|My mind is a greyhound that has missed you TERRIBLY
||[Jan. 20th, 2012|01:38 pm]
Obviously I need to do more writing. I can tell when I'm not writing enough…or enough of the RIGHT stuff. My brain just gets so filled with words and thoughts and then I finally get a few minutes to put metaphorical pen to paper and it's the literary equivalent of a greyhound going batshit* when you get home: highspeed joy that makes you feel like you have seventeen dogs freaking out that you finally got home and rescued them after two HOURS of complete, total, UTTER abandonment. And suddenly there is a dog part everywhere you turn and you're getting stomped on by practically prehensile toes tipped with raking claws, being poked at by an impossibly intrusive pointed snout, bodychecked by a veritable Metrotrain of oddly articulated dog midsection and brutally whipped by a tail that would be prized by dominatrixes the world over. And then the 60 seconds is over and the greyhound goes and lays down, completely ignoring you until you touch leash or dogfood bowl.
THAT'S how I’ve been writing. Here are some quotes from WORK e-mails this past week:
“Ha, still haven't found my mind, but I've put up posters on telephone poles, so I have high hopes of retrieving it, as I lied and said it needed daily medication. That tends to work with dogs, so we'll see.”
“If you could coat this with a glaze of urgency, I'd appreciate it.”
“I know you have a lot of forest fires to put out, and this is just a small problem, but consider it a hole in one of your fire hoses. Eventually, conflagration.”
“Here's the deal: I am not going to change the way we do business because it annoys your accounts receivable department. You're just going to have to suck it up.”
“Make this go away and I will totally owe you my firstborn. On second thought, my ovaries are like raisins that rolled under the couch six months ago. How about I buy you a beer instead?”
I've used these words/phrases: Palpitations. Rat's Patoot. Please sit up and focus. Time to pull on your big girl panties. Completely unglued. Havoc that makes Ragnarok look like a childs' birthday party.
It's bad enough when this stuff is in my head. Less professional when my internal editor stays home sick and I say it out loud. But when I start committing it to my work record? Eek.
So – what follows is probably in need of some severe editing, but right now the brainpurge is needed far more then knowing I've gifted some finely crafted piece of writing to the world.
Ow. You can't hear it, but there is a Greek Chorus in my head that is saying variations of “Ow.” All the time... I got a tetanus booster shot (how proud am I that the cover of my patient chart has two warning stickers: “Animal rescue: Accelerated Tetanus” and “Allergy: Prednisone Psychosis”. It's going to be much harder to be cool when this is all computerized!) and because I get them every five years, rather than every ten years, owing to my propensity for getting deep puncture wounds from dirty claws and fangs, they are particularly painful. So for three days now, every time anything – oh, like clothing, fabric, a colleague who's trying to get my attention – touches my deltoid'been three days and it's faded to more of a murmuration. As in, a Greek Chorus of murmurs, as opposed to a Greek Chorus of starlings.**
I got an e-mail touting a seminar on Culinology: the marriage of culinary arts with food science. Okay, on the one hand, I sort of get what they're trying to do there. But art and science are NOT separate things that need to be joined like some medieval land grab scheme, I mean, union of two houses to reaffirm peace, loyalty and a united kindgdom. Art and science are a spider web. One fuels the other and neither can exist without the other. Plus, it's just a matter of time until someone lists “Culinologist” on their resume and we all know that pretentiousness causes brain tumors in innocent bystanders. Like me.
A serious moment on a serious topic. I've been following the story of a high school student in Rhode Island who asked her school to take down a prayer banner – a banner that while in the middle is generic and completely reasonable, is titled “School Prayer”, begins with the phrase “Heavenly Father” and ends with “Amen”. Hanging in a public high school. And she asked the school to take it down. Because it violates the LAW. Which it does. And the school said “no” because it was part of the school tradition. So, she took it to court. And the court agreed and told the school they needed to take it down. (Mind you, a similar banner hangs elsewhere in the school, and omits the words “prayer”, “heavenly father” and “Amen”. No one has a problem with that.) And the whole town of Cranston, RI has their panties in a wad over it.
I've been following it for several reasons. Number one: I will admit to living in Cranston for a certain time period. Long enough to be able to fall into the accent (think Boston in a cage match with New Jersey) the way I fall into a pothole but NOT long enough to learn how to tease my hair into a Cranston big-hair-do.
Number two: normally I'm pretty much a live and let live person. I mean, I don't CARE that a God I don’t believe in is on the dollar bill. I will bow my head if you want to say Grace at dinner. I'm respecting the people I'm with. I will recite “One nation under God” during the Pledge, because, it just doesn't matter enough to me. Although I will happily grab any chance to remind you that that phrase has actually only been in the Pledge of Allegiance for nine more years than I've been alive. I’m old, but not old enough to be considered a national tradition. But when wingnuts start declaring that we are a “Christian nation” – a code word that no longer seems to mean “the majority of Americans are of a Christian background or belief system” but instead “screw you people of other faiths, or no faith, if you don't want to support Christianity, then you're against America”…I get a little tetchy.
