Archive for August, 2007

Links O’ the day! (No really! I know!)

Yeah, so it has been about 4 years since I’ve done this, but I kept running across interesting things today.

I occasionally see cars with the “Fair Tax” bumper stickers, and some group keeps staging Fair Tax rallies around the Charleston area, but I had no idea what it actually was until this post.  Not surprisingly, it’s a horrifically ridiculous idea, but the craziest thing about it is that it was invented by scientologists.   Yeah, because they were at war with the IRS because they didn’t recognize them as a legitimate religion.  It sounds like I’m making that up, doesn’t it?

This seems really cool at first, but the idea of something powered by rocket fuel hardwired into my nervous system really freaks me out.

Hot damn, Iowa!  Chalk another one up for the good guys.

Did you know that natural redheads are going extinct?   That makes me sad.  I love redheads.  I wanted to be one for a very long time, but after I spent hundreds of dollars at various salons and once accidentally dyed my hair purple (no really.  It was actually purple.  Atrocious.) I realized it was never going to happen for me.

Signed!

Papers signed!  I have somewhere to live!  And it is the place by the lake!

Even though I knew we were going to get this place, it is still a huge relief to actually be certain about it.  Thank god that I have somewhere to move to in 23 days (also:  ohmygodholyshit I’m moving in 23 days).  Pete is moving in as we speak, since he starts back teaching on Tuesday.   What a fun way to spend Labor Day weekend, no?

Insert the requisite Squeeee! here.

2 years ago

It seems so recent when I think about it. I had driven through the outermost bands of the storm on my way from Charleston to Alabama that afternoon, leaving earlier than usual trying to race the storm. It was an odd feeling to be driving towards a hurricane. My family and I were going to Tennessee that weekend to go to a horse show, and I didn’t want to miss it just because there was another hurricane (it had been a busy season, after all). I can’t remember giving more thought than usual to Katrina when she formed, mostly because she wasn’t projected to mess with us on the S.C. coast, and I must admit that I always wish them to hit “anywhere but here.” When she hit Florida it seemed minor, and then we all kept watching as she turned into this:

If that doesn’t make your throat close up, you’ve never been in a hurricane.

I can remember so clearly sitting in front of the TV that night as we realized how bad it was going to be, how much worse it was getting by the moment. New Orleans was a city that meant a lot to me. My parents took my there for my 10th birthday for the first time, and I had gone back many, many times since. My high-school sweetheart and the first boy I ever loved lived there. My old roommate’s parents. The entire family of a dear friend of mine. That was where I spent New Year’s Eve of 2002. I’ve been hungover at cafe Du Monde. The house my father lived in as a baby while my grandfather was in Graduate school at Tulane was right there in the French quarter. It was a city I knew and loved. It is a city I still mourn.

I went out that night with a bunch of my college friends. It was an odd thing to do, but I couldn’t watch CNN any more and see what was happening. I think we all wanted to forget it, and there was an air of forced elation, almost hysteria hanging over the entire evening. We had odd transplants. Two of a friend’s cousins were there with us, evacuees from New Orleans. Their father had stayed in the house when they left. They hadn’t been able to get in touch with him for hours. One of them kept bursting into tears. I finally breathed one sigh of relief when, miraculously, that same high school sweetheart walked into the bar with a group of friends from New Orleans. They all looked shocked and bewildered. Scared, actually. At least I knew they were safe.

And as the days passed, and the week went on, it just go so much worse. I don’t remember exactly when I heard the levees had failed and the city was flooding, but I remember that it made me cry. It was the first of many tears I shed that week, and it still happens occasionally.

Monday, I went to see a film called Hurricane on the Bayou with Leezle. It was excellent, beautiful, and engaging. It was also tragic and heartbreaking. They had a montage of “next morning” shots that made me cry all over again. For some reason, this was the image that really got to me:

Because there is no way to fight something with power like that.  Nothing that can be done.  And yet we continue to live in these places and our arrogance grows as we go years and years and years without major damage.  And when we get hit with one that is bad, but not catastrophic, we think that since we’ve continued living in these places and we’ve rebuilt our homes that we are somehow “beating” the weather.  We build our levees to contain the rivers and lakes.  We allow our wetlands to disappear.  We stop thinking that it could all be erased in a blink by a fluke of nature.

And then New Orleans is destroyed.  In a matter of hours.  And it’s horrifying.

So that is what “lewd conduct” means!

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho):  “I’m not gay, I just like to sexually proposition strange men in airport restrooms. ”

OK, so maybe not an actual quote, but it is close enough.

I love that his response to the arrest was pulling out his business card, which shows that he is a U.S. Senator and asked “What do you think about that?”  Uhhh…I think you’re nastyAnd also, I think your career is OH-VER.

What a damn moron.  What kind of Senator actually thinks he can get away with something like this?   Especially a senator who’s main support base comes from people who are terrified that teh gayz are gonna steel ther babbies!??!!?!?

So, so stupid.  And mon dieu this has entertained me today.  All I can say is keep the sex scandals, bribery, blistering idiocy, and general lack-of-human-feeling coming, because each and every step is bringing that Democratic presidency closer.

