Riding with Strangers

Today walking home from dinner I was reminded of something that happened last(?) year.   I was new at Ft Bragg, so it must have been about two years ago, and was walking to the base minimall, and someone pulled over to offer me a ride.  I thought to myself that it must be someone in the company that I don’t know yet; also this was on post so I had that false sense of security that a gated community provides.  I hopped in the truck and said thanked the driver, a young man of about 20-5.  As we are driving along it become apparent that this is a soldier, but he is not in my company.  He asks me if I am new and if I like Ft Bragg so far.  I reply that I am and that I had not been very happy to PCS here.  He asks me what my hobbies are and what I like to do on the weekends.  I believe he is making small talk, but there is that itch on the back of my brain that is bothering me.  Then he pops the big question “Have you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your person saviour”?

I knew it!

Then things started to get unconfortable, as some of these Evangelical Christians creep me out.

I then tell him that I am good and really am not interested.  Then he starts to get upset, and I am happy that we are quickly approaching my destination.  However, instead of making the second left into the shopping center, he takes the first, pulling in back of the store where the loading docks are!

I think to myself, that he very may well kill me if I don’t except Jesus right then and there.  He stops the truck, and I look at the door, and it is locked.  Can I escape? No one is back here and we are all alone.  If I shout will someone hear me?  Probably not.

“I really think you should reconsider your position and join my and my church this Wednesday for some bible study and Men’s Ministry Group” he says to me.  Again I protest that I am well and good and am not actively searching for Jesus (truthfully, I didn’t even know he was missing!).  He gives me a card with his number on it, puts the truck into gear, and pulls around the front, dropping me off on the curb.  “So long brother, see you on Wednesday”.  “Whatever” I mumble and walk quickly into the shop.

Since then, I haven’t accepted rides from people on base, unless I know them.

Be careful, this could happen to you!

Nitespa on Your LA TV

http://www.yourlatv.com/arts-and-leisure/nite-spa.html

Check it out!  Meet my bosses Julia and Michael, also some of the girls!

nitespa.com

Many Sleepless Nights Indeed

From Chris Zammarelli @ Bookslut

When Earl Adams discovered his two teenaged sons had seen Felice Newman’s book The Whole Lesbian Sex Book at the Bentonville (AK) Public Library, he e-mailed Library Director Cindy Suter and requested the book be removed from the stacks. Suter had the book moved to what Richard Dean Prudenti described in an article for The Morning News as “a less accessible location” in the library.

Adams responded by faxing Mayor Bob McCaslin with the demand that the book be removed from the library for good because it is “patently offensive and lacks any artistic, literary or scientific value.” He also requested that Suter be fired and asked the city to pay him and his family $20,000 in damages because the library violated Arkansas obscenity law.

In an e-mail to McCaslin, Adams wrote, “My sons were greatly disturbed by viewing this material and this matter has caused many sleepless nights in our house.”

Adams said that his younger son Kyle found the book while browsing the library’s stacks for books about military academies. It’s worth pointing out that The Whole Lesbian Sex Book, which is no longer in the public library’s catalog, would probably be shelved in under the 613.9 section of the Dewey Decimal System. Books on military academies, (say, David Lipsky’s Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point, which is in the Bentonville Public Library collection), are classified under 355.

When asked in an interview for the San Francisco Chronicle about Adams’s contention that his sons were looking for military books, Newman told Violet Blue:

“Perhaps the book ended up in the military section because the boys hid it there. Or perhaps, having found the book in its proper section, the boys were reading it in the military section, where they had told their father they would be researching military academies. Someone catches them smack in the middle of the fistfucking chapter and they make up the story as an alibi.”

The library’s advisory board voted to remove the book from the stacks while, as Prudenti’s article notes, “a suitable book on the same topic” is found to replace it. Said board member George Spence, “A more sensitive, more clinical approach to same material might be more appropriate for the library.” Adams was invited to attend the board meeting on the book, but did not go.

“I’m not sure what Spence means by clinical. Some people say my book is pretty clinical, in that it gives basic health info, etc.,” Newman said in the Chronicle interview. “But if by ‘clinical’ Spence means boringly technical, I can’t see who is going to write it, let alone read it.”

