Earlier today I signed an online petition urging the White
House to please present better legislation in regards to gun control in this
country. I want to be clear that I do not want to “take way all the guns” from
people. I do not think that people (sportsmen, hunters,
even collectors of antique fire arms, etc.) who are responsible adults should not
or cannot own guns. I do think that it is wholly unnecessary for anyone outside
of law enforcement or military to have access to fully-automated or
semi-automatic firearms. There is no need in anyone’s life, recreationally or
otherwise, to fire that many rounds at anything.
All I was seeking in signing that petition was to urge some
people on both sides of the debate who are smarter, better informed, and
intimately familiar with laws regarding firearms and constitutional law to sit
down and hash out some better ways to make it more difficult for these types of
weapons to get into the hands of the people who clearly should not have access
to them. You cannot enter Canada from the U.S. if you so much as have a DUI on
your record in the past ten years, but this infraction has no effect on your
being able to get a gun. Think about that.
My view of guns is nothing but negative. I hate them. But,
as a citizen of this country, and as a person who wouldn’t want anyone to take away
my freedom to say how I feel in a public forum away from me, I must respect
those other constitutional rights that protect other people’s freedoms…as much
as it kicks me in the gut to think about how ridiculous and outdated I think
those freedoms are.
I also had another thought. Our government has been having a
hell of a time trying to get on the same page as one another. There isn’t a single
issue on which any party can agree, so my hopes for a rational discussion about
gun legislation are low. So, I began to think about what the biggest obstacle
to these talks is. I poked around a bit, did a little Googling as it were, and came
to find out, as no big surprise, that the gun lobbyists in this country have
way too much control over the issue.
So, in an effort to be all “grassrootsy” about this
situation, and in an effort to convey some seriousness in my wanting to see
something finally get done about this, I am recommending that anyone who wants
to see active change in relation to gun legislation join the NRA. It’s $35 for
a year. Think about the expense as a gift to the families who have endured unnecessary
loss due to gun violence. There are over 91,000 people who have signed the
petition to open up discussions. If that same amount of people, and then some, join
this powerful gun lobbying group then there will be some dissenting voices in
the club. Also, as another surprise…well, I’ll let you read this brief piece by
Amy Sullivan published in The New Republic:
“Greg Sargent reported
yesterday that only ten members of Congress have signed their names to a
statement the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence distributed several weeks ago
(i.e., before the Aurora gun massacre). The statement doesn’t ask senators or
representatives to pledge their support for banning assault weapons or for
regulating the purchase of high-capacity magazines. It simply addresses
categories of individuals who should not have access to guns:
I believe these people should not be able
to buy, own, or carry a gun anywhere in our nation:
· Convicted felons
· Convicted domestic abusers
· People found to be dangerously mentally ill
At the same time, a
poll of NRA members and other gun owners that was conducted in May by
Republican pollster Frank Luntz reveals broad support for some of the very same
restrictions. For example, 82% of gun owners support criminal background checks
for gun purchasers (74% of NRA members voiced support for background checks).
Sixty-eight percent of NRA members believe that individuals who have been
arrested for domestic violence should not be eligible for gun permits. And 75%
of NRA members believe that concealed weapon permits should not be available to
people who have committed violent misdemeanors.”
There already are people in the NRA who
want to see stricter regulations on acquiring firearms! So, maybe there needs
to be more, and maybe that “more” needs to speak a little louder, or be a
little bit more of a thorn in the sides of the legislators.
Here is the link https://membership.nrahq.org/forms/signup.asp?CampaignID=nranews.
Think about it.
2. Redefine the whole Dadaist art movement with
4. Go to Staples.com and price ink refills for your
6. Wonder why you have the plants, and where the
hell did they come from? You didn’t buy them. Have they always been in here? Is
someone missing a plant? Do other people have plants? Is it a cursed plant from
a terminated employee?
8. Continually instant message the IT department to
come fix your “fancy typewriter” because
it doesn’t seem to be “putting words on the TV thing.”
