— this is really happening

December, 2007 Monthly archive
Tonight, the low fog went down on us like a blanket. Everything was yellow green, even me when I ran up the road to take this photo. And a moment ago the clock struck midnight––New Year’s Eve. Almost two thousand and eight years since Christ was born. It’s good, I was just wondering how long ago that happened.

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Giggle me timbers! Boy did I wail in laughter at this one. Love it! (Taken from Shortcomings, Adrian Tomine’s first longer work after his Optic Nerve series.) Full NYT story.

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I pulled a blonde hair from under my chin just now. I didn’t have to pull hard; it came just like that. I guess I decided I didn’t need that hair anymore. This was a thought I had while reckoning that I know very little about being a politician and that I was wrong before. Let me explain. In my last post I mentioned that politicians have no idea what they’re doing. That, my friend, is absolute rubbish. If Bobby Cassidy were here (name changed for anonymity) he’d have every right to toss me a good one on the back of the head for that shite.

Have you done this, my friend? This blurting out of opinions that you have not taken the time to substantiate but that you have the beginning of an idea about? I know I’m not alone on this. (I just watered my plant.) It’s like, because you are a bit too lazy in a particular moment you choose to sculpt a loose shell of the idea and summarize it into a bogusly watery statement like, "politicians have no idea what they’re doing." Please. That’s just silly. As my Dad would say while sending me a mocking right hook to the shoulder, "use your words, Monica."

So, I talked about politicians having no idea what they’re doing. I disagree with myself. Ahha! Take that, Mon Dieu! Here’s why: I have long questioned whether the professionalization of politics has corrupted it. By that I mean that aside from trusty Ronnie Reagan and a smallish handful of others, today’s American politicians are rarely reputable figures from the community with a prior non-political profession under their belts that rose them to fame. No, in today’s insanely complicated political world of intelligence, nuclear weapons, thousands of years of history stacked upon itself, grudges, countless wars, etc., politics is usually conducted by professionals who have been trained to be just that. And I can see why. It’s a commodified world out there. When my teeth need fixin I don’t go to an amateur, I go to a pro. The market (and our voting habits are a market) really wouldn’t let a non-professional do a professional’s job. Now I’m not saying professional means honest, nor am I saying that professional means worthy (ie: Bush), but I am saying that it makes sense that we would want folks who were specifically experienced in politics to be our politicians. So even as I realize this is a huge topic and I’m not covering all my bases, I must confess it is inaccurate to say that politicians don’t know what they’re doing. Of course a lot of them know what they’re doing, they must.

Politicians won’t stop what they’re doing because they don’t exist in a vaccuum. Despite the fact that everyone likes Mister Smith Goes To Washington because it was a great story, and many sure do enjoy the idea that a fresh, innocent face like Barack Obama could rid us of some crooked aspects of modern-day politics. Still, it is unlikely. I just don’t even know what that would look like in this era.

I miss (political) heros.

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The room smells like cat litter and figuratively, I have nothing left to give to it. I’m waiting to clean the box for some reason, like a person waits to go the bathroom while on the computer. I saw Charlie Wilson’s War on my own yesterday. Heck of a movie! Slap my liberal knee, heck of a movie! I now know much more than before about places I think I should have known more about to begin with. Bonus: the military history lesson was imparted to me with a jolliness that may have been over the top at times, (was the Cold War really THAT funny??) but I like that the movie showed how uncalculated politics and clandestine operations can be. Afghan mujahedeen, Zai in Pakistan, Dan Rather in a turban, and there’s Charlie Wilson with coke in his nose in a hot tub in the Cayman Islands orchestrating deals over rotary telephones to covertly send arms to Afghanistan through Israel and then Egypt to ensure the Soviets don’t win. (Whew!) The hoot of CWW is the elegance it conveyed about a man and his make-shift team who, from the outside, were the picture of inelegance. But I think that’s true. Politicians don’t even write bills — shoot, they don’t even read bills most of the time. A movie like this unfolds how HUGE occurences in the world (oh ya know, like the Cold War ending) can sometimes be played out over scotch at a poolside in Houston, or over a strip tease in a dark room in Cairo. Like most of us, politicians have no idea what they’re doing. Good for Hanks. I enjoyed it! And now I will go do my own research.

Back to my smelly room, I have turned on the heater by my feet and I’m warming up slowly. I’m drinking black coffee and the tippy tips of my fingers are cold too. And look, the rain has returned! What luck! An occasion to celebrate that I sent my first "NRN" email today. ("Update on PFY – NRN") Here the subject line specifically relieved my recipients of the potential ponderance, "Does this necessitate a response?" Nope! The NRN means "No reply needed." Now that’s cool! Why didn’t I know about this before?! There’s NRT as well: No Thanks Needed. Yessir, tell ’em you don’t need to be thanked. Tell ’em!

Hm, I haven’t been writing on this bloggy in a few days. Did you notice? As I was just telling my wintery sweatered dinner date last night, the blunt truth of today friends, is that I’m in between things. Just closing a phase of sorts, prepping up for my 30th bday wake, wondering what’s in store for me in ’08. For those of you who have spoken to me about this, my "I’m a boy" poetry has been racing. The haircut is like magic. I am letting transformation take its natural course. Will I head away to Providence? Will I go Scandinavian? Will I someday be the husband I have always wanted to be? All I know is that it’s sure to be the year of making good use of my hands. So, I just signed up for a 4-day introductory dry stone walling class in Ontario. This should propel my New Year’s resolution: use hands in new ways and more. (Damn my hands are cold right now!)

And now I’m off to Salt Lake as should have happened last weekend. I’ll be back to toll in the New Year with my besties, who are forever changing, and forever brave.

P.S. I’ve just finished Persepolis (thoughts to come!) and I’m starting War and Peace. Wish me 1400 pages of luck.

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I have been talking up a wizbang of merriment about this holiday season. And it’s been true and I’m not alone; a great deal of emphasis is put on the occasion being a joyous and delightful one. Though for many, and for me to a certain extent, the holidays are a trigger, however faint—a kind of familiar, arrant reminder of what our childhood families were not, and never have been, and never will be. And strung to that sense is the warping supposition that we should best be spending a great deal of money during this time as well, which for many people is a very hard thing to do. Trippy merger. So yes, December can be a very contradictory and bewildering time as well.

I like the idea that when we return to the places our parents live, we enter the door with our newest posture, the posture of exactly today, the posture we’ve spent exactly all our days building up. Maybe they can see it, maybe they have been working to be able to really "see" us now, and in these next few days they will act as the mirrors they were not able to be when we were young. Probably not. That’s okay.

We are wise children, though. We have raced among the banchees, against odds and obstacles to arrive as we are when we enter their homes. We have grown. We have taken some of our unmastered parts by the lapel and said, "Com’ere you!" We have sacrificed some parts of ourselves for them and their psyches, and they too, have done this for us. I believe we heal our parents when we heal ourselves. I believe that’s part of the order of things. For in a certain sense, we are them.

Tread safely, strong, and solid on your journeys home, friends. And despite what you were once told, you are a good, good kid, and you always were.

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No Salt Lake City trip. Cancelled due to weather. In the words of Paul McCartney, "carry on, love."

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