Saturday, June 16, 2012

Aging Gracefully

(This is a re-post from one of my other blogs that I am consolidating into PantsParty.)

Here's how I'm working toward this goal:
First and foremost, I have taken up smoking a pipe. I'm not sure I like it yet, but I'm giving it a shot. However, I do think that it is a hobby that could suit me. I went to the tobacconist the other day and picked up a little corn-cob jobby and a sampler of tobaccos and am going to give the whole thing a try. I have no idea what I'm doing yet.
Second, I got a new shoe polishing kit yesterday and went to town on some of my lace-ups. It felt good. It felt right.
I'm thinking about looking around for a good retirement community, as I am getting on in years.
What L is doing:
She, within the last ten minutes, has told me that she wants to get good at gardening. "You know, just some pretty flowers or something..." Which entered my head as a mental image of her standing on the lawn shaking a fist at some kids for messing with her prize-winning roses. I also imagined her to be in a sort of old-lady moomoo in this scenario. Perhaps with a bun in her hair and an apron on. But that remains to be seen.
What most people are not doing:
Acting their age.
Saying no to abundant tattoos that will look silly in pictures when they are holding their grandchildren.
Dressing like adults.
Behaving with even a modicum of dignity or decorum.
All in all, the whole thing is baffling to me. Granted, I do live in a town where people move to avoid having to grow up. But still. It is like being surrounded by a legion of adult infants. But knowing this, is it really my place to say.
This is, after all, America. People ought to be free to do as they please. But I will say that it's hard to respect an adult who looks like they just got done playing over to the playground and now wants to go to Toys R Us to check out the newest video games...
-A.R. Leith

Has Anybody Seen Wall-E?

(This is a re-post from one of my other blogs that I am consolidating into PantsParty.)

If you've seen it, this will make sense. If you haven't...basically, this movie paints a pretty grim--and dim--picture of humanity in the future. Everyone is living in space because it's the future, and that's where people live in the future. Everything worth doing is being done by robots because that's the way things are kind of headed. Where the indictment of humanity comes in is the people themselves. What this picture predicts is that we will basically become blobs of consumption and leisure who are carted around by automated personal shuttles basically murdering Slurpees and cheese puffs all day. People who are so inactive that they have lost bone mass and structure. People so coddled that they never have to think, or do, for themselves again.
And as much as you can say, 'Oh, that's so far fetched.' And as much as you hate that image. And as much as you can claim, 'That will never be me.' I was doing just that today, and it was wonderful...
However, I was watching the television. Have you guys ever watched television? During the day? On a Tuesday? You'd be amazed at the things you'll see there. Today, for example* I was having a viewing while eating my lunch and in one commercial break was able to glimpse exactly the future that Wall E predicts.
The two commercials that ran within minutes of each other, and really kind of spooked me were these:
The first was the one that I am sure you have seen. It involves a gentleman sporting business casual attire and telling you that, even though you don't have the money for it, you deserve some sort of automated personal conveyance. Be it a Rascal or a Hover-Round (sp?) if you are too injured, infirm, or obese to get your happy ass from place to place you need something to do that work for you. Again, if you've seen Wall-E, this should sound familiar.
The second--and by far more disturbing--of the two ads was a similarly pitched advert for...
...wait for it...
...catheters. Yes, I said it. But, more importantly, THEY said it. Here was a seemingly average and surprisingly young-looking woman acting as though it is in no way out of the ordinary or strange for a person to be using (according to the fine print on the screen) up to 200 catheters a month. More importantly, this company was championing the fact that you deserve to have fresh, sterile, catheters. 'Nobody should have to re-use a catheter,' they say. Obviously this slowed down my enjoyment of my lunch more than a little.**
Seeing these two ads***, I was a little saddened by where the people of this country are heading. But if we haven't figured out yet that hasty breeding and medicine extending the average life span are getting us into a whole heap of unforeseen problems, we might as well just sit back and enjoy it. In the end, the whole thing just served to remind me of the episode of The Simpsons where Homer sees someone in a wheelchair and declares, '...and here I've been using my legs, like a sucker.'
-A.R. Leith

