Mr Lady

Stones

{By Laurie of Laurie Writes}

I’m sitting in the bookstore trying to grab ahold of the words before they leave me. The game club of Maryland is gathered here, and the bookish men and women at the table next to me are playing a card name whose name I can’t remember, even though I recognize it on sight. I once sat across the table from someone and learned to play it myself, wondering why I was there when it made no sense to be, beyond the fact that I have a tendency to put myself in risky places when I stubbornly and often stupidly feel it’s worth it.

Names dance across my screen – words and facts and possibilities that I’m trying to file alphabetically under what makes sense, whittling them down into a decision that lets me sleep at night, even if I have to sell my car or walk strange city streets alone and mostly unafraid to do it. Sometimes I don’t think I can, that I’ll just let the waves of the next thing wash over me until I’m that half mile down the beach that you float before you even realize it, when all of a sudden the familiar umbrella and your people are specks down the shore, waving you back if you choose to pay attention.

When Virginia Woolf walked into the water of the River Ourse and didn’t emerge, the stones weighing down her pockets, I can’t imagine that no one saw, but maybe that’s just because someone has usually been watching me – not known to be a strong swimmer. Still, I’ve never been truly afraid of the ocean, and can spend more time than you’d believe floating on my back, finding the mellow spot past the breakers where it’s warm, going up and over the tiny waves, chasing the sun on the tops of my legs and my chest and my face.Bell_virginia_woolf_

On that same odd trip to the beach when a truly very sweet man and I played that card game, I took a photograph of an exceptional sunset. When I finally made it to the sand the next day, I was alone. It was cold out, walking into the water out of the question, except dipping my toes in to say I touched the ocean, a personal ritual regardless of the season or temperature. I sat on the sand with a notebook on that cold March day, and there was no one around for a good distance. It occurred to me that at that moment, temperature aside, I could walk into the water and just not stop, nothing on the other side but China – a concept we’d been taught as children digging holes for sand castles. We ignored the barrier of Europe and Africa beyond the Atlantic, even the idea of the Far East as ephemeral as air then.

I remember writing this idea of immersion down that day, feeling guilty for even thinking about it, knowing I’d never do it, knowing as sure as I sat there that later that day I’d be getting in a car and heading home, gazing out the window and wishing things different, but far away from this idea and the ocean itself. Still when I thought it, I wondered if, miles or just yards away as it happened that people who cared about me were, would they feel it? Was there an imperceptible shift in the air around the people close to them when people did things like walk into rivers not intending to emerge? Especially when they succeeded? There had to be, I thought – at least a palpitation or a whisper of an itch. But maybe not.



What Happens After Impact

{by Two Busy}

And in that instant

I am aloft in a way I’ve never known before, a growing cushion of air rising to fill the space between my skin and my seat, the wheels and the road, my head snapping back with effortless, eyeblink ferocity and colliding with the headrest (the crush of my hair against leather, pressing through the foam to touch the steel within) then a whipcrack snap forward, vertebrae compressing and releasing like pistons firing at neural speed, the engine still running strong and loud and my heart surging with adrenaline and

in the periphery of my vision I can see the earth spin and turn, as if the axis of the world has shifted

I think: how odd

and the sound, the sound, it’s incredible, that terrible squeal and crush of metal bending and tearing, iron wrenching from iron and glass and the compression of air in my lungs and those seconds – one, and two, and the long heartbeat stretch to three – when it all dissolves to echo and gravity fades to myth and I become aware that I am still pressing down on the accelerator, as though I might catch up to this impossibly swift rotation of earth and sky and in matching its speed slow its pace and return to the world I’d known and all I hear is the engine the wheels freed from the restraints of physics straining to catch hold on this cool evening air and

then a corner connects – I cannot tell which one, and in not understanding I lose some illusion of control – and there is a new eruption of torque and velocity, of moving so many different ways at once, and I am the tail of a kite arcing and spiraling in a strong wind, diving and soaring and fighting against myself and this thin brace of fabric that cuts deep across my waist and the forgiving skin where neck and shoulder meet

where you had rested your head, seeking solace and comfort and this

is all

it’s all happening so fast

and the adrenaline fills me with strength and fury and my arms and chest swell — with will, with purpose, with terror and defiance and

something catches



DNC Night Three: The Polite Demonstrators Edition

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally published on Resurrection Song}

Heard in passing on the way to the Pepsi Center: Obama’s presidential campaign is the biggest things since the Cosby Show to happen to black Americans.

