June 2008


‘Cause, why not? I’m calling him Glen now because I’m mostly sure it’s a boy, and because I like saying “Glen”. It really is a gorgeous name. He’s not scared of me at all. In fact, I’m occasionally a little scared of him – but that’s how it is with all small animals. It’s one of my issues quirks.

Now, a budgie’s sex is mostly guessed at by the colour of it’s cere. Which is that nose looking thing on top of it’s beak. Blue means it’s a little guy, and any number of colours (including, frustratingly, pinkish-whitish with…blue) but mostly pink-peach-brownish would suggest you’ve got a little lady.

With little Glen-still-possibly-Abbey I’m guessing boy, even though there’s a good amount of purple just hanging around there, and the nostrils are more whitish than I’d like.

 

 Enough of that business. Here’s a nicer piccie of my dog trying to kill my bird. Glen’s like “What?”

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But interview I must, so I spent all morning going over and over my appearence and carefully re-editing my resume only to have a random representative completely ignore all of that in favor of asking me ridiculous questions. I think it went okay, though. I think I do pretty well in interviews overall. Ok, so I’ve only actually had three. But all three went okay. I think. Well, I didn’t get the job at the first one and the other two are still in the air. But still. I mean, I only resent them, I don’t actually crash and burn. Mostly.

This particular session’s Awkward Moment came when she glanced over my application and saw that I had actually put hours in the “availability” section. My hours go mostly (I have class and all, afterall) from the time the mall opens (a few hours before the store itself would) to the time the mall closes. This was not enough, I learned. “You have to be available all the time.” She tells me. “Are you available any time?”

Me: “….yes, I can do that.”

So I had to cross out that entire line and write “open” instead. Eek. But other than that things went smoothly. Also, I dressed perfectly, and so for once I could look around and silently mock everyone who under and overdressed. Losers! I don’t think the interviewers noticed dress much, though, really.

After all that I went I bought myself a little prezzie to celebrate. Or comfort. Something, I don’t know. I wanted a necklance, dammit! It was steep – twenty bucks, after taxes – but I don’t regret it. It’s so purty, basic and pretty. It’s a clef note on a simple, flat, square silver charm.

Or Glen. What’s more important than sex organs is how gosh darned cute it is. Lookit!

Having a bird is the oddest thing. It sits there. Occasionally, it moves. It’s chirped once or twice. Everything it does is very important, much more so than anything our poor dog does (he’s immediately jealous, and will start barking when any of us go to talk to the little thing).

I can’t tell yet if it’s a little boy or a girl. Luckily, I have awesome names reserved for either occasion. As you can tell, this post is just a flimsy excuse for me to post pictures. Here it is not playing (for hours!) with one of its toys.

Hard to tell in the other photos, what attracted me to little Abbey/Glen was the pale yellow coloring (all the other birds had a really solid green/yellow/blue/black thing going on, while Abbey rocked the pastels) was this blue-grayish thing on its stomach. My bird is so soothing.

I think that’ll do it for Abbey/Glen’s introduction to the universe. So endeth one of my more shameless posts (look! pictures!)

Ok, so I’ve been a terrible blogger lately. Even now, I can’t be bothered to give this post a proper name. I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been oh-so-busy lately that I don’t have ten minutes to spare, but life has just been more of the same — which is probably the problem. I feel utterly uninspired. I want to write about things, but I feel completely uninspired. I want to write about my Baltimore trip because hey, fun, but ‘m just being bleh about it. I think I really need the hundreds of pictures I took for fodder, and I’m still waiting for those to come in the mail.

I could write about my on-going job hunt, but, God, that’s just depressing, innit? I mean, not quite in love with the idea of analyzing why I can’t get any work at all while the high school kids are getting picked up left and right (as my mother reminds me daily, as if this is supposed to inspire me to be brilliant at interviews or magically grant me previous experience). I should be bottled and sold in early morning paid programing – “Essence of Tuesday will repel employers for up to four months! No more worrying about excess money ever again!” and so on.

So, yeh. I predict boring posts few and far between for the time being. In an attempt to cheer myself up a bit, here’s one of my favorite poems, by A.E. Houseman (yes, again! I don’t have the patience to be diverse right now, I’m afraid):

Yonder see the morning blink:
The sun is up, and up must I,
To wash and dress and eat and drink
And look at things and talk and think
And work, and God knows why.