She just needs 5 minutes…

Freakgirl linked to this horrifying story today and I am so bothered by it.  Pfc. LaVena Johnson, a solider serving in Iraq, was found beaten severely and dead from a gunshot wound in her tent near Balad in July, 2005.  A blood trail was leading to her body, and autopsy report showed that an attempt had been made to set her body on fire.  She had a dislocated shoulder, two front teeth knocked loose, and a busted lip.  There was no conclusive evidence that she even handled the weapon that killed her.  She was 19 years old.

The army ruled her death a suicide, and closed the case.

This case needs to be reopened, and desperately.  Sign the petition, or better yet, write your senator or representative serving on the Armed Services Committee.  This list doesn’t have their e-mail addresses, but if you prefer to contact them that way, just google their names and you can find contacts for their offices.  I just e-mailed my senator, Lindsey Graham, and it took me less than five minutes.  Please don’t let them ignore her death.  This was a vicious crime.  Don’t let it go unpunished.

One Month

Okay. As of today we are officially one month away from us getting up at God knows what time prior to the ass-crack of dawn (though, honesly, we probably won’t even get up until 10, because Pete’s flight on Friday night doesn’t get in until MIDNIGHT. Listen Air Tran, I get that you can’t have direct flights into Charleston yet, because we’re a small airport and all, but I just don’t think it is reasonable that you don’t have any flights leaving Atlanta between 5:30 and 11:15 PM. Would it kill you to throw in a flight around, say, 9 or so?) and begin our monumental trek of 1,000 miles.

I am dreading the trip with every fiber of my being. I hate driving. It makes me lose my mind. Even if I have to drive 1 or 2 hours, it infuriates me. I feel like it is a complete waste of time and I can’t distract myself for longer than 5 minutes. Throw in the anxiety of being convinced that I am going to die in a horrible, fiery crash on the interstate and it doesn’t make for a good time. I know I start to get obnoxious after a while, too, but I just can’t help it. I guess I should take heart that when Pete and I drove to Alabama, we drove over 1,000 miles without killing each other.   But it was spread over 5 days, and we got to do fun stuff like feed cows and go sailing in between.

This will also be the longest continuous road trip I’ve ever been on. My max so far has been just over 8 hours, and my mom was driving so I slept most of the way. I was also 15, so I had my seething resentment at the world in general to keep me entertained. And not only is it a long road trip, but it is a long road trip that will be almost continuously on interstate 95. Which means that we get to drive through fun cities like Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York! Doesn’t this look like fun:

Haven’t you always wanted to drive through Manhattan? (please excuse me while I go vomit and take care of these hives that have just broken out all over me…)

Such is the diffculty that my life entails. No, I’m kidding. This isn’t really a big deal, I just don’t have anything to write about. I mean, I am terrified about it and my palms are all sweaty just thinking about it, but Pete already told me that he would drive through all the hard parts, since he grew up having to drive around things like this:

What I REALLY don’t want him to find out about is how unbearably annoying I can be after 16 solid hours. I guess he better get used to it…

(Oh, by the way, they close on the house on the 31st, and I’m not saying anything else about it before then. Because, you know, the cursing,)

The 19th.

Today is:

A) My mother’s birthday.  Happy Birthday, Mom!  Thanks for sticking up for me when Daddy told me I cursed too much on my website!

B) Bill Clinton’s birthday.  Happy Birthday, Bill!  I guess the gift he is receiving is that Bush is constantly making him look better and better by comparison.  Cheers to that!

C) Exactly one month until my last day of work, and one month and three days until I set out on a 995 mile drive to my new home.

Here is what I have done to prepare myself for the giant move:

NOTHING

And now, I’m in official countdown mode, and I still have So Much to do.   I hate moving.  Will you come over here and help me pack boxes?  I have some wine I can let you drink.   Will you find me a job in MA?  That pays well?  And that utilizes my degree?  And that lets me sleep in until 8:30?  And that I don’t have to drive to in the snow?  If you can do that, I’ll cook you some chicken and dumplings.   And I’m sure if you go downstairs, my neighbors will let you smoke their pot.

(By the way, when you’re down there, will you tell them to turn down the damn music?  And also that when they are playing Grand Theft Auto- at least I think that is what it is- that they don’t have to scream as much?  Oh!  And also ask my neighbor how in GODS NAME he can possibly stay up until 2 in the morning every night and still get up at about 5:30 and go to work WHERE HE TEACHES 6TH GRADERS all day and manage to come home and yet again stay up until 2.  I think he might actually be magic.  Or maybe he’s a coke-head, too?  Whatever…I’m gone in a month anyway)

Right now I am on the ubiquitous quest for boxes, but the liquor stores are always out.  I guess I’ll have to wait until the students finish moving in and then just pillage theirs.  Or maybe I can just pack everything in trash bags.  Or maybe just pile everything on the front lawn and light it on fire.  I’m thinking that is probably the easiest way to deal with this problem.

Now where are my matches?