Thursday, October 30, 2008

America, please reject fear, hate, and division

A wonderful article. I've previously posted about my concern of the corner of American that is frighteningly excited about a Palin-McCain presidency (the order might as well reflect the preference). This article says it better. I've pasted the url below as well.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Note the new widget

I've added this cool feature (bottom left) that tells me when folks have visited my blog which is great. Even if no one comments, I can at least know someone stopped by to check out the merchandise. The problem is that I visit my own site quite a bit and it still counts me. It's the web equivalent of writing a book and then going out and buying a ton of copies so it looks popular. Totally lame.

This city

Sometimes it's the quaint cobblestone alleyway that reeks of dog urine that is the essence of this city to me. Sometimes it is the lights and the people of the city through the condensation on the large glass windows on the second floor of Starbucks on 19th and Chestnut. Sometimes it is the tart stench of garbage from the passing trucks and street after street of bags waiting to be collected that slow down our walk as my dog insists on inspecting them all for life threatening food. On weekends it is sometimes the Delaware river from Penn's Landing and the lights of Ben Franklin bridge. It is often my friends as I see them in things they would delight in through the many storefronts. I miss them a little then and wish they were here. During the week it is the Chinese food cart outside of work that is the best meal you'll eat for $3.80 in the city. Everyday it is the choking cigarette smoke--Philly smokes a lot. It is buses and trains, trucks, cars, and even planes. It is ninja footwork avoiding poop smeared sidewalks. It is Gabriel, the guy I've seen almost every day walking to work wearing all black and perhaps the same black every single day. I just learned his name yesterday. It's weird that of all the people I pass everyday, we end up talking and even finally exchanging names. No girls, he's not single. Once it was the specter of a homeless person crossing an empty street at 4am with a dark blanket draped over their head like a ghost. They turned to take in me and the dog and then continued on. It is watching a homeless person struggle against the whipping wind to arrange a small blanket to tuck under their body and cover their face as they sleep on top of a steam manhole in the center of the sidewalk. It is still more homeless at the bus shelters, park benches, and churches. It is all the random men who try to pick me up in the subways and streets-I do not understand why you can not make eye contact or even just say hello without having to make up a fictional boyfriend to keep things from going there. It is broken glass from beer and car windows. It is another person dining alone who didn't forget to bring something to read or write with like I did.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

FYI: I am an elitist snob

What scares me most about Sarah Palin is who she inspires. People who would hold her up as a hero, who would celebrate and look up to her, who even now are slavishly devoted to a woman they've known for less than three months. I'm an intellectual lightweight by any standard-I would sound smarter than Sarah Palin because I use English better-but she and I would probably fare about the same in her interviews with Katie Couric and others. But anyone who can watch those interviews, look at her debate performance, and still support her--I don't understand those Americans. Some people are just not gifted communicators and perhaps Sarah is Mensa smart but communicatively disabled. But communication skills in a Vice President or any elected official should be above average. You are expected to carry and COMMUNICATE the people's agenda convincingly and clearly. You are expected to represent us abroad and do more than charm and serve as chief tea pourer and arm candy. And I don't understand people who are excited about her stance on gay marriage and abortion. I'm not into gay marriage but I wouldn't vote Republican based on that issue--I wouldn't vote for president based on any of America's hot button issues of morality. At the end of the day, those issues are way too personal to be effectively legislated or controlled (i.e. homosexuality, abortion). We tried that with alcohol and should know by now that it just drives those types of behavior underground where we can pretend they aren't there and distracts our lawmakers and enforcers with useless investigations and prosecutions.

But back to Palin's supporters, the Republican party, aptly named, "base." The fundamentalist Christians, the Joe's (six pack and plumber variety), the soccer and hockey moms...all these caricatures of "small-town" America that have a very insulting subtext; ignorant, marginally educated, Bible-thumping, xenophobes. They are "tolerant" of people who are different (race, sexual preference) which means they'll no longer run you out of town with pitchforks but they really wish you had chosen somewhere else to live and hope you don't attract more of your kind--or they hope you're the "good kind." They remind me that Martin Luther King was killed 7 years before I was born and the people who so vehemently and publicly opposed integration and racial equality didn't leave the planet or the country when the law of the land changed. They demonstrate the danger of isolation from information, from cultures outside of their own, from questions about why things are the way they are, from questions about faith and that the practice of faith is not an excuse to be ignorant. It is America at its smallest. I've never belonged to either party, but I've always voted Republican, perhaps because Fox News was always the channel of choice in the waiting rooms in various offices on military bases or I just found the Democratic nominee less palatable. I guess I felt they were more DoD friendly and I identified more with their supporters in value and beliefs than Democrats. But I will be casting a ballot for Obama on Nov 4th and praying, praying, praying that he wins.

