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Maybe because I like to fancy myself a 'scientist' and at the same time I'm intrigued by religion, I've become rather fascinated by scientology. Most likely its just because the people involved with the organization seem to be batshit crazy and its hypnotizing--just like watching a train wreck... not that i would ever really want to watch a train wreck but you get the point.

To begin with, I love the idea that they seem to "trick" people into their religion with a "stress test".

stresstest

Apparently, an "auditor" asks all sorts of questions while the volunteer is monitored by an "E-meter" which is suppose to monitor 'harmful energy' or 'charge' brought about by particular questions. Then in the end they tell you how scientology or dianetics can help resolve your problems with stress. I don't believe it is during this first screening that the following questions get asked (if it is, how freaking crazy do you have to take anything this organization says seriously). After reading through them I'm even more captivated by the cult religion, and am quite curious how I would handle the questions. So below, a few of the questions followed by my answer:

Have you ever enslaved a population?
I made my popples and care bears dance for me when I was 5, does that count?

Have you ever killed the wrong person?
Well, I think anyone employed in the vast arena of contract killing is bound to make a mistake at least once, its really not a big deal.

Have you ever been a professional critic?
I do see a lot of movies...

Have you ever tried to give sanity a bad name?
No, but I do give love a bad name. You play your part, I play my game.

Have you ever made a planet, or nation, radioactive?
I wish... then I could be a supervillian and go after clark kent and have my own series on the CW.

Have you ever been a pimp?
I didn't get a cut of the action, so I think that's a no.

Have you ever eaten a human body?
Tastes of chicken.

Have you ever disfigured a beautiful thing?
This question reeks of a 'your mom' joke.

Have you ever failed to rescue your leader?
I'm totally getting the sci-fi vibe now...

Is anybody looking for you?
I'm not hard to find. Damn this internet thing. Damn that al gore.

Did you come to Earth for evil purposes?
Like I'm going to tell you that.

Have you ever philosophized when you should have acted instead?
They don't give you a dr. in philosophy for nothing.

Have you ever gone crazy?
Don't mind if I do.

Have you ever made love to a dead body?
You're pretty sick chubbs.

Have you ever engaged in piracy?
Yes, but it was to benefit the planet. More pirates less global warming...

sorry, wrong religion.

thank you.

Thanks to everyone for your kind words and support. My dad is at home now, working with a physical therapist, and well on his way to a full recovery. I cannot overemphasize how big of a difference it made getting him home and away from all the crazies at the hospital.
Oddly, this weekend I saw a commericial for heart stents (used during my dad's angioplasty) featuring a song from one of favorite bands, guster--it was kind of surreal. Also, in the odd category, I caught one episode of gilmore girls last week just after arriving back home in OK and it happened to be the episode where Lorilei's dad has a heart attack at christmas dinner. It's always weird when multiple facets of your life (tv is apparently a major one for me) seem to overlap.

Hospitals are not fun.

OK, no one ever said they were. My dad had a heart attack on Friday, I flew home on saturday and have been at the hospital every day since. They moved him from the ICU to the heart telemetry section on Monday, which normally would be a good thing, but I think the area doubles as a psych ward.
I know at least the woman in the room across the hall seems legitimately crazy. Hours upon hours of moaning, sobbing, and unintelligable yelling for help. I overheard the Dr say today they didn't want to sedate her b/c she won't move and they're worried about bed sores. Ok, fine, but bring her somewhere else b/c the hysteria is not helping anyone else. I guess I should just be impressed that she can keep this going for multiple days in a row, that's some endurance.

The man that shares my dad's room is about 90 and tries to do things on his own, which he absolutely cannot do, because the nurse takes at least a half hour to arrive after paging her for help. When he does this, I have no idea what to do.
My dad is actually starting to see things (like cats in the room and people outside the window) and is convinced one of the nurses is trying to poison him. He ripped out is IV this morning, this is following him pulling out his feeding tube monday when he was still in the ICU. The room is tiny, the area of the hospital busy and crowded, and it takes about a half hour to get a nurse to the room for anything. He's suppose to go home tomorrow, I hope he's ready- I just can't stand to see him in this room any longer.