Oh often have I washed and dressed
And what’s to show for all my pain?
Let me lie abed and rest:
Ten thousand times I’ve done my best
And all’s to do again.

– A.E. Houseman

I love that kid – he says it all and rhymes, too.

old Baltimore postcard

Well, my mom freaked out a bit and shipped me across the country for a week. Good times! This was actually a few weeks ago – when I disappeared entirely – because when anything blogworthy actually happens I inevitably lose all ability to properly write.

Here’s the official story behind Baltimore Funfest 2008 (I promise to work on the name): My two-years-older-than-me sister, who lives in the all-around adorable Charles Village area, contracted a bacterial infection of some sort. Because I am, sadly, jobless as well as school-less for the moment, I was sent to be a sort of nursemaid. Also, to spy on her and report any lies back to my mother.

I resigned myself to traveling without being able to see any of the city – that is, I expected to stay locked up in a stuffy room for the week, looking longingly out the window and angsting and cooking – but turns out Big Sis wasn’t so sick, after all. And the week turned out to be really enjoyable. I’ve been to Baltimore before – three years ago as a birthday/graduation present, but I wasn’t even eighteen yet and we simply didn’t do as much. Granted, we didn’t hit up the bars this time, or anything like that, but there was less fighting and more going out. My sister and all her friends hate the city with the fire of people who live there. They refused to stop bitching about the how early things close and the occasionally faulty sewer systems. And boy, you don’t want to get them started on the crime/general sketchiness. I just thought everything was so pretty and quaint – hell, even their ghettos fascinated me (just like in the movies, ma!), and a lot of the city still looks like the the above postcard. So much brick and wood! Down here everything is concrete and plastic and plaster. Which, ok, maybe better in the long run, but nowhere near as pretty.

I’ve been putting off writing about the trip because I haven’t got any photos yet, and I like those. A lot. Too much, because I took over two hundred and there wasn’t enough time to get them downloaded in the pre-airport scramble. I’m waiting for Sis to snail mail them to me, and then the posts will flow (I’m sure).

 washington memorial

The picture above is actually from my first vacation. The Washington Monument Memorial is in a place called Mount Vernon (a lot of nice shops and restaurants/cafes). When I went up to it a Random Guy (who, looking back, may or may not have actually worked there) charged me a dollar to walk up. Somehow, this seemed like it might be fun to me. What a mind trip! If you’ve ever wondered what it might feel like to be buried alive, I suggest you try walking this thing. I nearly had a claustrophobic attack, and then you start wondering how stale this air is, and your faux!asthma kicks in, and you wonder how a paramedic team would get anyone out of here and there’s panicking. All of this while the two year old just ahead of you is doing just fine. But the top was really pretty, anyway.

I’m getting a bird! Probably not a yellow one, though – turns out male canaries (the ones who sing, generally) are actually hella expensive. Sorry, Conor (and yeah, that would have been the canary’s name). For a few months there I backed and forthed it between canaries, finches and parakeets. Here was my thought process:

red factory and yellow canary

Canary:

– Pros: Smaller than a parakeet. Bigger than a finch. Pretty. Nice sounds. Solitary (the house is empty quite a bit, sometimes). No worrying about letting little Conor out of his cage.

– Cons: No taking little Conor out of his cage! No handling. And, it turns out, expensive as all get-out.

society finches

Finch:

– Pros: Smallest bird that I would like. Not needy. Teenie weenie. Easy to care for. No worries about letting them out of the cage. Cheap.

– Cons: Less interaction than I would like. They’re not, it seems, real big “humans” fans and yet aren’t solitary like the canary (two male canaries will fight for dominance in a cage, two females will get paranoid and fight around mating season [all of spring], and a lady and gentleman will mate, which, no). So I’d really have to get two, because I’m not gonna have a little finch be miserable by himself. Two birdies means bigger cage and potentially some angst about not getting a boy and girl accidentally (seriously, I don’t want to deal with baby care!).

parakeet/budgie

The Budgie:

Pros: ‘Keets will interact with you more. Potential talking fun (I’d be amused by any imitation tho’, like whistling). Can be handled and played with. Colorful. Can be let out of cage (clipped, for me). Cheap.

