Friday, September 29, 2006

A Time of War and a Time of Peace

They ate quietly. Nobody spoke because for once, it was silent. It was a miracle in itself that the family of three was all at the table together at all. Hope, being grounded for the umpteenth time sat glaring a hole alternately through the center of her untouched food and various family members seething because she couldn’t be out with Gloria. Now sixteen, she could drive, but Hope came home at 2:00 this morning, two hours after curfew, and was forced to surrender her keys for the weekend. She was still livid from being cooped up in the house all Saturday flipping between Laguna Beech and reruns of Golden Girls.
Justin was almost finished wolfing down his second steak; oblivious to the looks of disgust he occasionally received from Hope when he crammed so many fries into his mouth that he was very well close to gagging. Hope gagged for him. The baby of the family, Justin was born two months after Hope’s second birthday. He was a jock of sorts, aspiring to be a sports caster or a writer for Sports Illustrated©, but lacking the grades to be so. Justin had an air of laid-back underachievement about him. Smart enough to succeed when he applied himself, but almost never finding the motivation to do so.
Tim, the newest man in a seemingly endless line of stepfathers and boyfriends after Bill (Hope’s father) walked out, sat ignoring the half eaten medium steak and cold fries before him waiting politely for everyone to finish. This was his first visit to Molly’s house and his first time meeting the kids. Tim liked Molly and he wanted to make a good impression on the kids since their opinion was probably a big part in whether or not the three-week fling between him and Molly would continue.
Molly, single mother of two, still hurt from the night that she discovered Bill, her first husband, in their bed with another woman, sat looking at her two children. Hope had been Molly’s first child, born eight months after her and Bill’s honeymoon*. She smiled at that thought. Molly remembered that time, when the love that was shared between the couple seemed as if it would last forever; that a story would be written about their love that would become the most wonderful fairy tale ever told. But then again, the relationship of ten years had been just that, a little story that never was. Ironically, the divorce that ensued was the story most people would have read, it was a battle of epic proportions. Molly’s lawyer wanted a hefty amount of child support and half of Bill’s estate while Bill and his team of lawyers tried to get off with a five thousand dollar settlement. The suit went on for months. Molly had already secured custody of the kids and, though she could never prove it, Bill had hired people to harass her and the two children. Finally Bill gave up, Molly received the house and five hundred dollars a month in child support. Though she was still hurt, Molly knew that Hope and Justin needed a father figure. She had married and divorced twice and had numerous boyfriends in the six years that had passed since…
Molly couldn’t stand the silence anymore. “So kids, how was your Saturday?”
“If vath okay I gueth, Tham and me-”
“Finish chewing you pig”
“Shut up Hope, it’s not like you know what eating is like anyway.”
“Oh, you little bra-“
“Justin! That was rude. And Hope’s right, don’t talk with your mouth full.”
“Anyway,” said Justin scowling at Hope. “Sam and me went to the arcade and I beat the Area 51 high score! I killed 500 aliens without dying!” Justin leaned back in his chair with an air of smug satisfaction.
“Oh that’s a great use of time and money. I could think of a thousand other things to do besides wasting my money at an arcade on a dumb shooting game.” was Hope’s angry reply.
“What like wasting $200 on a pair of ripped up jeans that don’t even fit you, or puking in the bathroom after dinner, or staying out ‘till two AM doing your nails?”
“Mom, Justin is the one that tore up the siding in the back yard, not some guy vandalizing our house.”
“Well Hope and her friends are the ones that broke the ceramic goose on the mantle.”
“Justin sneaks out every Wednesday night to play craps down the street.”
“Hope takes Smirnoff Ice from the garage.”
“THAT’S ENOUGH!!” screamed Molly. “Both of you go to your rooms right now! You will both be hearing from me later!”
“What did I do?” protested Hope. “I’ve been stuck in the house all day!”
“Well that’s your fault now isn’t it?” replied Molly.
“I already told you! Gloria and I lost track of time.”
“Yeah, you two were having soooo much fun doing nails,” scoffed Justin. “I’ll bet that they lost track of time because they were too busy making out with their boyfriends.”
“So! Who wants a drink? I sure do!” said Tim rising from his seat.
“Upstairs. Now!” Molly said.
Reluctantly, with furious looks at each other and their mother, Justin and Hope sulked their way upstairs to their rooms, being confirmed seconds later by two slamming doors.
“I’m really sorry about all of this Tim. The kids fight from time to time and as they say, when it rains, it pours,” apologized Molly as she began to clear the table.
“Oh, that’s fine. I remember being that age. My brother and I always were fighting about something or other. And sometimes, it would get kind of nasty, but we still loved each other,” replied Tim as he followed Molly with more plates from the table.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” Molly agreed. “I just don’t remember my fights with my brother being so cruel,” she added as she began loading the dishwasher.
“Well, every sibling pair has a different temperament. Some kids express their emotions different ways. Just watch, they’ll get this thing settled before you know it,” promised Tim as he closed the dishwasher and started it. “Now,” he added as he sidled up to Molly “if I remember correctly, there is a bottle of Merlot in my car. You want to pop it open?”
“Oh I don’t know Tim,” said Molly. “It was a long day at the office and now I’ve got two furious kids waiting for me in their rooms.”
“Are you sure?” asked Tim. “Nothing calms the nerves like a nice glass of wine with a friend.”
“You know,” replied Molly “I really would enjoy that, but- just not tonight. I’m really sorry Tim.”
“No, I understand. Maybe we can do this again sometime,” said Tim.
“Yeah, maybe. Thank you so much for understanding,” replied Molly.