10. Go get your plant back.
I have been texting an inordinate amount of words lately. I have also taken quite a shining to Twitter recently. I’m not certain if it’s because I’m lazy, or if it’s that I feel I come across best in 140 characters or less, but I think some of my better writing has been in these mediums. This made me wonder whether or not some of our most renowned writers would have done some of their best work in the time of texting and Twitter.
Beckett on Twitter:
TheEstragon: Charming spot inspiring prospects lets go!
Vlad-a-mere41: We cant
TheEstragon: Why not?!
Vlad-a-mere41: We're waiting for @Godot
TheEstragon: *despairingly* Ah!You sure it ws here!?
TheEstragon: That were 2 wait.
Vlad-a-mere41: He said by tree #noothertreesduh
Or, a couple of kids texting by Billy S.
Romeo: Here! Your lights on, I can see you! I wanna be your glove ; )
JulietC: What!? LOL Are you here?! Thought I heard you?!
Romeo: I’m here!
Romeo: Look down!
JulietC: Oh, I see younow! : )
On second thought it might be best for some things to remain a little wordier. : 0
I sat down in front of this infernal computer tonight to try and get some writing done. As far as I can tell the furthest I got was looking up the word infernal, and then using it in the previous sentence. It’s a good word, though, isn’t it?
So, what all did I get done while under the pretense that I was going to write a great blog post? You know, the one that I keep saying is going to get the ball rolling again. Well, I ate a whole package of Milano cookies along with two glasses of milk (which expires tomorrow so I had to finish as much as I could, because I am a slave to the sell by date).
I also walked around my block twice, smoked half a pack of cigarettes, perused the interwebs, listened to an entire album while sitting in the dark (this was supposed to be inspirational, surprisingly it wasn’t), took a shower, ironed a work shirt, found a spot on the work shirt I was ironing, ironed another shirt, which as it turned out also had a spot, went through all of my work shirts in the hopes that there might be one without an obvious spot somewhere on it, realized I need new work shirts, threw a cat toy back and forth for awhile, noticed the cats weren’t around so I stopped because it got weird, read a bit of a magazine, made dinner, texted a bunch of people, read my Twitter feed, and now here I am. I am exhausted.
There are a couple of unfinished projects, or half started depending on your disposition, sitting on the desktop of my computer. These are things that I add a sentence to once or twice a week, and then call it a productive sit down. I also have a pile of index cards which I thought by using in a Nabokov style would help me produce a long form project that has been simmering in my head for, roughly, twenty-odd years, so, making a lot of headway on that one.
I am guessing that this is what is known as procrastination. I like to call it my psychological block caused by a fear of success. Actually, I don’t call it that. I call it lumpynoodlebrain, it’s less threatening and more honest. I’m not sure if it’s psychological at all. I certainly don’t fear success, because by simply accomplishing this much I have already personally succeeded (granted the bar is very low). And, as far as failure goes I don’t much reckon I fear that too much either. Failure to me would be that I didn’t finish this, which I will, so boo to you failure.
With that said, I think I’ve finished this infernal post. Perhaps I’ll do it again in another three months.
2. Meh, half check.
3. I'll let you know when I stop laughing.
Why do you get me just when I was becoming resolved to being perpetually misunderstood? You're ruining the whole thing.
Start to finish people, or don't even bother.
Ok, at least the first and second story. This even got 8-year-old me!
I have two cats. I like my cats, but I’m often troubled by some of their habits. Having cats is like having drunken roommates who pull stupid pranks that only they find funny, except the cats are like that all of the time.
I have learned to live with most of their inside jokes. I’m coming to terms with the “Hey, look what I did to the entire roll of toilet paper!” gag. And I’m settling into the reality of having all of my socks pulled out of the dresser drawer and strewn about the bedroom (actually I find that one kind of impressive). There’s also the “Hey, I’m in the glasses cabinet!” And the “Hey, I’m living inside of your box spring! Don’t even ask how I got in here…” And even “Hey, I hope you didn’t want to shower alone!” or “Hey, I hope you didn’t want to sleep past six a.m.” These are all becoming tolerable annoyances.
