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Below are the 6 most recent journal entries recorded in badblood44's LiveJournal:

Thursday, April 24th, 2008
10:40 am
My wife teaches 3-year olds at a Baptist church as a part time job. She loves kids and in most everyone's eyes is a great teacher. There is no doubt she loves the kids in her class. Although the job pays very little comparatively speaking, it's worth it to her in many other ways. Even when her job puts burdens on me, I'm happy to bear them because I know how much her job means to her.

When we got back from vacation, she was called into her boss' office for a discussion. Her boss questioned her growth. Not her growth as a teacher, nor her growth as a person. But her growth in her faith. My wife's relationship with her religion does not match that of her boss.

I'm not a very religious person. My views are pretty simple. There may or may not be a God. I'm not so arrogant to assume that humankind with all its faults and its physical restrictions on its existence will ever know or even be able to discern evidence of one. Our collective knowledge grows every day. That which used to be unknown to us historically has been ascribed to the supernatural. That data space grows smaller each day. Atheists believe, I think, that at some point in the future, humankind will find answers to all its questions. If that came to be, perhaps the question of God's existence will also be answered. I don't think we'll ever know. But I'm human, and can most certainly be wrong.

My other philosophy is also not to force my beliefs or non-beliefs on others. Each person's spirituality is a personal choice, a decision that works for them. There are zealots. And while I don't agree with them, I understand that this is the choice they've made for themselves. When they try to force their beliefs on others, that's when I begin to have problems.

My wife's boss made my wife feel like her own beliefs weren't good enough for the church where she teaches. I personally think that's a horrible thing to tell another person. My wife was in tears during this conversation, but she wasn't so upset that she couldn't tell her boss that she had nothing to be ashamed of. Her relationship with her religion is her own business. Her growth within that relationship will go at her own pace.

My wife believes that she won't be asked back to work there next year. I told her that it was fine with me whatever she decided. If she finds work somewhere else, her new class of kids will be the one that will be rewarded. Her current boss will lose out on a valuable asset, a teacher of children whose first concern is the welfare of her kids. I'm sure each child's parents value my wife's work with their kids.

It's a shame that one woman's close-mindedness will cost her school the valuable asset it currently has. That's not growth in faith. That's being petty. Controlling. And sadly, human.
Monday, April 9th, 2007
12:52 pm
Since everyone else likes to post YouTube music videos to their livejournal, I must do the same. This is the type of shit I LOVE. That's L-O-V-E. Love.

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006
2:30 pm
Spring semester, 1990. Ithaca, NY.

Surviving a semester at Cornell academically is daunting enough. When you add to a normal student’s stress level the pain and hassle of a winter in Ithaca, the internal gray is only matched by the colorless sky that statically hangs over the campus for months at a time.

But every now and then, the fickle weather patterns of upstate New York bring a gift.

The gift doesn’t arrive the same time each year, but if you wait long enough, arrive it does. My last semester on campus was grueling. I was pretty burned out having suffered through countless sleep-inducing engineering class lectures and homework assignments. Study sessions in the libraries were monotonous, relieved only by the stolen glances at attractive female coeds who were no doubt not partaking in the engineering curriculum. It’s no real surprise then when I tell you I took an elective in the Hotel Administration School that semester just for sight seeing purposes.

The January to May stretch of a graduating senior can go one of two ways. Either you’ve locked up a job after graduation or you haven’t. I had all my rejection letters stapled to my bedroom door, a small reminder that I had at least tried. There wasn’t much time left and I had few remaining options. I made no effort to excel those last few months, and I deservedly earned my lowest GPA of my academic career. I didn’t care though. My spirits were as barren as the weather was.

One day though, it turned around. Earlier in the week, I received a phone call from a recruiter at my current company. Even though I had already received a rejection letter, I was apparently on the list of alternates and at least one person had turned down their offer. I took the job on the spot. Beggars can’t be choosers. Coincidentally, it was the last week of classes; but it was also the first real day of spring-like weather.

