Monday, March 19, 2007

My Beliefs

So a new blog already for Darek? This means that it's crunch time at school and he's slacking - well more I'm semi-sleep deprived and just finished writing 5 chapters of my thesis in 3 days!
I recently took a quiz to determine what faith I most align myself with and according to this quiz I, with a rating of 100%, am a Secular Humanist.
Let's see what are some of the fundamentals of Secular Humanism and if that really portrays my belief structure:

Belief in Deity: Not considered important. Most Humanists are atheists or agnostics
- Darek believes in God. Darek believes worshipping God is not what God wants because God doesn't want anything
Incarnations: Same as above.
-I guess you can say Darek believes in reincarnation but more on that issue later
Origin of Universe and Life:The scientific method is most respected as the means for revealing the mysteries of the origins of the universe and life.
-Of the physical universe and life, yes. I still believe in a spiritual aspect.

After Death: An afterlife or spiritual existence after death is not recognized.
-Not in terms of heaven and hell - just existing after we die and either coming back or just staying where we came from.

•Why Evil? No concept of “evil.” Reasons for wrongdoing are explored through scientific methods, e.g. through study of sociology, psychology, criminology.
-Evil is subjective so no true definition of it exists <- that's all Darek belief ya'll

Salvation: No concept of afterlife or spiritual liberation or salvation. Realizing ones personal potential and working for the betterment of humanity through ethical consciousness and social works are considered paramount, but from a naturalistic rather than supernatural standpoint.
-Salvation doesn't exist - there's nothing to be saved from.
•Undeserved Suffering: No spiritual reasons but rather a matter of human vulnerability to misfortune, illness, and victimization.
-Again because evil is subjective, suffering under a subjective evil is subjective as well.
•Contemporary Issues: The American Humanist Association endorses elective abortion. Other contemporary views include working for equality for homosexuals, gender equality, a secular approach to divorce and remarriage, working to end poverty, promoting peace and nonviolence, and environmental protection.
-Yep, yep, yep on all counts.
So not too much in common with secular humanism except for that last tidbit. I guess my belief structure comes down to the notion that God cannot be personified. Using words like God, Goddess, He, Her, Him, Jesus, Vishu - names in general just make it that much harder to trying to understand what God is.
For me, God is the very essence of existence. We are all from this before we are born, we choose a path in life we wish to follow (being part of God requires that you know all outcomes of life and all knowledge of everything - logically the only thing you cannot know is the existence of not knowing everything) follow that life (whether it's to become a single mother, a scientist, a flea, a president, a war criminal, a murderer, a pedophile, a teacher, an engineer, a paraplegic, a cow, a mad cow, a trekkie, or a model) until it is over and then we reunite to what it was that we left.
I have no clue why I am writing this or who for but it's the best way I can think of real answers to the real questions I've asked myself. I've never been one to take a side 100% (I may be stubborn as hell, but I'm usually proven wrong, learn something and move on). Yes I was a strict Roman Catholic at one point in my life, but I never completely agreed with the Church. Many times I just wanted to be like Douglas Adams and make a defiant statement that "NO, God does not exist" - but saying that just never felt right to me. I don't think I'm suppose to be an atheist with the life I'm living now.
Here's the link for the test: take it and tell me where you belief structure most aligns with. I'm curious to see whose what.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Oh Waiter...

I am a tipper. That doesn't mean I am a great tipper. I tip accordingly and with what I feel is respectful for the service I've received. This usually means I tip anywhere from 10-20%, sometimes because the service is deplorable and sometimes because I don't have a lot of cash on me.

What I don't understand is when people treat waiters with disrespect. I really don't think people understand that for the entire time of their meal (at a restaurant or fast food joint) a patron will only see their meal for 50% of the time. So if you're at a restaurant for 1.5 hours - you're only enjoying and seeing your food for less than 45 minutes (unless your Jen C, in which case you're eating for a few hours).

So it just boggles my mind when someone gives a waiter attitude - it's not their fault that something is not on the menu (go some place that is) or if a change in a side order comes with a $1.99 charge (that's the chain's/restaurant's policy) or if a substitute cannot be made (some restaurants don't carry certain types of wine) - so it makes no sense when someone cusses off a waiter, writes a snide remark on a credit card receipt or a flat out "no!" when their meal is about to be placed onto a table and is shoved away by said patron (yes I have heard of this occurring people). The things that can be done to your food when you're not looking at it and you would not have any idea of it being done are numerous.

