Tuesday, January 31, 2006

State of the Union

5:51 - I'm watching the State of theUnion address tonight. I'm trying something I have often seen other people do, and commenting on it as it occurs to me, and as I have the ability to do it.

5:56 - My roommate will be joining in too. I'll put a link up when (1) it's done and (2) when I think about it. He has markedly different political views than I do, which makes for interesting conversations, like the one that kept me up far too late last night. He also tells me I cannot use the words "idiotic liberal."

5:59 - I had hoped to watch the address on Fox. Evidently, they're showing The Simpsons. So I have to watch it on NBC. In other news, it's interesting that Samuel Alito, as one of his first acts as a Supreme Court Justice will be attending this speech.

6:06 - Got into an interesting conversation about the merits of Alito. He doesn't particularly like him, fearing that he won't have a passionate enough opposition to the Legislature. I disagree.

6:08 - Here comes the President. The speech is supposed to be 36 minutes, excepting time for applause, etc. I saw Harry Reid talking to someone off-camera. The announcers are now talking about how Cindy Sheehan was invited as a special guest to a Representative from California, but was arrested and taken off the premisis.

6:12 - The first thing the President is speaking about is the death of Coretta Scott King. I like that. I would like a moment of silence, not applause, as a fitting memorial. But silence doesn't make for good TV.

6:13 - How can we hope for civil discourse in Washington these days? I believe Bush tried early on, weak from a contested election in 2000, but was met with vicious attack from the get-go.

6:14 - Isolationisim and Protectionism. Very dangerous ideas. The U.S. does need to be actively involved in the world - the current struggles in the WTO with subsidies on agriculture are a good example.

6:15 - First mention of 9/11. The idea? That democracy is needed to replace dictators who may be able to inflict great damage even though far away. I wonder what he will say about the Hamas win in Palestine?

6:16 - 122 Democracies? I wonder how many are hideously corrupt, or more of a farce than anything, like in Egypt.

6:17 - A longer list of troubled countries, including N. Korea, Syria, Iran, and interestingly, Zimbabwe.

6:18 - Would terrorists be seeking to take control in Iraq if we were not there? This is an honest question, not a rhetorical one. I like the play on words... "they believe that through vicious acts the violent will in herit the earth." How does a country be meek? Should it?

6:19 - "We cannot retreat within our borders." "There is no peace in retreat and there is no honor in retreat." I agree with this. It is important that the U.S. does not back down to terrorism, because that will embolden it. It is for this same reason that we do not negotiate with terrorists.

6:20 "We accept the call of history to deliver the oppressed." I wonder how much work we are putting into the resurging genocide in Darfur...

6:21 "... so that the insurgency will be marginalized." I hear that this is already happening. Like the anti-Al Quaeda protests when a hotel was hit in Jordan - the more the people in the country become the targets the more they will reject the attackers. "[The war] is difficult because our enemies are brutal." This is true. They correctly know that Americans grow tired of bloodshed quickly.

6:23 - I wonder what the security is around the Capitol building is tonight? I assume very good, that nothing is getting through, no matter how hard anyone tries. Must be a logistical nightmare.

6:25 - "There is a difference between responsible criticism and defeatism." Sorry - couldn't keep up. The idea that we ought to speak honestly, and not spend time looking back and saying what ought to have been done differently. This is the biggest problem with Democrats - a backtracking on what has been said, and posturing as though any good has been done by them and all bad has been done by the Administration. See also, domestic wiretapping issues.

6:27 - We have another instance of antecdotal point-making. I hear this started in force with President Reagan. I think it is a most impressive rhetorical tool. May God grant peace to the family of that man and of the many others killed in action.

6:28 - I like how George Bush smiles when he seems sincere. I think sometimes he seems forced or rehearsed. But sometimes he seems very straightforward, and I believe this is his biggest tool when speaking. He must believe in what he is doing.

6:29 - "Hamas must recognize Israel, disarm, and work for lasting peace." I agree. I do not think that the end is nigh because of their election, but that governmental responsibilities will force them to become less marginalized.

6:30 - I thought the regime in Iran was popular. I know that there was a parlimentary vote ordering the leadership to suspend any diplomatic activities if we dared to push them on the nuclear issue.

6:32 - I don't see why people don't like the way that Bush speaks. Churchill misspoke, but that did not make him a better or worse leader.