So, in short, this week has been kind of surreal, a lot of feelings, a lot of guilt right now, especially because I just *had* to get out of there for a couple of hours this afternoon. I think I'm actually starting to go a little mental myself. I'm worried about my dad, but also about my mom, who is not eating and stressed with work (in retail) this time of year, and will become a full-time caretaker as well once my dad's home. I'm really not sure what to do and how to best be of help. What's sad, is more than anything I just want to get away. It's times like these that I really hate being an only child and wish my parents still lived closer to other family.
I don't have any tattoos, but every once in awhile I kind of think that I want one--kind of. A few reasons why I'll never get one though:

(1) am deathly afraid of needles
(2) hate even the slightest pain (this is really related to the needle thing)
(3) can't think of anything I'd want on my skin for the rest of my life

The few things I've considered are generally science/math related... a thunderstorm symbol on my foot? maxwell's equations? yeah, i don't really know about that. Obviously, I'm not the first person in science to think of getting a tattoo...

would it be considered cheating if you had this tattoo for freshman physics:

F=ma

how about pi on your arm?

pi

these all come from a flickr set of science tattoos.

Computer science, chemistry, and biology are all represented.

not so much with the meteorology... any suggestions?

(Note--if I could think of anything meteorology related that would look as good as this, I might actually convince myself to get a tattoo)
EW.com posted the Ultimate male hotties of (1) the 70's/80's and (2) 90's through today.

Such pretty pictures... I voted Robert Redford (honorable mention Harrison Ford) and Christian Bale (no other, just Christian Bale)...

Each picture comes with a description of the ultimate 'hottie moment' and while I agree Mr. Bale looked great as the newest batman... it is far from his ultimate moment. That belongs to his role as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. Though, sick and twisted, he was at the same time hilarious and wow, what a body... in a 80's power suit or with a chainsaw, doesn't matter...



meridith grey is not dark and twisty... that is dark and twisty

Moving on...

I've been in a bit of a funk for the last month and a half--it's that slightly depressed feeling that tends to impede getting things done.

I've decided I'm going to be done with this phd thing by May whether or not I'm really "done." This adds a whole new level of drama--stress about actually getting my dissertation completed and stress about finding a job for when I'm finished. Apparently, now is the time for applying, interviewing, etc for jobs for next year--it all seems a bit premature to me... post-doc? professor? It's hard to decide anything right now. I really don't want to end up in some random city all by myself---Los Alamos? I'm sure to become the crazy cat lady in that place. No, really, I'm not that chick yet... I seem to be working on it with the random cats that always show up on my doorstep (a new calico one last week), but I refuse to be her yet...

In other news, what an ACE the red sox have with Josh Beckett... everything about Beckett in that game was impressive... complete game shut-out, only 108 total pitches, 8 strike-outs and 0 walks.. Lackey on the other hand looked dead in the dug-out after pitching the 5th... Dice-K pitches on Friday for the Sox, hopefully the line-up will continue to produce b/c I don't think the Angels are going to remain scoreless through the series.
Is it weird to anyone else that these games are on TBS? The announcers are surprisingly not annoying--maybe that's just b/c I don't have to listen to McCarver and Buck (THANK GOD). The studio crew, however, and on the field reporting could use some definite help. Everyone in the studio seemed totally uncomfortable and going to Jose Mota on the field at any time last night was pointless... Alyssa Milano is at Fenway; please go to her instead. At least she knows how to speak in front of a camera and sleeping with 3 or 4 baseball stars should have allowed her to pick up some baseball knowledge along the way.

travel

I'm home, I'm alive and have all the necessary limbs, fingers, and toes. I'm finally starting to get over this jet-lag thing that's been haunting me for the last couple days since I've been back. I still have absolutely no clue what day it is though...

I'll update with stories and pictures soon. Flickr tonight, hopefully/journal tomorrow, maybe. If you have facebook, I've already added some pictures to my profile there in case you're curious...

I'm freaking out...

I'm freaking out about everything today. This started with a jolt out of sleep at about 7:20 am wide awake with worry.

I'm freaking out about traveling to China and Japan in 2.5 weeks:
--the flights (possibly missing them / being on them for so long--12 hrs+), airport security, customs, missing luggage...
--communicating in languages i've never even really heard at all in countries that aren't nearly as english friendly as other areas i've been to like france.
--drinking the water--even the bottled variety
--my conference presentation
--packing everything. conference attire (professional) as well as casual stuff for getting around and dealing with the extreme heat/humidity. And then having to carry it all from place to place as I go from beijing to shanghai to tokyo to kyoto and back to tokyo.
--dealing with the heat, pollution, and smoke filled areas of beijing/shanghai.
--my finances and how much this whole trip is going to cost me. I figure there are very few opportunities one ever gets to travel to Asia, so I want to do the things I want to do, debt be damned. I don't necessarily need to stay at 5* hotels but i don't want to stay somewhere that i could be worried about bed bugs or a lack of any decent a/c. i have to see the great wall but i don't want to go on one of those tours that bring you to other tourist traps and take the whole day. i've been obsessing with travel books and websites (lonely planet / tripadvisor) comparing every hotel in shanghai / tokyo -- reading reviews, comparing prices. This morning was spent calling all my credit cards to find out if they had any fees for foreign transactions (they all do except discover which is not really accepted anywhere over there -- carrying enough cash for the trip is not going to happen).

