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Archive for May, 2009

So the nominee for the Supreme Court thinks that a wise Latina woman would more often make the correct decision than a white male.

Good for her.

See, I don’t agree with very much that she believes in legally. She’s obviously left-wing enough to be chosen for the Court by this sitting president–who is pretty soundly my idealogical enemy.

But good for her.

So much of being a judge is being able to look at the facts–all the facts–and reach a decision. Judges are in the unique position of holding the lives of several people in their hands. All the medical shows are about how surgeons are like God because they have the power of life and death. Nobody really makes a show about Judges are like God–even though they are often moreso. A Judge can change an entire life with her ruling on pretty much any decision. But then her ruling lives like echoes for generations. It can change future lives through precedent.

You better believe that you are making the right decisions. You better be confident in those decisions. You are the end of the line for most folks who see you and that means you had best be as fair and clear-sighted as possible. Sotomayor, a Latina Woman, should believe that her decisions are the wisest and best option. She should hold that confidence in her heart if she’s making any life-changing decisions at all. She should believe they’re better than any other judge in the same position would make.

I believe in the seat of judicial power. It’s the main reason I hate the concept of mandatory sentencing. Why have judges sitting over a case if the legislature has already decided that this or that class of crime merits this or that class of punishment? It’s the legislature doing an end run around the courts.

So white men who think they would make a better choice–or anyone who doesn’t like the idea of there being values to choice–should think long and hard. Are there better or worse decisions for a judge to make? Of course. Should every judge believe that he or she made the best possible choice? Absolutely.

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Actually, what Bob Dylan said via Rod Stewart. I’m more-tagging this so you can skip it if you don’t feel like reading me have a moment of clarity followed by a moment of sheer ugh. (more…)

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Happy Times

It’s Friday. The basement carpet has been taken up, the padding removed and the concrete floor scrubbed with bleach. This is a very good thing because it now smells like an indoor pool at the Y or a Holiday Inn. Bleached concrete is a happy smell for me that takes me back to some of my best times. So now I’m sitting in my office and just drinking in the memory of every pool party and lap swim that made me feel brand new in body and soul. My dream has always been to get a swimming pool. The older I get the more distant the dream seems, but in the moments I allow myself to fantasize I picture finishing, publishing and selling a few books then using the profit to put in a pool. Depending on how well the writing is going that week the pool fluctuates in size from a huge inground thing with fountains and an infinity edge to one of the small swim spas. Either way I love the smell of bleached concrete in the morning.

I suppose I ought to put in a feel good friday video, but I’ll be honest. I can’t think of a song and I feel oversaturated with YouTube clips and web links. I’ve been using Twitter pretty heavily this week but I can’t shake the feeling that it just isn’t for me in the long term. I don’t feel like I’m connecting with who people are. I feel like I know when they have insomnia and what they’re watching on TV and what they think is funny on the internet. But part of what Twitter is bugs me. The part where people don’t use their words to express themselves. I guess I’m just a blog nut. I prefer getting more of a story, having more of a conversation. All of this relates to FGF just because the act of posting a video to express my thoughts feels more like a Twitter thing than a blog thing for me today. I’m not down on it–I just personally need to have a wordier outlet.

And seeing as how this entry is coming up on 400 words, I suppose this counts as ‘wordier.’

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‘Decapitation’ is the act of removing a head from the body.

The word you are looking for is ‘dedigitation’. This is the act of removing one or more fingers.

For a second I got my Latin really mangled and thought the correct word was ‘defenestration’ which actually is the act of throwing a person from a window. Which doesn’t make sense at all. You are not removing the windows from the person but removing the person from the window. No wonder Latin died.

But still…you meant to say ‘dedigitation’. In case you were wondering I’m just making a deal about this because you went on and on about how people who don’t believe in evolution are stupid. The way you said it was rude. So I just feel like pointing out the fact that you don’t know every blessed little thing.

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First:

I deleted a post. I didn’t even do that for people who sent me a certified letter telling me I had to, so obviously I’m trying hard to behave in this situation.

Second:

I don’t know why the scene in Goodfellas where Lorraine Bracco goes down on Ray Liotta for some extra spending money has never bothered me before. I hate that whole old saw about how wives are just whores or mistresses. There’s a lot more to being a wife than that.

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The last 48 hours have been a huge test designed to see how well I handle certain pressures. In case you were wondering I’ll jump to the end result and say “not well.”

I’m trying to be vague here because I don’t want to hurt feelings. The person or persons of interest may or may not read this blog and while I want large amounts of opinion from the vast world I don’t wish to use my little corner of soapbox to directly humiliate any one person. At least not today.

So let’s just propose something.

You do a favour for a person. A pretty large favour, actually. In fact–kind of huge. This person is then repeatedly inconsiderate to you and eventually–directly through his or her actions–costs you more than $500, a day of lost work and quite a bit of grief.

Do you then ask that person to pay the money they cost you or do you write it off as yet another in the myriad of inconsiderate jerk moves that person has made during the brief time you’ve known them?

The angry and tired me is all prepared to put the bill in a nice envelope to hand to this person once I see him or her. The part of me that wants to be gracious feels like I should let it go.

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I have been following this story in the news but have not written about it at length. I want to pretend with my whole heart that it isn’t happening, because it troubles me so deeply.

