Friday, October 23, 2015

Let's Have a Chat About Morality - Part 1, or whatever

Thus begins a few of my gathered ramblings about morality. The following,  by no means, is the final word on the subject for me. Regardless, I hope what I write here is meaningful to some.

As an atheist, I have been accused, either directly or indirectly (referred to as a collective in articles, posts, and conversations) of having no morality (or rather, an anything goes morality), once I left the large umbrella of Christianity. This used to bother me, but not so  much anymore. 

Because the accusation is partly correct.

In my view, the definition of morality has nothing to do with a system of principled rules to be followed by its adherents, but rather how that system of rules manifests itself within the motivations and actions of those that claim to be its adherents.

By the latter definition, morality is how each person lives their lives. If their actions are accepted by the society they choose to reside in, then they are deemed "good". If not, then they are ostracized and considered "evil" or simply "deviant".

But that makes it appear as if our morality is entirely dictated by those that view how we live our lives. The fact is, we know this isn't true. We alone, as individuals, know who we are and assess our own goodness behind the privacy of our eyes. We can appear moral, according to the dictates of our brethren, yet live our lives very differently, according to our own standards of goodness (or whatever feels right at the time).

As a Christian, it was wrong for me to look at a woman and notice her beauty. And yet, I prayed nightly, as a teen, that Jesus would wait to return to earth until I had had sex. I dreamed of having sex. I even masturbated once or twice. Throughout all the guilt, I still saw myself as good. Moral, even.

As an atheist, sex took on a whole new meaning. No longer did I view it as a sacrosanct pedestalian practice. Instead, it became a fun and loving thing to do with those who consented to do it with me, even if that meant going outside the bounds of my government-sanctioned marriage.

My view of sex changed.

As a Christian, it was my duty to love my neighbors. So I left my sidewalks un-shoveled.

As an atheist, it was my duty to follow the law, as well as my choice to love my neighbors. So I left my sidewalks un-shoveled.

My response to snow on my damn sidewalk never changed. be continued....maybe...

Monday, October 19, 2015

Baseball is in My Blood

Walking through the kitchen, a dish towel thrown over my bare shoulder, I feel a wad of spit forming in the center of my tongue. I purse my lips, shoving my tongue expertly to the roof of my mouth, sharpen the end of it, pressing it hard against the back of my massive upper front teeth, then prepare a breath to send a beautifully arched stream of saliva, twenty feet from where I stood.

"Oh dammit...," I mumbled, "I'm inside." I swallowed piteously.

But it got me thinking:

What do baseball players do when they aren't playing baseball?

When they're giving a motivational speech in front of a corporate annual meeting, attended by thousands of the best and brightest minds in that company, and they walk out from behind the podium with the mic, reaching their grooved crescendo, what stops them from grabbing their crotch and hiking up their perfectly trimmed pants?

That thought led me to thinking about my career as a software developer and how a baseball player, knowing their worth, would go about coding up an application.

Would they stop after every line of code written, back up their chair, stand up, step off the plastic chair rollie thingie, give a long hard look at their boss's cubicle, adjust their rubber typing condoms, reach over to their desk and grab the empty Mountain Dew bottle, spit into it, return it to its hallowed place in the open, walk back onto the plastic thingie, sit back down in the chair, stretch and crack their knuckles, roll the chair back under the desk, expertly stopping it with their growing and softening stomach against the edge of the desk, then writing the next line of code?

If that was the case, I have a feeling that all code wouldn't pass QA with a .300 average, but be more perfect than the whites of a newborn baby's eyes.

Somehow, I think a baseball player's profession is more in line with the weather man's.

The Dangers of Texting While Writing

So, the kids are outside, "raking leaves"... hang on...

Oh! Julie spit seeds out of her back door last summer and a watermelon grew from it! I wonder if they were watermelon seeds. Come to think of it, she never really said in her text, just now. What if they were yellow spaghetti squash seeds and yet a watermelon came from it. That would be something else, wouldn't it be.

Hang on...let me text her back...


Yep. Watermelon seeds. That's kind of boring. I was hoping for something less so, some sort of viral watermelon and squash hybrid that, once eaten, tears the body apart inside, creating a zombie-like creature that goes for feet only, leaving your brain intact. In that world, zombies would crawl around on their knees, giving free research material to orthopedic surgeons testing out the strongest human knees.

But I was saying...the kids "raking leaves".

After getting out their bikes, playing around with rakes, seeing who could twirl one the most times in a circle above their heads, they discovered my bright shiny....hang on....

Hahahaha!!! Kara just told me good morning. It's the afternoon. Obviously, she had a bit too much melatonin in her green drink before she hit the sack last night. Doesn't much matter, being that she owns her own music studio, lessons starting in the late afternoon anyway. But now I can't ask her to come and help my kids rake....hang on...

My son is chasing the kids with the electric blower....had to tell him to stop.

Oh right, I was going to tell you....hang on.... they had been using the blower for over ten minutes and now they want to know where the ear protection is? Interesting. I think that's how young people live their lives these days. Heck, that's how I live my life, these days - total spontaneity, only revisiting my course of action if I end up with a missing leg.

Now back to the red shiny thing. 

A few years ago, I bought a blower from Home Depot. I bought it on my....hang on....

Ah Sarah....the lovely Sarah. Apparently her mail is going to her neighbor and he opened it up, discovering her subscription to Ebony. It didn't take long to reveal that he was a raving racist. He's telling her that he'll be adding another lock to his doors and bars to his windows.

That'll be nice. Keeps him inside and away from the rest of us.

Hang on...a kid tripped and fell and shoved the blower up the dog's behind. I have to go stop this howling.

Talk to you later?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Mostly Naked Man on the Leather Chair

There he sat, in his leather chair, staring out the window, leaning back timidly, allowing his bare back to touch the coldness, popping forward with a slight gasp, then squishing it all the way back, mumbling about heat transfer and science crap he didn't understand.

He smelled of fresh deodorant and some bergamot spiced cologne he splashed on after every shower, one of which he had just finished as the sun went down.

His legs were bare as well, the only clothing, a pair of red, pink, gray, black, and white plaid boxer shorts, worn loosely. The blinds were open. The night youngish. 

Every few minutes, someone on the street would walk a dog past his second floor window. A few looked up and saw the mostly naked man and quickly looked away. Others would allow their gaze to wander back, drawn in by his confidence and whiskered face, a dreamy gaze on his face, waiting for the moon to rise above the trees.

He had no idea what to write.

But the street wanderers didn't know that. Sure, they saw the laptop open on the desk, the screen lighting up the reflective lenses in his glasses. But they saw an old man, 35 years old to be exact, sitting, relaxed, happy, maybe even bored with the melancholy of the neighborhood.

A few would try and spice up his life by saying something smart and funny to their dogs, then, embarrassed at the realization that his windows were closed, try and act a bit quirky, hoping to bring a smile to his face.

But he did not smile.

He didn't even notice them. They were as ships, passing in the night, their dogs, a quiet wake, disappearing before upsetting the smooth floating of the world.

Then, he stood up, closed the laptop, walked to his bed, laid down on top of the blankets, and fell asleep.

Writing would happen another time.