But, like drunken roommates, it’s all fun and games until the inevitable purge. Living with cats means that, no matter what you do, you will at some point be cleaning up some hideous type of cat vomit. I have not reconciled myself to this fact yet, and I have had cats for a very long time.
The first thing is that I am very sensitive to all types of human and animal regurgitation. I believe that most people are, but there are things that are wholly natural that make me gag to the point of tears just thinking about. That a cow chews cud is tough for me to even type. And don’t even get me started about those poor baby birds. I blame my cousin for this hyper-sensitive aversion. There was an incident in my formative years involving a road trip, an Oldsmobile station wagon, a hot summer day, and a tuna melt, that has never really left me.
The second thing is the unbelievable multifariousness of cat puke. I’ll give you a short list of the more common cat puke varieties that I have dealt with:
The Ate-Too-Fast: This consists of a pile of nearly whole cat food, changed just enough in consistency to remind me of that mutant baby thing in “Eraserhead.” However, this is the easiest puke to clean up since it is still recognizable as food, and lacks any discernable excess moisture. This only applies to the cats that eat dry food; canned food is its own category of disgusting (Ugh, the smell of canned food alone…).
The Hair Ball: The thing about the hair ball is that it never looks anything like hair or a ball, but more like a mucous covered yarn sausage. I’m not even sure where hair ball as a description came from. Also, the hair ball comes with a protracted, often elaborate, expelling process upon its arrival, making it even worse for its sheer theatrics.
The Shouldn’t-Of-Ate-That: I guess this goes without saying, but there are some things that are not meant to be ingested, but for a cat the learning curve of what type of things is steep. The number one guilty pleasure for the cat is a plant. Any plant will do. Actually, anything green seems to be ok with them. I know that plants are a natural draw for a cat, what with cat grass and all, but it doesn’t seem to me that an aloe plant should have the same appeal. And heaven help you when you find that pile of once eaten aloe on your living room carpet. And woe is the person (i.e. me) who has a carpet of similar coloring as vomited aloe. I have actually renamed my carpet this color.
The Shook-Me-Too-Hard: This is retaliatory and usually well deserved, because, yes, sometimes I may rattle the cat a bit too much when trying to show affection.
The Cats-Are-Surely-Aliens: Your guess is as good as mine as to what the hell this stuff is. It is not of this planet I am sure of that. Sometimes it is yellowish. Sometimes it is foamy. But, it is always horrible, wet, and impossibly viscous.
This is in no way a complete list, and I would encourage you to add your own cat puke experience to the comments section.
I am also not really complaining. It is a small price to pay for the kind of company my cats provide for me. And sometimes if I just find the puke, and don’t have to hear the actual process, it isn’t too bad. It could also be worse, like when a dog pukes, and then feels it necessary to clean up after itself…oh…erf…I can’t even finish that thought.
You have no idea how hard this was to write about. I have to go compulsively scrub something clean now.
Frequent visitors to this site may have noticed that there hasn't been too many updates as of late. I can assure you that there will be again, but not too soon. I am experiencing some dramatic transitions as of late that I am sure will be inappropriately explored on this site at a later date. I hope everyone will hang in there. I promise I'll be back.
I do not play the lottery. I just don’t. I could give you a hundred reasons why I don’t, but I think that anyone with an ounce of reason would understand why. I also have a slight fear of actually winning. With that said, I had an interesting lottery moment the other day.
I recently spent an afternoon running some errands, which for me means walking around town in the freezing cold. It was the kind of cold where I have to make occasional stops in random banks’ ATM vestibules to warm up.
I was at the very last stop, the one closest to home, when an odd thing happened. As I was entering the store an elderly man was exiting. I held the door open for him while he slowly shuffled out. He said thank you, and I said you’re welcome. It was a pretty typical exchange.
Then he asked me, “Are you playing a number?”
