The Birthday Post

Posted by: on Jan 30, 2011 | 2 Comments

Yesterday was my 51st birthday….ho-hum.  Not sure when or why but at some point, my birthday became another day much like any other day, except I got cards, emails, phone calls, wishes on facebook and now even twitter (thanks JB).  So, maybe it’s a little better than most days because I hear from so many friends and being the social animal that I am, that’s a good thing.

There was a time in my life when birthdays did have a deeper meaning because it signified a specific age or a privilege that I was entitled to. At 13 I was bar mitzvahed and became a man in the eyes of the Jewish faith (an expectation I’m still trying to live up to); at 17 I got my learner’s permit and my license; at 18 I could drink legally (illegally….that’s a whole other story) because that was the legal drinking age way back when (which it still should be but who has time to argue that now), and so on and so forth. At this point, birthday’s are a number…an ever increasing one at that I don’t really put much value into.

At 51 when I look at the mirror, I honestly think “not too bad.” Hair is mostly all there and very few are gray.  Waistline is still good and I have several pairs of pants that will wear out before I out grow them or so I think.  Don’t think I fit into my college overalls any more but I do like looking at them on the upper shelf of my closet. Reminds me of a time when my birthdays took on a deep and spiritual meaning.  Oh screw that, I was so shitfaced on my birthdays back then I hardly remember them.

Yesterday and today Cosmo and I did our usual weekend walks in the reservation behind Old Short Hills Park.  Today was a beautiful day, mid 30s, fresh snow, very crisp air.  Out in the woods surrounded by the trees, the sky and the snow, it gives one a chance to reflect on life. Unfortunately, other folks don’t find these moments as spiritual as I do. One woman, who I have run into on more than one occasion, just can’t seem to give up her cell phone. She thinks a nice walk in the woods is the perfect time and place for a conversation at the top of her lungs. I would just love to have Cosmo piss all over that cell phone as well as her yappy dog. As for the crisp fresh air, the last couple of days some guy has been smoking a really nasty cigar while taking his walk. Just because your outside, doesn’t mean you can stink up the place and if you’re going to smoke, at least smoke the shit the kids do when they sneak in there at night. Certainly more pleasant smelling but just make sure you bring enough for everyone. I think Mother Nature would approve and it would certainly would help with the spirituality of the moment…if you catch my drift.

Crazy Religious Leaders

Posted by: on Jan 21, 2011 | One Comment

Is it my imagination or has our country become full of some really loony religious leaders or people who claim to be religious leaders or people who are elected leaders and make crazy religious statements?  The latter of those, can best be described by the latest example, Governor Robert Bentley of Alabama who recently stated “people who have not accepted Jesus as their savior are not my brothers and sisters.” All I can say about not being this guy’s brother or sister is “thank God!” I think this guy has forgotten that the country that gave him the freedom of speech also gave the rest of us the freedom of religion. The real scary part is that, although many Alabamans don’t think he should have said it, they agree with him. Cross Alabama off the list of places I need to visit.

Then there’s the Reverend Fred Phelps Sr. This is a guy who travels the country protesting at the funerals of slain American soldiers because there are gays in our military. Heavens to Betsy, what’s a homophobe to do? But it doesn’t end there. This guys hates Catholics, who he describes as “vampires;” Jews who are “smitten with spiritual blindness and a certain unique madness,” not to mention a “sodomite agenda;” also on the list are Protestants, Eastern Orthodox, Hindus, etc, etc, etc. The good news is that this lunatics’ merry ban of followers seems to be limited to a small group of like-minded hatemongers and his immediate family in Topeka, Kansas. And we all thought the problems with inbreeding were relegated to Arkansas or Appalachia.

Gone but certainly not forgotten is everyone’s favorite Koran burning pastor, Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida. Pastor Jones did his best to prove to the entire world of Islam that the crusades are still ongoing in the land of the free and the home of the religious lunatics. If the good Pastor Jones thinks that all of Islam are religious fanatics, what does burning a religious holy book say to these people? I wish it would say “strap a suicide bomb to this  jerk” but they would just prove his point, which would piss me off but good

Look, all religions and cultures have their factions, cults, sects, whatever you want to call them. Some are conservatives, some are moderates, some are liberals, some are fanatics and some are just plain nuts like the 3 I just discussed above. The biggest problem is the hate these folks provoke, the zealotry they insight, and the fear of other religions and cultures they instill. You’d think that after thousands of years of wars fought solely on religious differences, we’d have this figured out by now but we don’t. All the more reason for us to get down on our knees and pray that someone finally offs these idiots.