Wednesday, April 25, 2007

You’re Invited to a Pity Party!

You are most cordially invited to a Pity Party!

For: Sassy Sundry

When: Now, Before, Always

Why: Her Leg STILL Hurts a WEEK after Pulling a Muscle

I swear, I want to cut my leg off. I still can’t walk right. I can’t clean. I can’t do laundry. I can’t get all the effing empty boxes down the stairs and into the recycling bin. I can’t dance. People stare at me like I’m going to turn into Kaiser Soeze when I cross the street. People stare at me all the time. I want to beat them with sticks.

This sucks. Waaaaaaa. Pity me.

***Just In***

I'll be serving this at my Pity Party. You can wash it down with rum and Moxie. I'll have pork rinds too. I stole this from Found.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Week from Hell: Gun Control, War, the Attorney General, the World Bank, and Abortion Rights

What a week to be in a self-absorbed cocoon. While I was getting beaten, bruised, and strained in the act of moving, quite a week was going on out there. I don’t know how to rank this stuff, most of it is so bad, so the Sassy Sundries will be back next week.

Thanks to the militancy of the National Rifle Association, an insane young man was able to purchase guns and ammunition and shoot up his school. Somehow I don’t think that the Founders envisioned the kinds of arms we have available today when they introduced the right for states to raise militias into the Constitution. It angers me beyond belief that this tragedy could have been averted, if only our society would take both mental health and gun control more seriously.

While media outlets have been airing poignant portraits of the individuals killed in the Virginia Tech shooting, some two hundred Iraqis died in suicide bombings this week. This surge simply isn’t working. As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said, we can’t win this war militarily. But our Decider-in-Chief insists that surging will win the Global War on Terror. Guess we better trust him then.

The Decider steadfastly stood by his man in the hall of justice, despite his demonstrated incompetence and deceitfulness. Even his Republican allies castigated Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s performance at his hearing yesterday. How can a guy who graduated from Harvard Law forget so much? Let’s hope Gonzales, who argues that the Constitution does not actually contain the right to Habeas Corpus and that the Geneva Conventions rules outlawing torture are “quaint” and outdated, will soon be left to the dustbin of history.

One of the chief architects of the Iraq War and pal of the Decider Paul Wolfowitz vowed as head of the World Bank to go after corruption. Guess he never thought that anyone would find out that he stashed his girlfriend in the State Department and arranged for her to get sweet promotions and even sweeter paychecks. It must be nice to have the head of the World Bank as your sugar daddy.

The Bush-packed Supreme Court decided this week that women don’t have rights over their own bodies. Roberts and Alito ruled with Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy that despite expert medical opinion, that banning the so-called “partial birth abortion” was just fine. The dilation and extraction procedure (and potentially, due to the bill’s vague language, some second-trimester abortion procedures) is never, ever necessary, even if the mother’s life is at stake, because these guys said so.

I think I’ll try to repair my self-absorbed cocoon and see if I can’t get back in it. This is just too much.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Post-Move Post

Here I am. I’m not entirely certain what my name is. My bruises make me look like a junkie who has been beaten with sticks. There’s a sea of boxes waiting to be unpacked and a volcano of empty boxes spewing forth wadded-up newspaper. But I’ve escaped the Neighbors from Hell and am happily in the new place. My kitchen’s clean enough to cook in. I didn’t kill anyone (though had anyone been around while I was setting up my bed, I might have). I found my copy of Slaughterhouse Five and am rereading it. Today’s my first day back at work. I almost wrote that I was trying to do something productive, but that’s not true. I’m just trying to wait the hours out.

I did a little skiving off when I should have been unpacking and have discovered some gems around the neighborhood. The first is Taco Loco. I knew I was in for a little bit of Mexican food heaven when I listened to people ordering at this little taqueria—I was the only English-speaker there. While I need to branch out and try some new things, I have been hankering for a decent burrito for three years and ordered one up. Oh, yummy. Yummy, yummy, yummy. My mind is mush, so I can’t come up with anything other to say than yummy right now.

