nothing but ice, I'm...dancing. House music, the crowd, something, is special. Whites, blacks, gays, lesbians, freaks, and geeks, everyone is out here with one singular purpose: to dance and enjoy the music. No pretenses.
After the club closes I'm sweaty and my feet hurt :). My friend and I talk for an hour or more outside, it's 4am. Strange, he's actually a lot like me I realize yet we never talked much at all in high school. I follow him as he goes to a do a favor for his boss. By now it's 5am and I head up to the third floor of the hotel to get something to eat. I decide to be crazy and drink a cappuccino, my first ever since I'm not a coffee drinker. Such a daring person I am tonight, breaking all kinds of shells :). There's only the cleanup crew and a few people getting ready for work around as I talk to the clerk about my night. It's 6am now and my friend is done working; time to go to sleep. I thank him for a wonderful time, I probably wouldn't have had as much fun as I had if it weren't for him.
As I'm going home I get lost again, one last time. I-285 is a big loop around the city and I'm on the other end of it, away from where I need to be. But the sun is starting to appear over the horizon and I can see the Atlanta skyline. It's a beautiful morning so I decide to drive with my windows down to feel the cool wind on me as I enjoy my Atlanta experience.
I taped the show but they showed a 2 hour episode rather than 1 so I missed the last half >:(. So, even though I saw the first half I'm not posting a recap. If you care, the Bransens came in last in a non-elimination leg and I have no clue what happened after that.
Now that Daylight Saving Time is over it gets dark out so soon after work I don't have much time to exercise out like I normally do. Today there was just enough twilight to get in one lap around the lake I walk and skate around. I was in my work clothes so I just took off my work shoes and started walking. Some people looked at me because of it -- I guess it is kind of odd to see someone walking around barefoot in work clothes around a lake. I thought I looked good though: bare feet can be sexy.
Late recap this time. The show starts off with the Paolos leaving Panama headed towards Costa Rica. This show has gotten increasingly lazy over the seasons. Technically we're in a different country this episode but it's a neighboring country to the one we're leaving. In previous episodes we were truly globe hoping, going to places all over the world every episode. Enh, oh well.
So we're going to a hollowed out volcano basin in San Juan, Costa Rica to get the next clue. The clue directs the teams to head to a bus depot and sign up for times on three chartered buses. The Paolos, being first, get the first spot. What's interesting is that they decide, or at least some members of the group decide, to help every team that comes in find the spot to go to sign up except for the Weavers. The Weavers are now pretty much hated by every other team on the race. Reasons given by the Paolos are that they're rude, of course me thinks them being Jesus freaks may play a role in things. Later on in this episode they get yielded by the Paolos and they say it doesn't matter since they're above the other teams, they answer to a higher calling, et cetera, et cetera. Well geez, no wonder every other team hates you, going around with that snobbish "We have Jesus we don't need you" attitude :P. Anyway, the Weavers eventually get on bus 2 with the Gaghans.
I have no clue where the destination is, some ghetto it looks like, definitely a place you want to take your young children in the middle of the night; Gaghans :). Hey, I want to show off my awesome Spanish 102 skills. While asking the locals for directions to the next destination one of the teams is told "no sé" by someone. No is no in Spanish, sé is the first person form of the Spanish verb saber which means to know. So "no sé" literally means "I don't know". I'm actually understanding Spanish! And in case you're wondering where the word I is in that statement, it is implicitly stated by the form of the verb, in this case sé. Sé literally is "I know", sabes is "you know", see it's the form of the verb itself that determines the person. I feel so smart :P. Um, anyway. So the destination leads them to get some vans to drive to another destination.
The destination is where the Yield is for this leg of the race, which I've already indicated the Paolos used on the Weavers. It was funny watching the show and seeing one of the Weaver daughters pray to Jesus for him to help them find the destination and for the other teams to get lost; even funnier when they got yielded! Hahahahaha. While they're waiting on the mat they proclaim that everyone's against them and doesn't want them around and they seem surprised by it. I guess it took the Yield to open their eyes to how the other teams were perceiving them.