So to ensure that YOU don't act like an asshole (unintentionally) and that your food arrives as quickly and delicious as possible here some nifty tips and rules of thumb to go by:


1. Your meal arrives but it's all wrong, here you can ask to have it sent back (politely) and are not obligated to tip terrifically (here you can get away from the 10-15% range).

2. Your meal arrives and the side order is wrong (me personally, I bite the bullet and eat, because well, I'm hungry) but if you were really, really craving that salad/soup/fries then enjoy your entree and send back the side. Again, if the service is perfection except for this little snafu, I think a tip of about 15% is still required.

3. You are seated and within 5 minutes a server has introduced his/herself and gotten the drink order down. Comes back with the drinks, asks if the partrons are ready to order (takes down order if they are) or comes back in 10 minutes and then takes down order, in 20 minutes the meals have arrived, drinks are refreshened and server makes sure the meals are correct. Server comes back in 10 more minutes, refreshes drinks, asks if everything is alrite and is not seen again until the plates are cleared and the bill is brought. +15% is required and expected.


1. Server does the squat. This isn't gameplay, you're not my best friend and you're pretending to be friendly. So just expect some people to be a little put off by that. However, if case THREE occurs (from Tipping) again, tip accordingly.

2. Server asks inappropiate questions - "Do I look fat in this uniform?" "My boyfriend just broke up with me" - are things patrons don't need to know about nor are they expected to answer. Questions like this may result in lower tips...

3. Server comes, takes drink order, comes back, gives the patrons a few more minutes, 20 minutes pass by, then comes back, takes order, order comes back wrong, makes no apologies, doesn't freshen drinks (big pet peeve is having to ask another waiter to get refills) and only returns when the bill is dropped down - server gets and is expected to receive a tip of less than 10%.


1. Meal arrives and it's perfect - tip at least 15%

2. Meal arrives with one little minor mistake - tip in the 15% range (-+2%)

3. Meal arrives completely NOT what you ordered (you wanted vegetarian pasta and you get pork wrapped in beef) and the service was slow and rude. Expect a tip of next to nothing - personally I would round up to the nearest dollar. If the behaviour was something that was exceptionally rude - I would even talk to the manager.

Well I think that covers it, so I hope I have enriched your lives and given some reliable tips to a better meal.

Pork wrapped in beef!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Take That You Hosers!

I just found this clip on youtube and I'm utterly disgusted:

And I'm not disgusted because some white-bred bitch with blond hair puts herself up on a pedestal and uses a derogatory term for an entire minority group at something that would be considered, at the very least, a "professional" conference.

What I'm angry and disgusted with is the applause she gets in the end. Ann Coulter is a dumb bitch. I really don't think anyone can dispute this fact. With this little conference she has gone from ultra right-winger to conservative fanatic; she's right up there with Pat Robertson now and will soon begin loosing respect across the board.

She is now a certified bigot. Even the most die-hard conservatives I've met all have one thing in common - you don't trump on human rights. Go back 50 years, replace "faggot" with "nigger" and you'd have the exact same response. A bunch of white people thinking they are better than another minority group and feeling they can laugh it up at their expense.

But things change, no one would be able to get away with a statement like that if it focused on a visible minority group. I may be angry and disgusted by the applause she received because the audience is just fucked up as her, but the one thing I won't be is scared. Fear is what conservatives want, it's what put people in the back of the bus and it's what prevents 10 or 11 year old boys from telling their parents, casually, over dinner, that they really, really like the boy next door.

Which brings me to my next point - same-sex marriage. The most recent article about it that I've found at and the jist of it is that the Washington Supreme Court voted against allowing same-sex marriage because according to them, marriage is for procreational purposes and defending traditional marriage ensures families will be made. Now a new law is coming up for debate that says married couples MUST have a child within 3 years of marriage or their marriages will be annulled.

I'm surprised that there isn't outrage against this bill. And I think I may have figured out why...

Try listing as many reasons, for a straight couple, to be against this bill:

"When and if me and my spouse decide to have children is none of the government's business!"

"The government has no right to interfere with the way my spouse and I wish to run our lives!"

"We want to be married, we don't want to have children"

Interesting how these reasons can be said by man or women, gay or straight couple, no? If straight conservative couples deplore this bill, they are inadvertently supporting the exact same rights of same-sex couples. Now I am scared. It'll be interesting to see how this all ends - will straight people allow a bill to pass that will control their lives just so they don't have to open their minds a tinsy weensy bit and understand the troubles faced by gay couples? Or will people smarten up and see that when the government comes into your bedroom, it ain't looking for a threesome?