Twenty minutes later, after Tim kissed her goodbye, Molly made her way upstairs to the rooms of her children, hoping beyond hope that she could find the right words to say.

*You can do the math on that one right?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It's a Bird...It's a Plane...Kamikaze!!!!!

Well I was reading TIME the other day and it was talking about a company of Marines in the most dangerous part in Iraq. They were talking about how they all were sticking there necks out every day because they never knew who the insurgents were or where they were and they always ran the risk of being shot. And then I looked up and there was a commercial for Superman on TV*. It showed this amazing fight scene where he (Superman) took out a missile and then a guy went to shoot him and it hit him in the eye…and the bullet (not the venerable Clark Kent’s eye) was crushed in on itself and it fell to the ground and an amazing thought hit me. What if Superman could join the armed forces?!! I mean, if an army company was ambushed, he could just charge right in and blast everybody to smithereens. Nobody could shoot him (well they could, but he wouldn’t get hurt), and he could kill all the insurgents**.

We all know of Superman’s powers, like a very high resistance to death and bullets, incredible strength, x-ray and laser vision and the signature flying that always comes in handy. So why not put them to use? He could fly over the field of battle, drawing RPG fire, so we know where the insurgents are. He could also fly on stealth missions because if he has x-ray and laser vision, I’d be willing to bet my dog’s life on the fact that he has binocular and infrared vision as well meaning that he could fly at night or in the day at high altitudes and still see the guys on the ground. Hey, he could even carry out bombing raids for us! He could be the bomb. He’s death-resistant. He could fly down into the heart of the insurgency and detonate his bomb pack. After the bomb was detonated, he could rush in and kill the remaining survivors.

But therein lies another problem, how are we going to have Superman carry out all of these tasks at once? Cloning of course! All we’d have to do is talk to George Lucas and see how he made the clones for Episode II° and then we could clone Superman like a thousand times for starters say, and give him the training he needs and send him on his merry, death-dealing way.

Not only would this save beaucoup bucks in our budget, we could start withdrawing troops from Iraq really soon. We could spend more time and resources on building a new government and finding the real terrorists. Thre would be exponentially less casualties because all of the soldiers in Iraq would be Superman! It's brilliant! Ah but alas, Superman is in hiding with Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa, so we can’t get his DNA, and I’m sure that George Lucas is still not ready to divulge the cloning secret as of yet. I guess we’ll have to wait for a little while.

*I watch TV and read at the same time. My parents think that I’m weird for doing this, but hey- I’m a media junkie what can I say?

