When confonted with life's complexities and utter rudeness, my mother was fond of saying, "This too shall pass..." My father, when confronted with same, was fond of saying, "Get on with it."
It does - and so I am.
Recently, a long-time family friend observed - "Your family doesn't do the Southern Gothic thing by halves, does it?"
"No," I'd answered. "Only by powers of ten."
It's moments like this that I am forced to ask the big questions, like, "How many undergraduates does it take to burn out the engine of a car while trying to move said vehicle off of a pile of ice in front of my apartment building?"
Once, years ago, when sitting at a computer terminal in a row of terminals in a classroom setting (I was diversifying my skillset... gearing up to become obsolescent in the new economy...), I turned to the guy next to me, who was considerbly older than I was and had a long grey beard - and so had an air of wisdom about him (looking as he did like so many paintings of god I'd seen 'round and about)...
I asked him, "All these deep questions we're always asking ourselves... have you found any answers to 'em as you've aged?"
He must have been used to people confusing him with god (with the beard an' all), because he turned to me and without pause said, "Not really, but the questions - the questions get richer and richer over time."
And this I have found to be true. As I've aged, I've noted a slow, but growing resonance to things - like questions. It's very cool. Must be the fermentation of the mind... or some such.
Truth be told, I'm tired of myself these days. Too many internal musings, etc. If I were to go on vacation from myself, where would I go? I wonder... To Ume? I don't think she'd appreciate that somehow. "It's crowded enough in here! Go find someone who's a little more airy of head - maybe they could put up with you. And what's that infernal noise?"
"Sweetness, no wonder you're tired of yourself. Sounds like dying cats. Go inhabit a teenager, maybe they'll think it's heavy metal, punk or rap or something."
"I've always thought it sounded like polka..."
There are several teenagers in the neighborhood, but looking at them, I feel they've got troubles enough. And so I'd sigh, and say, "Well self, it's just you and me again - so I'm going to try that thing where I don't get overly involved in all of your busyness and dramaticus humanitas. And if that doesn't work, I'll turn on the tv."
In moderate doses, I find tv an effective brain-wave killer. I just avoid anything news related and I'm fine. Anything news related sets my teeth on edge and I start growling things like, "What on earth happened to the friggin' Democratic party? Who's going to stop the big business/Republican steamroller from dragging us back to the Jurassic period (a.k.a. before F.D.Roosevelt)? Hello?! Can anyone hear me?!"
The New Year's coming up and I'm wishing you a superb one with all the trimmings - health, happiness, peace, joy - all of it - heaps and heaps.
I think maybe I'll go bake some biscuits. Very friendly, biscuits.
In the face of tragedies on the scale of the one in Bam, Iran - what can one say that would be of any consequence? We wish the best for the survivors, courage and strength - and for those caring for them as well.
We could all use a little of this... yes?
Good News for Women by Katha Pollitt (1.04, The Nation): click here
Work... an increasingly foreign concept...
U.S. Companies Moving More Jobs Overseas (12.23.03, Reuters): click here
So what's going on anyway? Here's one opinion...
Un-American Recovery: How the Bush recovery has undone the great balancing act of the New Deal. by Harold Meyerson (12.29.03, American Prospect): click here
Bush's 'Ownership' Scam by Robert Kuttner (12.24.03, Boston Globe): click here
This is one of those partisan stories that's kind of daft, but I loved the last sentance! I also liked the ominous reference to the missing employee...
After Cheney's Private Hunt, Others Take Their Shots by Elisabeth Bumiller (12.15.03, New York Times): click here
Not Neo-Con, Just Plain Greed: The U.S. campaign to have Iraq's debts forgiven shows how the Bush administration backs any market distortion that enriches its friends by Naomi Klein (12.20.03, the Globe & Mail): click here
Surprised? You shouldn't be.
Baker Takes the Loaf: The President's Business Partner Slices Up Iraq by Greg Palast (12.09.03, TomPaine.com): click here
Campaign Finance Law's Key Sections Upheld (12.10.03, Reuters): click here
"We are under no illusion that (the law) will be the last congressional statement on the matter. Money, like water, will always find an outlet. What problems will arise and how Congress will respond are concerns for another day," O'Connor and Stevens wrote.
We're nothing if not interested in goings on at McDonald's restaurants...: click here
The flu - keep it to yourself, here's how: click here
Worrisome on all fronts:
Hence the goal of the proposed peer review rules is chillingly similar to this administration's earlier efforts to stack Federal Advisory Committees with industry scientists. Where interests of the public and of industry conflict, the scientific advice our government receives will be far more likely to serve the interests of industry than the interests of the whole population.
From: Science for Special Interests by Anthony Robbins (12.07.03, Boston Globe): click here
My father has passed away. It took several separate instances of cancer, and a nasty dose of radiation to do him in. Though he suffered a goodly amount of inconvenience and discomfort, he was not in a great deal of pain. And if he was, he didn't bother us about it - he was too busy regaling visitors, doctors and nurses with adventures and tales. He could tell some good ones, and some of them were even true.
He crossed the finish line with grace, courage and humor. May he rest in peace - he sure as hell deserves it.
He is sorely missed.