To tell the truth, covering events like the convention–especially if you are focused on the speeches–would be easier from home. For interviews, for taking photos, and for true believers, the event is a blessing. For content, assuming you’re a blogger at least, the long walks, the wasted time in line to get through security, the high prices, and the chaotic crowds just get in the way of divining the message.

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The biggest challenge is finding a reasonably quiet place to sit down, organize thoughts, and write something meaningful without being overwhelmed by the echoing voices, pushy reporters, and crowded halls. And don’t get me started on the fact that every bar in the area–and in the Pepsi Center–has been carved up by one of the big media outlets and there are only a handful of places for the second-class citizens (me) to sit and work. It’s left many of us poor bastards precious little room to maneuver.Not that I blame the media outlets. If I had the wherewithal, I would do precisely the same.

Walking down to the Pepsi Center tonight after leaving the air conditioned wonder of the Founding Bloggers Secret Lair (check out their site for some great shots of what’s been happening around Denver this week and for exclusive video), I enjoyed the fact that big events bring out two things in modern Americans: their inner capitalist and their willingness to jump in and protest even when the protest has so little to do with the actual event. Like the gentleman protesting the Catholic church and the handling of the pedophile scandals of a few years ago.

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While I admire the work that went into his outfit, I couldn’t tell you what Obama’s coronation event has to do with that particular problem. It was perversely fun to watch him spreading his message contra Catholic Nazi Piggy Back Rides. He stepped carefully through the crowd and spoke to anyone willing to listen while the vendors hawked Obama action-figures, t-shirts, and bottled water. Funny stuff.Not all protesters are made equal, though.



Can I Get an Amen? (The Thinkin’ About a Tea Party Edition)

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally posted at Resurrection Song}

Via Instapundit, I find this site that hits me as saying precisely what I want to say:

Today’s economic crisis impacts all Americans, not just those who are behind on their mortgages. Everyone shares concerns over health care, job loss, and the decimation of their retirement savings. All Americans have made sacrifices over the past year. The American taxpayer is already on the hook for mismanaged banks, incompetently run auto companies and extravagent stimulus packages. We don’t need the additional burden of paying for our neighbor’s mortgage. The bottom line – we believe that being current on one’s mortgage should not be grounds for being put at a financial disadvantage.

That is wildly deserving of an amen.

I find myself wondering how conservatives who bought into the rhetoric of hope and change, who believed that Obama would be governing from a moderate’s position, and who ended up voting Democrat in the elections are feeling about their decision right now? I’m feeling more and more that I voted the right direction: McCain.

Now, the current economic crisis isn’t Obama’s fault. There are a lot of names and administrations that can share the blame for bad regulations, overspending, and refusal to deal with the American economy as something built on money that doesn’t come from the Free Money Fairy. And then there are the people–that is, “we, the people”–who helped by demanding more government services and less fiscal sanity. In fact, we, the people, made it downright difficult for a person to be elected if they threatened our slice of the pie, a fact that has made blue hairs such an important voting block and rational conversation about the future of Social Security such a political hazard.

So, no, it’s not Obama’s fault.

But I remember watching one of the televised debates and hearing McCain promise a spending freeze followed by deep cuts in the budget coupled with a belief that raising taxes on any Americans right now would be foolish and irresponsible. Obama, in contrast, spoke breezily about cutting the budget, but thought that a spending freeze was a bad idea and an increase in taxes on the wealthy (whatever “wealthy” might mean) was a brilliant idea.



Crazy Right Wing Bastages

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine {Originally posted on Resurrection Song}

This comes from the usually politics-free pages of AutoBlog:

The far right wing of the American political spectrum has begun channeling its displeasure over the federal government’s involvement in the restructuring of General Motors into calls for a boycott of the company’s products. Reportedly spearheaded by right wing pundits and radio show hosts, the boycott would be a response to the U.S. government taking a 60% stake in GM in exchange for forgiving most of the tens of billions of dollars loaned to the company over the last six months.