It’s this story. About the boy with cancer who doesn’t want to take cancer drugs.

He’s back home now, after his (more…)

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Tomorrow I’m 39.

Funnily enough that doesn’t bother me. I think the year that bothered me the most was 36. I’d been struggling with fertility so long and read so many baby things that talk about how if you have a baby after 35 the chance of it having 19 eyes and four heads is greatly increased. So once I hit 36 I felt depressed about carting around my ovarian mine fields. Once I got over that I’ve been cool with this aging thing.

Every year I know a little more about what I didn’t know the year before. I’m a tiny bit better as a person–which means that should I live to be 2168 I’ll probably be just about perfect.

Having kids means I don’t always feel my age, because I have nothing coming up behind me, gaining ground and threatening to displace me. I was talking with my husband about a coworker of his who has a child graduating High School this year. I thought he was around 50. He’s six days older than the husband, 2 years and three months older than me. It never even occurs to me that I could be the parent of an 18 year old. Chronologically, yes. I was married at 21, and had I gotten pregnant that year I’d be throwing an open house right about now. Since I have, of course, failed to grow up my own self, this seems like a ridiculous proposition to me. How could I parent someone when I have no idea how to parent myself? Of course judging by the people who sit behind us in chain restaurants I guess that doesn’t stop a lot of folks.

I guess I’m focusing on the child thing because birthdays are about that. About being born. About starting one leg of the journey. I no more think this life is the end of existence than I think that Kindergarten is the end of schooling. I’m pretty sure that this life is about laying the groundwork for all of the next steps. I’m still fingerpainting.

This year, for the first time in Four Years A.D.–After Disease–I’ve got goals in mind for the upcoming 12 months. I won’t utter them aloud because I feel that to give them breath would be to curse them into death. I have a history of failing at anything I announce to the world. Whether that’s the work of God, the Devil or my own demons I’m as yet undecided. I just know that I hope when next May 23rd rolls around I’ve managed to lay my hand to good accomplishments.

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The first time I read it online I thought “hey, that’s kind of clever.” The second and third times it seemed both clever and in-jokey. I laughed because it felt good to be part of the crowd that was using this clever new turn of phrase. Turn of word? Can it be a phrase if it’s just a word?

Then one night as we were watching TV my erstwhile roommate shouted out “ooooh FAIL. EPIC FAIL!” in reaction to something onscreen. And I realised then that any cordial relationship I had with “Fail” as a disclaimer for something odd or disturbing was over. Over and dead.

In my house we have a rule about watching TV. You discuss whatever you’re watching. In detail. It’s annoying to outsiders because it’s sort of like a cross between MST3K and the McNeil-Lehrer report. Half goofy, half pretentious. All designed to make you feel like you aren’t rotting your brain–nosiree! You are discussing. But when Roommate had no greater input than “Ooooo, Fail!” I realised that I was done with it.

“Fail” when uttered aloud sounds sort of like something you’d hear out of a pained goat or spoiled toddler. It’s not constructive, it’s not informative. It’s not funny in that caustic sharpwitted way that someone like Sarcastro has. It’s just the newest version of Nelson’s “Ha HA!!!” with an extra dose of cruelty. The days of it being any sort of funny were gone like six months ago.

And since it is “Feel Good Friday” I have decided to embed link to a video. This video WARNING: LINK NSFW makes me feel good when I watch it because I imagine myself performing this little song and dance on every person who utters “fail” in my presence from here on out.

Is that as good for you as it was for me? Hey, what’s goin’ on? Do you hear that?

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WARNING: HIGHLY OFFENSIVE LANGAUGE

First off, I owe the universe an apology. I’ve spent years saying that racism is fast becoming a thing of the past, and that the non-caucasians among us were exaggerating the issue.

I am very very wrong about that.

As I said earlier, I’ve been playing Epic Pet Wars on the iPod Touch. (osrzae) It’s addictive in its simplicity, and odd because that simplicity is deceptive. As you climb the ranks strategy becomes more and more important. It’s as though someone made chess interesting again. (Seriously, chess has stopped being fun now that there are computers to analyse every move and each subsequent combination.)

But the thing is that apparently there is this subculture where being openly racist is cool. Or should I say kewl? Why else would people name their EPW pets things like ‘niggakilla’, ‘stompthenigger’ and ‘death2nignogs’? It’s gross and disgusting. Even more disgusting than the infantile sexual aggressiveness of names like ‘swallomycum’. These kids–at least I pray they’re kids who have a hope of growing smarter and away from this grossness–take pride in being vile and disgusting.

Part of me wonders if some of the overt racism isn’t a form of rebellion. In my forays into Twitter for Posse Codes (osrzae), it’s obvious that many of the other gamers are somewhere between 11 and 19. That’s the prime age to do something forbidden just to test your boundaries and rebel against what you perceive as boring conformity but the rest of the world calls ‘manners’.

Either way it makes me sad. Sad that people allow themselves to be ruled by hate. Sad that something innocently fun is corrupted by that hate and sad that I’m so very wrong about racism in America dying.

(For the record, my pets are Caduces, Claddagh, KiwiMermaid, Melusina, Monsterbunny, GrapeSlushie, Footshoe, EmeraldIris, Bellfree and some other names I’m forgetting now. Oh yeah. Zevon. Of course.)

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