Suter said that if a more appropriate book is not found, The Whole Lesbian Sex Book will be returned to the stacks. Adams responded, “Any effort to reinstate the book will be met with legal action and protests from the Christian community.”

The city’s attorney, Camille Thompson, told Prudenti, “There is not a valid legal concern here” because the book is not pornographic. She added that Adam’s demand for $20,000 “made me question his motivation.”

Suter, as it turns out, resigned from the Library Director position, effective May 31. Both she and McCaslin said that her resignation had nothing to do with the flap over The Whole Lesbian Sex Book. Suter said that she wanted to spend more time at her art gallery.

Newman sees a silver lining to the controversy over her book: “If there was one teenaged lesbian or bisexual girl in America who didn’t know there was a book about the sexual experiences she so desires, she knows now.”

Lapdances, Constitutionally Protected Free Speech!

Judge’s ruling protects lap dancing as free speech

Dancer was cited in April 2005 after ‘prohibited touching’ of undercover officer

June 30, 2007

Lap dances are legal in Salem, protected by the Oregon Constitution’s free speech provisions, a Marion County judge ruled this week.

A city ordinance outlawing “prohibited touching” — sexually exciting physical contact for pay — has been ruled unconstitutional by Circuit Judge Albin Norblad.

The case involves Laurel Guillen, 24, a dancer at a northeast Salem club called Cheetah’s who gave a lap dance to an undercover officer in April 2005.

Salem residents hoping to limit strip club activity in the city called the ruling a setback.

“You see what they’ve done, they’ve taken free speech and they’ve stretched it to cover everything,” said South Salem resident Julia Allison, a member of Oregonians Protecting Neighborhoods. The group hopes to put a ballot measure before voters amending the state constitution to strengthen government regulation of strip clubs.

Two Salem strip clubs shrugged the ruling off Friday, saying it wouldn’t affect their business because they don’t allow lap dancing.

“We have table dances, where our entertainers stay 6 to 12 inches away at all times,” said Claude DeCorsi, manager of Star’s Cabaret. “Any victory for the adult industry, way to go, but it doesn’t really apply to us.”

Frank Boussad, owner of Presley’s Playhouse Cabaret, said his club also limits activity to table dances. “We don’t allow lap dancing,” he said. “We just try to run a real clean establishment.”

Cheetah’s is a “juice bar” club located on Silverton Road NE, which does not serve alcohol and is open to people 18 and older.

Court records say the officer paid Guillen for touching “her pelvis to his pelvis area and thigh for the purpose of arousing sexual excitement.”

Guillen was found guilty of prohibited touching in Salem Municipal Court in November 2006, fined $250 and sentenced to a year’s probation. She appealed her conviction to the circuit court.

In his ruling, which lawyers received in the mail this week, Norblad cited an Oregon Supreme Court case in which the high court found it legal under the state’s free speech protections for a stripper to rub her breasts against a man’s chest and perform a live sex show with another woman.

Norblad threw out the charge and found Guillen not guilty.

Guillen’s attorney, Kevin Lafky, said the city’s ordinance was written too broadly.

“Laws can applied arbitrarily,” Lafky said. “A whole host of very normal conduct, such as theater performance, movie making, photography — things of that nature — would be illegal under this ordinance as well.”

The ruling also applies, Lafky said, to a second dancer Salem police cited for prohibited touching during the same sting operation at Cheetah’s, Portland resident Stephenie Lawrow, 22.

Guillen, who lives in Gresham, did not respond to phone messages left Friday. No one at Cheetah’s was available for comment.

Salem City Attorney Randall Tosh said he was not prepared to comment Friday.

“We’re going to be doing a review of the ordinance in light of the case, and make some sort of determination to see if we can appeal it,” he said. “We’re considering our options.”

Allison said she hopes some action will be taken.

“I’m a moralist, I guess,”she said. “It’s disgusting. It’s another form of prostitution to me. You can’t tell me that they sit on their laps and that’s it.”

Flights of passage

Flights of passage


Staff Writer

Army parachute rigger students are required to complete five jumps in airborne school prior to enrollment in Fort Lee’s rigger course.

But ask any rigger student to put those five jumps up against their first student jump in the rigger course. They’ll tell you that the rigger jump is the most important jump they’ll ever make because for the first time, they’re directly responsible for the jump’s success — or failure.

