Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rabble

To whom it may concern,

I recently received a notice via door hanger regarding the pet waste and cigarette butt disposal problem at the Dilapidated Dale apartment complex. I appreciate action regarding this problem; however, I am concerned with the approach apartment complex management has chosen to take.

I agree improperly discarded pet and tobacco waste make the grounds of these apartments unattractive and the apartments themselves less attractive to current and potential residents. Furthermore, I agree the solution to this problem is to deem residents responsible for waste disposal. I do not, however, agree the threat of raising pet rent for all residents is an appropriate way to accomplish this.

My primary concern is that due to the lack of action on the part of management in waste removal, there is no direct cost incurred to the apartment complex due to this problem. Indeed, pet waste in several areas, particularly nearest the building on the side hidden from street view, has never been removed by management. Therefore, raising pet rent for all documented pet owners will be interpreted as a punitive measure and will be associated with no benefit. In addition, no steps will have been taken to actually solve the problem.

Using "pet waste stations" for the disposal of pet waste would be a more direct, productive management solution than posting flyers and raising rent. If such stations exist, they are too far away or not visible enough to residents in the southernmost complex building; I have never seen one. In fact, if necessary to offset the cost, an increase in pet rent would be better received if such a benefit accompanied it.

A lack of grounds and building maintenance is my primary reason for seeking living arrangements elsewhere upon the termination of my lease this year. Management's threat to raise pet rent instead of making progress in this area has not helped to improve my opinion. While many residents clearly don't care, please consider this an opportunity to make real progress toward improvements for those who do. I am a lost cause, but if any remain, you may retain some business.

Respectfully,
Resident of Building 8

Monday, December 27, 2010

Jesus and Status Updates

If somebody posted daily Facebook status updates or tweets or jingymabobs about how great Jesus was, I'd be a little uncomfortable and consider it sort of inappropriate. Your relationship with Jesus is personal. Indeed, Matthew 6:5-6 warns against public displays of religion, and I can think of no reason other than "being seen" to post "Jesus is awesome" on a regular basis in a public forum of mostly like-minded peers.

I don't see many (er, any, actually) people doing that, though. I've got friends who'll post topical, bible-backed, positive messages once in awhile, and I have no problem with that. You're using your experience to make an insightful comment about some bit of life, and that's what these forums are for.

No, what I do see are a few people who regularly post anti-religious messages, one who posts at least daily. These messages are insulting and almost exclusively negative. For example, "It's not healthy to have an imaginary friend" has nothing to do with anything except the problem you have with religion.

I'd say about half of my Facebook friends are religious, but the hate isn't coming from them. It's coming from you, the self-righteous atheist. I try not to take sides in this battle, but to the side annoying me the most at the moment, please don't let the irony escape you when I ask you to consider messages of tolerance instead of hate.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Little to Say

I think this says it best:


Friday, December 11, 2009

Ritual

I've decided to document my nightly ritual because I have nothing more productive to do.


Camellia Sinensis: My "friend" at the tea store wasn't kidding when he said this was good stuff. I asked for oolong, and he got a proud man's smile as he went back to the store and brought this out in an unmarked package.


Pour: Pour hot (just below boiling) water over the leaves. The familiar sound of the leaves rubbing against each other and the water pouring into the pot is comfort.


Cover: The sound of the lid clinking into place on a teapot is quiet and comfortable. This pot is one of my favorites because...


Wait: ... the tea looks lovely inside it. I need to use those tea blossoms, but I don't want to make them run out.


Fill: The sound of tea filling a cup is like none other. They might not come right out and say it, but those burbling coffee table pieces at the nature stores are so soothing because they sound so much like tea. It's true.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Jesca Hoop - Kismet

I let the last.fm client dictate much of my music listening. It's nifty -- input an artist you like, and it plays you similar-sounding stuff. It's a good way to discover new music, and it's easier than organizing your own playlists.

Recently, I've been listening to a lot of alternative groups with female vocals along the lines of Fiona Apple and Nellie McKay (another recent find). When last.fm plays a song, it also displays the artist and album information on-screen. I find myself running to the computer once in awhile to find out who's making that lovely noise.

Which leads me to today's topic: Jesca Hoop. It seems the last three or four times I've wondered "Who is that?", it's been her. That being the case, I finally decided it was time to find her only (officially-released) album, Kismet.

Jesca Hoop's bio on Last.fm mentions she listened to Tom Waits early on, and it really shows. She's got the clunky, circus-like foundation in about half the tracks on this cut. Her influences, though, go far beyond that; "Out The Back Door" brings back vivid memories of Cibo Matto's distorted vocals and dark, syncopated rhythm, and "Silverscreen" has distinct splashes of Beatles-style elements, including tastefully-executed orchestral swells and a little melody in the chorus that sounds like it could have come straight from Sgt. Pepper.

There's so much variety on this album, every track feels like a brand new experience on the first listen-through, and most remain interesting on subsequent analysis. Best of all, Ms. Hoop manages to completely avoid the trap of neo-cabaret that plagues so many talented young female artists. It's alternative music, to be sure, but with such a wide variety of influences behind it, Jesca Hoop's sound is wholly original and wholly enjoyable.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Random Thought

I wonder if I could pass the bar exam with a bit of work. I picked up a criminal law textbook at Half Price today, and I'm actually interested enough to continue reading it. That's a good sign, no?

Unfortunately, it appears a Juris Doctor is required for actual admission to the bar in most jurisdictions. That part would be expensive. That said, most of the information itself is available online. Findlaw.com appears to have a decent amount of case law available for free. Would that be enough stuff to get me by?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I Shot my Dad Tonight

I can't believe I've never bought myself an airsoft gun. Thirty bucks is a lot of fun, and I think it's the beginning of a new hobby. These things are just plain cool.

I did shoot Dad, but to be fair, he told me to as he walked out into the yard and spread his arms. I'm not one to disobey :p