Reading through the comments is educational. I hadn’t realized that the only reason that someone might be opposed to “saving” GM was because that person would like to see the country and Obama fail regardless of the cost to the nation. Philosophical and pragmatic worries about government involvement in private industry are entirely beside the point. Patriotic folks who care about jobs and the economic health of the company are well advised to tow the party line–even if it isn’t their party and even if it defies their principles and beliefs about what our government’s role should be when faced with failing companies (even ones as big as General Motors).

As I’ve said before, I’m not much for boycotts. But I won’t buy a car from a company that is being run like British Leyland back in the seventies. I also believe that our government at least twice overstepped proper bounds in dealing with the collapsing General Motors and Chrysler–first when the bailout plan under the Bush administration and second with the Obama administration’s handling of both GM and Chrysler in their bankruptcies. We could take specific points of contention, but that would be sidling past the point: I’m not skeptical about these deals because of Obama or any latent hatred of working class folks, it’s because I think the plans and our government’s involvement is bad for the companies, bad for the nation, and will ultimately be bad for the products.

Which apparently makes me a member of the “far right wing.”

Read the rest. And, remember: “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” is so 2007.



I Hate Your Politics

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally published at Whatever}

I hate your politics.

No, I don’t know what they are. And no, I probably don’t know who you are, either. Really, those two points are immaterial (no offense). As it turns out about, about 46% of you are liberal, 46% of you are conservative, and the rest of you just want your guns, drugs and brothels (here in the US, we call them folks “libertarians”).

Each of you carries baggage from your political affiliation, and all of that baggage has a punky smell to it, like one of your larger species of rodent crawled in and expired in your folded underwear. Listening to any of you yammer on about the geopolitical situation is enough to make one want to melt down one’s dental fillings with a beeswax candle and then jam an ice pick into the freshly-exposed nerve, just to have something else to think about. It’s not so much that politics brings out the worst in people than it is that the worst in people goes looking for something to do, and that usually ends up being politics. It’s either that or setting fires in trashcans.

In the spirit of fairness, and of completeness, let me go down the list and tell you what I hate about each major branch of political thinking.

Liberals: The stupidest and weakest members of the political triumvirate, they allowed conservatives to turn their name into a slur against them, exposing them as the political equivalent of the kid who lets the school bully pummel him with his own fists (Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself). Liberals champion the poor and the weak but do it in such condescendingly bureaucratic ways that the po’ illedumacated Cleti would rather eat their own shotguns than associate with the likes of them. Famously humorless and dour, probably because for a really good liberal, everything is political, and you just can’t joke about things like that.

Defensive and peevish even when they’re right. Under the impression that people in politics should play fair, which is probably why they get screwed as often as they do (nb: 2000 Presidential election). Feel guilty about the freedoms their political positions allow them, which is frankly idiotic. Liberals are politically able to have all sorts of freaky mammal sex but typically don’t; good liberal foreplay is a permission slip and three layers of impermeable barriers. The only vaguely liberal person we know of who seemed to enjoy sex in the last 30 years is Clinton, and look what he got out of it.

Fractious and have no sense of loyalty; will publicly tear out the intestines of those closest to them at the most politically inopportune times. The attention spans of poultry; easily distracted from large, useful goals by pointless minutiae. Not only can’t see the forest for the trees, can’t see the trees for the pine needles. Deserve every bad thing that happens to them because they just can’t get their act together. Too bad those they presume to stand for get royally screwed as well.

Conservatives: Self-hating moral relativists, unless you can convince me that an intellectual class that publicly praises family values but privately engages in sodomy, coke and trophy wives is more aptly described in some other way. Not every conservative is an old wealthy white man on his third wife, but nearly every conservative aspires to be so, which is a real waste of money, youth, race and women. Genuinely fear and hate those who are not “with” them — the sort of people who would rather shit on a freshly-baked cherry pie than share it with someone not of their own tribe.



Dreams Can Come True; But They Sometimes Need Help

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally posted on Mid-Century Modern Moms}

Once upon a time, there was a little boy with a dream.