"A boy's only right when he knows he knows nothing at all."  -CFP

*It is worth noting that I was watching M*A*S*H on some channel called ION, which may be directed specifically at old people for all I know. But still...
**Don't worry, I was able to finish eating when the show returned. I'm very resilient.
***An honorable mention should go to the commercials on youth programming that have professional athletes having to lure children outdoors to play instead of watching T.V. all day. I don't remember that being a problem when I was a kid, but who knows. Good luck everybody.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

18 (or so) Questions I Have After Seeing the Last Harry Potter Movie

1. How is it that Hermione didn't end up as a professor at Hogwarts? It seems right up her alley.
1b. In fact why are none of them employed at the school?
1c. The "greatest wizard in the world" isn't a shoe-in for the Headmaster job? (Or at least Defense Against the Dark Arts?)
1d. If they don't work at the wizard school, what do all these witches and wizards do when there isn't a war on? Are they all baristas and bookstore clerks?
2. So, Snape is Harry's real dad?
3. Also, isn't it a bit convenient that the bad guy's right-hand-man has dedicated his life to protecting the hero?
4. Why didn't Harry die when Voldemort shot him with his wand-laser?
5. If you can just "decide" that you don't want to be dead and come back, why isn't everyone doing it?
5b. I mean, if the most powerful evil wizard kills you, shouldn't you stay dead?
5c. If not, how is he really SO powerful? (Assuming he wasn't using the "Only-kill-the-little-bit-of-me-that-is-inside-this-boy" spell--which, who would even practice that enough to know it well just in case it came in handy?)
6. What's with all the running, wizards can fly, right? (I'd be the laziest wizard ever...)
7. Can wizards get drunk? (I just see "19 Years Later" Ron sitting at a bar a little shitty waving a wand around yelling "Expectum Coronas!")
8. Ron really let himself go, didn't he?
9. Did Malfoy end up being kind of a good guy, or just not a very good bad guy?
10. There were owls at the end of the movie. I thought they killed all the magic owls in DHP1, didn't they?
11. Shouldn't the last movie have been called Neville Longbottom and the Time He Saved Everyone's Asses?
12. Is there a wizard college, because there is no way you're getting through Cambridge just knowing spells and enchantments? You've got to know some math and composition and stuff, right?
12b. Or can wizards just "wand-whip" themselves up a diploma so they can get a job in the private sector?
13. If Dumbledore had possession of all the things that made up the "Deathly Hallows" does that mean that he is Death?
13b. If he is not, how did he get them away from Death?
14. It was obvious to everybody that the other Dumbledore brother was still Michael Gambon, right?
15. Why don't we think it is weird that both girls who played Nanny McPhee are in this movie?
16. Are all British movies not directed by Guy Richie (And hey, some that are directed by him...) about magic now?
13c. (I forgot something) Couldn't Dumbledore have figured out a way to get all this done without having to die? It just doesn't seem that bright, is all.
13d. (sorry for encroaching like this #16) Like, what about just giving the wand and all the other junk to Harry, and telling him where all the stuff was to destroy?
17. I'll bet Voldemort snores a ton, on account of the messed up nose, wouldn't you think?
18. Why don't they mention the Potters' other son who is going off to school at the end of the movie?
18b. At what age do kids go off to Hogwarts, again?
18c. Because I thought it was like age 10 or 13 or something, but that means that Harry and Jenny waited almost a decade to start having kids...what were they doing all that time? (Which brings up a whole slew of questions about wizard procreation that I'm not even going to get into, because I had a tough enough time with the details of "The Golden Compass" to even mess with this.

Alright, those are the questions I can think of now, so please let me know if you are able to answer some or all of them. K THX BYE.

-A.R. Leith

Friday, June 10, 2011


Okay, I just wanted to get this off my chest (and I wanted to start writing again, so lookout birds, right!?).

Yesterday evening, I came across an article while checking news feeds and found something interesting/disturbing. But maybe not disturbing for the same reasons it disturbs you or, apparently, others. (Here is a link to the article: Tracy Morgan via Metafilter)

Here's the deal: This guy says some stuff in his comedy routine that other people find offensive. Was it outlandish? Yes. Was it provocative? You bet. Was it true? Who knows. Foolish? Absolutely! The bottom line is that it was in a COMEDY ROUTINE, so we don't even really know if he meant it. On top of that, it was his opinion, so who is anybody else to say he cannot hold it.