To which I had no real reply since I had no idea what he was talking about. I kind of imagined he thought I was there to do a quick song or dance. I just said “Yea, I wish.” It didn’t make any sense, but most of the time when someone asks me something I’m unprepared to answer I come out with nonsense. It’s like when someone asks “How are you?” in passing, and I answer “You too.”
He then said “Play 479 if you do.” And that was that, he shuffled on.
I got it. He was thinking that I was stopping to play the lottery, which I don’t. So I wasn’t. I didn’t give it another thought.
I was half way home when it struck me that this was an odd incident. It isn’t every day when someone throws a lotto number at me. I also haven’t had the greatest stretch of luck for the last thirty-odd years and thought maybe this was my one break, so who am I to mess with fate.
I, against my better and more rational judgment, walked three blocks out of my way to another convenience store. I walked in, sidled up to the lotto window, and asked to play 479 for $1 straight and $1 boxed. I have no idea what any of that means, but I did it, and I did it with authority.
I’ll admit that I was very excited. I kept having thoughts about winning and how it was all because of some random old man telling me to play. What a great lottery story that would make. It would be like a stroke of good fortune that I happened across this man. Or, that this man was sent to give me the numbers to win …I don’t know, what? A couple of hundred bucks? (I’m not sure of the payout on these things.) It would be cool, anyway.
When I finally got home that night I checked my newspaper from the day before so I knew where to find the lotto numbers the next day. When I saw the numbers from the day before, I freaked out a bit. The numbers were 478. Really!? C’mon!
I felt duped. But, I didn’t have to buy the tickets in the first place. I honestly had no one to blame but myself. At the same time, I did have to buy those tickets, because if I hadn’t it would have eaten away at my luckless soul forever.
I put the paper away, put the tickets in my wallet, and decided to forget about it.
The lotto numbers were the first thing that I went to in the paper the next morning. Guess what the numbers were. Just guess. Did you get it?
If I hit the shift key the number looks something like this #&(, which resembles what I said when I read the numbers in the paper.
The lesson is this: do not listen to elderly lottery players, no matter how desperate you might be for an uplifting moment in your life.
Also, this story is a nice encapsulation of my life. I’m always just one number off.
Picture from Jarleth Regan and Jigser Shop.
I have a complicated relationship with sports. I don’t care for them that much. Ok, that isn’t very complicated. However, I am finding now that I’m older that I’m starting to give some sports a chance. I do know for a fact that I will never watch, or appreciate, or even entertain the notion of football being a thing worth any time at all.
My conflicted relationship with sports began fairly early on. I was not a “sports” kid. My sister was the family athlete with her pre-teen softball games, basketball in junior high, high school track and field, and college swim team. She excelled at each and had a few trophies to prove it. My younger brother is also a sporty fellow with his running, and overall persnickety health regime (I say persnickety, but I mean…no I mean persnickety).
I enjoyed reading T.V. Olson, Sidney Sheldon, and Stephen King books until I got to high school, after which I began to enjoy things not pertaining to, or appropriate for, this post.
I did participate in sports, though, it was usually because I had to. It started with day camps. I was sent to a summer day camp in Holden, Massachusetts, which was small, but thorough in its provided activities. Over the years that I went to the camp I played tennis, learned to swim, practiced some minor gymnastics, and did leather crafts (not a sport, but surprisingly difficult).
After growing out of that specific day camp, I switched gears to purely sports camps. I went to WPI soccer camp, St. Rose College’s basketball camp, and more gymnastics at a place called, appropriately, Yuri’s. I think out of all of those I enjoyed going to Yuri’s the most if only because I had the opportunity to jump into a giant pit of foam every time I went; It was less gymnastics and more play acting of my favorite movie moments (think Sarlaac pit).
I’ve also sampled other sports outside of my summer camp experiences. I went to horseback riding camp, did karate, rowed crew for a year or two, did some downhill skiing, and was an avid skateboarder (not a sport at the time, but now that it is, it isn’t quite as exciting).