I'm really, really freaking out about finances right now.
--paying all sorts of fees to the university. Fees at OU are as high as resident tuition and not covered by graduate student stipends.
--not having a roommate and covering the bills/house stuff by myself right now... I'm meeting with a couple of people over the next week about moving in around August 1st and living with someone i don't really know is its own little tub of anxiety as well.
--did i mention i'm going to asia?


The littlest thing overwhelms me today. A figure not looking like I thought it would, the bread has mold on it, my hot water heater leaking and the plumber is not returning my phone calls, i'm 29 yrs old and still in school-why is my life not progressing???
My voice is shaky--a simple quick phone call this morning had a friend asking if i was ok? I need to stop worrying about everything so i can actually accomplish something. Geez, I'm even worried that I'm worried this much.

Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

Mother nature decided to give me a little birthday present this week. I'll call him Fred. Fred surprised me in my bathtub the other morning, as Fred, a wolf spider, is roughly the size of 3 quarters put together and i was still half-asleep:

bathroom spider

For some strange reason I didn't want to kill Fred... well truthfully i did kind of want to kill him but what if i missed and he attacked? So i trapped him in a cup for a couple an hour or so while i was at the gym then decided to release him to wild after I got back. I slid an envelope under the cup with Fred hopping around wildly hitting the side of the cup pretty hard (he seemed pretty pissed), walked outside and threw cup, envelope and fred as far away from me as i could. I believe the cup is still in that part of the yard outside--I really don't want to go check, I think Fred may have gathered some friends by now all waiting patiently to take me out.

---

Some people share their birthday with really cool celebs, not me, I have Gary Busey. I believe Gary Busey may be certifiably insane. There are plenty of clips on you tube to verify this, but instead i'll embed a short clip of Ewan McGregor describing his run-in with him (mostly because just watching Ewan read the phone book would make me happy):

.

In case you were wondering (which i'm sure you're not), today is also "National Ducks and wetlands day." So be kind to your web-footed friends.

Also, if you are tired of dealing with all the ugos and fatsos in your online dating search Darwin Dating may be for you. Oh but not if you have red hair... red hair is apparently not hot.

Bank Error in My Favor???

I need an opinion.. though perhaps more of what i need is justification--help ease the conscience and what-not.

First, let me just state that it is a physical impossibility for me to spend less than $40 at target, especially now that we have a super target. Even more problematic is going there after I've had an afternoon workout and haven't yet ate dinner--damn you ben and jerry and you too tollhouse.

I went in to simply get cat food and maybe a loaf of bread. That was all. That was the plan. But I've been wanting a couple of cd's for a while (which i figured to be too 'indie' for target to really have) and I walked right by women's clothes on the way over there and a cute sundress was begging to be tried on.... anyway you get the point.

My shoppng list: 1. Iams 2. bread

What I actually left with:
1. Iams
2. Hamburger buns
3. Bagels
4. Juice
5. other food stuff that struck me as yummy as i walked by starving (none of those fruits/veggies that i should be getting)
6. The Decemberists cd
7. Silversun Pickups cd (on sale!)
8. Pair of super cute bermuda shorts
9. Sundress

To be honest, I wasn't paying too much attention during checkout... though another employee and my checker-outer got in an argument about breaks and how long they should be vs how long they were working. Point to this story (yes, I do have one): my total seemed a bit lower than i was expecting, but I didn't spend that much time adding up all my items so no biggie... At a stoplight on the way home, I decided to go over my receipt in greater detail. I was never charged for that sundress. Now, should i have gone back to tell random 17 year old at the customer service counter (who would more than likely would have laughed at me) that I was not charged for it? or Just kept driving (as I did)? Is this something that I should let bother me? or Do I just chalk it up to the extra benefit of always shopping at target and this is their way (without knowing it) of giving that love back?