**Another thing mentioned in the TIME article is that when a soldier captures an insurgent, they don’t go to jail for very long, and then they go right back into the Insurgency to be captured again. So it’s just easier for Superman to kill the MoFo’s now (better be safe than sorry :))

°Because we all know that he didn’t just use computer engineering, he still has some of the better clones doing his housework for him

BTW, who would win in a fight between Superman and Chuck Norris?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Extreme Post Makeover

Well my old template was giving me problems and I guess it kind of pissed me off. So I went radical. That's right. I got a new template and voila! I can put links on without killing my post!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Well people, this is the second notice of delay. the fourth marking period is upon us and seeing as I have many things to do in my, as Dem calls it, RLI, I will not be posting for a while. I will however comment on other blogs when I have time and if you feel the need to comment on mine, whether it be the cries of the people missing my insight or just a lonely blogger in need of a good talk. So, wish me luck in pulling off another four point oh year and I'll have some more from Sudan when I get back.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Sudan, a Time for War and a Time for Peace
Exultant voices sing “Halleluiah! Halleluiah! Praise be to the Lord God all mighty!” There is no music, no instruments playing; and even if there were, the jubilant voices would drown them out entirely; for these are the persecuted. These are the raped and tortured. These are the people of Darfur Sudan. These are the people who are not supposed to be here. These are the people who can be killed for no reason, for they have no rights; they have no property; in fact some are considered property. They are Christians in a land dominated by Muslims. They gather in that little mud hut crumbling to the ground from war and drought to celebrate the birth of a small child. One who lived against all odds. His mother died in childbirth before he even left the womb. The day he arrived into the world, there was a doctor there from the Red Cross. That doctor saved the child’s life. The crowd is singing and clapping and praising their God with all their souls because this one made it; this one can live and grow in the spirit and keep alive the hope that someday they might be delivered from slavery. The pastor got up and raised his hands in signal to pause the worship for a moment. This was the moment, the reason why everyone risked his or her lives to gather there today. This was the dedication of the small child: the one that lived. The father walked up to the pastor, his face gleaming with pride, joy and wonder; and the pastor said “I praise God for every one who came today. This is a rare moment, this day. For this is a day that God has made for us to worship him. We are gathered here to witness the dedication of this child to the lord and to his brothers and sisters in Christ. So, Joseph,” the pastor said turning his attention to the father “do you promise to care for this child, love him and keep him safe to the best of your ability? If so, say I will.”

“I will,” responded Joseph

“And do you, the church promise to help this new father keep his pledge of care for his child? If so, say we will.”

“We will,” responded the church in unison.

“Very good. This is a momentous day, one that will live on if not in history, then in our hearts. Believe in the hope that we can survive--and one day, we will.”

At the same time, millions of miles away, in Tyler, Texas to be exact, a fragile young girl was born. She barely made it, but only after enduring four days of fighting that was, for her, more brutal and urgent than ten years in Iraq. Hope, as they called her was born a month and a half prematurely and her lungs were underdeveloped. However, she made it and her proud parents brought her before the priest with amazed smiles and a vigor that only new life can create. There was singing, but the spirit that was found in the Sudanese was lacking. Why be jubilant when you go to the same church every Sunday, sometimes even weekdays? Why look on acquaintances as if you have not seen them in years and a hole in your heart is temporarily filled when you see the same faces almost daily? There wasn’t the same joy because there wasn’t the same escape from pain.

Hope was introduced into a life of relative ease. Do what is expected and you don’t have to worry about anything. No real pain, no hunger, nothing but luxury and boredom. Her life was one taken for granted.

At fourteen, just a freshman in a 2000+ high school, Hope was dating young men five years her senior. She liked to believe that her parents didn’t know, but she knew that they weren’t completely ignorant. There were too many times that she came home after curfew (every such time, she got grounded) too late for her to be dropped off by any of her 16 year old friends. Too many times, the police brought her home saying that she had been caught with cigarettes, which none of her friends could buy for her. Just too many slip-ups that made her look more and more suspicious in the eyes of her parents.

Hope was, again, a 14 year old girl in a high school with over 2000 kids; just about 550 in her class. Hope was failing school. No one cared enough to see that she needed help nobody saw that she was on the brink. Hope had friends, but they weren’t the type that one could count on. She was a pretty girl, and that got her a seat at the “demigoddess” table at lunch. Not the popular table full of the early bloomers, but the table where the others sat. Her friends were as flaky as one might expect when friendship is based off of superficiality; Hope talked on the phone, but the conversations were just as real as the bonds with her “friends”.

Hope had good parents. They loved her and gave her everything that she needed and most of what she wanted, but they weren’t as involved as she might like. She was afraid to open up to them because she was afraid of what they might think or do or say. Her friends’ parents were all acquainted with each other, and, as in any small community, word spreads. And that is the last thing that Hope needed.

