okay so that whole seattle thing

I'm going to do my best to remember this as accurately as I possibly can but I guarantee there will be some minor errors although I guess that's fine because NONE OF YOU WILL HAVE A CLUE.

I stepped off the train and was immediately subjected to that strange feeling of actually being outside after looking at outside through a window for six hours. It was hot, which surprised and disappointed me. I was in Seattle: I paid for gloom and doom; where was my gloom and doom? My theory is that dreariness has trouble staying alive when Mallory and Demitrios are nearby.

I walked into the station and did that thing when you're looking for someone but don't want to look completely bewildered. You know what I'm talking about because you've done it too. You arrive somewhere to meet someone and you don't see them immediately. You play it cool and instead of standing in one place and looking for them, you keep walking, confident that they'll enter your line of sight soon enough. You can't have this building full of strangers thinking you're a chump who can't find his way around places without someone to guide him. That would not do. You are independent. You don't care. You are cool. You don't care that you're cool. People see you and think, "Man, that guy's really got it together." But you don't care what those people think. Those people aren't cool. Those people are looking for other people.

Anyway, I kept walking and eventually found the smiling, waving Mallory and the ever-dapper Demitrios, who was inexplicably dressed in a suit in 85-degree weather. I probably shouldn't say inexplicable because I completely understand where he's coming from. Other guys can vouch for me, when you're wearing a suit, you're the most important man on earth.

When you're wearing a suit, you're Diddy.

We met and hugged and discussed the train ride and how nice it was to see each other again and then we started walking to Victor Steinbrueck park for gathering festivities (strange note: most of the Seattleites I talked to didn't know where the park was or what it was like. When we got there, I realized that despite having been to Seattle twice in my life, I had been there before on my trip to see John and Hank speak). On the way there, we stopped at Beard Papa's for a cream puff. If you've never had a cream puff before, imagine a thin pastry COMPLETELY full of cream filling. Though small, it is the most formidable dessert I have ever tackled. I got through half of it before I contracted diabetes.

After an embarrassing ride on the light rail (I was sitting in a handicapped seating area and didn't realize it and someone had to tell me to stand up so I looked like a tool) and a quick walk, we arrived and began mingling.


Listening to: Japandroids - Young Hearts Spark Fire
Currently fixated on: These boots


we interrupt your scheduled programming...

Okay, I know I said I would post more about Seattle next time, but something occurred that I REALLY need to vent about because I have to make sure that I'm not the idiot in this situation.

The other day, I partook in something I usually avoid like the plague and never dreamed of being involved with: I argued with someone on Facebook.

Lord, have mercy on my soul.

It takes a lot to make me angry. I'm extremely passive. I can't stand confrontation and I like to let everyone have their own views and opinions regardless of what I think. However, every once in a while, someone will say something so ignorant, so uneducated, so startlingly thick that it irritates me until I can't take it anymore. The statement I'm going to discuss today is so staggeringly dense that NASA is undertaking a multimillion dollar project to discover its chemical composition, which is sure to be unlike anything we have seen on Earth before.

I logged on to Facebook yesterday and saw this on my front page:
Butch O'Doyle*: A Mosque... Near Ground Zero.. Are you forreal? Brilliant? I think not. Idiotic insensitive prick? Sounds like our president! 2012 is approaching fast(:

*names have been changed to protect the clueless
For those of you who don't know, there's controversy brewing right now about a proposed Islamic center and mosque to be built two blocks away from the former site of the World Trade Center. There's been a bit of an uproar from people saying that it's disrespectful to the families of those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks and that it should not be built.

A few people liked the status and commented about how my pal Butch was spot on in his eloquent analysis of the situation. After a few posts congratulating Butch on reaching enlightenment, a voice of reason attempted to sneak in:
Rodney McReasonable: I am upset about this, but there is nothing anyone can do about it besides protest. But otherwise, it is completely permissible and (thankfully still) legal for someone to build something anywhere on their own property.
Atta boy, Rodney! Way to think clearly! Unfortunately, Butch kicked his razor-sharp wit into high gear and retorted with:
Butch O'Doyle: I have the right as an American to say hell no. I may not remember much from 9/11 but it pisses me off to this day.
This spooked poor Rodney, who was never heard from again.

Someone pointed out that the attacks were carried out by Muslim extremists who do not represent every follower of the religion. Once again, they were struck down by Butch's mighty logic:
Butch O'Doyle: christian extremists aren't anti-american. thats the difference. Like i've repeated, BUILD IT SOMEWHERE ELSE! IDGAF.
This is the point where I made the mistake of attempting to apply a different perspective to the situation:
Me: if christians had hijacked the planes on 9/11, would it be insensitive to build a church near ground zero?

Butch O'Doyle: Hell yeah it would, but christians didn't.
Drat! Foiled! After that, someone said that they felt it was unfair to Muslims and that it took away their freedom, but Butch soothed their worries:
Butch O'Doyle: Fairness and Freedom have nothing to do with this. I wouldn't exactly call this taking freedom away, or being unfair.
I felt bold and offered my opinion again:
Me: ‎...even though we would be taking away their freedom to build a place of worship and being unfair by punishing innocent adherents of a major religion based on the actions of a few rogues?