An addendum: I think what frightens me is the Republican fear-mongering going on right now--they are predicting disaster and casting a shadow of certain doom for America over an Obama presidency. Amazing. The feeble minded among us may fall for this but I'm hoping that most of America is intelligent enough to recognize these tactics for what they are. Rhetoric is standard, both sides churn it out like oxygen but I really feel like McCain's campaign is being downright irresponsible in its messages. Please my citizens, please think. You don't have to vote for Obama like me, but please don't cast your vote in fear. Obama isn't going to attack this country, neither is McCain, neither will have been president long enough in this terrifying six-month outlook McCain's campaign is breathless with to have eroded or increased our nation's safety from attack. It is a low argument--what AMERICAN would look at the smoldering ashes within six months of the election and say, "See, I told you something bad would happen if you elected Obama." WTF?! Is there a magnet sitting on your moral compass?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mark, my hero

So I did that thing that you never want to do--I left something in a taxi. Specifically, I left my cell phone in a taxi and have spent the last five hours trying to get it back. I'm not sure what it is about a taxi company that is reflexively dismissive but people will tell you anything to get you off the phone and that's exactly what happened for the first three hours of this ordeal. The call before I talked to Mark (my 5th call), they put me on hold for 18 minutes when I insisted on speaking to a supervisor, and then disconnected me. Then I talked to Mark and expressed again my incredulity that it would take this long to get in touch with a driver and how I could not understand how it was that the dispatch company could be paging this guy over and over, he wasn't answering, and they had no alternative. Mark resisted me at first but I think since I had demonstrated that I would just keep calling and remain a thorn in their side until it was resolved, he totally stepped up and turned off the driver's meter to force him to contact the dispatch company. Totally awesome.

The driver called, Mark called me back and informed me that my phone was not in the car. When someone asserts something like that when you were so sure, it erodes your confidence. You're not sure you even ever owned a phone after spending an evening irritating every dispatcher at the local cab company only to feel like a moron for being such a pest. So, I took the dog out for a quick walk and then took a shower. I had looked up the airport lost and found and called them and then noticed a message on my machine. My phone was in the cab after all.

What a day.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hard not to take this personally

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Knots Pictures, Images and Photos

Tying up a few loose ends of thought from both the blogs.

IBC: just like my fleeting but completely absorbing obsession with the waffles and fruit plate at my local coffee shop, IBC is retired from staring roles in daydreams. If I were a different girl, or my life resembled a funnier sitcom, we would have probably made out to satisfy our collective interest in sampling someone different than we expected to end up spending our lives with but I'm not that girl.

Mr. Coffee: Still pings me occasionally. Still dead to me.

My eyebrows: just about normal now.

Mom: probably out of the hospital and if her preoccupation with rescheduling her hair appointment is any indication, feeling o.k. Found out right after I wrote the previous sentence, that she did indeed get her hair done today. Yay!

The newest blog: Soulfinger has been a bit of a disappointment, save Erik's posts. The other three folks have too much life or too little inspiration to grace the pages. I'll fiddle around and see if I can archive it here or somewhere else so Erik's posts are not lost to cyberspace but I think the site will go away before the holidays.

The original blog: Still posting there. I don't know if it's the interface or just habit but I think I like writing there better than writing here. Blogger is much more flexible, has a lot more tools and interactive content, and it's free but I still like my writing in the original more.

Writing submissions: I've done none. Rightly or wrongly, I took the absolute lack of response to my shout out as a hint.

The dog: Lives much better than the many, many homeless people in this city.

Parting thought: I've talked to a few people in the last week that have reminded me of the good fortune of my birth in this country. It is a far from perfect country and part of my birthright in this country involves the involuntary servitude of my ancestors and the ugliness of racism. But in recognizing the joy that someone has in coming to a place I take for granted, I see that my pride in being American isn't pride at all. No one is proud that they won the lottery, and that's what those of us born here won in the good fortune to be beneficiaries of something that we had no hand in selecting.

Note to self: eat chex mix in moderation

I'm tired and my tummy hurts. My dog is at my feet and still requires a walk. I'm not sure but I think I can credit the near empty bag of chocolate turtle chex mix sitting next to me for my upset constitution and flagging energy. I'm starting to get a little bummed about not having any friends here. I can't seem to recall how I made friends before. I'll figure something out but right now I just want to complain about it.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Stories Chapter 3: Mr. Mask Man

Yesterday, I took my work car to the dealership and got hit on by a very old man who even after I lied about having a boyfriend, gave me his number which he had on a personalized ball point pen which stated:

One drop of blood
Mr. Mask Man
Half horse will travel (no, this is not a typo, it really does say 'half')

The salesmen on the floor got a kick out of it. It inspired them that he still had game or at least was willing to proposition a lady that could be his granddaughter in front of so many people. I was surprised, puzzled, and bewildered by the pen.