Anyway, aside from the Yield there's a Roadblock and it involves searching for one red coffee bean amongst a pile of other coffee beans; I think there were 800 the show said. Every team moves through this pretty rapidly, at least according to editing. The Gaghans however get seriously stuck here, so much so that the Weavers have time to recover from being yielded and beat them in finding the red colored coffee bean. The Gaghan's son often makes innocently smart comments about / toward his family. In this instance yelling to his mom that she's under no pressure, after every team has left but before the Weavers arrive, heh. This kid is destined to be a wise cracking comic later in life :P. Eventually they find the bean and off they go to join the other teams.
The next destination involves a Detour, either carrying really heavy loads of bananas or searching for Mayan artifacts. On the way here though the Godlewskis, the annoyingly loud screeching pink shirt wearing ladies from episode 1, display their screechiness again in an argument over who should be driving. Apparently there's some tiff amongst them and the lady who was driving parks the car so someone else can drive. Man, I tell ya, there's a lot of estrogen packed in that team :P. Anyway, Roadblock :). Only the Paolos do the banana carrying, everyone else searches for the artifacts. I should point out that the Paolo father is a strong dude. These bananas were still attached to the stalk and apparently were very heavy; he carried his team to victory here.
And, the Paolo father carried his team to a first place finish for this leg of the race! Whoa, cool. At the pit stop the Linzs and the Bransens catch up to the Paolos, the Linzs even think they can outrun the Paolos because the mother for that team is physically slow, but the sister on the Linzs is slower than her brothers so she slows them down too. And the father of the Bransens is slower than his three daughters so he slows them down as well. Haha, it's kind of funny that all of the three teams are basically simultaneously running towards the pit stop and each team has a single member that slows the whole team down. The Paolo father always hugs Phil, the host, at every pit stop. This time, since they got first after a grueling run, he gave Phil an extra burly hug; Phil is visibly startled :). The Weavers manage to get fifth, despite being yielded, and the Gaghans lose.
Xenogears - Bonds of Sea and Fire [full]
More post philosophy class thoughts. The subject now is faith and reason. A question was posed by the professor of the class where he asked how would you know if God loved you? Some people brought up examples that people who think God loves them believe that no matter what happens in their life. They could have a freak lightening storm start a fire that burns down their house, someone isn't paying attention while driving and hits them while they're taking a walk in the park resulting in them becoming paralyzed and losing the use of their legs, they could find out they have some rare fatal disease; and throughout it all they'll still maintain a belief that God loves them. By the given examples it might seem God doesn't love the person(s), they are truly horrible things that a loving God wouldn't let happen, right?
The professor offered how he knows his wife loves him: by her behaviors, she does certain things that seem to indicate she loves him. He used that as an example of how people could know someone else loves them, by their behaviors. The relation to knowing if God loves you seemed faulty to me though, because how do you even really know someone else loves you if you're just going on behavior? Prostitutes and gold diggers can certainly behave in ways that might indicate they love you. Perhaps you even marry one and she does all the wifely duties, but doesn't ever really love you.
The larger principle at work seemed to be that by going on behaviors to judge another's love, or in general feelings, you look for things that you would do if you were feeling the feeling. For instance, if you were in love and demonstrated that by giving flowers and chocolates, buying jewelry, gifts, etc; then if another did the same for you you might think the other person loved you based on their behavior. But this is based on your own idea of love, if the other person doesn't share the same ideas as you do then that doesn't mean they don't love you, just that they express it differently. For instance, in the aforementioned example the person receiving the gifts from the other person may not feel inclined to do those things but yet still feel love for the other person. In that case it wouldn't be accurate at all for the gift giving person to say the other person doesn't love them because they don't also give gifts.
So then, with God, how would you know if he/she/it loved you? How do you even know if any other person loves you? Feelings are things, internal things, another person can't perceive them with the classical five senses; behaviors can be seen with these senses however. But behaviors are not feelings, feelings beget behaviors but behaviors do not always indicate the underlying feeling being felt. Since feelings are internal to the person feeling them, the only way to truly know what another is feeling would be to actually feel what they're feeling. But since they're internal this would seem to be a conundrum, wouldn't it?