voting for a president

I have no place in trying to make the decision affecting hundreds, thousands, or millions of people. There’s no way that I would ever run for a political office in my lifetime because that lifestyle is just not for me. However, I’m convinced that I must cast my vote to determine who will help me make these decisions for my future.

It’s just a day way before the polls open to every registered citizen in the United States. We are supposed to vote for the right person for the job, and once again it just seems that both candidates don’t completely fit my ideal candidate for the job. I remember back in 2000 when a lot of people were saying “lesser of two evils”, and I definitely felt like that. I never was a big fan of President Bush but Al Gore wouldn’t have made much of a president either.

Here I am, once again, trying to figure out which bubble to fill in for this year’s rodeo show they call the election. Neither candidate really has convinced me that he is better than the other, but I think the best way for me to say what I think is to say a few words about some of the issues.

Iraq – Had the intelligence not made such a massive mistake, the war in Iraq might have started differently or not at all. Had the UN inspectors had time to do their job thoroughly, there might have been more diplomacy rather than a preemptive attack. If only the world community had agreed more on what to do with Iraq, the fight might have been much easier. Despite, our troops are overseas and many are dying for our country. I wish Bush had handled Iraq differently but I support the troops and their efforts. They are not fighting in vain. Saddam Hussein probably was not an immediate threat to the US but letting him sit there in control wouldn’t have helped anything.

Homeland Security – Is the US safer since we developed a Department for Homeland Security? I can’t prove it but I can say that there haven’t been any major terrorist attacks since 9/11. Is America safer? I don’t feel completely safe but I do feel safer than I did right after 9/11. I think that looking back pre-9/11, I’ve heard some people say they felt safer especially during the Clinton administration. I think that was just an illusion.

Economy – I am more of a conservative with money and I like the trickle down theory, though it always seems that when corporations and small businesses (et al) are given tax cuts, the money wasn’t always used to create new jobs. And that directly affects me. I don’t blame the horrible economy on Bush especially when it was failing at the end of the Clinton era. This economy isn’t great but I guess it’s better than after 9/11, though I’m still having trouble finding any jobs and I have a bachelor’s degree. Bush really has over-spent (no vetoes on any spending bills??) and now the deficit is around 7 trillion? I can’t even grasp that amount of money.

Education – Our schools could be much, much better. I’m not really a fan of vouchers either. And, I think that the whole education system needs reforming. There are teachers I had in public school that I can’t remember learning or retaining anything. My junior year of high school, instead of education, we watched “The Santa Clause” for our junior final (although, I never complain). But, this is the kind of act that explains why I made three Ds my sophomore year of high school. Yeah, three 74s in one year. I was really upset at one of those because I really did try hard. But, English was usually my worst subject.

Abortion – I am against abortion except in extreme cases like rape. I think most abortion cases are the result of irresponsible people.

Stem Cell – I really want stem cell research. I know it’s not an absolutely sure thing for cures, but the potentials that it holds are absolutely amazing. I wish the embryonic cell research wasn’t such a moral issue because it’s obviously the best choice for this research.

I’m certainly not publicly endorsing anyone specifically and I think you should vote for whomever you want. I wish we had a better alternative and look forward to the day when there’s not just a two man race. The only message I want to put out there is for you to go vote.

Hilary and Larry sitting in a tree…

Sometimes, holding on to one’s old traditions and ideas can hinder progression. This seems to be the philosophy of one Hilary Rosen and her cronies in the RIAA. Keep producing masses of tasteless music, continue to gouge prices to the consumer, and prevent any form of artistic expression from pirating or “ripping off” an artist. Well, it seems Hilary might have finally seen some light.

It’s obvious that she doesn’t completely agree with what Larry Lessig has established through the nonprofit Creative Commons program, but it’s amazing to note how she now believes it’s a good step in a right direction! In fact, one of the most logical arguments in favor of reform for sampling music was spoken from her mouth! (or written by her pen)

“Think about your kids. After they get bored downloading all the music they can find, they’re going to discover the power… to remix the culture they’ve collected. These activities will become second nature to the iGeneration and could well represent the next great digital revolution.”

May I just stand up and applaud?! I am only 25, but if I knew then what I know now, I think my addiction would only increase by the hour because of how much power this knowledge can give someone. Kids are restless, they tend to do what they want anyway. Thus, taking samples of music and adding some more bass and rhythm or composing an orchestra to back up an awesome ballad… the options are endless! The courts should not hinder this creativity as it’s not a detraction from an artist’s work. Sampling music is one of so many areas which copyright laws hinder, thus impeding the inevitable evolution of music.

