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June 2010

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Archive for June, 2010

I haven’t been following it too closely, (who really watches hearings from beginning to end) but there are a couple things I’d like to comment on about Elena Kagan.

  1. A bit dated, but softball photo.  Really media?  Really?
  2. Yoinked from wiki (cited Campus Progress):  “As dean, Kagan supported a lawsuit intended to overturn the Solomon Amendment so military recruiters might be banned from the grounds of schools like Harvard. When a federal appeals court ruled the Pentagon could not withhold funds, she banned the military from Harvard’s campus once again. The case was challenged in the Supreme Court, which ruled the military could indeed require schools to allow recruiters if they wanted to receive federal money. Kagan, though she allowed the military back, simultaneously urged students to demonstrate against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Whoo!  Kagan’s got balls.  I support.
  3. Denying prisoners of war habeas corpus?  Not cool.  But she might have a point that they AREN’T protected by current law.  She might secretly support reform to make laws, though.  She is a lib and we all know.

I do think she’s a pretty solid pick for the new SCOTUS Justice.  I think her obfuscating from answers about her personal views is a strength in terms of the position.  But it’s still not satisfying my curiosity. 😛

Categories: Politics or: the art of looking for trouble Tags: DADT, Elena Kagan, habeas corpus, Harvard, nomination, SCOTUS, supreme court

I smoked Spice Blend a few years ago.  It tasted like marshmallows and made me feel only mildly euphoric.

I have not smoked salvia.  I’ve heard mixed things about it.  But I have smoked something that was purportedly JWH-018 or some other chemically similar cannabinoid agonist.   I smoked it twice.  Both times I tripped balls.  And they were not fun balls.

First a little about JWH, fake weed.  It works on the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain, with some selectivity for CB2. This makes it different from marijuana as the active ingredient there, THC, primarily binds to CB1.  Result of this difference for me = bad trip.

I smoked a large joint the first time.  It was cool at first; I felt moderately high and ate munchables and cleaned my room.   Then I fell asleep for about 40 minutes.  I woke up feeling panicky and ended up calling a friend to talk me down from it.  I wasn’t hallucinating but something about reality just felt “off” and I didn’t feel like being alone.

Despite this meh experience, I didn’t want to waste my 20 dollars, so I ended up smoking the rest a week or so later.  The second bowl in, I started feeling a little weird, so I decided to take a warm shower in hopes of calming down.

Mid-shower things started feeling really weird.  The easiest way to describe it was like the movie Being John Malkovich, like the scene where Lotte is first sucked into John Malkovich’s body and watches him shower from a first person point of view.  I watched myself slowly grab the shampoo bottle, put it back down, lather.  Grab the conditioner bottle, put it back down, lather.  There was something about the mindless, repetitive nature of the tasks that was really abstract and dehumanizing.

I wrapped a towel around myself and walked to my bedroom.  I sat on the bed and looked at myself in the vanity mirror.  I ran my fingers through my wet hair.  I’m not sure how many times I ran my fingers through my hair but there was something about the sensation that was intriguing.  I sat there, wrapped in a towel, dripping wet and tripping out, thinking I was in some sort of purgatory where the only items of reality that I had control over were my fingers and my wet hair.

After what was only about 30 minutes but seemed like eternity, I became aware of the fact that I could control myself.  I walked to my closet, picked out clothes, got dressed, and lay back down on my bed, coming down from the experience.

It’s not something I would do again.

Categories: Autobiographical Stories, Reviews Tags: bad trip, cannabinoid agonist, fake weed, JWH, JWH-018, marijuana, Spice Blend, story, weed

Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” –Hemingway, died 1961 by self-inflicted shotgun wound.

When I first started writing this, I tackled it much like self-help books tackle depression, common sense.  “Are you sleeping enough, eating well, and balancing your work and recreational life in a personally and spiritually fulfilling manner?  If not, identify the problems and take logical steps to fix them.”

After a paragraph in, I realized that this method was full of shit.  Because chances are, if you’re depressed and on WordPress reading this article, you’re just as intelligent and self-aware as I am.  And logic-based psychotherapy just didn’t fly with me, because the problem wasn’t in my thought patterns (I like my thought patterns);  it was how I processed emotion with these thought patterns.

I’m still a pessimistic realist. I still have the fundamental personal problems that precipitated my most recent bout of severe depression.

But I’m happy now.

