The Longest Blog

Happy New Year.  And what are the top ten stories being clicked on at MSNBC?  Amanda Knox’s deadly exchange.  Who’s Who Student murdered in Italy.  Photos:  Terror at home for Connecticut family.  Who killed Stacy Peterson?  To catch a predator.  The reals story behind “Alpha Dog.”  Phil Spector evidence photos.  Predator goes to Kentucky.  Palladium murder photo gallery.  Photos:  Death in the Hollywood Hills.

Seriously?  Is this seriously what Americans consider the most popular pages on MSNBC?  Does MSNBC do something to market these murderous stories and photos so everyone is so interested in them?  Shouldn’t we all be disturbed that the top stories grabbing American attention are all about killing and mayhem?  Jesus.  Something is really messed up about that.  There must be something at the site that encourages people to choose these stories.  I cannot yet fathom that these are the top story views by choice.  I would think a more accurate measure of what people are searching for would be the top ten google searches.  Then people would, of their own accord, be entering the information into the search engine and not having it flashing in their faces begging them to click.  Google is good that way, with its lack of ads and fanfare.

Well.  So I did a google search for the top ten google searches and came up with an interesting page analyzing the year 2007 and the searches done throughout the year and the top searches, both by U.S. and by the world.  They calculate the top searches as rising and falling.  For the world, the top risers are iphone, badoo, facebook, dailymotion, webkinz, youtube, ebuddy, second life, hi5, and club penguin.  The fastest US risers are iphone, webkinz, tmz, transformers, youtube, club penguin, myspace, heroes, facebook, and Anna Nicole Smith.

Well.  There are many searches on these lists for things I have never even heard of, so I must not be in line with the rest of the world population.  I’m not “with it” if you will.  However, I can count myself among the top US searchers on youtube and myspace.  Myspace I use so I don’t have to type it in the URL.  Pure laziness on my part because from google’s response I can click right into wherever I want.  And Youtube needs no explanation.  I’m shocked Club Penguin is on here.  Milla loves it.  I have to convince her not to play it after she’s been to visit non-Waldorf friends.  I would not have known it was so popular.  I do not know what badoo, dailymotion, webkinz, ebuddy, second life, hi5, or tmz are.  I am going to have to search those, thereby increasing their search popularity, just so I can find out what they are.

There are fallers from the list as well.  World Cup tops this list, followed by mozart, fifa, rebelde, kazaa, xanga, webdetente, sudoku, shakira, and mp3.  I do not know what fifa, rebelde, kazaa, and shakira are, although I think shakira might be a singer.  My goodness, I’m frighteningly out of touch, aren’t I?  I’m surprised mozart is on this list, not because it’s going down, but because he is on the list at all.

For anyone who cares, I found this information at:  http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/zeitgeist2007/

Well it is officially 2008 on the west coast so I can now head to bed.  This blog has the notoriety of having been started in one year and completed in another.  Makes it sound as if I spent a good deal of time on it, rather than about 21 minutes.

Pointless Rambling

After all of my ranting on racism in the last few days, I feel drained of words.  I have a fabulous idea for (another) book though. I seem to have more books in my head than I have time to put them on the page.

I slept without drugs last night.  I think I should get a One Day Pin for this.  I’m quite proud of myself.  I haven’t slept without drugs in weeks now.  Heavy drugs too, like codeine and dextromethorphan.  God, I love that word….dextromethorphan.  But even though I love saying it, I need to stop taking it.  It can be habit forming, and I don’t want to form that habit.  I can see, though, why one might want to form that habit if their cough lasts for two months.  It gets so old.

One thing I will not miss about this job (among dozens) is the constant paging over the intercom system.  Oregon PC on zero five!  Oregon PC on zero zero!  Eric please call Nicole at ten!  Scott please kill Monica on eleven!  (Oops, I don’t think they say that!)  You’re sitting at your desk, trying to attempt some work (or typing on your blog) and the pager squawks some summons.  Gads.