Cons: I have to let them out of their cage! Ew, they’ll poop. Wait, I can deal with that, especially since keet poops are apparently really tiny (like a grain of rice!) and mostly hard. Worries about loneliness during day if house is empty. Biggest bird of the three (which of course calls for big cage).

___

Anyway, my mom thought the finches were ugly (she’s harsh, like that. I thought they were quite cute. So tiny!), and of course balked at the canary prices (the store we went to [alright, it was petsmart] had them at a hundred a pop). She likes how pretty the keets are, although she doesn’t know that they’re more trouble and I don’t really plan on telling her. She’ll just have to deal with that afterwards, ’cause I want a birdie and dammit, I’m gettin’ it.

She just greenlighted me for the bird buying today. Here are some lists I’ve started.

Things to Buy:

– Cage. $40 budget.
– Thrift-store table thing to put cage on. $25 budget.
– Toys! Ladders, bells, mirrors, swings and slidy things! Also an extra perch or two. Alright! $15 budget
– Food – probably pellets and some millet to start. I hear seeds are awful messy but I’ll probably give it some once a week or so. I’m not sure how much this costs, actually.

Birdie Names:

Nigel
Rupert/Ripper (a Buffy nod, of course, which gets it all kinds of extra points)
Colleen
Abbey Road (called Abbey)
Basil
Agnes
Gwen
Digby
Hilda
Mod
Edgar
Agatha
Glen
Archie
Jekyl
Chloe
Louis

* Since I used the lyrics for my post title, I’m making “We are Nowhere and It’s Now” the new Song of the Mo’. From the Album I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning.

 If you hate the taste of wine,
why do you drink it till you’re blind?
And if you
swear that there’s no truth, and who cares,
how come you say it like you’re right?
Why are you scared to dream of God
when it’s salvation that you want?
You see stars that clear
have been dead for years
but the idea just lives on

In our wheels that roll around
as we move over the ground
and all day it seems we’ve been in between
a past and future town

We are nowhere and it’s now
We are nowhere and it’s now

And like a ten minute dream in the passenger’s seat
while the world was flying by,
I haven’t been gone very long
but it feels like a lifetime

I’ve been sleeping so strange at night.
Side effects they don’t advertise.
I’ve been sleeping so strange,
with a head full of pesticide

I’ve got no plans and too much time.
I feel too restless to unwind.
I’m always lost in thought as I walk a block
to my favorite neon sign.

Where the waitress looks concerned,
but she never says a word.
Just turns the juke box on and we hum along
and I smile back at her.

And my friend comes after work
when the features start to blur.
She says these bars are filled with things that kill,
by now you probably should have learned.

Did you forget that yellow bird?
Oh how could you forget your yellow bird?
And she took a small silver wreath then pinned it onto me,
she said this one will bring you love.
And I don’t know if it’s true
but I keep it for good luck.

Things about this election. It’s been disappointing to say the least – and of course, I’m saying that as a Clinton supporter, but not because she lost. It’s how the shit went down, I guess.

Now, when we started down this weird road (oh, those innocent first few months!) I was pretty excited. I’ve heard people say they’re just now realizing the magnitude of the history that’s being made – I saw all that from the beginning. I mean, I’ve always been one to consider the history of things, and it isn’t long ago – at all – that women and blacks were in a pretty bad way. So yes, I was super excited to have a woman and lo, a black man running for president – nervous, but excited, and I took my pick of one and waited to see what would happen.

Six months later, and I’m feeling less than enthusiastic about the whole thing. There’s still the intellectual part of me that can, thank God, appraise the situation and say: Obama’s charisma is undeniable. I don’t particularly feel it, but the numbers are there, and that sort of enthusiasm for politics, even only personality (especially if you can consider personality politics to be a gateway, at least for some people, to the actual issues), can only be good. I can see why Clinton lost; I can see why it’s good that she lost, considering what I really want is to get Dems in – into the white house, and that other house, and the Court and anywhere else you can stick them.