The reason I am peeved about the whole thing is that after he said it some political action group starts calling for him to be fired for his other job because of the opinion he expressed. My question is this: Is it not within every Americans' right to hold--and even express--whatever opinion they choose? I was under the impression (mostly because of social studies class) that being able to think and express whatever silly thing you wanted was one of the great freedoms of this country. There are people out there who believe that all thought and speech should conform to the sensibilities of what most people want. These are the people who would have you punished either legally or financially for disagreeing with them. I believe these people to be small-minded bigots.

When it comes down to it, I guess the question I think we should be asking about this is: What if a person could get fired from a job every time they said something that someone else disagreed with--at any time and anywhere, not just while they were at that job? What would happen to unemployment rates in this country? Should I start calling for people, like those trying to punish a comedian for stating an opinion, to be deported to a country where they can enforce their will on others because I do not agree with what they are saying? According to the logic they seem to be using, if they are using any at all, I get to call for them to face hardships if they say something that I disagree with.

That is not what I am going to do, because I believe in a free America. Even if a truly free United States is just a concept that has probably never been truly realized, I can still hope that someday we will make it a real place to live, right?

-A. Leith

p.s.- USA! USA! USA!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lobbying Against Lobbyists.

Okay, so I was driving home from school today, and wound up listening to the umpteenth radio ad urging me to vote NO on Amendment 58 this election year in Colorado. WTF?

First, these ads are unbelievably smarmy and condescending--so much so that I actually wrote the people behind them a strongly worded e-mail to ask them to knock it off, and to let them know that no matter how intelligent their ideas may be, talking to me like you're my best buddy and I'm special are no way to garner my favor. At any rate, I went through the amendments myself this morning, in order to get a grasp on what I will actually be voting for a week from tomorrow. While I was doing this, these advertisements failed to enter my head. I made my decisions based on what I thought was best for me (first) and the state (second). So, as I happened to hear these two upper-class twits blathering on on the radio this afternoon I had my newly created cheat sheet in my pocket. It turns out that I [as a wildly opinionated and misanthropic individual] had decided that I was, in fact, in favor of the Amendment that they so maligned. Whaddya know?!

At any rate, I thought it was worth a second glance, since they seemed so intent on stopping this measure. Sure enough, when I got home and re-read the proposed amendment I knew exactly why it was opposed and by whom. (For those unfamiliar: this amendment proposes to cut tax credits to companies that are removing non-renewable resources from Colorado--imagine the gall of the government for making companies pay FULL taxes--and directing any new tax revenue from this change into schools and infrastructure.) So, the first light that went off in my head this afternoon whilst I was grumping about having to hear this ad again was, I suppose that if they are trying this hard, and using good ol' folksy talkin', that they must be fighting against something that makes a decent amount of sense for the common man. And sure enough, the only people who would truly suffer would be the energy people who are making a killing right now anyway. Boo-hoo for them.

Of course, these ads make sure to frame the argument that those increased taxes would be passed back through to the consumer in the form of higher prices.

Which is probably so.

However, and this is my favorite part--and coincidentally one of my platforms for my upcoming campaign, consumers have the right to choose who they buy things from. This, ultimately, is the beauty of a free market. Am I going to keep buying a product from a company who keeps raising their prices to maintain record profits? I sure don't plan on it. I hope you don't either. The long and the short of it is, if we are to maintain a self-regulated economy we have to stop supporting businesses that keep sticking it to us. If you know a company is sending all of its money overseas to pay someone less than they would pay an American to do the job, while still making a hefty profit for their executives, don't give them any more of your American Dollars. One of two things will happen:

1. They will man up and bring back jobs and help the economy of the country where they are based, or;
2. They will become a Mexican [or Vietnamese, Chilean, Korean] company that is going to have a lot of trouble getting back their U.S. market-share.

The choice will be theirs, and I hope that they will make the right one by 'Merica. Which reminds me, I would also label those companies, and the people in charge of them, as extremely un-patriotic. They don't give a crap about you. So make them pay for it. There is nothing more American than sticking it to the man purely for revenge. Hell, there is an entire movie genre based on it. (Here I would be referring to the screwball/underdog comedy; e.g. Revenge of the Nerds, Meatballs, etc.)