6:33 - I wish that abolishing the human slave trade was a major U.S. Foreign Policy objective. Girls sold into slavery, held as prostitutes, and abused their whole life... that is a horrible, horrible, horrible thing.

6:34 - The PATRIOT Act. I think Senator Clinton just looked constipated.

6:34 - 9/11 hijackers made calls to Al Quaeda operatives. We now want to monitor such things to prevent it in the future.

6:35 - "Like Martha Stewart on crack." Good one, Daran.

6:36 - I think that the phone tapping issue is serious. It can be abused, and Hoover and Kennedy (RFK) abused this power. I think that to use the ability to monitor intra-state communications for blackmail or political power is treasonous, and should be dealt with accordingly.

6:38 - We need a good dialogue about how the international economy will work. This is a crucial debate, often overshadowed by partisan arguments. Immigration (when controlled) is good for the economy. Sending jobs overseas makes both countries stronger.

6:39 - I only support continued tax relief if the Administration controls spending. Taking credit for the current expansion because of the tax cuts is as fallacious as saying the Clinton expansion happened because of tax increases. Neither is true. The biggest thing the Administration can do is reduce spending, significantly.

6:41 - $14 billion next year? I'll believe it when I see it. But I hear that a lot of CBO projections don't include things like the war on terror.

6:42 - "Two of my dad's favorite people: me and President Clinton." I laughed out loud. I hear Hillary had an interesting look on her face.

6:44 - The coming Entitlement Crunch is a huge problem. But I have seen interesting thoughts that wonder if increases in production that outpace increases in entitlement obligations, then maybe we won't be crushed.

6:45 - "With a level playing field, no one can compete with the American Worker." I think that this is likely untrue. That's a pretty broad statement.

6:46 - Affordable Health Care. Step 1 - people need to know how much is being spent. Seeing the bill for a brief trip to the ER wakes a person up.

6:50 - Got busy talking. Alternative fuels. Good idea. Hydrogen and Ethanol are great because they are as abundant as anything on the planet except maybe dirt.

6:51 - Knowing may teachers, I wish there was less myopic focus on Math and Science. Reading, History, Government, Art, Music - we need these things. No Child Left Behind is a farce, and a poor burden.

6:52 - We need more emphasis on vocational work. The crazy, single-minded push for a College Education devalues the value of that education. College becomes not a center of advanced learning, but a social atmosphere, an experience. Suddenly it is not a high school diploma that is the "key to the future" that it once was, but a College degree.

6:54 - I wish people spoke about adoption more, especially as an alternative to abortion.

6:55 - "We must never give in to the belief that America is in decline, or that our culture is unravelling." It is important for the President to give us an optomistic look to the future.

6:57 - "Human life is a gift from our Creator, and should never be discarded, devalued, or put up for sale."

7:00 - "More opportunities to own a home..." I could use me some of that. The price of the median home in Washoe County is roughly 10 times my annual salary, before taxes. That hurts. Carson City is worse.

7:02 - "Will we turn back, or finish well?" "Courage." "Lead freedom's advance." "We move forward..." I'd say that overall, he gave one of his more solid speeches. No mention of Alan Greenspan, which is interesting, but not so noteworthy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Random Thought of the Day

How it came about is, through several (five, to be specific) degrees of separation (that no one could in their wildest imaginings guess, but I'd be amused to see you guess), related to the current situation I am dealing with. But I won't hold that against the song. It is, however, stuck in my head and needs to be exorcised.

Oh, wow, look at him now
Zuckerman's Famous Pig
Suey, what do you see
The greatest hog in history
Fine swine, wish he was mine
So what if he's not so big
He's some terriffic, radiant, humble
Thing-a-ma-jig of a pig

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


It was kind of a friend of mine to tell me right off the bat when he discoveredmy blog that he didn't think of me as ugly. It is unfortunate that he's wrong. I don't really see myself as some vile abomination, but I know how women react when I show interest in them. And given that I am generally regarded as a sweet, smart, nice guy, having a sense of humor, a decent job, and other intangible assets, I can only conclude that I am so physically unappealing as to more than cancel out any positive aspects I might have. There may be "plenty of fish in the sea," but to catch any one requires at least some bait. When no girl even gives you a second look, it's hard to convince them to spend any time with you.