Oh my God.  My dog is sitting on my lap and he just farted.  That is so gross.  Piper!  Seriously.  You couldn’t wait to do that?

The Great Debaters

I saw The Great Debaters last night.  I spent a good deal of the film feeling even more fired up that we need to continue to fight racism in this country, only lately the racism is more obviously against middle easterners and Mexicans.  It is as if racism against these groups is acceptable, as racism against blacks was not so long ago.

I feel so strongly that as a white person, the thing I can do to fight racism is to call it when I see it.  Racism is racism is racism.  I will not accept racist emails in my inbox clothed in the mask of righteous indignation about how our tax dollars or spent or sent as some deceitful public service message claiming to be about “protecting” me from terrorism when it is really bigotry, and not even much disguised bigotry.

I get SO angry that this continues.  As I watched The Great Debaters last night, I got even more fired up about the email I had received on Christmas day.  I came home and felt that fire and wanted to DO something and wondered, what can I do?  I can write.  I lay in bed unable to sleep with the desire to write something, anything more than just an angry response to a bunch of bigots.  As I did this, I conceived a novel.  I have all of the characters.  I have the location.  I have the basic premise of the story.  And I am going to write it and hope that ONE person reads it and THINKS and gets as fired up against racism as I did when I received that racist bullshit bird poop email and as I watched The Great Debaters.

It is time for those who hate racism in this country to stand up against the racism that is allowable now, racism against middle easterners and Mexicans.  It is time to say that racism against these people is NOT okay.  Ever.

How Comfortable Would I Be With My Words?

On Christmas morning I received an email from a friend that I am sure she did not write, but passed on because for some reason she agreed with the sentiments behind its words. The email was undisguisedly racist and sounded like something Bill O’Reilly or one of the other hate radio mongers would write. I, being the sort who has no compunction about speaking up at emails like that one, wrote my own diatribe against it. I was pretty angry when I wrote it, and the force of my anger is behind the words.

This morning another friend who commented on my comments said when he writes something when he’s angry, before sending it he asks himself if he would mind his words if he read them a year later. That’s probably a good policy, especially for someone like me who can be a bit, mmmm, unrelenting when on the offensive.

So for the email I responded to yesterday, if I ask myself how would I feel about my words if I read them a year from now? Just the same. And I would probably get just as mad.

Racism is Racism is Racism is Racism

So Christmas morning, I got this lovely little story in my inbox from someone I work with.  It tells how she hung a bird feeder in her yard and the birds came and set up nests and pooped on everything so she couldn’t enjoy her yard anymore, so she kicked out the birds and got rid of the feeder and now everything is all wonderful again. She then likens the whole thing to undocumented immigrants and how wonderful life would be without them.

Fuck that.  And I got this shit on Christmas.  I couldn’t believe it.  So I wrote this in response:

I read the nice little informative story that is going around to the “good taxpaying American citizens.” What a friendly Christmas reminder how far from anything Christian anyone who believes this shit has become. Do you think Jesus would approve? I highly fucking doubt it. Jesus was like the undocumented worker, his parents searching for a barn in which to give birth. Or how about the story of Good King Wenceslas. Did you ever hear that one? You all probably hum the tune once or twice a Christmas season. I seriously doubt any of you know the words to the song and if you do, you clearly ignore them. You certainly do not know the true story behind the Good King. Good King Wenceslas was a king who took care of the poor. For this, his brother murdered him. How dare he share his riches with those who have less than he? But of course we don’t sing about that part; we sing about the good king who shared his riches with those less fortunate. We wouldn’t want to sing about the brother because he reminds us too much of ourselves.