Still, something went horribly wrong in this primary, and it wasn’t it’s length or the behavior of the candidates. It wasn’t even necessarily the media — though they were so cringe-worthy in their reports I admit I barely followed mainstream media at all. The trouble came in the form of the party’s reaction to itself. If we’re honest with each other, we can admit that the two candidates had nearly identical platforms, near identical (public) politics. Instead, people went insane. People who believe in a, b, and c viciously attacking people who believe in a, b, and c. The animosity was pathetic, and I found myself visiting my favorite liberal political websites less and less as time wore on, until it’s got to the point I haven’t checked any since March.

It’s over now, thank God. I hope we can focus now on repairing some of this damage. We smashed each other up a bit. I know we did because I’m still afraid of checking the liberal blogosphere, in anticipation of all the hate and bitterness and contempt that I’m somehow sure is still floating around — and dammit, I shouldn’t be. I won’t beat around the bush now, and say that I do think – from my experience, and I did try to look at this evenly (though I was almost always a Clinton supporter, I was never particularly passionate about her because her and Obama’spolitics are so much alike, that I would have been happy with either), the majority of the vitriol didn’t come from the Clinton camp, but form Obama’s. Not Obama and his staff specifically — the candidate himself was always gracious and more or less likable, but his supporters, particularly online– boy, howdy. At first I was sad; I was looking forward to a campaign from a black man, the first real, seriously could-go-all-the-way-yay campaign from an African American for the US presidency, and I wanted it to be smooth and dignified and successful. And instead, there was hate. It drove me from the entire blogosphere for months; it felt irrational to me, bitter accusations when they were losing, bitter condescendencewhen they were winning, and always the contempt for anyone who was not entirely with them. This isn’t to speak for all of Obama’s supporters, or even most, but for a minority which was unfortunately as vocal as they were obnoxious.

During Clinton’s speech after South Carolina, she spoke of her supporters, and how they need to be respected. That really summed up my problem with this whole past primary. There were a large number of people who felt it was a good idea to belittle nearly half of our party. That’s ridiculous.

The contemptuous and condescending calls to drop out as early as February, growing louder and ever hateful as the months wore on? When the entire time the race was so close that a state here or there may have tipped the entire thing? Stop that. That’s annoying. You don’t look at someone who’s all of a few dozen delegates behind and say “Christ! Give it up, will you! This is pathetic, and you’re destroying the country!” Yes, Obama was ahead for a long time, and the support he drummed up was and is awe-inspiring. I always respected that all these people came out, taking time out to support him and vote for him and celebrate him. More than did for Clinton, admittedly – but not that much more, really. Not enough that you can dismiss the nearly-equal amount of supporters on the other side because you’re eager for you guy to win already.

Looking back, I have to admit that I liked Obamagood deal better before coming into contact with many of his supporters. It almost felt like, as Obamaraced forward a bit in the polls and funds, they became drunk withthe power of it. They saw themselves as in the majority – no matter how slight of a majority it was – and felt free to insult Clinton and her supporters casually and often with a disturbing sort of hate I had only seen coming from the right up till then. Suddenly, inexplicably, Clinton was a rightwinger, her supporters stupid, conservative, racist or any combination thereof. This despite the fact that Obama has consistently gotten more independentand republican voters in open primaries than Clinton, despite his message of bringing both parties together (which I’m not criticising) against her long history of almost paranoid hatred of the right wing (which, though totally understandable on a personal level, I’m not saying is something I support in a president). I wasn’t exactly personally offended by these comments (which became inevitable in any political thread, and were repeated ad nauseum), because I know how much they don’t apply to me whatsoever too much to feel anything personal. But the irrationality of the arguments, the repeated inability to expand on them or offer anything except blind hatred for people who have the same values, essentially, as the commentersbut choose to support someone else – that’s what eventually got to me. For the first time I felt truly disgusted with my fellow liberals, and this upset me somewhat.

I grew extremely tired, an exhaustion I can still feel now, months later, of this group of supporters’ persistent childishness. The vapid, automatic and often irrelevant insulting of Clinton herself which made my feminist hackles rise – the ones I had no idea I possessed, because I’d apparently never had cause to use them before. One tactic which first infuriated and then depressed me for its frequency was the assertion, in nearly every thread, that a person refused to vote for Clinton under any circumstance, even if the alternative is McCain. Clinton became not the other Democratic candidate, but the enemy. I’m not sure what the enemy of – not of democrats or liberals, even if you’re radical about it – not more so than McCain. I couldn’t understand where the hatred was coming from, could only guess it was a sort of rabid defense of Obama. And it was never a comment, but always a threat – if Clinton wins this primary, we won’t vote in November. Holding the general hostage, as it were.

