President George W. Bush’s administration of our government since 2000 has been shameful. Bush has wrecked our government with his incompetence. Bush claims to be a Republican, but has shown himself to be much more of a Christian Democrat. The supposed hallmarks of Republican theory hold that the government should be small, spend little and regulate sparingly. Instead, Bush has increased spending more than almost any President in the last 40 years; he has increased real spending by 5.6% per year and spending by almost 50% in nominal terms. He has increased spending almost 4x as fast as Clinton did- and Clinton was no miser. Even long-time Republican financial wizard, Alan Greenspan, has come out publicly against the Bush Administration and the former Republican majorities fiscal policies.
Bush’s foreign policies have also been miserable failures. North Korea and Iran are both still rapidly closing in on obtaining nuclear weapons and all President Bush’s posturing has merely made them take a hard-line stance against us. Iraq has obviously been a massive failure and Bush knows it. He recently declared the troop surge in Iraq a “victory” and is going to start withdrawing American soldiers soon. Bush is a complete ass. Declaring “victory” and retreating does not fool anyone. Iraq has turned into a miserable failure and it is Bush’s fault. His mismanagement of the war has led to the deaths of many Americans and even more Iraqis.
Bush has also pushed through radical harmful changes to the way our government is structured. He has blurred the line between church and state by making religious groups much more involved in the government and by regularly listening to the advice of such persons as Pat Robertson. His administration fired 92 federal prosecutors for political reasons such as prosecuting a Republican or not taking down a Democrat as he wanted. Bush has established the Jabba the Hut sized Department of Homeland Defense that is massively inefficient and full of red tape in all the wrong places.
President Bush has been one of the worst Presidents in history. He has succeeded neither in pushing the basic tenets of Republican beliefs or in his foreign policy initiatives.
Today was my little brother Josh’s birthday party at my mom’s house, so I went down and hung out with him. He’s a stellar stud. Josh just turned 14 and he’s already over 6′ tall and damned big. I was about that height at his age, but I was bony. He’s pretty skinny too, but he has a big frame with broad shoulders and if he’s fed properly and starts lifting, he will be a beast. I gave him a dartboard and a promise to go rock climbing (which is what he requested). We actually would’ve gone today, I signed up for a class in Tacoma for both of us, but my mom randomly decided we had to wait and plan it ahead. Oh well, we’ll get there soon.
Josh is a very smart kid. He has a serious demeanor, but when he gets comfortable, he can be really funny. Ladies, you should watch out, he’s coming of age and is another whale of a catch. Josh is athletic, very smart and mentally mature behind his years.
Happy Birthday Joshua Gross!
“Randy at night, Gross in the morning”
My name is Joel Randall Gross.
I am named after the prophet Joel in the Bible who took some mushrooms and foretold the end of the world: “I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes.” Heavy stuff. That Joel should’ve just taken a chill pill or something.
To tell the truth, I’m not a real big fan of my name. Joel is okay, but the rest sucks. Everyone always asks if I was teased about my last name growing up, but surprisingly, I never really was. My friends usually tried to rhyme Joel with other words, like “Joel the Hole”, “Joel the Bowl” or more accurately, “Joel with no Soul”.
Randall is the name of the guy who I thought was my dad growing up, but probably isn’t (need a DNA test on NuDaddy). Haven’t talked to him in more than two years, nor have two other brothers; Jordan and Justin. Joshua is the Cinderella still trapped with Randy in his abusive home… hopefully he’ll be kicked out soon though. I got kicked out at 14, Jordan at 16 and Justin at 16. Randall is a huge dick with no balls. Anyway, Randall just sounds like a dorky name.
Gross. Ah, Gross. What the hell were my ancestors thinking when they went with Gross? I bet they just got really drunk and thought it would be funny to change their names to Gross. The primary problem I’ve run into with Gross is the fact that all the girls I have dated HATE it. Multiple women have said, “Wow, you have a really unfortunate last name.” Most women grow up dreaming of the new name that they will get when they get married: Johnson, Rody, Faramarzi, Dies, etc. No girl grows up thinking, “One day I’m going to be Sandy Gross!” I probably have lost significant amount of goodwill with women because of that. I think I’m going to change my name, I’m just not sure what to. Maybe I should change it to the name of my website: Joel X lol. If I haven’t changed it by the time I get married, I’ll probably take my wife’s last name.
Joel Randall Gross.
A clawing need inside that cannot be ignored
Painful desire crushing down relentlessly
Constant pressure to keep going.
Frantic movement with no purpose
The heavy foot stuck to the accelerator
Inescapable scorching fire, leaving nothing.
