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Archive for January, 2005

Why Do I Buy Bananas?

You thought that the only sure things in this crazy mad world were Death and Taxes?

WELL HERE IS ANOTHER ONE:

  1. Heather buys bananas.
  2. Bananas go bad.

What a waste!  I mean, if I were more MS (Martha Stewart) I would be baking these mushy brown gone bad bananas into fragrant, faintly sugary Banana Bread.  Mmmmm.  But fuck that.  I think it is time to finally admit (and you know the first step is in admitting it):

I don’t like bananas.

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Upheaval

I’m a terrible poster. I love to read blogs where people post every few days and I must admit I feel slightly guilty that it always takes me weeks, literally, to get off my arse and write another post. It makes me especially annoyed that I have a ton of things I want to write but (seemingly) no time to do it.

Anyway. Okay, now that I’ve expunged my guilt like the good Anglican that I am (essentially, the “if you confess it, you are absolved, get out of jail free card” Way of Thinking — which being raised Protestant, means I never FULLY believe it but sneakily take advantage of HA), now that I have erased my negligence simply by admitting I know I do it, on to the topic at hand.

Upheaval. In the last few weeks a lot of forces, which have been moving and producing change slowly in my emotional and intellectual life, have suddenly come into sharp focus and the full acknowledgment of How Much I Have Changed over the past months is Freaking Me Out. Indeed, I believe this reaction to a full realisation of change is Natural but let me tell you right now it is not Fun. (What am I, in the 18th century with this random capitalisation? Jeez.) I feel very upheaved. I feel like I’m in unknown territory and it is unsettling.

Perhaps I should get specific. The truth is, I don’t have a political reasoning bone in my body. I, who can endlessly discuss and rapidly grasp the implications of hair-splitting differences between two seemingly similar philosophies, cannot for the life of me grasp the implications of one political argument against another, nor can I readily decide which political party proposes the best solution. To me, it all seems an endless, impenetrable haze that leaves me feeling frustrated and stupid when caught in the middle of heated debate (which happens a lot in this town as I’m sure you will not be surpised to learn).

But, in part due to this last election, and in part due to a strong unease with the policy of going to war with Iraq, I’ve been more and more involved in thinking about what I believe politically and why and trying to sort out whether or not anyone currently in government reflects what I believe (which isn’t even clear to me). I still don’t really know what I believe, but I can tell you this much: it really boils down to a statement I wish could be the title of a really great op ed that I wish I could write. That statement is: “This is not my Christianity, this is not my Republicanism.”

I was raised in both those traditions. My own Christianity I’ve eagerly revised, expanded, and explored. This is territory I feel super comfortable with. I became an Anglican. I’ve studied Buddhism, Theosophy, and the Occult. I practice pagan (or, for lack of a better term Witchy) rituals with my friend The Witch. I am Christian Buddhist Witch and I am extremely happy and comfortable with that. But the Christianity that (it seems) is most known and most adopted in this country is very different from my own, quite fundamentalist and rigid and right wing. This causes me consternation on many levels but on a personal level it causes me consternation because all around me I see and hear a reviling of Christianity (at least in the demographic I travel in) and it bothers me because, like I said, this is NOT my Christianity. The Christian faith carries within it SO many beautiful truths, and not all Christians believe that it carries the ONLY beautiful truths. So when I hear people verbally spitting on the (let us say) fundamentalist traditions I feel very confused. I want to join in the spitting (particularly since I KNOW from fundamentalist baby I was raised in it and believe me I hated it), but I also identify myself religiously as a Christian. So where does that leave me?

Well clearly it leaves me in this strange space of being a Christian Buddhist Witch and very happy with it. But it’s still kind of weird because I want to be accurately seen as that, which is a lot to ask. Much easier for people to see me as a “Christian” and lump me together with the fundamentalists. Or to just cock their heads and say puzzlingly “What, you? A Christian?” “Well, I’m….oh never mind.” Frustration. Upheaval.

A similar thing occurs when I try and pinpoint what I think politically. I was raised a Republican (which by now in this post will not surprise you one bit). I believe power should be pushed down to the state and local level. I believe people have the right to protest peacefully on whatever grounds be they never so stupid and ill-conceived. I believe people have the right to worship whatever form of God they wish to in whatever way they wish to even when it means they believe God tells them that sex before marriage is wrong or that He created the world in six days. I also believe in universal access to health care and education. That the government should provide for the destitute in some way. I believe that the government should engage in ethical and moral debate without clear adherence to a particular religious tradition. And believe me people, this is NOT the Republicanism that is operating today in this country. (Someone told me once that I am really a Rockefeller Republican, a relic from the past, so perhaps that is why I am so confused.) As a result of realising this, I crossed the floor in the last election and voted for John Kerry.