He dreamed of love. A romantic love, in fact. Of love that transcended the ages.

He knew that his dream was not really all that realistic. It was a dream, after all.

But he continued to hope that one day he would meet the one person in the world who was absolutely perfect for him.

The one person who would understand his dark moments.

The one person who would understand his sense of humor.

The one person who would be the yin to his yang.

The one person who would love him back with the same intensity.

The one person who was meant just for him.

There were many dark years as the little boy grew up. Many years when he thought that one person didn’t really exist.

Many false starts. Many times when he thought … maybe? This time? Is this the one?

And many times when his heart was broken. Not just broken, but smashed to little pieces by a person who turned out to be much less than he thought.

Until now.

The little boy is a week from his 25th birthday. Almost a year ago, that elusive “person” he was seeking appeared.

And he knows love.



I Want The United States To Be

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally posted on Red State Chief}

I want the United States to be a nation where people of all ages are allowed to experience the consequences of their decisions.

I want the United States to be a nation where the consequences of bad decisions are not hidden or swept under the rug for the purpose of Political Correctness.

I want the United States to be a nation of values, and ethics, and integrity.

I want the United States to be a nation where benefits and comfort come from work, not from voting for the political party that promises more.

I want the United States to be a nation where the government does not treat its citizens like children needing protection from themselves.

I want the United States to be a nation where accomplishment is praised more than raising awareness.

I want the United States to be a nation where objective standards of learning are taught and celebrated.

I want the United States to be a nation where people are taught and encouraged to take responsibility for the circumstances they are in.

I want the United States to be a nation where people are taught and encouraged to take intelligent action if they don’t like the circumstances they are in.

I want the United States to be a nation where the successful are looked to for advice on how to be successful.



The Leaning Tower of Politics

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine
{Originally posted at Attack of the Redneck Mommy}

Growing up, my parents stressed the importance of voting and exercising your civic duty upon my impressionable mind. They made a big deal of elections and when I finally turned 18 and could cast my first ballot, they drove me to the voting station and proudly watched as I marked my very first X.

I don’t remember who I voted for but I remember thinking that it was my very first adult responsibility and I was proud of myself for participating in our democratic elections.

My party lost. But that didn’t matter to me; all that mattered was the fact I voted. My voice was heard. It may have helped if I hadn’t voted for the Marijuana party, but hey, I was 18.

After my parents had voted I remember asking them whom they had voted for. They refused to tell me because they didn’t want to influence my ideologies and they wanted me to make my own informed decision without any influence from them.

It didn’t matter how much I wheedled and needled them, they weren’t going to spill the beans. To this day, I still have no idea who they support but I’m fairly confident it isn’t the dope smokers. Just a hunch.

I’m now a bit of an election hound. I love politics. Not enough to consider tossing my hat into the ring, but enough to soak up every bit of election trivia I can get my mitts on and suck it up like a sponge. I only wish Canadian politics was half as feisty as those Yankee elections.

But we Canucks are a quieter breed. We’re still a dirty people; we just tend to keep it in the bedroom and out of the elections. Sooo boring. Mind you, after taking a look at our past and current leaders, I can only offer a prayer of thanks. I really don’t want to be imagining any of them getting busy on a blue dress. Ew.

Unlike my parents, there is much screaming and yelling civil debate about politics in our home. Boo has a wildly different political ideology than I do. If it were up to him, the world would all be doing a stiff legged march with a pert salute, as all bowed to his iron will. If it were left to me, well, let’s just say we’d all be seeing rainbows and unicorns and having a good time. Wink, wink.



A Vision Of Hope

Politics Blog Nosh Magazine {Originally posted on Life and Thoughts of a Midwest Geek}
Today, we celebrate a tradition in our nation unlike any other in the world. Today, we transition from one president to the next.

The 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution has set January 20th as the date on which one president ends their administration and next begins.

The President-elect is sworn in at noon by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court using the Oath of Office from Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution and reads,

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States

Every president since George Washington has had to state these words to the public with these words as their bond.

I like to point out these words to everyone for it demonstrates one of our Founding Father’s most important ideals. This nation is bound together by one thing…