None of the above activities stuck, nor did they leave any kind of lasting passion in me. I still like horses, but I like a lot of animals, so the camp may not have been wholly responsible for that.
I have always said that I like baseball, and that isn’t a complete lie. I have for baseball the typical American knee-jerk nostalgia. I went to a bunch of Red Sox games at Fenway in my summers, and they always left me feeling excited and oddly participatory. So, I watch Boston play every now and again, but I in no way really follow the sport.
I often think that my sports aversion may be trauma based. I once tried out for my eighth-grade basketball team. I was not tall then, nor was I coordinated, fast, not-near-sighted, aware of all of the rules of the sport, or popular, which plays a surprisingly important part of team sports at that age.
My first tryout went terribly. I remember going for a layup in tryouts, which ended with me midair, no ball, and only about an eighth of the way down the low post area. The only thing the coach said was “What was that?!” It was downhill from there. I was cut from the team. I was the only one who was. The rest of the boys in my class, save for one who was apparently wise enough to know his limitations, were on the team. Eighth-grade sucked.
That should have been the last time I tried out for a competitive team sport, but it wasn’t. I went on to join a crew team in high school. I was a pack-a-day smoker with a streak for anti-disciplinary behavior. The words team and sport clashed with both of these new attributes of mine, so things didn’t work out too well there. I liked being on the water, but that was about it.
Not liking sports was not a real issue for me until adulthood. And having moved to a very sports-centric city hasn’t helped. The city that I live in is very excited by and obsessed with its perennially losing football team. The subject of football comes up all of the time almost everywhere I go, while grocery shopping, at work, at the barber’s, while getting coffee, during classes, on the front page of the newspaper, at the top of almost every nightly newscast… football is inescapable.
This football saturation, mixed with the sports’ self-seriousness, may be why I detest it. I am always awed when people act personally offended when I say I have no intention of watching the Super bowl. I don’t get it. Even when someone’s hometown team isn’t playing in the Super bowl people still treat it like a holiday. It is almost obligatory, and maybe it’s the contrarian in me, but I don’t like being told I need to watch grown men smash into one another while the overall game itself seems to move at glacial pace.
The money, too, is a problem for me. Not only the money I have to spend on sporting events, but the money some of these people make playing these sports. I have to assume that most of these athletes began playing whatever sport it is that they specialize in solely because they enjoyed playing it. Then, somewhere down the line, they are suddenly worth $20 million because they can throw a ball a little straighter than the next guy. It seems a bit ridiculous, and I say this knowing that I will never make that kind of money doing something I hate, let alone like. So, this may just be a bitterness thing.
I don’t count endorsements in that money complaint. I don’t care if a shoe company wants to throw money at a good athlete. In fact, I think that endorsement money should be the primary source of income for pro athletes, at least I wouldn’t have to spend $120 on a nosebleed section BoSox ticket just because their pitcher needed a $40 million three-year contract.
The irony of my dislike of the economics of sports is that I am starting to watch a lot of NBA lately. Maybe it’s that I am beginning to understand the game. Finally. Or, maybe being married to an ex-college basketball player has rubbed off on me. I really don’t know what happened, or how it started, but I am enjoying it.
I think that it has something to do with where I live. If you’re not watching football or hockey than it doesn’t seem to matter much. This allows me to enjoy the games without there being some weird societal pressure to know what is going on with every team and every game.
Also, in the past, I’ve had a difficult time paying attention to all of the stats, game times, players, and all of that stuff that makes a real sports “fan.” But, now with the Twitter, I’m able to get direct information about the one or two teams that I want to pay attention to, which is time-saving and convenient. Who says technology isn’t helpful.
So, I don’t really know why I’m starting to like some sports, but I am. My theory is that the further away I get from actually being able to do something, the more I want to watch other people do those things. According to that logic, in a few years I should be happy watching people open jars, or read menus in a dimly lit restaurant.
Really, I think it’s just that I’m older and more inclined to sit around on weekends watching things that don’t tax my brain at all, and sports fit that bill perfectly.