I do not approve of our current leadership, which as far as I can tell wants to centralise power not diffuse it, reward greed not regulate it, preach fear not dispel it. I think the current administration has ridden to power on the wave of a whole mindset that is Christian and Republican in name only. This strange right wing fundamentalist power-centralising political “party” has won by a comfortable majority and is here, if not to stay, then certainly for the time being. And how do I reconcile myself with that, I who have always thought of myself as a Republican? Frustration. Upheaval.

I don’t WANT to take sides. I don’t want to be polemical. But I don’t seem to fit in anywhere. Or if I do, I’m not sure where these like-minded folks might be residing. It’s more nuanced than simply wanting to find intelligent and respectful and thoughtful people with which to converse. There are lots of people willing to listen to my oddly shaped ideas and I honor them for that. I am so grateful for their willingness to engage. But I wonder if there are others who actually occupy the strange space I do — the Christian-Buddhist-Witch-Rockefeller-Republican-Does-That-Even-Work? space.

I want to leave you, dear Internet, with a quote from a book I’m reading called “Defending Middle Earth: Tolkien — Myth and Modernity” by Patrick Curry. (If you are a literary theory fan or a LOTR fan or both you NEED to read this book). It is one of the catalysts of this upheaval I’ve been writing about, in a good way of course:

“What do I mean by modernity? Basically, a ‘world-view’ that began in late seventeenth-century Europe, became self-conscious in the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, and was exported all over the world, with supreme self-confidence, in the nineteenth. It culminated in the massive attempts at material and social engineering of our own day. Modernity is thus characterized by the combination of modern science, a global capitalist economy, and the political power of the nation-state…..And while I am as grateful as anyone for the benefits of modernity, and wish to throw out no babies with the bathwather, it is impossible now to avoid the fact that the costs have been horrendous, and are, unlike the benefits, increasing…….when state, science, and capital all get together, the result is what Lewis Mumford called ‘the Megamachine’.”

Are we not now living in the grip of that Megamachine? Upheaval I tell you.

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Random Midnight Thoughts

  1. I’m always updating this blog in my HEAD. Why aren’t they getting posted? That is very strange. Very strange indeed.
  2. I don’t know if I’ve every really talked before about how demanding my job is and how miserable I am in it. But in case you all were WONDERING — my boss is a micro-managing, fearful, overworked perfectionist screamer who loads me and my “staff” (whom I treat as colleagues) with an unreasonable amount of work with unreasonable deadlines and then insists on vetting everything we do. Every. Single. FUCKING. Thing. I cannot get — well I cannot get this amount of work done in the first place, but I CERTAINLY can’t meet deadlines when all the work I’m “responsible” for ends up in a micromanagment-induced bottleneck on her desk. She actually said to me the other day, when I told her I wouldn’t work weekends anymore, that my response was “unacceptable.” And the craziest part of this whole story is that I am not exaggerating one tiny bit.
  3. Needless to say I am looking for another job and possibly looking into going back to school.
  4. Which I say EVERY SIX MONTHS. I wish God would stop fart-assing around providing comfort to the lonely and distressed and TELL ME HOW I CAN DO WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE.
  5. I totally did not mean that.
  6. Well, the evil side of me did but it is a SMALL bit I swear.
  7. Bartender Dude texted me this the other day: “If there IS a way to love you more, PLEASE let me know.” This was in response to me texting him “Regardless, the Dude abides.” Those of you who are fans of The Big Lebowski may not find his response suprising at all. Personally I did. I am so fucking lucky I cannot even believe it. Oh and he gave me a PINK iPod mini for Christmas. I reiterate the fucking lucky.
  8. I LOVE THE MAC MINI. Macs rule. Well, okay, I’m only going by flashy marketing and how it looks and that it is MINI, but I think I can still say it looks COOL as SHIT. Oh but I hope not too many people adopt them because right now Mac owners are practically impervious to viruses.
  9. My friend Patrick is DA BOMB. I just got his and Sophie’s Christmas card with their two adorable cherubs (he probably thinks they are less than cherubic but hey I don’t have to take care of them) on the front. He is on my favourite people list of all time. Also the Cartographer. Also the Witch. Also…….okay okay I’m stopping that now.
  10. Why do I keep missing That 70s Show? I love that show. My damn VCR doesn’t tape anymore. I’m so non-technical it is UNTRUE. I think mainly I don’t have the patience.
  11. If I don’t stop now, this is going to be nominated for The Most Boring Post in The Last Ten Years.

Goodnight, y’all!

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Hello Internet, it’s Stupid.