I got there was by following the route that best suited me.  These were what I identify as my three (not so simple) steps out of depression:

  1. Get meds
  2. Get friends
  3. Get laid (love)

For some people, 12 step programs are the way to go.  It’s not for me.   I’m not down with the Judeo-Christian undertones and way the members of AA and such victimize themselves to abstract concepts that help them psychologically absolve responsibility for what are arguably self-induced problems.

Let me elaborate in a cut what constituted my three-step process.  I can only hope that it provides a helpful template for others. Read more…

Categories: Autobiographical Stories, How To, human nature Tags: 12 step programs, antidepressants, cognitive-behavioral therapy, depression, don’t let the bastards bring you down, Hemingway, intelligence, major depressive disorder, Melancholia, overcoming depression, Prozac, psychotheraphy, SSRIs, suicide

This is going to be a weekly segment that I’m going to try to remember to keep up.  It’ll be mostly youtube videos and other stuff that amused me this week.

Auto-Tune the News #12: weed. lesbian allegaytions.  Their catchiest song yet.  “Like two men sunbathing together on a beach.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbc2NaLuv1A

A chimpanzee rapes a frog… I have mixed feelings about this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVE60zwXx1k

The Original Star Trek meets Tik Tok.  Love it.:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZWaWrvJ7nA

I order this in shirt form today:  Legalize Armadillos. http://www.marriedtothesea.com/040709/legalize-regulate-tax-armadillos.gif

Take that NBC!   Team Conan had it right.  http://warmingglow.uproxx.com/2010/06/well-played-nbc

How to survive in federal prison.  You never know.  http://www.wikihow.com/Survive-in-Federal-Prison

Categories: Fun Link Friday, things that amuse me, Viral Things

No, I don’t have an epic video of a gopher fighting a groundhog.  Sorry to disappoint.

I do however, have an answer to a fundamental question of life that has been plaguing my brain for all of five minutes:  What is the difference between a gopher and a groundhog?

Wikianswers knows it all:

Groundhogs are larger than gophers and have stronger forepaws and bodies. They’re avid swimmers; gophers aren’t exactly water-bound and sometimes drowning and flooding their tunnels is used as a means of exterminating them, unfortunately and very inhumanely.

Groundhogs measure about fifteen to twenty-five inches in length and weigh between four and nine pounds, but can, if they live long enough, grow to be as heavy as thirty pounds.

Gophers (pocket gophers, the “true” gophers, called this because of the food-storage pouches in their cheeks) are smaller and measure anywhere from four to twelve inches in length, and weigh as little as three centigrams (three-hundred grams or so) or as much as two pounds and change (about a kilogram).

Groundhogs hibernate; gophers don’t. Groundhogs swim; gophers don’t (at least not very well).”

If I’m ever drowning and need a large rodent to save me, I will make sure to count on the groundhog.

Here’s the answer to another fundmental question of life.

Q:   How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

A:  A woodchuck would CHUCK NORRIS!

Categories: Knowledge has vagina dentata so don’t you fuck with it Tags: chuck norris, dramatic gopher, gopher, groundhog, woodchuck

So because I’m a narcissist, here’s something I did in high school when I was 16:

I need to fix the audio.  It imported badly into Premiere at the time.  I fixed it for grading but never burned a good DVD.  I got a 95.

Categories: I arted Tags: genre change, Keanu Reeves, romantic comedy, The Matrix, Trailer

Spoiler level: minimum.

When I first saw the trailer for Get Him to the Greek, I thought it was going to be another generic Apatow stoner comedy.  “Ripping off Pulp Fiction?  Really?” I thought, as Jonah Hill got stabbed in the chest with an Epi-pen.    I severely pre-judged.

Playing off from his character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Russell Brand plays the loveable, screwed up, self-destructive rock star, Aldous Snow, whom we catch in the middle of his celebrity identity crisis on his way to a concert.  Accompanied by his “affable nitwit” of an assistant, Aaron Green (Jonah Hill), Snow brings us a fun combination sex, drugs, and rock n roll, while romance and hilarity ensue.  The plot is reminiscent of Funny People, except unlike that flat Apatow film, Get Him To the Greek was actually funny.

The comedic style has a little bit of everything for everyone.   Screwball Stoner.  Shock Value with random nudity.   Intelligent References—Paul Krugman does a cameo as himself.  And WTF Factor—think disembodied P. Diddy head.  A large number of one-liners make it a quotable summer flick.

Get Him to The Greek is not for the easily offended.   But chances are if you’re young, in the entertainment biz, and/or smoke a lot of pot, you will love this film.

Categories: Reviews Tags: Get Him to the Greek, Jonah Hill, Judd Apatow, movie review, P. Diddy, Russell Brand