Posts Tagged ‘you’ve got to be kidding’

I find I’m pretty much constantly outraged these days.  Let me clarify, I’m pretty much outraged at the state of Virginia there days.

It’s not good here in the Commonwealth.  It hasn’t ever been good, that’s true, but it’s certainly getting worse than it has been.  I don’t usually get all twisted up in the machinations of politicians.  They do good and bad but they also come and go.  Whether or not that’s the right perspective, it’s the perspective I find most allows me to recognize that it isn’t the person making these godforsaken decisions, it’s the politics.  The “not the person” part is important to me, but it’s getting more challenging by the day.

The Governor of Virginia removed the protections for gays put into place by the previous governor.  I consoled myself with the idea that the Virginia Senate passed an anti-discrimination discrimination bill.  A bill that reportedly will not pass the House.  But let’s not be negative.  At least, not until we hear from Virginia Representative Bob Marshall (and I might as well just quote here) who said, “I think there first should be some finding that homosexuals, as a class, are being discriminated against.  In all of my experience and reading, gay individuals seem to have more income, to attend more cultural events, to take more vacations than the rest of us. Show me where this discrimination is going on.’’  You can see that here, at the end of the article.

I’ll let you take a moment to consider that.  While I take a vacation and go to a cultural event.  Not to be outdone, Ken Cuchinelli, the State’s Attorney General opted to chime with an outrageously unreasonable roar that condones discrimination against gays. You can read the letter he sent to state schools here (it’s a PDF – so if you don’t want to open it, take my word that he’s an asshole).

Understandably, there was an outcry (this particular outcry comes from individuals at the university where I work).  And honestly, I can’t believe we got to this point so quickly.  I sat at my desk yesterday thinking about the chilling effect such changes have.   I am already facing a delicate balance with my pregnant wife and soon-to-be-no-legal-relationship-to-me child.  I had a moment where I wondered if it would be better to be closeted.  And then another when I realized how many people would stay closeted because of this.  If nothing else, It’s been a pretty bad March.

There was a moment of hope late this afternoon as the Governor appeared to distance himself from the AG.  The local paper is running a ticker saying that he has reversed his original executive order.  But really, I can’t believe I live somewhere that allows these shenanigans to go on.  Yes, I could move, but I shouldn’t have to.  It’s hard to blame the politics when the people do things like this.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus but he’s got nothing but coal for your sorry ass.

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I was feeling particularly outraged last week.  It didn’t take much to send me off ranting and raving, what with the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell shenanigans kicking off the week.  A plan?  Really?  We’re only just now going to start devising a plan to fire fewer people for being gay?  I’m glad we’re going to need a study on how to do that.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy being oppressed.

But this has nothing to do with that (except for the outrage, that’s there, sure).  This has everything to do with an interview Michelle Obama gave at the White House on the Today show.  I couldn’t even hear what she was saying because I was distracted by her arms.  Her BARE arms.  In the background, I could see piles of snow outside her window.  But there she was, chatting with the interviewer (wearing dark colors and a heavy looking suit) in her BARE ARMS.  It was the sort of thing she’s known for wearing now, but I’m not particularly concerned about her personal style.  Because next to her and the snow and the BARE ARMS all I could see was my soon overdue gas bill.  The astronomically expensive gas bill generated by heating our house to just above shivering for a month.  I have kept the thermostat in the upper 50s in the house of a pregnant woman in order to keep our bank account from zeroing out.

It isn’t about energy-saving or insulation.  I’m taking steps to see what can be done to improve the situation.  In a record-breaking icy winter, it’s not surprising everyone is…well, surprised by their astronomically expensive gas bills.  My outrage is about her BARE ARMS and the luxury of being able to have BARE ARMS in her home.  It’s winter.  People cannot afford to heat their homes.  Even people have not lost jobs, lost wages, slipped away form cost of living increases.  But at the White House, it’s apparently so warm that Michelle Obama is uncomfortable with sleeves.

Humor the masses.  Put on a cardigan.

I was surprised at my reaction to her arms.   Whether it’s something she threw on or something carefully selected by a stylist, it was the wrong decision.   It read as a unnecessary display of wealth in an economy that can’t recover.  Thanks Michelle Obama and the White House staff for making me feel like the poverty line has become unreachable.

Well, according to Igor Panarin, we are in some trouble here.  Among his dire predictions for 2010: civil war, national disintegration and, worst of all, moral degradation (reputable, but longer, Wall Street Journal article here). That’s right folks, this former KGB analyst is terribly concerned about the moral degradation of the United States starting very, very shortly.

I dredged up this article while looking for appropriately apocalyptic tales with which to regale you.  It is the end of the decade, after all.  Other stunning possibilities for 2010: an attempt to clone a “famous person”(at least the article didn’t say famous celebrity); Rupert Murdoch will block Google’s access to his news sites (say goodbye to free news, freedom of information and equality in access to information and hello to an even wider information gap that shows a bias toward wealth, first world residency and education among other things); World War III (images of destruction); and, the ever worrisome 5% tax on cosmetic surgery.

I haven’t got any of my own predictions for 2010, but I’m certainly counting on a brighter year than this.