Number three: when I was about this girl's age, I petitioned my high school to allow girls to have equal access to the weightlifting equipment. And I had a lot of people tell me that I should stop making a fuss. That they couldn't believe I was making such a big deal over it. That I should be HAPPY that for 30 minutes a day we girls, with special permission, would be allowed into the boy's locker room where the equipment lived, while the boys teams were all out at practice. Even if that meant that we had to MISS 30 minutes of practice if we wanted to lift weights. And I was called a lot of names by my classmates – you can imagine that I was the DARLING of the “important” boys' sports teams. I got called a dyke, a lesbian, an ugly brute. The Hulk. Brutus Maximus. I remember being hit in the head by basketballs “Oh, I guess lifting weights doesn’t protect your FACE, you ugly bitch!”. I remember being shampoo having been squirted over everything in my locker. I remember being elbowed and shoved by the members of the GIRLS basketball team because they were siding with the BOYS team. I remember crying in the locker room. I remember crying at home. I remember wishing I'd never, EVER brought it up. I just wanted to be a stronger athlete and didn't think it was fair that GIRLS didn’t have access to the equipment that could make that happen. I just wanted it to be fair and right and follow the LAW of equal access. Hell, tell a teenage girl now that she's just lucky she has access to weight lifting equipment and she'll look at you funny, like omg, next she's going to start talking about how she had to walk five miles to school in the snow…
And now all I can think is: thank goodness that was before the internet. Because this young girl is getting DEATH threats. Whether you are Christian or not, religious or not, you have to admit that all she was doing was asking the school to obey the LAW. You can be opposed to this law, you can be opposed to separation of church and state – I disagree with you, but I do know that we agree that issuing death threats, threatening to rape a sixteen year old girl, sending hate mail, publishing her home address on the internet, so that every troll and whackjob in the country can share the ugly filth in their minds (if you doubt me, it's not hard to find screenshots, or scroll halfway through this article: http://www.alternet.org/belief/153803/why_is_an_atheist_high_school_student_getting_vicious_death_threats/?page=entire) I mean, that’s just WRONG. And seriously? NOT Christian.
Here’s the irony: Roger Williams founded this part of Rhode Island. He was the first and strongest proponent of the separation of church and state. He also founded if not the first, one of the first Baptist churches in America. Rhode Island (then Plymouth Plantation) was a HAVEN for religious minorities. The rest of the colonies were pretty supportive of a national church that all people should be compelled to join. But NOT Rhode Island! Well, until NOW. Sigh.
Honestly, I think we have far less to fear from terrorists than we do from some of our own citizens who have decided how the rest of us should think and pray and believe. And, in an overlapping, but not necessarily inclusive group: people who use the anonymity of the internet to attack people who think differently.
Civil discourse. When I’m Empress of the Free World, THAT will be law.
Okay, enough of that. This is adorable:http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/in-which-i-fix-my-girlfriends-grandparents-wifi-and-am-hailed-as-a-conquering-hero
And -- so, I spend four days eating the following: lobster, lobster butter, bacon, bacon fat, lamb shanks, a lovely farmhouse cheddar, popcorn...WITH lobster butter and parmesan. Lobster macaroni and cheese. Red wine, white wine, rum and gin. I skipped the pool. Oh, and on the day I'm supposed to fast before those tests and only have water or black coffee or tea? A good liter of Diet Mountain Dew.
And great cholesterol, great blood pressure, great blood sugar levels, and even an eight pound weight loss from my previous visit. (Although at some point I've lost a full half an inch in height. I think that might be why my knees look all squished.) Admittedly, I'd also been eating lots of good vegetables: three days of brussels sprouts, a gallon of lettuce, green beans and beet greens. And almost no refined sugar. But still. It FEELS like permisson to eat things I probably shouldn't be eating. Correlation is NOT causation. Multiple anecdotes do not data make. Hmm, it's pretty slippery, here on the this slope...
* yes, it's an uncensored bad word. There's something about having “bat” on the front of it that makes it feel less threatening. Just remember, when Lady Gaga shows up on stage with a dress made of bats…*I* thought of it first.
**you may not get that joke if you don't know that a flock of starlings is called a murmuration. And watching a mumuration of starlings do their flowing scarf of flocking behavior is one of my top one hundred things in the world. The fact that there is no “secret” to it, and it's just math and physics and anything in a group responds that way, it's just the three dimensionality of doing it in air or water that make it so utterly magical-seeming…that's the expletive icing, my friends.