How many of you, if actually faced with someone who needed something, would turn them away and say, “No. You didn’t fill out the proper paperwork so go starve. And by the way? We aren’t going to give you the medical care you need either. Who cares if your kid is dying of pneumonia because your kid is a little brown Mexican.” That’s what you are arguing for here. I don’t hear any of you screaming about the tax dollars that paid for me on the Oregon Health Plan when I had cancer (but of course, I am white and blonde so it’s okay to spend money on me). Your anger is displaced, and your argument is just plain stupid and wrong. You just want someone to blame because of your own unhappiness and it would be too hard to look in the mirror. You think shipping off some undocumented worker you never see is going to change anything for you? Get a clue-it won’t. Because the problem isn’t with the undocumented worker, but with this entire system. You sit there on your computer sending out your email in your warm house after eating your big, fat Christmas meal. How dare you? What on earth have you to complain about?

If you want to complain about how your tax dollars are spent, why not do something productive like actually voting and voting for people who might try to make a difference?  Do this instead of going shopping. Why don’t you lay your hatred at the feet of those who really cost you your tax dollars? Why aren’t you protesting this useless, lying war that costs us billions? Why aren’t you protesting the spending of billions on contractors to go and rape and kill Iraqis (oh but that’s okay too because they are Iraqi and don’t know any better. They’re just going to turn into a bunch of terrorists anyway so we might as well rape and kill their children).

Of course you won’t protest the real problems because it is easier for you to sit and point fingers at the Mexican family whose values are different than yours than it is for you to place the blame at the feet of capitalism or this administration or the Reagan administration, or hell, even the Eisenhower administration, whose actions are all more responsible for the financial state of this country than the minuscule dollars spent on a few undocumented immigrants. It is so much easier to blame them because you see that they live several families in a house and have lots of children and you don’t like that because it is DIFFERENT from you. You see that as somehow disgusting instead of seeing it for what it is: a better situation for people who had NOTHING thanks to their government and ours. But that would require too much thought on your part and thought is not part of the equation, now is it? It is easier to write some hateful fucking diatribe against these people on CHRISTMAS than to actually DO anything about it. Why don’t you admit what it really is that bothers you is that these people are different than you are? Why don’t you admit your racism instead of couching your hatred in some sort of moral outrage at how your tax dollars are spent? Be fucking honest, if nothing else.

I hung out a bird feeder last spring. The birds didn’t come and build nests and sing and poop like your happy little metaphor. Squirrels tore down the bird feeder and ate all the food. I’d say that is a more apropos metaphor for what is really going on.

Merry Fucking Christmas

Bacterial Update

I went to the doctor today to investigate whether I have been invaded by viruses or bacterias.  As I suspected, I have been invaded by viruses.  Fortunately the doctor gave me lots of wonderful drugs to combat the symptoms brought on by these nasty little bits of protein.  I am normally the anti-drug.  I’m like a commercial or something:  Keep those drugs away from me!  Advil?  No.  Aspirin?  No.  Tylenol?  Definitely not.  But my brain and body have reached a place where the desire to sleep and feel no pain outweighs my desire to remain free of chemical toxins.  So it is with anticipatory pleasure that these drugs will become part of my physical makeup tonight prior to laying my head upon my pillow.

Actually, some drugs already have.  I discovered in my medicine cabinet some acetominophin-codeine I had been prescribed at some point in the past and which I did not take because I avoid narcotics of any sort.  You know, codeine resembles morphine in its makeup because it is an opiade.  It is a weak opiade, but when one is as much a lightweight as I am, it does not take much to put me on my ass.  Alas, I digress.

So last night I took this acetominophin-codeine, as well as a hefty dose of Robitussin DM.  This choice blend put me into a pleasant drug-induced stupor and succeeded in effectively blocking a significant portion of the suffering I was experiencing in my ribs.  Of course, when it wore off at 3:30 a.m. I woke to a pain the likes of which I have never experienced, including the compound fracture in my left arm at age nine, the severe ankle sprain nearly three years ago, or natural childbirth.  But for five hours, I was blissfully unaware of anything.  When I awoke to such severe pain, I simply popped a couple more acetominophin-codeine killers and some more Robitussin DM and was back in la la land within a half an hour.

