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January 26, 2005

articles that say what i'd say but better

Usually I don't point to much writing on the web about Iraq, because most writing I encounter is just too heavily weighted one way or the other, or just doesn't approach the complexity of opinions and feelings I have about the administration/war/wmd. This article on rc3.org daily, however does a good job of stating about how I feel.

The operative part is:

I think that for most people who have opposed President Bush and his agenda from the beginning, there's at least a side of them that wants to see him fail. To leave office in humiliation. Only there's a huge problem with that, because he's gambling with our future, and he's gambling with the future of those people in Iraq who never asked for what they're dealing with today. So much as I detest what he's done and how he's gone about it, I have to hope every day for President Bush to succeed, for our sake and for the sake of the everyday Iraqi. It's not a very fun place to be.

And while I'm going there, I also really appreciated this recent New Yorker article about The Ownership Society. If you don't want to read the whole article, the important passage is here:

Generally, we want people to reap the benefits of their own successes and pay a price for their failures. But Social Security and Medicare are designed to protect people from things they have little control over—risk of illness, risk of macroeconomic change, risk of industrial obsolescence. To manage that kind of risk, you have to do it collectively. What’s more, as the political scientist Jacob Hacker has pointed out, Americans’ everyday lives are considerably riskier than they used to be. Jobs are less secure. Health-care costs are increasingly difficult to plan for. And the pace of technological change—which can lay waste to entire industries almost overnight—is faster than ever. So now may not be the best time to undermine the few programs that provide people with some protection against bad decisions and bad luck.

And last but not least...I actually almost mailed this article about Kofi Annan, the secretary general of the UN to Graumagus of Frizzen Sparks, because he focused so deeply on Annan's culpability in the food-for-oil scandal. The article actually mentions the role neocon bloggers played in the whole Kofi Annan scandal.

The important passage:

Listening to the cable pundits, you would never suspect that there is no proof at this point that Annan, or indeed anyone else at the UN, did anything wrong. Charges of corruption against UN official Benon Sevan are suspect at best, given that they come via Ahmad Chalabi, who was also the source of the discredited information about Iraq's illusory weapons, as well as the assurances that Iraqis would greet US and British forces as liberators. Nor is there any evidence that Annan used his influence to give Cotecna, a company that employed his son, the job of monitoring contracts under the oil-for-food program, and no proof that Cotecna did anything illegal or corrupt.

I'm always looking for articles that handle modern issues in an intelligent way, and rarely find them, either from the right or the left. So I think these articles are important reading for left or right wingers.

January 24, 2005

searching for faith

Aaron: Hey, did you get that Email I sent you with the Tsunami poem?
Me: No. Maybe it ended up in my spam filter. Let me look.

(Searching for a minute)

Me: Hey, what's a word in the subject line?
Aaron: Faith.

(Searching again)

Me: Damn...when I search in my Spam folder for faith, all I find is Faithless bitches.

January 20, 2005

can i get a wu?

Enter the biscuit.

January 19, 2005

just don't tell them i deserved it

Beth bought me dinner and came up to the office on Lake City Way so I could show her some computer moves. I got out of the car and waited while she rifled through her back seat with her door partially open.

I saw something strange happening out of the corner of my eye and looked just in time to see her car door window explode in a shimmering mist of safety glass. "What the fuck!" I heard her scream, indignantly.

bethcar_tinyblog1.jpg

The truck that had crushed her door permanently in the open position sped on and I craned my neck to catch a license plate number. They were almost a block away though, and I didn't think to look at the make and model.

They made a right turn and were gone. I turned around to Beth, "You okay?" I can't imagine that truck came less than a foot or two from her. Someone came down from the ActivSpace and said he saw it, but he didn't get a make or model either. We called the cops and stood around cracking jokes while it rained on us. She had me go upstairs and get the camera for insurance pictures.

bethcar_tinyblog2.jpg

A little while later this lady walked up and said she saw it. We asked her if she got the make or model number.

"Well," she smirked, "yes, actually I was behind them. I followed them and called the cops with my cell phone and he got picked up a few minutes ago up on 15th."

We stood in unblinking shock. "What's your name?" we asked.

"Betsy Ross.*"

"Holy shit, Betsy Ross. You are our hero."

So, when the cop showed up, we didn't have much to explain. They were processing the guy for a DUI, and the cop said he was evidently "pretty stiff".

Phone calls, more waiting.

"Hey Beth...now that I have photos, can I blog this?"

"Sure! As long as you don't tell them I deserved this for hitting that girl I hated's station wagon when I was 15 and driving off after a party."

"I forgot about that. Yeah, I definately won't tell them."

Actually, somehow I felt guilty! Like her door got knocked off just 'cause I was standing next to the car, or because she was only up on Lake City Way (a busy wacky street) because of me.

I guess it was just the drunk guy's fault. Yay insurance.

* name changed to protect the badass

velour

I think it's a good name for a kid (for a person who can only name their kid weird names). She says it's a stripper name. What self-respecting stripper would call their kid velour?

January 18, 2005

i ache

I wrote this post in a half-hallucinatory state a week ago when I got sick. Then I just got confused and fell asleep in the middle of posting it. I found it on the laptop yesterday:

Yesterday morning someone I know woke me up and we had a brief conversation. I woke up later and felt relieved for a moment that the conversation was a dream, I had felt so bad about it. Then I remembered again that it wasn't actually a dream and that was the worst.