I wasn't so depressed for most of the day yesterday, but got hit hard at the basketball game last night (UNR hasn't had a good game against a decent team since I first called that girl, and has dropped from 10-1 to 13-5). There's nothing like seeing a bunch of college aged couples all over the place to make a guy feel old and single.

So, yeah. It's going to be a long day. 7:30 tonight - that's when the concert I invited her to is showing, which she may be attending with her mother (note the implication - she considers the show worth going to, but my company to be undesireable. But it was "sweet of [me] to offer."). I'll probably be curled up in bed, feeling pretty miserable. But a broken heart was a risk I was willing to take. I just hoped that maybe, just this once, things could have been different. My bad.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Some of the questions that keep me tossing and turning:

When she decided to say no, was it an instantaneous reaction like sheer revulsion, or did she at least think about it. If she thought about it, what made her decide to say it?

Am I meant to be single? Most women turn tail and run should I suggest that I might be interested. Those that don't usually just want something out of me (help with math homework, a guy around at the hardware store so the salesman doesn't try to take advantage of her, or the occasional hand moving heavy things).

Having let her know how I feel, how do I look her in the eye again. I remember with a tightness in my chest every time I've been rejected. With women where I was testing the waters, and only felt sort of casually rejected, I can get along sociably and hopefully not show the twinge in my gut. But when I poured all of me into the hope that things might work out, can I look at her and see anything but another girl who wanted absolutely nothing to do with me?

"It doesn't matter what you look like on the outside, it's who you are on the inside that counts" & "If she only knew how much you care for her, I don't know how it wouldn't melt he heart." They aren't questions, , but they stick in my craw. I let myself believe it. My bad. It was the well-intentioned advice of a guy about to get married, who is allowed to believe that dreams can come true. The truth is at the outset, it only matters what you look like on the outside, the sort of person you are is only judged after the initial attraction is formed, and if she doesn't like you to begin with, knowing that you'd give the world for her only hardens her heart toward you. No one wants to believe it, but it is utterly true.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Worst Day Of My Life

1/19/2006, hands down. It took 12/6/1997 a while to lose its place, and 10/24/2002 has slipped all the way to third. If we have not dreams, what are we but organic machines, existing to continue to exist? But what do you do when your last dream turns to dust in your hands?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Quote of the Day

From Darkwing Duck:

Little did I realize that the Bushroot scenario was heating up. Because the only thing worse than a deranged half-plant-half duck is a deranged half-plant-half-duck in love.

I can't help it. I'm amused by the line "deranged half-plant-half-duck." I also like the name of the love interest: Dr. Rhoda Dendron.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


I thought of this quote today, which I saw on Poster Child 4 Grace.

The opposite of love is not hate, it is indiffernce.

Indifference is the Nothing in The Neverending Story. It is not a hole, it is not empty space, it is just nothing. It can be compared to David and Saul - Saul, who was at best utilitarian toward God; David who was passionate in both his affection for and his disagreements with Almight God. You can liken it to the church in Revelation, which was neither hot nor cold; one or the other would be okay, but the neutrality of lukewarmness was nausaeting.

Indifference is living death, because you don't even care enough to respond. The lowest moments in my spiritual life are not when I am very angry at God, but when that anger settles into a "whatever, it doesn't matter" attitude. While you seethe at God, at least you acknowledge His role. When you become indifferent, you reach the point of reducing Him to irrelevance. That is dangerous.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


I was talking with my roommate last week. We hadn't seen much of each other, so it was good to catch up on each others' lives. I was sharing the frustrations that I have given ample space to here, and he was trying to encourage me.

At one point, he said "Dave, you're one of the most morally upright (actual words may have varied slightly, including that I may be the most) people I know. When I'm not sure what to do, I honestly ask myself 'What would Dave do?' Hm. That's sort of like 'What would Jesus do,' but more concrete (final wording again, paraphrased)."

Wow. Could the point, in a way, be any clearer? To him, and possibly to my other friends in that circle, I am Jesus. Not that I am physically the Son of God, but I may be their only connection to him.

While I don't really agree with his final conclusion (that I'm such a wonderful person that the universe owes me one, so I should be confident in speaking to her), such statements offer reminders to the very important things that happen in everyday life, most often without our being aware of it.