Will Smith has this new movie out where he is the last guy on earth because some virus killed off everyone else or turned them into a zombie or something.  I have not seen it yet.  However, having experienced this viral infection of my own, it is not beyond the capacity of my imagination to see a virus of this magnitude taking over our little planet and rendering us all helpless or dead.  If everyone were in the state I am in right now, we wouldn’t need to be dead because we would all be useless.  THANK you narcotics for helping me through this.  THANK you cough suppresant for making it all more bearable.  Seriously.

I am glad I’m not bacterial.  I could have kissed my acquaintance who was abducted by aliens and they would have had nothing further to examine on him because there would have been no bacterias.  But being viral is not much better.  And perhaps it is worse.  Bacterias can be wiped out with antibiotics (although that may be going by the wayside with super-bacteria).  Viruses can’t be wiped out by anything except my immune system.  In either case, whether I’m bacterial or viral, I hope to be free of any of the little critters that cause pain and suffering sometime in the very near future.  Perhaps with the aid of the super drugs my physician has supplied I will be able to sleep well enough to allow my immune system to kick a little ass.

Diversions

Lara sits at her desk at work and has quite a difficult time focusing on the tasks at hand.  She does not want to be there.  She wants to be snuggled in her bed taking a nap attempting to drive the cold virus from her poor, tired body.  She wishes she were wearing thick socks and flannel jamma pants with a couple of warm t-shirts instead of the nice dress shoes, slacks, and turtleneck that look attractive but are binding and uncomfortable when the body isn’t well.

As she sits at the desk, she keeps checking her email, kind of like checking the regular mail at home, hoping someone in the world besides advertisers wants to chat or say hello.  But no.  Everyone else is busy living their own lives and doing their own thing on this rainy and cold afternoon.

Every so often she turns to the file she is working on and puts in some effort, but cannot do so without difficulty.  The sun has just peeked through the clouds and touches her head through the window next to her desk.  She looks up and sees the droplets sparkling in the light and wishes it were warmer and that she were out of doors.  But this is wishful thinking.  The tree next to the window is leafless and moves ever so slightly in the wind.  It is cold out there.  Even the light is cold.

Daydreams fill her thoughts as her head drops to her hand, her elbow on the edge of the desk.  Her eyes close slightly.  She imagines a spa, a spa in the desert of California.  She’s going to have a massage. After the massage, she will lie in the sun and relax, drinking warm tea.  Later she will soak in a hottub, tendrils of damp hair curling at her neck.  Warm hands press into her aching should …..RRRRIIIIIINNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGG!!

The phone in her office rings, slamming her back into reality.  Crap.  The phone. She does NOT want to answer the phone. She wants to pretend she’s getting a massage from a beautiful man at a spa in the desert.  She does not want to speak to some unhappy client who is pissed off that another attorney in the office did not return her call.  “Yes, I’m sorry he did not call you back.  Oh yes.  I would be angry too.  Of course.  I KNOW you paid us eight hundred dollars and that IS a lot of money.  You are correct.  Yes.  Well, that really isn’t an emergency, although I can see how you would think that it is, but it’s not.  I can assure you.  All you need to do is tell that creditor you filed for bankruptcy.  Give them your case number and the date you filed and they will leave you alone.  Yes.  Yes.  I promise.  Believe me.  In 99 percent of the cases they go away.  Yes.  I know.  I know.  Well make sure this is one of the 1 percent of cases before getting all worried about it.  No.  Yes.  I know.  Give them our number then.  Yes.  Of course.  No.  Yes.  Yes, we’ll be out on Christmas.  I know.  I know.  Okay.  Happy holidays to you too.  Yes.  Goodbye.”

Fuck.  The vision of warm desert air and beautiful male hands lovingly massaging her shoulders is gone.  She coughs, pain wracking her chest.  Reality.  Yuck.  No wonder people take drugs.