The second gem is Vinny’s Superette. Vinny’s is famous for a little the Italian restaurant hidden in the back of the store/sub shop. I showed up in the afternoon, so the restaurant wasn’t open, but I did take a peek. Having to make do with a veggie sub (not on the menu, but delicious), I took it to a table next to a couple of WWII vets (I know this because of their hats and jackets). One of them was a fat man with his pants belted just beneath his armpits. He winked at me, and said in a gravely voice, “Well, how are you deeah?” (have to love the true Massachusetts accent). I smiled, replied, “Just fine, thanks,” and ate a pickle.

Yesterday I took the T to Harvard Square (I would have been more creative, but it was raining, and I wanted to be somewhere where I could duck into a store if it started pouring). After wandering through the fabulous old perfume shop and picking up some divine nibbles at Cardullos, I got a glass of wine at Finale and read more Slaughterhouse Five. These Abercrombie-wearing chicks seated across from me were drinking glasses of milk, and I thought about A Clockwork Orange. I looked away and went back to my book. On my ride back, I laughed out loud while reading my book. Embarrassed, I glanced up, only to find three people seated across from me nodding in approval. Vonnegut is gone. He is missed. So it goes.

The war goes on, a mentally disturbed student got his hands on a couple of guns (rather easy to do in Virginia, apparently) and murdered thirty-two people, and the Bush-packed Supreme Court just handed down quite the blow to women’s rights. I can’t think about any of that now, but I will.

That’s all for now.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Shakin' the Dust

See you soon! I'm shakin' off the dust of this one-horse town and moving to the city.

So It Goes: Goodbye, Kurt Vonnegut

Goodbye, Kurt Vonnegut. Thank you for making me see the absurdity of war. Thank you for teaching me to question control. Thank you for helping me to think. Thank you for making me laugh myself sick.

I’d say you never knew that you imparted these things to me, but I saw you give a lecture once. I was seated in the balcony, eye level with your podium. You talked about the joy you had in not using your computer for anything other than playing chess. You shared tales from your adventures in walking around the city, procuring supplies to mail a letter (you got to check out a lovely woman who sold you stamps), and as you spoke, you looked often at me. So although I’m sure you did not remember me, I think in those moments you knew that you had reached me. When I read the story in Timequake, I could hear your voice and see your tired, sad, mischievous eyes looking at me. It made me happy.

I heard the news this morning that you were gone, and I was very sad for a moment. But then I was happy, knowing how much this world had wearied you, however much you still loved it. I hope your final moments were peaceful. You will be missed.

So it goes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Welcome to New Hampshire: A Moving Story

My first roommate in graduate school, I’ll call him McRoomie, had the most harrowing moving experience of all time. McRoomie was one of the sweetest, most mild-mannered people I’ve ever met. He had served in the Peace Corps. He liked children. I actually saw him help a little old lady across the street. I never saw him get mad, even when perhaps he should have. So the fact that this happened to him makes it all the more incredible to me.

McRoomie moved from Georgia to start his graduate studies in New Hampshire. He packed up all his stuff into one of those yellow moving vans and headed to the Granite State with joy in his heart. He smiled as he crossed the New Hampshire border. He paid the toll at the toll booth and thanked the toll taker for taking his money. He drove under an underpass on the highway. On the bridge were a dozen state troopers, with guns. Pointed at McRoomie. This freaked McRoomie out, but perhaps this is the New Hampshire way, he thought.

Not two seconds later, his yellow moving van was surrounded by even more state troopers. Confused, he pulled over, even using his turn signal to do so. A trooper ripped open the door, pulled him out of the car, while a number of other cops trained their guns on him. Slammed up against the moving van, with a gun against his head, the troopers screamed at him. A couple of others ripped open the moving van door and started searching. McRoomie nearly pissed himself with fear. He was so scared that he didn’t even think to question why this was happening to him.

Less than a minute later, the cops searching the van hopped down and said, “It’s not him.”

Down went the guns, away went the cops. The trooper who had frisked him threw his wallet back at him, saying, “Welcome to New Hampshire.”

Quaking in his boots, McRoomie drove very slowly to his new home. It wasn’t until a week or so later that he learned that someone using a yellow moving van had robbed an armored car, killing the driver and his companion (a crime that was never solved).