Looking back it’s not so surprising really – I was confused by it because I thought we were all here for the same reasons – to get someone who will act Democratically in office, who will veto and give speeches according to that party’s general platform. I was wrong. I was there for the issues, and was foolish enough to think everyone else was too. But there were (and I suppose, are) a large number of people who were only there for Obama. Obama, and nothing else, not stepping closer to socialized medicine, not slowing if not stopping our backwards slide in just about every current issue – only for Obama. It makes sense, of course, especially when you consider that a large number of his voters are people who don’t generally vote, people who are independent and people who are republican – it makes sense then, they aren’t so much passionate about the issues (although, interestingly enough I admit that he also attracts the more radical and passionate liberals as well). That’s in fact Obama’s greatest strength – that he can get these people to vote for him. That’s how you win presidencies, that’s why in the end he always had to win this primary, and was always going to.

I don’t regret that. I only wish they had let us, the Clintonites, lose with a shrug and a “see you in November”, and not the repeated slaps in the face we actually got. The damage we have to repair now is the scores of people who have been left feeling insulted and condescended to. People like my mother; a virtual full stereotype of a Clinton supporters, she’s middle-aged, working class, Hispanic and has voted loyally and a little blindly for some twenty odd years down the line “D”. People who, like my mother, have been worn down by the bizarrely relentless attacks on her favorite to win for several months by her own party and allies. Some of Obama’s supporters may sneer at Clinton’s base, but we can’t forget that’s who the core of the Democratic party is – the working class, the Hispanics, the down-the-line-“D” voters. It’s nice that Obama won the primary; I’m happy for him, and his voters as well. But unless that’s where your goal ends (or, unless your goal was merely “beat Clinton, don’t let her win”), and other things like getting a democrat back into the white house, realistically speaking, don’t matter to you at all – then you need to acknowledge that those people, stupid racist rednecks or not, are necessary. They don’t need pandering – never have – but be wary of actively turning them off. Those are the wounds we need to heal before November. Obama’s speech after South Carolina was truly a step in the right direction, but, as I’ve thought often throughout this primary, I can only hope his supporters will follow his lead.

I apologize for the messiness of the above. I’m no political science student, only a girl who’s interested in what happens next and needed to get a few things down before she can understand them and move on. In the interest of ending on a high note, I give you Song of the Mo’, “Baby, I’m an Anarchist” by Against Me!, from their Reinventing Axl Rose album. Um, the song ends at 2:41 and yet the video keeps rolling. I don’t know why.

Lyrics:

Through the best of times, through the worst of times.
Through Nixon and through Bush.
Do you remember ’36, we went our seperate ways,
You fought for Stalin, I fought for freedom.
You believe in authority,
I believe in myself.
I’m a molotov cocktail, you’re the dom perignon.
Baby, what’s that
confused look in your eye? what i’m trying to say is that
I’ll burn down buildings
while you sit on a shelf
inside of them. You call the cops on the looters and pie-throwers.
They call it class war,
I call them co-conspirators.

‘Cuz baby, I’m an anarchist
and you’re a spineless liberal.
We marched together
for the 8-hour day and held hands in the streets of Seattle.
But when it came time to throw bricks through that Starbucks window you left me all alone.

You watched in awe
at the red, white and blue on the 4th of July.
But while those fireworks
were exploding
I was burning that fucker and stringing my black flag high.
Eating the peanuts
that the parties have tossed you.
In the back seat of your father’s new Ford
you believe in the ballot,
you believe in reform.
You have faith in the elephant and jackass.
And to you solidarity is a four-letter word.
We’re all hypocrites, but you’re a patriot.
You thought I was only joking
When I was screaming, “kill whitey”
at the top of my lungs
at the cops in their cars and the men in their suits.
No, I won’t take your hand
and marry the State.

[chorus]

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