The last day of classes at Cornell is traditionally known as Slope Day. Years before I was a student, it used to be an official school-sponsored gathering. Bands, food, drinks, and everything in between would get together on the campus’ largest grassy slope behind its largest library. Skipping class that day was the norm. Even the surliest of teachers would know to give any important details about the final exams on the day before Slope Day, smartly anticipating reduced attendance for the last lecture.

For my last Slope Day, there would be no bands, no music, and no organized efforts. The University was forced to break any official ties to the day and assume a business as usual approach. I never knew the official reason, but in 1990, it didn’t matter.

While Slope Day became unofficial, it was still celebrated. With the first real gorgeous day developing around us, my core group of friends and I made our way up to campus from our apartment, intent to party like never before. We gathered up every remaining bottle of alcohol left that we could find, pouring its contents into a plastic-bag-lined trash can filled with fruit punch. You name it; it was in there. Surprisingly, and almost necessarily, nobody could taste the alcohol in our concoction.

While many of that day’s cathartic details are lost forever, one small piece is still locked in my subconscious, reappearing every now and then at the most surprising of times.


When I walked out of my building today at lunchtime, it caught me. The temperature was right. The sky, it seemed, had just the right pattern of clouds. A barely imperceptible wind whispered of it. But it was there when I finally inhaled deeply, filling my lungs with the crisp Carolina air. The scent. The subtle aroma of the outside air was exactly the same. Locked somewhere inside my mind, memories of my last Slope Day came rushing back. It was like a rush of water cleaning away a layer of dirt, leaving you crisp and clean. And pure.
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006
4:59 pm
Is there such a thing as a mid-life crisis? I suppose you’d actually have to have a life as well as some estimate of when it will end to make that determination. Some data would suggest that average life expectancy is around the 76-year mark. In April, I’ll turn 38.

Internally, I like to think I’m as young as ever. External signs tell me otherwise. My eldest child turns 8 in March. At the end of March, I’ll have completed 16 full years at the company for whom I work. Sixteen years.

I’m old.

I ache too. I think every joint in my body is rebelling against the activities I perform on a regular basis. My knee hurts. My shoulder stings. My elbow is tweaked. And my wrist is sore. The recovery ability of my over-worked body has abandoned me long ago. I’ve altered my workout plan to emphasize lighter weights at more reps.

Because I’m old.

I can look around me and feel more than satisfied that what I’m doing is making a difference. I’m making a decent living so my family can live without want. My kids deserve all that they get; and I have no regrets about the decisions I’ve made in my life such that theirs is everything it can be.

But I think a little piece of me dies each day. I am hesitant to put my needs above those of my family. It’s very easy to suppress your own needs when you don’t even know what they are yourself.

I’m old.
Friday, February 17th, 2006
4:33 pm
Is there anybody........out there?
I don't think too many people see my liveJournal account, and perhaps I'll keep it that way. Some may by virtue of being on some friends list or via comments I've left in other journals. However, in the interests of keeping my blogspot space mainly about poker, I'll pop an entry here and there on occasion when the situation warrants it.

Today, the situation warrants it.

I'm very tired. I'm tired of doing the same things over and over, solving the same problems over and over that others have left behind in their wake. On days like today, I strongly resist the urge to forego my workout and tie on one of the greatest benders my life has seen. Each time thoughts like this crop up, the sensible side of me, the side who knows he's a husband and a father, wins the battle and I hit the gym. The beast is repressed yet again.

But he grows stronger.

And the sensible side of me is finding it more difficult to win the daily battles.

So as I listen to my iPod and struggle through the waning minutes of my workday, I believe I have won the battle yet again. I fear the day I lose.
Monday, October 25th, 2004
12:02 am
Where I Keep My Blog
I basically signed up for a livejournal account to be able to comment at Paul Phillip's journal.

My blog is kept here: http://badbloodonpoker.blogspot.com/
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