Beware the Amish pirates

Haud Metus. Haud Fastosus.

March 22nd, 2009 by somasoul

“Haud Metus. Haud Fastosus.” That’s my personal motto. It means “No Fear. No Pride.”…I think. Maybe it means “No Pride. No Fear.” I can’t really remember. It’s been a while since I looked it up on an online Latin/English translator. Those things are unreliable anyway. But I believe that’s what it means, I guess that’s the important thing.

I originally made my slogan for my lucrative career in sales. It hung above my desk in that bold impact font. You can’t sell something with fear or pride. You have to be this whimpering fool begging for a sale or you’ll starve to death. But you can’t let anyone know you are whimpering fool. If you do you look like a pathetic whiner, then no one will buy anything from you. You have to be confident and ooze charisma while secretly, on the inside, you’re crying.

I got rid of pride because I don’t really care what anyone thinks about me. Unless of course my hair’s messed up or my fly is down or something is stuck in my teeth. And fear was kinda pointless because what’s really to fear besides AIDS, random gun violence, and facebook addiction? Okay, so maybe pride and fear have their places. The jury is still out. Maybe we should have some sort of governmental department of concerned citizens to debate the merits of these things along with honor, political correctness, and internet smilies :). We’ll call it the Department Of Personality Enforcement, or DOPE, for short. read more »

What Men Want: a Valentine’s Day Primer and Quiz Show

February 14th, 2009 by somasoul

The following is both an advice guide and pop-culture quiz. On the one hand, young ladies will learn what men are really thinking (it’s not that hard…) and on the other hand it’s a game that you can earn points with. I don’t have a degree or anything so I’m using all my relationship examples from Hollywood movies and TV shows which are made by liberals and people who are exceedingly arrogant. I’m sure they know what they are doing…Anyway, each pop-culture reference has points associated with it that you can earn if you can identify them and tell me what movie or TV show they are from. (I will award partial points if you can only get some of the movies in each piece of advice)

Number 1: Men want women who are hot. Of course, you knew this. But here’s the thing, we don’t woman who are too hot. Okay, okay, sure…we like hot chicks. But while we all want to be in Inara’s bed, it’s Kaylee who’s getting the ring. Hot, but cute. The fact is, Inara tries real hard, which means she’s high maintenance. But Kaylee is cute as button covered in Engine grease. (15 points) read more »

It’s someone else’s problem…or it’s not.

January 26th, 2009 by somasoul

(A Debbie Downer post. Sorry about your luck.)

For several months I’ve been making posts that suggest (though I don’t think I’ve said it), that the idea that people are somehow different than they were before is probably a little idealist. I don’t think people are progressive (as in, moving forward or evolving either physically or emotionally/spiritually/physcologically). Perhaps the best time I’ve come out and said it would be the shit-disrupter of a post I made on Christarchy, Humanity on the Fringes of a Moshpit. Essentially, in a long winded tirade, I compare the progressive anarchist/art-school kids to the famed large browed Geico Spokesmen. Such a thing was a dare, especialy among my more liberally minded brethern. But I did it. I did it because I don’t think humanity is really all that different than it was 2,000 years ago. Or 4,000. Or 6,000. We can pretend lots of things, like those people back then were all stupid, ignorant, inbred maruaders, raping the land for everything it was worth. Besides for the inbred thing, I don’t think we are far removed. read more »

GAH! *@&#, it’s cold!

January 19th, 2009 by somasoul

It is absolutly freezing. Saturday morning brought frost on the car windows and I’m chucking trash into bag at 8 am because I got to cart 3 adults to Philly from Baltimore (The Element is trashed. I blame the kids.). Actually, these “adults” might as well be 13, their behavior will be subpar all day long. In about an hour, Dave Worthless, Brando, Stilts, and I, will be yelling at each-other and telling jokes that would make a sailor blush. This is my band. And it’s cold.

It’s about 13 degrees outside. It’s Saturday. And we have to leave at 9 am to get to Philly by noon because Obama is taking Amtrak from Philly, to Wilmington, then landing in my hometown of Baltimore. It’s usually a 90 minute trip but we expect the I-95 corridor to be packed. read more »

somasoul’s Blueprint for Change.

January 7th, 2009 by somasoul

I saw Barack Obama’s blueprint for change and I thought since I’m smarter than him I should have one too. You never know when you might become the next leader of the free world, I gotta be prepared. With that said, it’s a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun since everything has been so grim around here lately. Maybe there is a bit of truth in all of these things, maybe not. So without further adue I present the top “hot button” issues and solve them all single-handedly. Let me know how I did.

War:
In an ideal world only men would fight in wars and only women would declare them.

Illegal Immigration:
People keep crossing the borders for crappy jobs. Meanwhile, we have lots of people on welfare here. I propose allowing one working Latino into the United States in exchange for one person on welfare. This way, our country will be filled with productive people who work while nothing much will change in Mexico.