Also encouraging is the fact that I live with this guy. He sees me happy, moping, crashed on the couch, playing video games, and being me without pretense. I think that in a way, this authenticity helps. I believe he would percieve if I was trying to put on a mask of false virtue. He knows I am not perfect, but in spite of this sees me as a person worth emulating.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Self Revelation

At what point does one say too much? How long ago did I pass it? How much of your innermost self do you dare reveal in a public forum? Opening yourself up is dangerous. We tend to live protected lives, with a public and a private face. Perhaps this is a good thing, perhaps not. I suspect it is a balance we need to strike.

I pour out my heart here because I am tired of the strict dichotomy. I want to be me, free from the shackles of what is expected of me. When I feel passionate about something I want to show it. When I'm angry, hurt, confused, or rejoicing, I want to share it.

A sound guy I work with at the church noticed this in public, too. "Dave, you've been sharing a whole lot recently. Is something up?" I suppose something is. I am filled with the sense of becoming an adult. I have a career, a job track I could follow for a decade. I live on my own, and feel like my apartment is home. I increasingly spend weekends and holidays doing chores (dishes, cleaning, and other things I miss during the week).

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be married. Reasons? Vast and I don't feel like going through them. Regular readers know the great frustrations I've gone through recently just trying to talk to a girl, and barring a turnaround beyond my horizon I don't see a great deal of success awaiting me there.

If marriage proves beyond me, then the next major life event for me may be retirement. I may move, or change jobs, but the details will remain largely the same. I find myself looking at the next thirty years, with no idea what's coming. Frankly, it scares me. Will I always feel that moment of private sadness when a happy couple is fawning over their new baby? When will I be able to go to a wedding without coming home and curling up in a ball on my bed in the cold, dark room? Mostly, will I always be lonely, or will something appear to fill that void?

I write because I don't know. It feels good to let the world know that I have no idea what's going on. Maybe it will inspire others to pray for me. Maybe it's just a reminder that I'm around. I may only have anxiety, frustration, and the suavity of a high school freshman, but it's me. I have fears, hopes, dreams, and see them realized or not as life goes on. I don't want to be a summary of a person. "That's Dave, he's smart."

What if she were to read this? What would she see? Would she be flattered, to know that she inspires such deep feelings? Would she be scared, fearing a crazy or obsessed person? Would she see me, or just another caricature? I really don't know. Many things depend greatly on the perspectives of other people. A heartstruck man may be romantic hero, pathetic loser, or crazy villan depending on the perspective of the observer.

I have tried to be honest. Many statements are made still unsettled from the events that precipitated them. Maybe this reveals more about me than I intend, maybe it distorts the picture. This is but another thing I do not know, but things I don't know is a multi-volume reference set, and I am getting tired.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Thoughts from the past week

I haven't been posting much. I've been preoccupied, and while I've had interesting thoughts I haven't much been in the mood to sit at the computer and type. So, this is a conglomeration of things that have flitted through my head recently.

I really, really, really dislike internet-speak. You is a three letter word. u is a vowel, not a word. ur was the city that Abraham was from. Not all adults write pretty English, but it is a skill you will need later in life. Until the robots take over, of course.

Driving through Washoe Valley, where there are still pools of water left over from the New Year's flooding, I managed to see the water when there was no wind. The reflection of the mountains in the background made you feel like the earth was paper-thin, and you could just jump through into a whole other world. The sun on the water was bright enough to make its light dance on the normally shaded ceiling of my car. It was pretty. I wish someone else was there to enjoy it with me.

The sun is up when I leave work, and in perfect position to let me watch it set in Reno as I drive home from Carson. It's nice not to get to work and then leave work in the dark anymore. Then again, the sun doesn't even hit the street at the far end of the parking lot until I've been at work 30-60 minutes.

You, too can help NASA look for intergalactic dust so small that examining the 1 square foot plate is expected to take a total of 30,000 person-hours.

I'm still not sure how much stock I put in signs. But I was feeling pretty incredibly down Tuesday morning. Really down. Horribly down. Like I woke up from another night of bad dreams hardly able to get out of bed and it wen't downhill from there. I tried to pray, to submit to God, to seek deliverance through my problems. But what fleeting hold I get on my senses is quickly ambushed by the lady two cubicles down having her first child. When I got to the office that morning, I truly trudged up the stairs. I went in the office, and something caught my eye. It had been around for a month, but it hit me just where I needed to be hit.