Joseph watched Ben playing soccer with his friends in the refugee camp in Chad where he had brought what was left of his family three years ago. Ben had been a lucky kid since birth. Born in the war ravaged Darfur regions, Ben’s mother, Sarah, had died bringing him into the world. Joseph had been devastated by her sudden departure but at the same time envious that she didn’t have to endure the pain of oppression, Sarah didn’t have to worry about waking up to a gun to her head or a knife at her throat, and had Ben not survived, Joseph would have left this world soon after his beloved wife. But Joseph had moved on, or at least he had tried to. He remarried so that Ben would have a mother in his life; his whole existence was for Ben now.
Just having the soccer ball was a miracle in itself. The camp that they were at now was one of the more fortunate ones. Being in Chad, the Janjaweed hadn’t discovered the little group of tents lost in the desert made up of defiant infidels as they were called in the Khartoum regions of the north. The Red Cross had its own tent set up which was manned two to three days out of the week. The Peace Corps, which gave the soccer ball and some other small toys, was there too. Though the help wasn’t much, it was still help and that’s all that mattered.
“Honey, I sent you out here to get Ben for supper.”

“We’ll be there in a minute.”

Supper, yet another miracle that was given to the refugees here.
“Ben! Time for dinner. You can come out later if it’s still light out.”

Disclaimer: This story is not trying to compete with other stories. I wrote this off of a whim and I wanted to see what you guys thought. If you like it, then I’ll mix it in with the news. Sooo…?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Excuse us for this interruption...

My loyal fans, I am going to be gone for an undisclosed amount of time (It won't be very long). I am doing some school-related activities (including at least two trips to various capitals pics to come) and will not be able to make new posts for a little while. Never fear, I will be commenting on other blogs, just not publishing for a few days/weeks. Thank you for your understanding.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Magical Kingdom shall fall!!

Hello and welcome to Whathimsay Weekly. I’m Screaming Buffalo flying solo on this Saturday, February 4, 2006…

Well, there are some interesting things that happened this week, so I will skip the usual journalistic pleasantries and jump right into the action.

The Iranian missile crisis: The Irannis have managed to piss everybody in the world (well, almost everybody) off AGAIN. How you ask? Well…the US Security Council has concluded that Iran is only a few years from having weapons-grade Uranium. They already have rockets that can deliver a nuclear payload and need only to make the final breakthrough of enriching Uranium and purifying it. While insofar as the US can tell, there is really no threat to the Continental US, but Israel, Russia, Iraq and Afghanistan are all within Iran’s crosshairs. The US has been trying to sit down in talks with Iran similar to what we did in North Korea, but Iran has just said no, citing that they have every right in the world to pursue nuclear research for peaceful purposes.

Disney Siege: It was a bitter sweet business day on Thursday in China, where they are celebrating the New Year (it’s the dog this year) and obviously, a lot of Chinese families decided that it was as good a time as any to go to Disney World. Well, about a hundred and fifty people too many had the same thought because Disney World, China sold out and had to close it’s gates. The extra hundred and change people that were left out of the happiest place in China weren’t too happy and stormed the gates lifting their children and themselves over the spiky gates. Reportedly, there were shouts of “The Magic Kingdom shall fall!!” and “The Gates of Disney shall not prevail against us!” No reported injuries.

Air Force Serviceman Shot By Cops: In a troubling story this week, a police officer shot and wounded an Air Force serviceman back from Iraq after a short police chase where Elio Carrion was the passenger in a Corvette with his friendLuis Escobedo. The cops tried to pull over the car because it was alledgedly going over 100 mph and when the lights flared up, Escabedo fled the police. The chase ended when the car crashed into a wall in Chino Calif. The Sherrif's Deputy, John Webb pulled his weapon and was holding Carrion at gunpoint when he told the young man to stand up so that he could be cuffed and put in the squad car. Then Webb opened fire upon Elio and shot him twice in the chest and once in the leg. The shots, while not fatal, were obviously painful and as Carrion lay in the ground, the deputy yelled at the Air Force Security Officer to be quiet and to stay still. Mr, Carrion is in the hospital listed in good condition and could soon go home. Mr. Webb is on paid administrative leave and an investigation is ongoing into the necessity of the deadly force used in this case. All of this was captured on a home videotape that is being used to find out exactly what happened. Click here to see the video and here for more information.

Virginia Coal Mines: After the high profile deaths of 16 miners in three accidents, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has asked for and received the cooperation of all of the coal mines in Virginia to voluntarily shut down operations to allow inspectors to see what the hell is happening in Virginia mines that makes them so dangerous.