Tonight I went and ate some noodle soup and I ate too much. As soon as I got up I felt bad in the intestines, like a cold black hole right in the center of my guts. Finally got what Ben and his kid had. I'm so sore and tired. I have to communicate with clients tomorrow and I only have exactly as much energy as I need, it feels like. Just enough, I hope.

All I could eat tonight was yogurt, and it was good. All the little yogurt buggies were just what I needed. Would I not be the first person to wish I could make it all go away for one day?

Can you believe this quiet room is on the same planet where people are fucking each other and chopping each other up with machetes? Stupid stupid fuckers. This post is going nowhere.

Ahhh, delirious posts that go nowhere, how I love them.

We got a new client today...looks like we'll be doing some work for the Seattle Baroque Orchestra. The new year is starting to calm down.

January 8, 2005

real life horror movie

I had a couple of beers before I went, but I was still surprised that my body was shaken with sobs more than once while I watched Hotel Rwanda, again even when I walked out on the sidewalk. I looked at the faces around me...I think it shook everyone in the theater up.

I wasn't sure when I planned to go if I should be more worried because it would be too polished, or that that there would be too many graphic scenes of people getting hacked up with machetes. Turns out it was a fairly good balance. They kept it to a real human movie, without descending completely into the utter madness it must have been like.

I knew a little about what happened. When I got a little interested about what's happening in Darfour (I even wrote a little about it in the Wikipedia), and read about parallels to Rwanda, I read a little about it. Almost a million Rwandans were killed by organized militia, and even ordinary neighbors. Most of the killing was done with a machete.

The Wikipedia has a small article about it in their history of Rwanda section, and Human Rights Watch has an excellent book online for free that goes into great detail.

In 1994, right around the time Kurt Cobain blew his brains out in his Seattle home (I was drinking coffee at a Rockford, IL Denny's that day, I never heard anything about Rwanda), all hell broke loose in Rwanda and a man named Paul Rusesabagina, a manager at a four-star hotel in Rwanda, wheedled, negotiated, bribed and intimidated and somehow managed to keep the over 1200 people who came to the hotel as refugees from being slaughtered.

Regardless of its importance (which to me, is considerable) it is an excellent movie. It's a movie about Africa, a movie about racism (in more ways than would be obvious) and a movie about humanity at it's truly best and truly worst. Don Cheadle handled himself pretty damn well, and it's pretty cool to see even a dramatization of something like this.

It hurts me to think that what happened, which is like the worst horror movie ever, that came alive for these people, is still basically happening in other parts of this "civilized" world.

January 6, 2005

all this cold

I know it's egocentric, but I just feel like it's my own mind that's creating all this cold and all of this street lettuce.

cold_and_lettuce.jpg

Some guy was sweeping the street in the university district in the cold. So thorough, he was...scraping bits of gum off the street...so thorough and officious, I was amazed that there was this big fresh piece of lettuce on the sidewalk, plain as day. It was like a beacon to me in the cold, this beacon of lettuce. This fine upstanding lettuce untouched by frost and the sins of the world.

As soon as I was Emailing myself the picture from my phone he hustled in and gathered it briskly into his dustpan.

January 4, 2005

saltcellar

saltcellar

A friend of mine runs a truly punk rock blog over at Saltcellar. He plays blog chess, does blog tourette's syndrome, and attracts weird 16 year old livejournal girls in his comments (who he is unnerringly friendly to). Mah man takes the livejournal to it's highest artform.

January 2, 2005

cold, cold, cold

It's been a rough weekend...some combination of brain chemistry, wierd interpersonal stuff hidden deep in my craw, and just the cold, cold, cold outside.

cold_cold_cold.jpg

I looked so cute today! I bought a new fuzzy corduroy on supa' sale and my double-braid came out so perfect and shiny.

My main job today was to go get groceries for a special appreciation dinner for my friend Beth for helping me not to have such a barren hard drive and doing a lot of driving and helping me out when I broke my arm and just generally being a champion friend. I figured it would cheer me up a little cause yesterday felt so pervasively cheerless, but I kept missing busses, and the bus there only comes every hour, so it was late in the day before I could finally be useful.

I had this fantasy that I would see someone I knew at Whole Foods and be able to shine my braids at them and talk to them warmly and not feel so inhuman. But I think the world could discern my internal poverty and all the world seemed so cold, cold, cold.

January 1, 2005

christmas catchup

I meant to give a couple more timely updates for people wondering about the arm, complete with photos of my couple of trips to Harborview. Sheesh, I just looked and I can't believe the movie reviews were my last post!

So here's the short version...when I finally went back the next time for x-rays, all appeared to be in place. In fact, it's a little amazing to me. I looked at the xrays from right after the break and then the ones from just after I got my cast off, and it healed really well. The bones were actually a little crushed down and out at the break and they seemed to elongate out into the proper shape. It was really quite amazing.

Now the bone is almost completely healed and I am out of my cast. My wrist is still quite stiff and weak, but it's so nice to be able to braid myself and do dishes already!

I've been very busy with christmas, and making my special christmas card for this year. I think it's finally to everyone in the mail, so I will now post the .pdf here for everyone to read:

joyful_ragged_logo.gif
(this is a 453k .pdf file, so it shouldn't be too bad to download even at dial-up speed)

This was my Christmas in poetry (and illustrations)...enjoy!