Saturday, January 24, 2009

how do you even say

How vitally important it is that you have the choice? That you have the right to make a horrible, difficult choice? That your life will be changed no matter what you choose, but that you can at least make the choice? We as a people have been talking about Roe v. Wade since the decision was made, and I personally have been trying to think of how to write what it means to me all week. I can't. This right is possibly the most personally important right I have in this country. What can I say? Having the right is the only way to respect the difficulty of the choice. I guess I just can't understand why everyone doesn't see it that way.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thirty pounds, thirty feet up, for three days

It's not like she was ever really lost. We just didn't always know where she'd gone.

She was ridiculously good tempered about, well, everything. Her round head would squish and stretch into realistic versions of the Cheshire cat's smile every time she touched..or lifted patted, swatted, dropped, or my brother did many times as a child...carried into the bathroom. Of course, my brother Colin did teach her to pee in a toilet that way. She was most certainly not your everyday sort of cat. Where all her siblings were tabbies, she was white with large scattered spots of color all over. Of course my brother picked her when we were seven. Picked her because she wasn't like the other kitties. Of course he named her Splotches, and Splotches was not ever like any other kitty.

Splotches owned the world. Nothing was beyond her little kitty reach. If she liked the way your dinner smelled, she would invite herself in. If she wanted to nap in the middle of the street, no moving vehicle would stop her. They would stop for her. Neither her heart murmur nor the loss of her claws on her front feet slowed her hunting of everything from voles to blue jays. She got dirty like a dog, and she let my brother hold her in his arms while he slept. Which he did almost every night.

It was because of this nighttime ritual that the rest of the family clued in that something might be wrong. Splotches may have kept her own hours, but she came home often. When she wasn't home for the second night in a row, Colin began to insist she was lost. We had to find her. We searched the woods near our cottage for an entire day with no luck. My brother and I carefully treaded that fine childish line between hope and loss.

And then, under our favorite huge and bending tree by the stream, we paused and we looked up.
There she was.

A shock of white high above us, rocketing us out of the trees screaming towards our parents. We danced and yelled until our father found a way to get to her. He hammered found pieces of wood into the tree until he could reach her, leaving a ladder in his wake.

When our farther reached her, he declared down to us that she had climbed thirty feet into the tree. She wasn't skittish or difficult on the way down. She calmly allowed dad to carry her down to my brother.

Perhaps I should mention that it's a little difficult to climb down a tree on a homemade ladder single handed while carrying a thirty pound cat, no matter how well mannered she is. Regardless, we were overjoyed to have her back, and for the rest of her life our father looked at her with a certain amount of respect.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

a letter to the president

Dear Mr. President,

Please don’t think me too critical for writing this today, but in an otherwise hope-filled and galvanizing speech there was one negative note which gave me pause. You called us non-believers.

I understand the difficulty in finding an appropriate and speech-worthy title for every faction in our salad-bowl culture. I realize that you meant us no slight, and that of course it was in reference to our lack of theist beliefs, but….

Wars, hate and crime, even when wrecked in religion’s name, are not caused by religion. These things we know are done by human beings. That these are some of our very human failings, we know. We also know that religion does not feed the hungry, nurse the wounded or comfort the dying. These things too, are done by human beings. Our greatest achievements in the arts and sciences, our most breathtaking discoveries are, just like our greatest failings, done by human beings. So perhaps, Mr. President, you can see why I challenge you to find another term for us. Something more fitting for what we do believe. We believe in humanity.


An Atheist in America

Sunday, January 18, 2009

bridesmaid's dresses, graduation gowns and other clothing I don't need to keep

If I give it to goodwill, I will need it next week. This is the thought which keeps me from giving away piles of useless clothing. The bridesmaid's dress is hideous and fits like a paper sack. I cannot think of any reason why I would ever wear it again, but I can't bring myself to throw the damn thing away. It's not my fault, I swear. Blame the lime green bell bottoms.

I have no idea why I had to have them, but they were a prized possession during high school. Ridiculously tight, florescent brushed denim, with such a low rise, most underwear wouldn't fit inside them. I loved them. A few years later, I was embarrassed to admit they were in my closet. I unloaded them to a resale shop and considered myself very grown up. Not even a week later, there was a seventies themed costume party, and I had nothing to wear. Really. Not one thing in my closet could even pretend to be as seventies as those pants. I have no memory of what I actually wore to said party, but I do distinctly recall the despair and inferiority my outfit caused me.