“It’s a wonderful feeling because you get to jump in the parachute that you pack,” said Pfc. Channing Bartley, assigned to Company C, 262nd Quartermaster Battalion. “You wake up in the morning wanting to do it.”

Bartley and 60 or so of his fellow rigger students awoke the morning of Sept. 7, some with a measure of uneasiness, but most with anticipation, of their first and second jumps as riggers at the McLaney Drop Zone. Those jumps serve as a rite of passage for each Soldier-rigger, validating his or her skill at the craft of packing parachutes.

“It’s significant in the fact that the students build confidence in the equipment they’re rigging,” said Staff Sgt. Kenneth Baricuatro, rigger instructor. “In airborne school they are jumping someone else’s equipment. At Fort Lee, they are getting hands on (experience) with the equipment they’re actually packing.”

The day at McLaney began with a thick layer of fog that blanketed the weedy, dew-soaked fields. The students and instructors were discouraged by the sight, because when visibility is poor, the jump is sure to be postponed for safety reasons. Students, who were juiced with adrenaline in anticipation of the jump, were suddenly sunk by the dreary weather.

“It kind of gets you a little irritated,” said Pvt. Chelsea Raduziner of C Co., “but once it (the helicopter) shows up…it pumps you right back up in two seconds.”

The fog soon burned off, the jump pushed back 90 minutes and the students readied themselves, falling into their flight orders and checking each other’s equipment. When the sound of rotary blades could be faintly heard in the distance, the students assumed a posture of seriousness.

“Being their sixth jump, most of them are scared,” said Master Sgt. Kenneth Hamm, Aerial Delivery and Field Services Department instructor. “If they aren’t, they wouldn’t be normal.”

Being “scared” added Hamm doesn’t mean being paralyzed with fear.

“Once the first one jumps, they’ll all do it and meet the challenge because they are airborne Soldiers,” he said.

Eight-five airborne Soldiers in all — mostly students, but some instructors and others — filed on the CH-47 Chinook helicopter for several flights over McLaney at about 1,300 feet. This particular airborne operation was a tailgate jump, one in which the jumpers exit the aircraft via the large door opening from the rear, rather than the small door exit on the side of the aircraft. The students definitely prefer the tailgate jumps.

“This is the best jump I had,” said Bartley, after the jump, “because when you jump tailgate, you get the best exit….”

Like most of his fellow students, Bartley said he felt the rush of adrenaline just before and during the jump with an underlying feeling of fear.

“I was scared out of my mind,” he said. “If you don’t get scared or at least nervous before you jump, something’s wrong with you. It’s just human nature not to know what’s about to take place, but once you gain control of the situation, once that chute kicks in and everything is all right, you get that feeling that you know what you’re doing.”

The mood after the jump was more relaxed than before the operation. The fact that all students were able to jump and that there were no injuries all contributed to the ambiance.

“Aside from the delay, everything went smoothly,” said Hamm. “It was a successful jump.”

Most of the students who jumped Sept. 7 still have several weeks of schooling that remain. It will include a “Heavy Drop” in which they will pack cargo or equipment for the jump and subsequently jump behind it. The remaining students have about two weeks until graduation. Upon graduation, they will be awarded the red distinctive baseball-style caps that symbolize the career field and that represent the trust others have in their competence.

Quinceañera

Started off shaky but grew on me quickly.  Very nice; sensative, real and poignant, though some might see it as a Canadian ‘after-school special’ or Lifetime ‘Movie of the Week’.

Gitas for the Troops Featured on SastraDana.com

Aristide LaVey is a US Army soldier, a devotee of Sri Krishna. He first found out about the Bhagavad-gita as a child when he received a copy from a sankirtana devotee. Ever since he’s been a regular reader of Srila Prabhupada’s books and a visitor to the Iskcon Los Angeles temple. Recently he was called to active duty service in the Army and is based in Ft Bragg, North Carolina.

Aristide distributes Bhagavad-gitas to Army Chaplains and Chapplain assistants. He gives them a few copies to give to the soldiers who are looking to read the Bhagavad-gita. He also gives them out to anyone who sees him reading his and asks about it. “I try to be a good devotee through my service and example.” says Aristide.

