Throw Water on Me

I’ve now arrived in Lisbon, where internet cafés grow on trees. Hence, more blogging, but not as link heavy as normal, and of course, Big Daddy J is still in charge here.

I attended a baptism today. It might not sound interesting, but for me it’s always a saga. Being a staunch non-theist, I enjoy visiting churches/synagogues/mosques/temples just as I enjoy visiting museums. But I dislike attending services, especially Christian ceremonies since I’ve been over-exposed to them in my life and feel a sort of hostility towards them. I just don’t want to be mistaken for religious, and I hate when the priest asks the crowd to “denounce satan”… I’ve never met this satan guy, and why is this priest in such a hurry for me to write him off. Maybe he’s hip and cool and I can learn from him. I will absolutely not denounce him, unless he spills his drink on me.

My calling at these events, I’ve discovered, is that of “the photographer.” Relatives for the past few years, perhaps knowing of my distaste for ceremonies, hand me a camera every time. Suddenly, those sit down, stand up, kneel, speak, sing rules don’t apply to me. It’s awesome, like getting an all access pass, or being invisible. I think at one point today I was standing right next to the priest guy point my lense at him, and there ain’t nuthin he can do cause I was designated “camera person” by the mother of the baby. Finally, I understand my role within religion, I’m there to make camera sounds and ignore the rules.

Tonight was my arrival in Lisbon. This place continues to be magical for me. For a second, I forget all about my girlfriend Amsterdam. My old love affair for dark, narrow streets, and dog poo covered cobblestones returns. It has this wonderful feeling of ancient-ness mixed with modern-ness, and it’s just the quintessential “hip european city.” So, time to soak up my week of Lisbon… on the list of things to do:

-Watch TV

-Sit on the roof and watch the river

-See whats new in Day and Night life

-Comb the Feira de Ladra

-Check out 1 museum

-Wander FNAC

-Visit with my boys.(and girls)

Today’s Music: Bill Frisell – Intercontinentals (could listen 24-7)

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VP Eye Candy

The following is a shortlist of things I’ve done in place of when I would usually be net surfing:

  • Watching hours of TV, especially TV5 Secials
  • Sewing new yellow curtains
  • Reading “The History of Gay New York” by this Chauncey guy.
  • Showing visitors L and D around, and visiting the sex museum which is well worth the 2.50 entry.
  • This is what my life has become, that and finding Wi-Fi randomly in this city.

    I’m sure some might want me to talk about the Edwards VP announcement. Honestly, the first thing I think when I see these two together is: “Damn.. these boys are white.” I can’t say exactly why that’s the first thought, but its immediately what I notice. They are so dam white it’s annoying. I’m well aware that the other party is and has always put forth two white dudes, but for some reason – Kerry and Edwards symbolize the desire to sell a ticket to white America… making them feel “comfortable” like these guys are pure as a newborn lamb. (cause lambs are pure, Im telling you.) James Ridgeway calls the ticket “Business as Usual” which I think is another good point.. same old formula.. nothing new for the US.

    So as part of my new increase in television exposure, last night on TV5 I was emgrossed in a special on the state of Israel. Pardon the pun.. but MY GOD. What a wierd place. Again, pardon me for being culturally disrespectful for a moment, but Israel is a strange-ass country. Things I learned:

    Civil marriages are not possible in Israel! Only Orthodox.

    Everyone is automatically in the military unless you decide to study religion for a living. (I forget what thats called).

    If you choose to study religion as your occupation, you are paid to do so by the government, apparently for your whole life.

    The Shinui party is the fastest growing party in Israel and they are tired of the old traditional close-minded thinking.(I think I like them)

    Orthodox types hate cameras and if you point one at them they seem to flee.

    In summary, Israel is a strange country with policies that I think are not only unique, but unsustainable. But hey, that’s just me. I would appreciate being corrected by one of my wonderful Israeli readers.

    Today’s Music: Midtown – Living Well…

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    Quiz Hate

    Well… let it never be said there isn’t peer pressure in blogging. TP has convinced me/pressured me/urged me to do it, so here it is, and I’ll never do another one of these because… just because.

    bloggers-only quiz

    1. which political party do you typically agree with? Probably the French Green Party. (cause the german, us, portuguese… are all lame ducks)

    2. which political party do you typically vote for? Green and Socialist (depending on which country I vote in.. if I even vote)

    3. list the last five presidents that you voted for? how old am I… hmm.. I can only remember voting Nader in 00. That was my first. And I’d fucking do it again – because he’s the only candidate who represents ME!