I guess the general thrust [which, by the way, would be an awesome name for a character in a space-themed adult film] of my argument here is that you should consider what motives someone might have for trying to get you to vote one way or the other. As far as I'm concerned, the more someone has to try and convince you that something is the right way to think, the less likely it is to be the right way to think. Trust your gut to cut through the B.S. before you even have a chance to mull something over. The trick is to know when you are through the B.S. and down to what you truly believe, not what you think you should think, or have been told to think.

-A.R. Leith

Suggested reading to accompany this blog entry: Civil Disobedience by Thoreau, Self Reliance by Emerson, The Colorado 2008 Ballot Information Packet (for those of you who live here), and Naked Pictures of Famous People by Jon Stewart (Not because it has anything to do with this, just because it's incredibly funny.)

Quote: "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son." - Dean Wormer

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Autobiography

Okay, so I've decided to write the story of my life. I'm not sure if I should just do it in installments, or if it would be better to just time it's publication with my death. The limits of that are obviously many and varied. It would be hard for me to estimate properly when I might die...which would lead to procrastination. Then, when death is almost certain, what if I don't feel up to remembering and writing a bunch of rubbish about my life. Surely that would be a loss for society as a whole--what, with the presidency in there and all.

At any rate, I'm going to get writing, and I will also try to publish serially, like they did in the old days. So, if anyone has any connections out there as to where I might publish such a story in chapters, or as a whole, please let me know. I think this is going to be fun. And difficult. My forearms are already starting to cramp.

-A.R. Leith

Quote: "There's nothing quite like knowing exactly what's inside your heart."- MxPx

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Hey, Chicago, Whaddya Say?

So, as of last night the hopes and dreams of an El series are still alive and well. Both of Chicago's baseball squadrons are into the post-season. This is awesome. It's going to be tough. I will have absolutely nothing to do with it other than television ratings and accelerating my "number of Old Styles in a sitting" record into the stratosphere. Which, also will be tough.

On that note, anyone who is interested, and a Cubs fan, and in Durango, should go to Falconburg's to watch the game tonight. It'll be wicked pissa.

-A.R. Leith

"I'd love my job if it weren't for the customers."- Clerks

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On My Impending Election as President (U.S., 2016)

Look, I've got some views. Some people may agree with them, some may not. That, I suppose, is the nature of free will in the modern era.

At any rate, I will be putting my hat in the ring as a presidential candidate for the first election after I have reached the minimum age requirement. should vote for me. I have some very interesting requests for cabinet position appointments, and I am considering each of them carefully. More importantly, however, I have two candidates for the position of public relations and marketing director for my campaign. On that subject, I can say only this...One of these people will get my campaign, and the other will be responsible for the presidency. I will not tell you which yet. I will tell you the two slogans they have proposed, though:

"Unleith the Fury!"


"Leith it to Me!"

If you can guess which will get me elected, and which I will use as an officiate, kudos to you. You should pat yourself on the back, get a warm cookie, and drink some milk. If you can't figure it out--vote for me anyway. I promise you things will be the most fun ever if I am elected. I will get vending machines for the cafeteria, and longer lunch brea...wait, that's the wrong campaign. I'm still new at this.

In only moderately un-related news, you might be able to tell that I have started posting here again after a nearly two-year hiatus. This is because I was--let's face it--lazy. Partially too lazy to type up new entries (partially too busy as well), but mostly since this thingy was taken over by Google I was concerned that I would have to sign up for a gmail account just to access my blog, and I definitely already have too many e-mail accounts, so I did not want to do that. However, with further investigation, I found that I just needed to verify my old information so that the G men would let me back on to this site to babble, complain, gripe, type, and hopefully otherwise entertain people. So, here I am, tell your friends. If you like reading it, I'll type more. If you do not, don't read it (But tell other people you read it and loved it, so they can decide for themselves. They may no longer trust your taste, but theirs will be an informed hatred.)

Okay, I think that's all for now, and it feels good. Sorry, if you liked these entries and had been cut off I hope it wasn't too big a deal. I can't imagine that it was. Also, I'm going to try to make this site more entertaining and colorful, if I can ever figure out how to include stuff, or what to include. But I'm working on it.

-A.R. Leith

"I know what I wanna say, but I can't get it out..."- The Lawrence Arms