Though the Department of Defense has authorized the recruitment of “Hindu” Chaplains since 1998, they have yet to attract any. It is Aristide’s dream to become the first.

Currently Aristide distributes the soft bound Bhagavad-gitas because that is what he can afford, but the vinyl Bhagavad-gitas would certainly be much better as they are more convientient and can fit in soldiers’ uniform pockets.

Please note that many Christian groups print and distribute to US soldiers vinyl Bibles of the same dimensions like our vinyl Bhagavad-gita. Certainly we can then distribute Bhagavad-gitas.


Aristide getting ready for parachute jumping


A Bhagavad-gita study session conducted at the army base by Aristide


Aristide distributes soft bound Bhagavad-gitas to an US Army Chaplain’s Assistant


Aristide distributes Bhagavad-gita to a soldier


Srila Prabhupada (SB 4.22.47):
“Knowledge of Krsna is such a great gift that it is impossible to repay the benefactor.”

To sponsor vinyl Bhagavad-gitas for distribution to soldiers by Aristide

go to DONATE page.

Please include a note that your donation is for Aristide. Thank you.

Bhagavad-gita Vinyl = $6.50

If you’re interested to help in any other way with the “Military Ministry” CONTACT US and we’ll put you in touch with Aristide.


Bhagavad-gita vinyl

http://www.sastradana.com/html/newsletterarchives/htmlarchive/09.13.htm

Weekend in Myrtle Beach

Natalia Fabia in this Month’s Angeleno Magazine

DC Trip

 

I spent this last four day-weekend in Washington, DC.  It was so nice to be in a very cosmopolitan area, after being removed from such things, thanks to the army, for so long.  Its been a long 18 months.  Anyway…

I met a good friend of mine, who had never been to DC (I visited when I was in high school), and we pretty much did touristy things.  It was terribly warm and muggy.

 capitalgraciela.jpg

Highlights include shopping in Georgetown (though being fashionably assaulted by the hyper-homo manager of Club Monaco was really not too nice – that guy needs to calm it down a bit.) and seeing Rolling Thunder drive by the Lincoln Memorial.  I also got some great shots of orchids at the National Botanical Gardens.  The Adams Morgan district was way cool, I’d like to spend some more time there, with all its independant shops and restaurnats.  I got in some religious tourism the first day and went to the Franciscan Monestary, the Basilica, and the offices of the Archdiocese for the Military Services.  I did not get to visit the mandirs or the OCA Cathedral of St Nicholas, due to a nasty case of snoozebuttonitis.

  

As far as dining, I finally had the chance to visit Teaism, a tea house, after visiting it online.  I visited the Dupont circle location (twice), across the street from the Embassy of Tchad.  For lunch one day I visited Etete, an Ethiopian restaurant, which was ok, just ok.  I have had better in LA, plus the tej was bad and made me sick for the rest of the day.  While in Georgetown we visited Paolo’s for drinks and apps and we were going to go to Mie N Yu, which looked really interesting, but the host staff was terribly rude to my friends, refusing to seat them (again), so we went across the street to the retarded Bistro Francais, where the service was lacking and the food was substandard.

 I stayed on the Air Force base and made good use of the DC metro system.

 All in all it was ok, I learned I need to get a better camera bag and wear better shoes next time.

NiteSpa in Daily Candy

July 8, 2005
Dialing Under the Influence
nitespa!

Late-night urges are the worst.Keebler binges. Infomercial-fueled shopping sprees. And, of course, the highly unsuitable booty call.

Next time you find yourself wanting to drink and dial, think about giving Nitespa a ring.

The beach bungalow spa is open from noon until midnight seven days a week. Kitted out with vintage furniture and sweet pink, vanilla, and chocolate brown hues, the space is cozy and Neapolitan. Treatments include massages, facials, nails, waxing, and makeup application. Services are by appointment, as are private parties (the in-house DJ really comes in handy).

All perfect for catering to the nocturnal beauty needs of busy bees, latey birds, and anyone who wants a little after-dark TLC.

The kind you won’t regret the morning after.
Nitespa, 1301 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, at Santa Clara Court, Venice (310-396-5122 or nitespa.com).