Butch O'Doyle: Major? i don't recall it being major. Like i said, they can build it any other damn place in new york except by ground zero. haha. I've only said that like... 5 or 6 times? I don't believe thats punishing anyone. If its the major opinion of new yorkers, than it doesn't matter. It shouldn't happen.
Quickly, I fled to Google, Benevolent Provider of All Things Data-Related.
Me: oops :\ i looked it up and you were right...only 1 out of 5 people on the planet are muslims. my mistake...

Butch O'Doyle: Yeah but are 1/5 people in the united states muslim? i don't think so. once again, nice try. At the largest estimated numbers there are 10 million muslims in the united states. That would be 1 muslim for every 40 non muslim. Yeah major religion in the U.S. Right?

Me: about 1 out of 30; the united states' population is roughly 300 million. 10 million is a pretty major group of anything. only 4 out of every 300 united states citizens are oregonians. we're even less of a "major group" than muslims, but we still get to vote in every election. major doesn't mean majority, it means enough of a voice to make an impact. in addition, of those 10 million american muslims, 600,000 of them live in nyc.

Butch O'Doyle: Still wouldn't call it a major religion.
At that point, I was thoroughly and completely blown away. My jaw literally dropped when I read his last response. How is it possible that ten million people can't be considered a major group? I tried frantically to come up with something that could make sense to Mr. O'Doyle, but there was nothing left to say, so I said nothing.

However, Butch was not through with me just yet. This morning, I awoke to find this:
Butch O'Doyle: Adam: new yorkers don't want the mosque anywhere near ground zero, so from what your saying they shouldn't be able to build there. Not only is it highly insensitive but its an insult to the survivers and deceased's loved ones. Like I've said before.
From what I'm saying? I thought that perhaps good ol' Butch had accidentally confused me with himself. I was completely finished with this argument. It was pointless for both of us; nobody was going to change their mind. My final message was:
Me: chief, all i'm saying is that i support the freedom of religion, not "the freedom of religion anywhere but this particular spot."
He has yet to respond.

It makes me sad that so many people in my country view Islam as inherently evil because of what a few zealots did. I'm a Christian, but I guarantee that if the planes on 9/11 had been hijacked by Christians who said that they did it for the glory of God, the newspaper headlines would have read "Planes hijacked by insane terrorists" and not "Planes hijacked by Christian extremists." I believe that people are afraid of what they don't know about, and Islam as a whole became an excellent scapegoat for the cause of the tragedy.

If this display of ignorance is representative of most Americans, it's no wonder why the rest of the world hates us.

Listening to: Arcade Fire - Wake Up
Currently fixated on: This pedal


getting to seattle

Before I begin, I want to point something out: I don't know exactly why, but I got in a terrible habit of eschewing capital letters when I type things online. Usually, this is no problem. Tweets, YouTube video descriptions, and Tumblr posts aren't usually subject to the intense grammatical scrutiny that accompanies almost every other medium of written words. However, when I looked at the layout of my blog, I started thinking about it and realized that large blocks of text in ten-point Times New Roman written in all lowercase letters would be awfully intimidating, so I'm trying my best to be all prim and proper with the capitals. Please forgive me if I forget to capitalize an "I" somewhere; it's habit, and that guy doesn't deserve to be capitalized anyway.

Over this past weekend, I made a journey up to Seattle for the gathering there. I was excited about the prospect of traveling alone; I saw it as some sort of strange rite of passage into independence (also, I think trains are interesting and a great way to travel, so that was nice too). However, I almost didn't make it due to a pesky fever that decided to show up the day before I was supposed to leave. Luckily, it subsided and I was able to leave a day after I originally planned, which cut into some hanging-out time but still allowed me to get there on time. The bigger downside was that instead of leaving at a relatively comfortable 9am, I was at the train station at 5:45am, which was decidedly not awesome.

Once I finally got on the train, things went very smoothly. I fortunately had my new Nintendo DSi XL with me and a copy of Dragon Quest IX, and that's never a bad thing. That held my attention for most of the trip. They played a movie as well, but I didn't watch it; it was the Disney documentary Oceans (there was a groan of disappointment throughout the car when the conductor told us that our only provided entertainment was going to be a nature documentary). I sat alone in a two-seat cluster until the train pulled into Kelso. At that station, a kid got on the train who could've easily come out of a Zumiez catalog, although he looked significantly less content than their models usually do. With a look of intense disinterest on his face and a skateboard in his hand, he sat next to me. At this point, I became alarmingly self-aware. To him, I was the alpha dork: I was on a train by myself, wearing glasses and a Three Wolf Moon shirt, and playing a Japanese RPG on a brand-new handheld system.

We did not exchange numbers.

At long last, the train rolled into the Seattle station. I stood up for the first time in nearly six hours and promptly hit my head on the luggage rack, which discouraged me from standing anymore. My seatmate (note: surprisingly, Firefox's built-in spellcheck recognizes "seatmate" as a word) stifled a laugh, which was the first emotion i had seen from him in the three hours that our paths had crossed. Although my head hurt and my dignity had long since fled, I took solace in the fact that I did something that caused a listless shell of a human to almost have a feeling.

And then I was there, so that was exciting. I'll talk about it more in another post because I feel like this one's getting a bit long.

Listening to: The Who - Baba O'Riley
Currently fixated on: This coat

*Note: I'm required to say that I was given the DSi and Dragon Quest IX by a company called Brand About Town on behalf of Nintendo. However, I'm allowed to say whatever I darn well please about it, and it's a fantastic game; definitely give it a shot ^_^