After interviewing Melanie last night and sending her off home, I was supposed to go to the War Room (a club on Capitol Hill) with a bunch of friends. I was just sitting at my computer, chatting online, and starting to get a little tired and thinking about skipping out when Ben called and said he and Rachelle were going to come pick me up and take me to the War Room right then. I haven’t seen Kenny in around 6 months, so I accepted. After we arrived, we parked (which was a bitch) and started walking towards the War Room. On our way we spotted two of my other friends, Ian and Eric, also headed to the War Room to see Kenny. Our whole little group made our way to the club, where we had to stand in line for awhile. When we were about to get in, we found out there was a $10 cover and neither Ian nor I had any cash so Rachelle graciously spotted us.
The War Room was packed full of people, especially on the upper deck where we were all hanging out. I didn’t really feel into the whole club atmosphere, but talked to all the people I hadn’t seen in quite some time. Kenny is doing well and was trying to convince me to go scalp a ticket to the Ohio State game today and he himself bought a ticket for $50 from someone. I think I would much rather just go down to my little gym and workout and watch the game there. Watching beastly men smash each other is good motivation for lifting.
A little later, I saw a couple of people do some yayo in the corner of the club and decided that wasn’t really my scene and Rachelle and Ben gave me a ride back home. They came inside and we went up to my roof and relaxed with a glass of wine and enjoyed the view along with good conversation before they went home.
Melanie just had her boyfriend break up with her via MySpace message… which is about the worst way you can do it. Apparently, she had just “expressed her discomfort with the fact” that he is going on a trip for Oktoberfest in Leavenworth with his supposed ex-fuckbuddy and he replied by breaking up. So Melanie and I are hanging out and having a beer and she let me copy and paste it here… enjoy entering a world of douchiness lol
heart to heart
On a completely different note, and on its own wavelength from anything Oktoberfest related, I wanted to talk to you about my own pit-of-my-stomach feelings that hopefully donâ€™t come as a total out-of-left field surprise / are semi-mutual in their existence.
In spite of our out-of-the gate success, and your overwhelming awesomeness credentials as both a person and girlfriend, I feel like almost two months in there has been a tangible lack of energy / enthusiasm / momentum in the last week + that may totally be on my end, and I donâ€™t have a great explanation as to why, but it seems to indicate that weâ€™re drifting closer to the platonic and away from the romantic, and whatâ€™s odder still, is that I feel inclined to embrace that trend, and to listen to the heart & brain parts of me that despite all rational reminders of why youâ€™re such a catch, compel me in the direction of drunken movie night friendship.
Maybe itâ€™s just that my, and really our, lives have been so busy and/or life changing career-wise, or maybe itâ€™s my own historically indomitable commitment phobia which I always assume has â€œworked itself out by now,â€ or my feeling worn down trying to muster enough energy to do a relationship and a new job and stay in touch with friends â€“ itâ€™s hard, for sure.
A thousand apologies, of course, for even communicating this via email, since I know thatâ€™s not really unconventional; this is a conversation I dare say Iâ€™ve never managed very well in person, or even with actual words coming out of my mouth at all.
Have you been feeling any of this over the last week, and if so, do you think Iâ€™m being premature in my thinking, or hasty, or is this completely just happening in my head alone?
Really youâ€™re a smart and funny and ambitious and successful cute peach of a doll of a girl, and I’ve enjoyed our getting to know each other so well; Iâ€™m just feeling too overwhelmed to keep up. I hope youâ€™d still be willing to whup my butt at pool one of these days.
Melanie would like you to take note of his closeted homosexuality via vocabulary…
My life has generally consisted of short periods of tough challenges followed by long periods of relative stability. I think I am starting to come to the end of an especially extended time of peacefulness and am preparing myself for a struggle. I have some important decisions looming on the horizon and how I handle them will determine my future. My younger brother, Justin Gross, is also about to enter one of these periods as he is supposed to start at the University of Washington as a freshman very soon. Hopefully we will be prepared. I think of these periods of time as being much like tackling practice in football: if you are unprepared or scared or trying to avoid tackling too hard you will get smashed and hurt, but if you go in fully ready and charging as hard as you can, you will come out on top. Watch out baby, here I come!
I usually try and save a good chunk of my income every month and have been good about it through my first 10 months of unemployment. However, over the last 4 months, I have not been paying enough attention to my financial situation and after inspecting my bank statements I have discovered I have over a thousand dollars less today than I did two months ago.
If I disappear for awhile and you can’t get ahold of me, it means I have robbed a bank and the government is trying to hunt me down.