28 September, 2006

Why? Just Why?

It is a parent's worst nightmare.

A gunshot in a school. Your child's school. The place where you send them to learn. To socialize. To be safe.

It is a student's worst nightmare.

Your school, a place where normally the only worries are how well you did on your math test or who you will go to the prom with, but now the halls are now filled with the smell of panic. Of fear. Of death.

These things shouldn't happen. Yet they do.

Westside Middle School. Thurston High School. Columbine High School. Santana High School. John McDonogh Senior High School. Red Lake High School. And many other schools falling victim to the pain of losing a student to violence.

And now, we add Platte Canyon High School to this list of tragedies.

Yet something sets this one aside from the majority of school shootings, as this time it was an adult that pulled the trigger. One adult. One handgun. And, according to some witness accounts, one target in mind.

Why did this individual pick out this victim? What was going through his head? What was actually he intending to do?

Was he, as I first said to myself when I turned on the television and sat down in shock, completely out of his skull?

In the coming weeks, these questions will be answered. And yet no amount of answers will help the family and friends of this young girl, her young life cut down far too soon, fill the hole in their lives once filled by an intelligent, hard-working, and pleasant person.

To those that knew this young woman: I don't know you. You don't know me. But know that you have my prayers, my good wishes, and my sympathy. When the time comes, say your good-byes. Mourn your lost friend, your missing child, your absent student. But never forget her, for as long as a person is remembered in life, they are never truly gone.

And to the rest of us, we must learn from this. There are those who will use this sad day as a political platform to advance their causes, whether gun-control or school safety or mental health, just as with any tragic event. Do not let the people or the causes overshadow the tragic event that happened twelve hours ago. Do not let them simply turn these painful times into their times in the spotlight. For the events of September 27, 2006, there should only be one spotlight shining.

On the empty desk, the empty bedroom, the empty locker of one girl who was taken from this world far too soon.

27 September, 2006

Shots Fired

Reports of shots fired in a school. To be specific, Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, CO. No reports of injuries, unconfirmed reports of 5 hostages. Unconfirmed report of an adult male gunman. Possible bomb in a classroom. School in lockdown, along with the connected middle school.

I'll have more later when I get off of work. In the meantime, start counting down until an expert mentions the word Columbine.

And pray for safe resolutions.

14 September, 2006

Good Things Come In 3/4 Time

Seeing as how David tagged himself with a meme, I went ahead and tagged myself for the same one. I will be adding a few editorial comments to each one of them.

Four songs you could listen to over and over again:

This one gave me a bit of pause, as I didn't even do this when I was a kid. You know that annoying "Let's play it again!" thing kids do for popular songs? Nope. Not me. But here are the ones that come close:
  1. Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These): Seriously good, and one that all 80's kids should know by heart.
  2. Enya - On My Way Home: I know it's an odd one, but I just love it.
  3. The Ataris - Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start: It brings out the inner geek in me.
  4. Apoptygma Bezerk - Kathy's Song (Beborn Beton Remix): "You know I'm not a saint." And I prove it by loving this song. One of the few times where a remix is an order of magnitude better than the original.
Four songs that drive you up the friggin' wall. With a chainsaw.:

This is definitely a category of no-brainer decisions for me.
  1. R.E.M. - Shiny Happy People: Just don't even think about it. I will destroy your sound system.
  2. Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry, Be Happy: This song made me go goth. If this guy is happy, then by God, I don't wanna be.
  3. Britney Spears - Oops! I Did It Again: More like "Oops! I just cut your car in half with a chainsaw!" In fact, just about every single one of her songs could fit in this category, but I picked this one as the most obnoxious of the lot. Sue me.
  4. Hanson - Mmmm Bop: 'Nuff said. If there's a Top Ten List of Obnoxious Songs, this one should make it in the top 5 with no problem whatsoever.
  5. Bonus! Los del Río - Macarena: This one will LEAD the aforementioned list. By a comfortable margin.
Four songs that you're embarrassed (or should be) to admit you like:

See, this one's kind of odd for me. I like stuff that few people have ever heard. (David might, but he's wierd like that.) So I'm used to getting blank stares when I recite off the lists of songs I like.
  1. The Vestibules - Bulbous Bouffant: While not technically a song, this is the one that gives me more looks of distaste than blank stares. And when I say it's the Macademia song, then the looks of distaste seem to multiply.
  2. Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It: Of all the cheesy 80's glam-rock, this is the one that smells the most. Like decade-old limburger left on a Palm Springs sidewalk in the middle of July during a Hell's Angels rally. Sadly enough, some of us actually like it that way.
  3. Aqua - Barbie Girl: C'mon Barbie! Lets go party! Sadly, few people get the joke.
  4. Styx - Come Sail Away: Not the album version. The Eric Cartman version. Ummm... Why are you picking up that chainsaw? OhshBRAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Run!
  5. Bonus! Julie Brown - The Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun: I always wondered what it would look like if a prom queen went postal on everyone. I mean, usually it's the runner-up that breaks down.
Four Best Driving Songs:

Aw hell. I actually have a CD burned just for this occasion, and you only want me to list four of them? Sheeeesh, talk about cramping one's style.
  1. Assemblage 23 - Drive: Seems like a no-brainer with that title, no? Fortunately for me, it kicks more ass than a donkey herder on Red Bull whose Prozac prescription just ran out.
  2. Joe Satriani - Summer Song: Joe should have a seat on the right hand of God as far as I'm concerned.
  3. Wolfsheim - I Don't Love You Anymore: Actually, this is one of my favorite songs to dance to. Amazingly enough, most of the songs I like to dance to are also songs I love to drive to.
  4. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - Don't Come Around Here No More: Only time I've ever gotten a speeding ticket was while listening to this song. The cop clocked me at 105 on the way back from Vegas, apparently right near the end. When I went to court to try and get a reduced fine, the judge asked me why I was going so fast, so I told him. He dismissed the ticket on the spot. (And again. Thank you, Your Honor. And thank you Tom Petty.)
  5. Bonus! The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Someday I Suppose: When it doubt, ska your way out. Busy horn sections make for lead feet.
Four songs that make you cry:

Damn, but this is another one of those tough choice categories. All of these songs have an extremely painful memory attached to them, and I can't help but be reminded of all the misery whenever these songs play. Unfortuantely, I also happen to love these songs. Call me a masochist.
  1. The Cure - Pictures Of You: One day when I was still living in San Bernadino, California, after having a highly nasty fight with my then-girlfriend, I decided to take the long way home. The very long way.Via San Luis Obispo, Fresno and Tuscon. This song was the first on the radio when I got in the car. Everything after that is a blur. I only know where I was thanks to the credit card receipts from getting gas.
  2. Nickel Creek - When You Come Back Down: A friend of mine sent me this song during the time known only as The Ten Weeks Of Pure Hell. (Trust me, you don't want to know. But if you do want to know, be prepared to buy me a lot of coffee. And a 90 minute story.) And whenever I hear it, it starts to bring all that pain back to the surface. And believe me, there still is a ton of pain still left in those memories. If ever there was a reason to go through therapy, this would have been it.
  3. R.E.M. - Nightswimming: This is one of those songs that drudge up all kinds of painful memories. Even those that have no prior attachment to the song. It's just that sad.
  4. Goo Goo Dolls - Iris: Have you ever fallen in love with someone, and had someone completely different fall in love with you? Unfortunately for me, I've been on all three sides of that situation. And this song sums them all up for me, complete with a bow made of barbed wire and razor blades.
Four best risqué songs:

A category I'm not very good at, but I think I've dredged up a few goodies for you.
  1. La Tour - People Are Still Having Sex: I think I can let this one go without too much comment.
  2. Madonna - Like A Virgin: C'mon, folks. We all know what she's really talking about. Fortunately, we all know what we really think she's talking about.
  3. ZZ Top - La Grange: To quote David from a different category " A sing-along about a whore house in Texas. How cool is that?"
  4. Me First And The Gimme Gimmes - Tainted Love: Another no-comment-needed listing. But the original is almost as good.
Four best kid songs:

I don't have kids. So here are some I'd play for them if I do ever have kids. (Now now. No more insane laughter from the peanut gallery, or I'll have to go Gallagher-style Sledge-O-Matic on you.)
  1. They Might Be Giants - The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas: It really is never to early to teach your kids about science. Hopefully mine will be better at it than I am.
  2. Blind Melon - Three It's The Magic Number: Schoolhouse Rock songs should be mandatory. Hell, I'd be happy to have a congressman who could sing "I'm Just A Bill" with me.
  3. Harry Belafonte - Shake, Shake Senora: Hey, if they can have a very young Winona Ryder dance to this song, I can let my kids dance to it.
  4. Bear - Welcome To The Blue House: Probably my favorite kids show since The Muppet Show went off the air. And it's no stretch to figure out why.
Four best (fill in your own category here) songs:

I'll take Modern Instrumental Music for $800 please, Alex.
  1. The Seatbelts - Goodnight Julia: I knew I loved the show Cowboy Bebop from the moment I first saw it. This song made me fall in love with the soundtrack as well. A slow sad saxophone sending sweet sorrows to the star-filled sky... Inspiration for alliteration, thy name is Yoko Kanno.
  2. Joe Satriani - Always With Me, Always With You: I dare you to listen to it and not think about holding hands with your significant other(s) and taking a long walk on the beach at sunset.
  3. JerryC - Canon Rock: Dare I say it, but this guy is just that damn good. But, dare I say it, Funtwo is even better.
  4. Brainbug - Nightmare (Sinister Strings Mix): Best. Club. Song. Ever. Too bad some jerk named Paul Oakenfold tried to "make it better" and ended up totally killing it. But it's okay. The original will always be around.
And now, let me just tag two people with this. Fiat Lux? Flannel Avenger? Come on down! You're the next contestants on Tell Me What's On Your Mind! (Insert hoaky 70's disco theme music here.)

But in the meantime, try giving the aforementioned Funtwo song a try.

11 September, 2006

In Memoriam

Photo respectfully borrowed from Jane Galt.

08 September, 2006

Words That I Couldn't Say...

... have just been said by Joe Gandelman. Basically, everything that I would want to say about the Path To 911 is in there, as well as quite a few things that I have not yet put thought to.

And yet, I think that the most telling statement I have read about this came in the middle of the comment stream.
"Fake but accurate" just doesn't cut it for documentaries of any flavor.
Yup. BrianOfAtlanta sums it up nicely.

[Turn Signal: Tim F.]

01 September, 2006

Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Ftaghn!

The Cthulhu Movie? Apparently so. And apparently real.

When I show up to opening night, remind me to have this t-shirt already in my closet.

Because that would be just so damn cool.