    4. which party do you think is smarter about the economy? its Greenspan either way, so neither.

    5. which party do you think is smarter about domestic affairs? There Ill go with Dems… not Clinton Dems…. FDR Dems!

    6. do you think we should keep our troops in Iraq or pull them out? Re-allocate military into NGO’s…. let those who want to help stay.

    7. who, or what country, do you think is most responsible for 9/11? The Global Economics system which leaves few super-rich and majority super-poor.. and eventually extremely desperate or angry enough to become terrorists. Religions also help to make matters worse.. so I blame the pope, mohammed, abraham, and vishnu. (Buddha.. hmm.. maybe him too) Also the CIA… them and their black budget.. blood all over those hands.

    8. do you think we will find weapons of mass destruction in iraq? Whatever Rummy wants.. he gets.

    9. yes or no, should the u.s. legalize marijuana? They can’t handle it. Just decriminalize for now.

    10. do you think the republicans stole the last presidental election? Supreme Court did.. but yeah.. the party too.

    11. do you think bill clinton should have been impeached because of what he did with monica lewinski? If GWB is still going at this lying rate… no.

    12. do you think hillary clinton would make a good president? If by good you mean.. yet another Republicrat.. yes. Her speaking style makes me ill.

    13. name a current democrat who would make a great president: Senator Byrd. (the W-Virginia guy.) Also Barbara Lee.

    14. name a current republican who would make a great president: Paul O’Neil.

    15. do you think that women should have the right to have an abortion? Shouldnt even be a question. Yes.

    16. what religion are you? None. Non-theist.

    17. have you read the Bible all the way through? Seemed to me that in grammar school they kept making us read the same passages over and over… so why bother going all the way through.. I got the idea.. by heart.

    18. what’s your favorite book? Martin Eden, by Jack London.

    19. who is your favorite band? The Clash.

    20. who do you think you’ll vote for president in the next election? I doubt I’ll vote. But If I get my absentee… Nader.

    21. what website did you see this on first? + busblog

    Today’s Music: Tahiti 80 -Fun Fair (I cant even hear the French accents)

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    Snow Soup

    I was very pleased to see new contributors/readers leaving comments in recent posts. Even if that meant I was proved quite wrong on some of my points, especially that students on the metro thing. Those Nadar and gay marriage questions have been discussion topics between me and friends for the past week. I love a good discussion. But I digress.

    My big dream.. actually not so big.. is to apply at the Music Conservatory here in Amsterdam. Stay with me here, most of you might know that I’m a very dedicated and able French Hornist. While Id like to be modest, I must say I’m good.. dam good. So why not make a new and unexpected career move and focus on music again. Otherwise it’s just me playing for my roomates and neighbors, oh.. and the occasional open mic/salsa club where I sit in and play. I’m not sure it qualifies as a dream because Its quite attainable in the near future. Still.. Im a social scholar, and I’ve only begun down that road.

    Here’s a topic I’m interested in, and I’m trying to get people to talk about here in the ‘dam. The new Mel Gibson film “Passion of Christ.” Let me first put some facts out there: I’m not religious. I don’t go around saying Im atheist because I find that label annoying.. I prefer non-theist as Edward Abbey once said. I just don’t have any need or involvement as far as myself and religion. On the same hand, I’m not against other people having a religion.. althought I do despise all the evil that has been done on this earth in the name of religion. That being said… I want to see this film and I think I’ll be pleased with it. Pretty much the same way I would love to see a movie about Mohammed or David or Confucious.. I’m interested in history and culture.. and yes even FICTION, so this movie interests me. On a very simple level, Im psyched that the film is in Aramaic and Latin.. I want to listen to how they depict the languages. On the down side churches are going nuts over this film…. and they’ll try to use it to recruit new “believers” which to me is manipulative. It’s art… film is art… unfortunately it’s also used as propaganda by some. Nonetheless, Passion of Christ interests me… and Richard Goldstein breaks it down quite nicely in this week’s Voice. OH and Roman uniforms are always good for a laugh.

    Today’s Music: Ceclia Cruz – Regalo del Alma (Salsa)

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