Pat Robertson, shooting his mouth off. Or is he? Is it possible that Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for dividing Israel? Why? Why not? But if Pat Robertson truly believed that based on the Word, why was he so quick to back away from His statement?

I don't pray big enough. Faith is something that has been assaulted in me over the past few years, and I feel rather the worse for the wear, I am afraid. Maybe it is good - clearing away that which I called faith but was really self-reliance. But there is a part of me, sometimes small, sometimes huge, that fears that when all that is cleared away, there will be nothing real left.

That perhaps goes too far. There are many things I doubt. There are many things I could abandon. In the heights of my frustration I think about leaving the church - that it would be better to have no God than the God that I seem to be relating to. But then I think about the cross. and in my anger, frustration, hurt, and weariness I see something that I cannot get around. I cannot avoid it, I cannot disown it, and I cannot simply ignore it. And then I ask forgiveness and pray to make it through.

It's amazing how much a "I haven't heard from you in a while and thought I'd say hi" note can encourage someone.

It's nice to be able to talk to my sister about girls. My sister understands me. She encourages me. And she knows right where I'm coming from.

The e-mails I have received this week. 3 from myself at work, with links or reminders. 1 MySpace Friend invitation. 1 MySpace comment.

Sorry, Dawson. I realized after I left the wedding that I never gave you my phone number. I had lost the nerve to ask a girl to dance, got frustrated with myself, and just needed to get out. You can reach me at dschmidtunr@hotmail.com. It's a junk address, but I can get in touch with you from there.

Is there hope with her? Is it already doomed? I don't know. I have no information, and end up with al the time in the world to think about the utter lack of information. Contrary to sometimes-popular belief, I do not regard myself as very smart, nor as a deep thinker. Interesting questions sometimes occur to me, but I don't sit around pondering very many things. Unfortunately, when I do get stuck on a thought, it doesn't go away easily.

Is it bad when George Castanza speaks for me? I heard it in the background tonight, and he was having an emotional discussion with Elaine about a woman he was interested in and how to approach her. Her point - just do it. George is worried, because then she'll know he likes her. Elaine, poor, sweet girl, seems to think that's exactly the point...

In citing his reservedness, many commentators have noted that it took Judge Alito a whole 12 months to ask his now wife out on their first date. All I can think is "I so have him beat there."

Faint heart never won fair lady.

Monday, January 09, 2006

It starts

Shortly before New Year's Eve, I was at WalMart gathering munchies for a small gathering at my place (which was, I think, the most fun I've had on New Year's in several years). I noticed that the card/party/seasonal aisle was fully stocked with Valentine's cards. The week after New Year's I began to notice a small increase in red-themed decorations in the stores. Today I was buying milk and soda (Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper for me, Fanta grape soda for my roommate, though we'll both drink either), and there was an 8' tall, 25 sqft display just inside the door at Scholaris.

The Valentine's Day season has begun.

Good news: in just over a month, the worst 3 months (mid-November through mid-February) of frustratingly lonely months will be past.

The bad news: it's still that far away.

I had hoped because of things I'm sure you are sick of reading about that things would be different this year. As of yet, I have no firm answers. I backed down from immediately following up with another invitation, had to take a couple weeks off, and felt uneasy jumping right back in. But I managed to engage in friendly conversation which is, I suppose, a prerequisite for a friendly conversation that leads to a "do you want to do something?"

So why so much less than hopeful? Prior experience weighs heavily on me. Shrugging it aside to try to continue despite it is difficult. I am trying.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Homeless

Philip Yancey's periodic article on Christianity Today for December is worth reading. Then again, I think most of his writings are worth reading.

The homeless have a special place in my heart. It is fueled by songs such as Rich Mullins' You Did Not Have A Home (quoted only in part):

Oh you did not have a home
There were places you visited frequently
You took off your shoes and scratched your feet
'Cause you knew that the whole world belonged to the meek
But you did not have a home

You had no stones to throw
You came without an axe to grind
You did not toe the party line
No wonder sight came to the blind
You had no stones to throw

Birds have nests
Foxes have dens
But the hope of the whole world
rests on the shoulders of a homeless man
You have the shoulders of a homeless man
No you did not have a home