Option D

Posted: 30 December 2009 in observations
Tags: ,

Our dog is two years old.  Two and half years old.  He doesn’t blatantly destroy things anymore.  In fact, he really never destroyed very valuable things.  Once, a library book.  My wife’s croc has several puncture wounds.  But in general, he prefers to steal and then run, prancing, around the house so that we’ll notice HOW BAD HE IS.

So now when he takes something we try one of three tactics.  A) we tell him firmly “No!  Leave it!” and “Drop!”, B) we chase him, shrieking, around the house, or C) we ignore him until he comes to see why we’re ignoring him.  You can see why it might be confusing for him.  But honestly, he’s a pretty good dog and I feel pretty comfortable leaving things out on tables and countertops.

You can see where this is going though, can’t you?  Tonight he stole my snow boot and I addressed it through option C.  Earlier, he tried to take my supper and flat stole my wife’s shirt.  To be honest, we had already used up options A and B by 7pm.  So I let him have it (the boot).  I only had a few more things to drop in the wash and I was going to take it back.  Really, it was about 45 seconds.  And I came around the corner and he’d taken a giant piece out of my boot.

He ate my boot.  In 45 seconds.  I’m pretty sure that calls for response D, only, I’m not sure what that is.  What’s done is done though.  I hope there’s no more snow this winter…

My in-laws are in town today.  They were here yesterday and will be gone tomorrow.  I hope.  My mother-in-law said something like, “Well, we packed extra clothes for about a week.  You never know when you might want to stay a bit longer.”

You never know.

I know though.  I know that I’m delighted they came to see us this year, given last year’s debacle.  I know I’m very happy to have spent the holidays with family, instead of abroad as has so often happened.  I know that I’m going to be an excellent mom and that I have a previously untapped well of patience for children.  On the other hand, I know that I have a negative amount of patience for my mother and D’s mother.  I know that some things will drive me to drink – like this:

Look folks, when you’re visiting someone’s house, it’s okay to keep your water glass, not wanting to dirty up someone else’s kitchen.  But, if your host has taken your empty water glass from the evening before and washed it after you went to sleep, you are not justified in saying, “If I put this glass in the refrigerator, will it be safe?  I’m just trying to keep it safe.”

You’ve got no excuse if you leave the house for the afternoon and when your daughter-in-law opens the fridge said glass is empty.  It’s not holding any liquid, it’s not storing anything that you’re going to drink later.  It’s empty.  Put it in the sink and get a new glass dammit.

Well, it’s the small battles.  I know tomorrow I can wash as many dishes as I want to.

Dear coworkers,

I know you’re going stir crazy.  I know you haven’t been to the grocery store since last weekend because you didn’t go with the frenzied masses on Friday evening.  You must be hungry, too.  I’m sure you ran out of toilet paper, milk and bread two hours after the first flake fell.  But that’s not important.  What matters here is that you are trapped in your house and you couldn’t get out if you wanted to.

At first, I was deeply sympathetic.  You mean they didn’t plow your road?  Wow!  I’m sure you can’t take your sedan out – two feet is a lot!  Then, I was a little skeptical.  You mean they didn’t plow your road yet?  Wow…that must be difficult.  And your driveway is all blocked in?  Well, I guess we’ll see you tomorrow.  But now, three days after the snow stopped, I’m afraid my patience has run out.

Look people, my road is slick too.  There is slush and the snow is heavy.  I spent a lot of time shoveling a path for the car, a path for the dog and a path for the mailman.  But the key word is shoveling.  You actually have to do it.  You can’t wait for some miracle of weather conditions to magically melt your obscured walks and drives.  I’m sorry you have only a garden spade.  Use it.  My neighbors did.

The point is, you can’t play on people’s sympathy if “the guy” didn’t come by to plow you out.  He’s busy.  He can’t even get the main thoroughfares plowed.  He’s not coming to your house.  You still have to work, shop, leave your house, and there isn’t any excuse not to put on some boots, come outside and do your civic duty.  I’m sure the post office, ups, paper delivery and holiday solicitors would appreciate it.  Most have us have managed to shovel.  As each day goes by, you are losing goodwill.  I’m much less likely to be understanding when I’m working alone, again, because you are too lazy to pick up a shovel.

Look, it’s not melting.  Get to it.  Love, me.

No, no shoveling yet.  And, regardless of whether you’re calling it snowmageddon or snowpocolypse, it really is a lot of snow.  My only experience with this much snow at once was in Chicago in 1979 when I was barely old enough to remember.  The national weather service says they got 18 inches that January, though this description might be more accurate.  There is a picture of me sitting level with the top of a stop sign that weekend after plowing and I haven’t seen such dramatic snowfall since.

It’s still snowing (though less) and we’re just shy of 24 inches.  24.  Two feet.  That doesn’t seem like so much when you’re just thinking about it, but it means that cars are suggestions in a drift and if you stand in a dip, you’re up to your waist.  Charlottesville is a Southern city unaccustomed to snowfall.  On the plus side – everyone seems to be staying in (unlike DC where thousands of uninitiated snow drivers take to the highways at the first flake and stay out there til they crash and die).  On the minus side – there aren’t actually any plows.  More…tractors with plow attachments.

Tomorrow – shoveling.