I think the title says it all, but just to recap:

My New Year’s Eve

So I’m hanging out with Bartender Dude and 50,000 of his closest friends on New Year’s Eve. We started at an elegant cocktail do in Georgetown. You know the drill: English sitting room, gin and tonics, cheese plate. I had a lovely chat with a history professor and several folks from the Washington Choral Arts Society. After a few polite tipples, we moved on to the bar at Morton’s and from gin and tonics to Cosmopolitans, mini steak sandwiches, and champagne. From there we did a brief stint at Bartender Dude’s place of employment, after which we moved again to a fabulous house party where the sofas were comfy and the people were hip.

At this point, I was definitely tipsy and having a grand old time ringing out the old year. It was just when things were looking rosiest (including my pink cheeks) that one of the hipsters brought out a bong. Being the throw-myself-into-everything kind of girl that I am, I began taking hits as it was passed around. Bartender Dude said “You know, Heather, you may not want to be indulging in that right now. It’s not such a good idea.”

“P’shaw,” I said. “I laugh at danger.”

Famous. Last. Words.

The next thing I know I had passed out in the guest bedroom of said fabulous house party, and the sounds of “FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!” were dimly making their way into my addled pot-trashed brain. Bartender Dude came in to check on me and wish me Happy 2005. I remember he said things to me that I understood but I could not for the life of me make my mouth move to answer him. Oh yes, ladies and gentle-readers, I am the stupidest partier in the continental US.

After a number of blissful blacked out hours during which neither sound nor light broke through, I woke up with a splitting headache and a severe case of nausea. I then spent the earliest hours of 2005 dry heaving into a stranger’s loo and trying to talk myself through the pain.

Thank God my family doesn’t read this website, is ALL I have to say. (Except LS, who is supremely understanding — LOVE YOU LS!)

I am happy to report that I made a full recovery the following day. The people who threw the fabulous house party were incredibly gracious hosts. They fixed me breakfast and gave me comfortable clothes to wear and we all piled on the comfy sofas to watch movies.

I left fully sober and utterly chastised about my renegade behavior. I’m not much for resolutions, because I can never keep them, but I’ll tell you this much Internet: I am NEVER smoking pot again. Nope, nada, not, no way, not ever.

So help me God, amen. Oof. I can still feel the print of the bathroom tiles on my face.

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This is my last Day Off. This is my last Sleeping In Until Noon. How am I down to my last Day Off with So Much Crap To Do?

Crap to Do

Clean entire house, which is covered in dust and dead pine needles
Clean bathroom, which is revolting
Return certain Christmas presents and get new ones (most fun item on list)
Balance chequebook online
Send remaining Christmas cards that are woefully late
Wrap remaining Christmas presents that are woefully late to godson in Seattle
Go to DMV DC online and find out about REGISTERING MY CAR

Yes, I bought a car. I bought my brother’s little piece of shit but very good condition 1993 TURQUOISE Suzuki Swift. LS and I drove it allllll the way down from Maine on Thursday and I got to learn how to drive stick shift in 3.4 minutes. I did pretty good, only stalled twice. Not on the freeway thank the Holy Lord.

It may interest you to know that upon returning to Washington and needing a place to stash said car, I found I could park it (safely) in a rush hour lane for most of the holidays. However, upon needing to move it late Sunday night to avoid it’s being towed (and keeping in mind that I still do not legally own this thing yet, until I put it on my insurance and get it registered and all that stuff), I discovered that I had already lost the keys. LOST THE MASTER KEY. Oh yes. This is Chanelbaby at her best. Did I mention that I also lost my driver’s license LAST YEAR over the holidays and had not bothered to get it replaced yet? So, quick recap:

Car parked in rush hour lane on Connecticut Avenue
Maine tags
No paperwork yet to associate the car with me
If towed, cost is astronomical to get released
Won’t release it without driver’s license
Which I don’t have
Spare key INSIDE the car

After trying to break into my own car with coat hangers from midnight to 2 am (and by the way, two cops drove BLITHELY by as I was doing this and didn’t even stop), Bartender Dude (who was helping me, and yes, he’s back) and I gave up and I phoned a locksmith. Wedge. Long metal thingie. Pop. Wham, bam, thank you for the $75 ma’am.

Needless to say, the next day (yesterday) I went straight to the DMV and got my shiny new license and a temporary parking permit. Now I just have to get the car insured and registered.

So here are some more pictures, which will upload WHIZZINGLY fast because I am back at home and on the DSL. I’m not going to bother with captions, because it makes the photos go all crazy. I still haven’t figured out how to work the pics.

I present: Christmas Tree Drunk, Christmas Tree Sober, Me Photographing My Advent Wreath, The Incomparable Jane (That’s Me Feeding Her), Sister-in-law with Miss Anna Bean, View from Porch #1, View from Porch #2 (Or, The Cape, Covered in Snow).

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!!!!

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