The whole ‘gay’ thing:
The gays want to get married. Some people seemingly want them to be miserable. Marriage has made plenty of straight people miserable for thousands of years. Am I the only one who sees the “win-win” solution here?
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The Secret Millionaire

December 12th, 2008 by somasoul

“I haven’t been entirely truthful with you…” says the young, well-dressed, middle-eastern man. The camera focuses in on the pained expressions on those he is speaking to in that shaky, fast cutaway style of those Jason Bourne flicks. Intense, dramatic music plays in the background. The editors let this cliff-hanger like suspense build for, well, seemingly forever. I guess, in reality, 10 seconds.

This is the Fox network, the network that, when drama doesn’t exist enough for the producers, they go ahead and make it up. Young married couples on an island with a bunch of hot singles. The screaming, shrieking Gordon Ramsey. The Fox network, God bless ‘em, takes decent ideas for shows and makes the dramatic effect linger like a sky-diver in mid-air. Then they find talent to pump that drama up. It’s all really unnecessary. The material is good, let it be.

But here we are. “I haven’t been entirely truthful with you…” “…” “…” “…” “…” “I’m really a multi-millionaire.” SHA-BANG! And, lo-and-behold, the victims of what Fox believes to be a cruel joke could give two shits. Who would? The lying millionaire has been a part of their lives for six whole days. read more »

Baltimore’s Progressive Catholic Church

November 30th, 2008 by somasoul

It would be unfair to label Saint Sebastian’s Independant Catholic Church a “gay church”. But it’d be unfair not to mention that, perhaps, they are very into the gay happenings in Baltimore and minister to the gay community. While I am sure that Pastor Flaherty would be disheartened to think that Saint Sebastians is only a church for the queer community, the community at large would probably reference it as “The gay church”. I find this sort of thing unfortunate.

I wound up here by means of an Emergent Village book group that meets in Baltimore. I met Assisting Priest Joan Stiles, a bleached blonde short-haired middle aged woman, while discussing Claiborne’s book Jesus for President. The group discussed much and varied in theological belief tremendously. Disagreement’s abounded. Surprisingly, no one argued. I learned about Joan, her Catholic past, her current priesthood and thought, surely, if there was anyone I would disagree with it was female priest at a pro-gay church. But Joan, like much of the world, was full of surprises. I found myself captivated with her outlook on our faith, her impression of God, her passion for Biblical authority.

A few months later the Reverend Flaherty, the Priest at Joan’s church, even came to the emergent church meetup group. A tall man, who dwarfs me, with long fingers, he strikes me as the sort of person who is easy to get along with. Perhaps that same young idealism that runs in all young people’s blood still runs in his. I found him quiet, questioning, firm in his convictions yet willing to hear others out. It’s hard to not like him. read more »

Wasting Votes

November 4th, 2008 by somasoul

*A bit of tounge-in-cheek election fun*

I walked up to the polls today to cast my vote. I was surrounded by a group people marketing for their respective politicians. An old man wearing a McCain hat, a heavy-set black woman enthusiastically waving an Obama sign. Another half dozen or so had signs with “Say yes to question 2″ or “Vote No on question 4″.

The Obama lady cheerily greeted me, quickly handing me some Obama brochures. “Have you decided who you are going to vote for, yet?” she asked.

I’m kinda private about this stuff but I was drunk so I responded: “Cynthia McKinney. She’s running with the Green party, you know. Her wackiness will make great Saturday night live fodder.” SNL is important to me and affects me weekly, thus being more important than any “serious” issue. read more »

What happens in church on a Thursday night when you are not looking.

November 1st, 2008 by somasoul

The church basement’s cinder block walls radiate the cold. Coffee permeates the air. Two dozen people or so sit at 8′ X 3′ wooden folding tables, set up in a circle, eating cake and drinking the aforementioned coffee. Another dozen or more sit at chairs placed around the room. My friend, we’ll call him Brian, sits at the front, the Serenity Prayer scrawled on a plaque on his right.

God, Grant me the serenity,
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

This is an A.A. meeting.

Brian is celebrating one year. He is chairing the meeting, which means he gets to tell his story, speak however long he likes, and call on any member he sees fit to call on. Before any of that can begin, though, the various “officers” read off various lists of A.A. “rules”, “codes of conduct”, and other bureaucratic regulations. You would think these to be many considering A.A. has a reported 1,867,212 members worldwide with 106,202 meetings.

To put this in perspective A.A. is about the same size as Jehovah’s Witnesses, and larger than the Assemblies of God in the USA. read more »

Subways and Totalitarianism

August 22nd, 2008 by somasoul

I used to work at the mall. A lot of my employees took the Baltimore City Subway out to the county to work there. Now, this Subway didn’t stop at the mall, it stopped about a half mile away. Those who took the subway waited for a bus to pick them up and transport them to the mall. But there was another way. The subway station backed up to the park-n-ride which in turn backed up to the movie theater which was next to the mall. And one could walk this course in ten minutes time.