Flag Burned: In a shocking story, A FLAG OTHER THAN THE AMERICAN STAR SPANGLED BANNER WAS BURNED!!!!! That’s right people, for the time being, a Danish newspaper has been the object of scrutiny and a pleasant break for Americans in the area from the usual DEATH TO AMERICA chants. France Soir published cartoons in one of its issues this week that insulted Allah which is considered blasphemous. One of the cartoons depicted Allah with a turban on his head that looked like a bomb. Muslims all over the world are demanding that an apology be made by the Danish government for the insult to their religion. The editor of the newspaper made a public statement apologizing if they offended Islamic people, but he refused to apologize for printing the cartoons referencing that in his country, there was the freedom of the press. This statement caused an outbreak of small scale rioting in the streets including the burning of several Danish flags. In Gaza, and in other Islamic parts of the world, there was a boycott of European products until a “proper apology” is made. DEATH TO DENMARK!!

Free Speech Infringed Upon: At the State of the Union address this Tuesday evening, the ever controversial Cindy Sheehan and Rep. Bill Young’s wife Beverly Young were both forcibly removed from the public gallery in the 2nd level of the House of Representatives. Both women had T-Shirts on with wording. Cindy had a shirt spelling out the number of dead in Iraq (2,245 how many more) while Young’s shirt said: Support the Troops that Defend our Country. Sheehan was removed before the speech started and was later arrested for illegally protesting. When informed of her charges, Sheehan called her arresting officer an idiot. When the prosecutor reviewed the case, Sheehan was proven right; she should have not been arrested because the shirt she was wearing was considered free speech. Mrs. Young was removed during the President’s speech when the security personnel informed her that she either had to leave or change the shirt because she was “also protesting illegally in the capitol”, she told them that her shirt was in support of the troops and her President. It was concluded later that neither Sheehan nor Young should have been removed. One of the President’s biggest points is that America is addicted to oil and that we should pursue alternate energy sources. It’s kind of ironic that both women were denied FREE SPEECH at one of the biggest SPEECHES of a president’s term. Lame point, I know.

DUH HUR! Macintosh has been sued. As with many lawsuits in America, it’s a dumb one. According to the plaintiff, their ears were damaged when they turned the music on their i-Pod up too high. You’re kilin’ me Smalls!

Super Bowl: Well, it’s that time of the year when Dominos and Frito Lay believe in God for just a brief moment: The Super Bowl. This year it’s the Pittsburgh Stealers and the Seattle Seahawks. According to my sources (people I know), Pittsburgh is the favorite to win for sentimental reasons seeing as Stealer’s running back Jerome Bettis is retiring after this season and Detroit is his home city. Bettis gave an inspirational speech directly before the AFC championship game where they beat the Denver Broncos 34-17 in which he obviously persuaded his team to help bring him back to his home city for his final game. The Super Bowl is not only a big football event, but it is also the biggest event for advertisers in the country. The ads this year are going at a rate of $500,000 per minute ($250,000 for thirty seconds if you can’t divide). The 40th Super Bowl is in Detroit this year and the city is passing out free tickets today to people who would not have had the chance to attend the Super Bowl otherwise. Look for a lot of Detroit Lions in the stands with those free tickets.

Egyptian Ferry Accident: In a very sad story, a 327 foot Egyptian roll-on-roll-off ferry called Al Salamm traveling from Saudi Arabia filled with pilgrims from Mecca was crossing the Red Sea when its radar signal suddenly was lost. There were approximately 1400 people on board including the crew. Right now, there isn’t that much information about what happened, but at the time of the accident, there was a large sandstorm with high winds and waves. The best guess that investigators have at this time is that the waves crashed over the deck of the ferry and started to rock with the boat eventually forcing the boat to capsize. At this point in search and rescue efforts, around 300 people are known to have survived. The SAR helicopters first over the scene reported to have seen bodies in the water. It is speculated that there were not enough life boats for all of the passengers. This is eerily similar to Life of Pi and the Titanic, though I don’t believe that there were any icebergs or Bengal Tigers out there. God be with the people that died in this accident and their families.

That’s all for this week’s first edition of Whathimsay Weekly, I’m Screaming Buffalo saying good night and good luck (nothing from Serenity unfortunately RaJ).