Although I don’t agree with a lot of other statements that Hilary makes, it seems she is starting to come to her senses. It’s just too bad that the RIAA as an organization doesn’t realize that they’re living in the last millennium. Suing college kids for using the Kazaa software is backwards progression and is completely based upon greed from corporate pigs. The positive aspect about this litigation is that it seems to be losing its steam in the public eye, or rather it seems that less people care anymore and the news media outlets just aren’t giving it any light. Stop the madness, people!

a tale of two men

The Sims Gone Presidential

on my mind…

So the main thing that has been on my mind for the past couple of months is the Internet and my web design. I constantly think about how I can improve certain webpages and desire for the opportunity to create new ones. Even as I’m trying to find jobs in the entertainment industry, web design keeps coming to the forefront of my mind. Ugh, sometimes I wish I had a different life.

I want to continue my web design education. I want to also learn more of how to mix soundtracks for movies. (and now hypothetically speaking…) In my free time, I would be going out to different areas to take photographs for my own pleasure; taking vacations for a few days or weeks at a time to visit remote places for a refresh in my interests. I would have the opportunity to use my nice, expensive digital SLR to capture still life and landscapes. I could indulge myself in different cultures around the world to see how others live and experience life through a foreign lifestyle. I would still give myself to local missions every year helping people improve their day to day life. I would use a lot of my fortune to fund research on the ears and hearing, and finding a cure for tinnitus. If I could go back to school and continue to learn more about web design, audio sweetening for movies and photography, I think I’d be in heaven. When I had the opportunity, I’d probably take an acting class to learn the basics of professional acting techniques and submit my headshot and portfolio to casting calls and agencies for employment. Family and friends would be thrilled to see me roaming on their televisions or on the big screen at the local cinema. And then, I would be wealthy enough to start helping others who were in my situation to do what they want, to live their passions.

I think it’s time to start making some new goals. I’m gonna continue what I’m doing but I also need to think of other ways to do accomplish the above. It’s certainly not impossible, but it’s gonna take a lot more work. And the sad thing is that I love to do nothing–my laziness. Who wants to fight this for me?!

what’s next?

Every time I think I know what to expect next, it usually turns out I had no idea at all. I do my best to prepare myself for what’s ahead, but the inevitability of a changing world will no doubt leave me behind many times. And I hate feeling so helpless.

I feel like I’m in such a funk right now, spending 6 days a week doing little of anything to accomplish nothing. Each day/week/month, I try doing something to move forward beyond this post-college purgatory. Finding a first real job but not settling for a corporate disappointment. I want a tomorrow that I will not only enjoy, but that I will always be able to look forward to what comes next even if I have no idea what to expect.

In that past few years, I’ve accomplished a lot to be proud of. I’ve produced a CD, I’ve finished school, I’ve taught myself the art of web design, and I have traveled all over the US visiting places that I’ve always wanted to see. I feel so honored, so lucky having been able to do so many things and look forward to the next adventures in my life that I can accomplish. And yet, these events seem inadequate sometimes.

I am fighting with myself a huge battle that has lasted for many, many years. I don’t want to settle for a typical life, yet I want the stability most middle and upper class people experience throughout their life. I want the freedom from responsibility that I’ve enjoyed for so many years as a dependent, but I want the independence of enjoying my time and freedom. I feel so trapped knowing that I might not be able to resist the call of the workforce that will limit much of my current lifestyle. But I am trying everything I can to resist from this monotony and uniformity. Am I fighting a losing battle?

There are so many things I hope to do, so many places I hope to visit, and so much time ahead of me with which to accomplish these things. I hope I can figure out how to get to these next steps and feel good about my decisions.

my first real web design

I have completed my first real web design. I have done other designs in the past, but had no basis for any of them. This one, however, it 100% completed. It reflects about 3 continual months of work spanned over a year. Moving, working, and more moving really doesn’t help with completing my projects so this one took way longer than I wanted but I’m finally done and I’m very proud!

Williams Memorial

The Barnetts, Family Feud, October 18

barnettfamily.jpg

This is a reminder that you need to tune into Pax television station to watch these lovely ladies compete for $20,000! I won’t give away any details as I said before, but you won’t regret watching!