At one point behind the movie theater there was a hill, relatively steep but not very tall. And it was here, on this small parcel of grass that I heard stories of people getting raped or mugged. I don’t know the truth behind any of that, I only heard the stories. Whenever possible, if I dropped an employee off at the station I see someone I knew who worked at the mall walking the course or waiting for a bus. I’d pick them up and give them a lift, even if I only knew their face.

(This will go somewhere useful, promise.) read more »

Welcome to Grand Central Station

July 27th, 2008 by somasoul

Like an episode of C.O.P.S. the names here have been changed to protect the innocent.

Hamilton is in N.E. Baltimore, which is in Maryland, which is in the Eastern United States located in North America. I’ve lived here for two years. I never thought I’d be an urbanite but it’s come to suit me just fine. I like the ice cream trucks, the mixed culture, a plethora of restaurants, the ease of commuting all over the city and burbs in minutes.

I wouldn’t say Hamilton is “The Hood”. It’s one zip code south of the county, the next town south is one of the better places to live in Baltimore, Lauraville, which insulates us. But like all urban areas there are very little guarantees. Some nights it’s quiet, other nights I can hear teenagers swearing loudly at 2am and there’s usually empty beer containers on my lawn in the morning. It’s easy to see that our relative peace hangs by a thread, whether it be the bloods graffiti or the drunks stumbling through our backyards at 11 pm, our quiet community is quietly at war.

But this isn’t a post about Hamilton. Or about urban warfare. Or about gangs. It’s about kids and watching them grow up in a weird ecclectic neighborhood. read more »

Owning women you’ve never met.

July 5th, 2008 by somasoul

I have a confession to make: I’ve never looked at porn. Okay, that’s a lie. But here’s the truth…….I’ve never sought out porn. Ever. Sure, there have been times in High School when a guy flipped me a rag, or in college when I went to a party and some guys were watching porn. And, like the rest of the 21st century world, I’ve accidently googled it from time to time. But I’ve never bought it, rented it, or pay-per-viewed it.

When I admit this fact about myself I get asked “Don’t you like it?”, “Are you not into chicks?”, “What’s the deal?”. Honestly, I never thought porn was good thing. I became a Christian at 19 so I had plenty of heathen years to look at this shit but I never thought it was right. Yeah, I’d probably like it. I’d probably like crack too.

I consider myself lucky. I’ve never met a guy who is in my position; who by 28 has been so “clean” of the stuff. Women might not know it, and maybe I’m letting the cat out of the bag here, but nearly all guys, universally, look at porn. Sorry to blow your cover fellas.

Anyway, an old Pastor of mine moved out to Arizona a couple years ago to start yet another church. He met this girl who used to be a very successful porn star. She comes to his church and is very vocal about her past. I’d post her myspace and what-have-you but I don’t feel like it’d be appropiate. So my old Pastor likes to make movies and they thought it’d be cool to make sort of an “inspired on a true story” type flick about this girl. They posted a “making of” online. read more »

It’s all meaningless.

May 28th, 2008 by somasoul

It’s been a month since my father died. It doesn’t seem long. When I was told the news by a police officer at my door I thought I’d take this sort of thing in some dramatic way. I’d drop to my knees, arms outstretched to the sky, it would be cloudy, birds would fly overhead. I’d sob uncontrollably. No. I took it like a lot of other things in life. News. Bad news. I called my boss first to let him know I wouldn’t make it to work for a few days. Made my rounds calling uncles and aunts and cousins. I have no siblings.

It was a great service. Lots of people showed up. My father, extremely active in AA for nearly 20 years, had lots of drunks show up. We had an AA meeting during one of the viewings. My pastor said it was one of the most spiritual things he’d ever been too. A kid from church played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes at the cemetary. It was all very surreal. read more »

It’s the economy, stupid.

May 13th, 2008 by somasoul

I don’t really like calling people names like “stupid” but the title was too much too resist. My apologies.

I was discussing the gentrification of Baltimore recently online. I understand concerns about urban gentrification and I partly agree with them. I can certainly understand wanting to keep neighborhoods in the hands of neighbors, not gianormous corporations and urban planning bureaucrats trying to utilize Eminent Domain to kick people out of their homes.

Part of our discussion centered, and others I’ve had, with the systematic racism of Baltimore in particular. It got me thinking about racism more, a topic which most of you know I could really care less about. read more »

I’m not a radical.

March 23rd, 2008 by somasoul

I’m not a radical. Not in the sense that some people might see it anyway. The term might be associated with those who espouse a more liberal socio-political worldview. It’s been used that way. And by that definition I am not a radical. Nor am I a “Young Anabaptist Radical”. If young means “under 25 & unmarried” then I’m lacking in the young department (I’m 28, if you want to know). I’m also not an anabaptist. Maybe not one that would generally fit into the traditional “anabaptist” stereotypes (if such a thing exists at all).

I thought I’d come clean.
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