So, now I have more clothes than will fit in my closet, most of which I can't imagine wearing, but I'm loathe to give anything away. Every time I tackle my closet, no matter how serious I am about making space, I find my way blocked my that one pair of green pants.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

the old zombie plan

Oh, the zombie plan. I am not nearly as prepared for any realistic type of disaster as I am for the zombie apocalypse. There is a zombie team, a group of friends who realize that I could one day call them and tell them that the sky has fallen. Only the truly wack can keep constant vigilance awaiting the signs of our doom. After the team has been activated, the team must work towards meeting at our previously arranged hideout. It's a warehouse, not too far from anything, with no windows on the first floor, roof access, showers, running water, and enough bottled water inside for the next ten years. It's pretty perfect. The zombie team will, upon activation, bring with them all of their firearms (for raiders, not zombies), all food available, and medication. My personal plan involves firearms, as I will need to knock over a few pharmacies to have as much insulin as possible. I'll still only last a year? two? at most before insulin is no longer an option, but I want to give myself as much time as possible. Our hideout is unassuming and easily defendable. Roof access is obviously highly prized on the chance that military rescue is possible. So...yeah. We might make it, for a little while.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

someone should probably film this

It's pretty obvious at this point that some things are going to change. Some of the changes are exciting. I can walk into my tiny closet for the first time...ever. Within the next two weeks, I hope to actually have all of my clothes in the closet as well.

It's quite the project.

Then, after reaching my so-far unachievable goal of clothing organization, I'll tackle my books. I love my books. they are arranged on the 6 bookcases by subject, with Fiction shelved alphabetically. I need to pack them all up. Just thinking about it leaves me feeling faint.

Why? would am I putting myself through this? Sadism? Self-improvement?
Edmund and I had the talk.

It will be me, Edmund, Edward, the two cats, and whatever of our belongings we can fit, all together in the 375sq.ft. apartment I've been living in for the last two years.

It will be libraries and record collections moving into storage.

It will be battles of furniture, art, toys and that most precious commodity of

and hilarity ensues...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I'm a little overwhelmed. And this exercise is paying the price. I want to make time to write this everyday, but feels so trivial. Do I write a blog, or am I on time for my second job? Do I write a blog, or do I work on cleaning my apartment? Do I write a blog, or do I actually do my job?

Blog is not the big winner, but I'm not giving up.

Monday, January 12, 2009

oh man am I behind

Because I can't manage my blogging responsibilities over the weekend. I can't log on and write just a paragraph a day! How depressing. I will try to make time to be online and blog over the weekend, so hopefully this will be a "learning experience" instead of a "setback."

I think the problem is trying to meet all my goals at the same time. I managed to clean out my closet this weekend, work both Saturday and Sunday and catch up on sleep, but I couldn't just get online and blog!

I'm trying harder for this week...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

anthropomorphism is aweome and all...

but I have to work too hard not to do it in real life. My dog does not love me, no matter how many times I say he does. He looks to me to provide him with shelter, food and comfort. He may or may not appreciate these things. He seems to enjoy my company and the care I provide, but I do not assume that I can define love for a dog. If he were human, I would call him loyal and devoted, but is it fair to call him so as a dog? Perhaps he does love me, in the way that only dogs can love and humans can never truly understand. Even if that is so, my human words could never properly express his affection.

blank pages

all the routines I can't manage to keep have blank pages. Every year I buy a planner. I get so excited holding that little book in my hands, full of order and potential. And then I blow it. I usually last less than a month. My life isn't interesting enough to require a planner, but every year I hope it will be different.

Journaling wasn't as bad...while it lasted. I wouldn't exactly call it a routine, but I wrote...sometimes. I eventually filled the book, though it took me several years. Even now, when I say I filled my journal, I mean that I got as far as I'm ever going to get. It's full enough.

Now, I'm trying to blog every day. This is not working so well. I'm trying to write every day, but without internet at home, nor the extra time to sit down and write...I'm not sure if this will last either. So far I've only missed one day (out of four), which isn't too discouraging. I hope though, that this one will become a routine, not just another chance for blank pages.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

If you don't mind, I'd like to stay under this rock.

Food is scary. Really scary. I have vivid memories of the first time I was encouraged to try...onion rings. That soft, slippery brown worm, all cozy inside it's deep-fried home had me vomiting until I couldn't taste anything but bile. I still can't eat onions. Or coconut, or any citrus fruit. Any one will have me hurling within moments. Many other vegetables make me gag, but I can choke most of them down.

So, no. Anthony Bourdain, stay away from me. I don't want to try adventurous new foods. Really, I'm okay with puffy tacos and macaroni for the rest of my days. I don't want to find out just how many foods actually make me throw up.

Monday, January 5, 2009

men are interchangeable


It's been awhile since you cheated on me/dumped me/I dumped you, and I'm not sure why, but I feel like I should get everything off my chest. Even after all this time, I still hate you/ think you're pretty cool/could care less. Did you have to break me/drink so much/be so lame? I guess it wasn't all horrible/dangerous/sleep-inducing. I really had fun that time we drove to New Orleans/filmed that movie/went to that show, but it could never make up for you being a jerk/crazy/boring. I guess the past is what it is, so I hope you won't mind when I say I hope you rot in hell/have fun/move on.