Here’s an article in the Houston Chronicle which sorta details their journey through the last month. Also, if you’re in Houston, you can listen to radio interviews tomorrow and on Monday.

I Am David

I Am David

I decided at the beginning of the week that I would go see Paul Feig’s (creator of Freaks and Geeks) film “I Am David“. I knew just a little of what to expect having downloaded the trailer once before. But having seen the movie, I was left with a very positive feeling!

I don’t think I should spoil anything about the movie since I believe you should see it yourself. Paul has once again taken a subject matter and portrayed it so realistically with elegant attention to detail. David has such an innocent, very identifiable quality about him that carries this film from beginning to end. You realize when it’s over the amazing adversity and doubt this boy had to fight in his journey.

After the movie finished, Paul and a moderator stayed for an extra 20 or so minutes commenting about the movie. Paul was so formally nice in his suit and well groomed haircut. A few recollections from his comments: I was amazed that the whole movie was filmed completely in Bulgaria. Bulgaria, from my little knowledge and ignorance about it, always seemed to be klumped in that whole poverty, war torn land that much of eastern europe gets a bad wrap for. However, I think this movie brought so much justice to the beauty and elegance of that country. Another quality that Paul has kept true is his quality to not settle for just any actor. When he’s in charge of a casting call, he makes sure that he finds the right person for his projects. It’s amazing how he finds just the right person for the right role, and he once again did a great job with this cast. Another trivial fact about the actress named Maria; she didn’t know any English prior to being cast but Paul was so very convinced that she needed that role. Although the story of this film is fiction, the factual basis of the events taking place is real. I really think it helps the nature of this film to be more believable. And finally, this role was filled by Jim Caviezel BEFORE he was cast in the role as Jesus.

One other quality that really helped me enjoy the movie even more was the music. Freaks and Geeks had the best soundtrack that any show on TV has had. I Am David, once again, had an impeccable selection of orchestral music, such as Winter from The Four Seasons and Ave Verum. (I sang this at a Latin competition in high school so it REALLY made a positive difference for me!)

The movie is being released around the first of December and I highly urge you to support Paul and the filmmakers. If you enjoy movies with a lot of character development, I think you’ll definitely enjoy I Am David.

Go Astros!!

It’s about time for those Astros to finally make it past the first round of the playoffs!! One step closer to an Astros-Red Sox world series!

I remember going to see the Astros play the Braves almost exactly five years ago in the Astrodome’s last game. The Astros were down 2-1 and the Braves were a much better team. I remember hating Brian Jordan for making so many plays in that series, and to top it off that jerk John freakin’ Rocker runs out the mound, all huffy and big headed, and completely wipes the Astros away for the rest of the game. The Astros scored at least a point or two late in the game but it wasn’t enough to win the game. Thus, we decided to take off from that game early.

Now, if only I could score tickets to the playoffs and fly back to Houston for it. Anyone?

two tragedies, one night

I was so hopeful that one day soon Christopher Reeve would walk. He had so much spirit about him and was very optimistic about one day being able to walk. Sadly, tonight he died after falling into a coma. This is very tragic for many reasons, but one which I would have loved to see is the stem cell research progress that would have helped him finally walk again.

So I was saddened once I read this a few minutes ago. Then, after visiting the Houston Chronicle website, I was shocked to find out that Ken Caminiti died (subscription required) of a massive heart attack! Ken was a star of the Houston Astros for many years in the 90’s before he became too involved with drugs. He had so much potential… He now leaves behind a family including three daughters.

These kinds of tragedies affect so many people and sometimes fall too close to home. I went in to work yesterday for the batman show and was fortunate to see a lot of my co-workers who I haven’t seen in a few weeks. While we were sweeping the stage, I was goofing around with one guy and he was happy to be laughing after a few rough weeks. It turns out his mother passed away a few weeks ago unexpectedly. The stranger thing about it was she was only in her early 50s and she died naturally. It happened really early in the morning and he and his family were woken up early to have to deal with this loss. I can’t even imagine how I would have reacted in his shoes, but he was obviously broken up for a while grieving.

It was amazing, however, talking to him. He was very open about the fact that he was confident that it was his mother’s time, that God needed her back at that time. That is such a very deep statement to make so openly and proudly like he did. Some people would be questioning God’s purpose in letting someone die but he was happy to know she was in a better place. It’s little things like this that keeps me optimistic about the good in mankind.