30 March 2016

neither can live while the other survives

i am a harry potter fan. not a fanATIC. just a fan. i've read the books maybe a half dozen times, seen all the movies (except the last one) in theatres, own all the DVDs, can recite a good bit of the dialog. so, i am a fan.

i don't own any HP-themed clothing. i don't have a hallows sticker on my car's rear window. i don't go around calling people "muggles"... i mean, not that you can hear, anyway. point is, i enjoy the stories immmmmmmensely, but i get that they are fiction.

i like each volume, but some more than others. volume 1 for its sheer innocence. volume 6 for its camaraderie in the face of a mystery and all we learn about harry's parents. but 5 is my favorite of all. the order of the phoenix.

i am not sure why, exactly. i mean, it's certainly not the annoying delores umbridge. it's not sirius taking stupid risks. it is most assuredly NOT grawp. i kind of hate that guy.

i started a list to help me explain.

-- even with all the danger in the world, school is school, with uniforms and rules and structure. in the movie this is exhibited by their wearing of school robes and house ties. i am a bit of a structure-craver myself, so the whole school thing is quite appealing.

-- that said, it's boarding school. there's lots of kids-wandering-around-on-their-own going on. as lovely as structure is, wandering around on one's own has an undeniable loveliness all its own.

-- the order of the phoenix is a really cool club for the grownups. better than book club. almost like being a shriner or something, only without the dipshit hats.

(speaking of hats, why did they stop wearing the pointy hats?)

-- there are so many new things introduced. room of requirement. thestrals. those misty fortune globes. luna. occlumency. number 12 grimmauld place. it's nearly as good as book 1 for new stuff.

-- harry's nightmares are so fascinating. is he voldemort? or is he just connected to voldemort? or is he connected because he is voldemort? and, where is he and what is he striving so hard for?

-- ron makes the gryffindor quidditch team which should make ron and harry better buds but nearly drives them permanently apart. no idea why i find this appealing.

-- mrs figg is outed. prof trelawny is vindicated.

-- the kids are taking OWLs and thinking about their futures. the wizarding world is on the verge of destruction and these kids are thinking about their OWLs. it's sweet in its naive hopefulness for future normalcy.

-- harry's steadfastness in the face of umbridge's persecution is at once both an exhibition of his burgeoning adult heroism and a clear sign of his awkward adolescent obstinance. and after all, we all know deep down we deserve to be punished.

-- who doesn't love angst?

23 March 2016

ain't getting older fun

so darn tired most all the time,
vision and hearing both past their prime,
walking up stairs is a long slow climb,
ain't getting older fun.

have to ask the name and ask it again,
waist too thick and hair too thin,
spotty and wrinkly and saggy skin,
ain't getting older fun.

stamina's shot and balance no good,
knees hurt more than it seems they should,
teeth breaking down, that's understood,
ain't getting older fun.

walk in a room, don't remember why,
also can't remember ever feeling spry,
obsessing with death, not wanting to die,
ain't getting older fun.

16 March 2016

google-stalking the rurality drummer

the family across the street moved away.

we didn't really know them. who knows the neighbors?

a few years ago on the day they were moving in, i happened to be out jogging, so i went on over there and introduced myself and whatnot. not that it was that easy. i mean, i am not an introduce-myself kind of girl, but i thought it might look like i was specifically dissing them if i went right on by, so i was like what the hell - i am out on the street, i will just go on over there and stick out my hand and say hello. so i did.

that was literally the last time i spoke to any of them.

not that they weren't a friendly family - mom, dad, two boys, two dogs, a basketball hoop in the driveway, and a horse in the extra big backyard. i mean, we waved and all, across the street or from our respective cars. we helped get their dogs back in the fence when they were out. you know, come to think of it, maybe my old man talked to them a bit, about the dogs and all, but as for me and them, somehow, we just never spoke again.

not that that is unusual. no one talks to their neighbors anymore, right? okay, not NO ONE, but seriously -- no one.

it happened like this: first there was a moving truck in the driveway and we were all, whaaat? and then there was a giant dumpster in the side yard and obvious remodeling going on and we were like, ooooh. we thought they'd moved out for the remodel, but after the dumpster was cleared away, a for-sale sign went up in the front yard.

well, there you have it.

makes me wished i'd paid a wee bit more attention in the last few weeks. were mom and dad both there? were the boys there? thinking back, the only thing i can recall is that the horse was missing.

the dad is a drummer. like, a serious drummer. he set up a kit in the detached garage and practiced several hours a day, providing a steady beat in the background of our lives. the mom, i really don't know what she did. the boys were enrolled at the middle school down the road.

maybe the dad's career took off and they moved somewhere closer to where he's drumming? that one time i talked to them, they said they wanted to live the rural lifestyle... maybe they moved farther into the rurality? maybe the parents divorced and neither wanted to live there alone? maybe one of the sons has some sort of talent, a chess champion or a lacrosse star, and the family hitched their wagon to that star? maybe someone died?

here's one thing i do know. i know their names. i will be doing a bit of internet research to see what i can find out about their moving away, an action that has more solidly hooked my attention than did any action they took while living right there across the street.

13 March 2016

the enlightening eleven

i do not like daylight saving time. i realise this is not a popular position, but i am not merely being contrary. i have a well-supported case, in eleven fully-enumerated points which are as enlightening as an extra hour of daylight which isn't really extra at all but merely moved from one end of the day to another.

without further ado, i bring you...


11. this point is just here for the alliteration. c'mon, you knew that - right?

10. i am being contrary. c'mon. i said i wasn't MERELY being contrary, but of course i am somewhat being contrary.

9. the thing should be called daylight savings. with an S. c'mon. that's what everyone calls it. if it were called daylight savings, i am not saying i would be in love with it or anything, but, you know, this one objection would be addressed.

8. the mornings are too dark and c'mon, who likes to get up when it's dark? let me think... oh, that's right, NOBODY.

7. the evenings are too light. evenings are for relaxing. c'mon. who can relax in the broad daylight? brings back all those lonely childhood memories of having to go to bed in the broad daylight. ugh.

6. broad-daylight evenings are nothing but pressure to get something the hell done. it's after work and two more hours of daylight for someone to be on my back about getting out in the yard all with the digging and whatnot?? c'mon.

5. spring forward sounds all fun, like a trampoline, but c'mon - one minute you're all TRAMPOLINE! and the next minute you realize they changed all the clocks when you weren't looking. it's a bait & switch is what that is, and i'm pretty sure bait & switch is a felony in 36 states and the territory of guam.

4. i know i just said "all clocks" - but not all the clocks get changed. there's always that one guy who spends the next week or two being late to every meeting. c'mon, Guy Who Can't Change A Clock - change your damn clock!

3. not all clocks get changed, part two. you know how you'll change the clock in the kitchen and the bedroom but neglect the car because, c'mon, it's sunday, who gets in the car on sunday? then, you get in the car on monday morning and suddenly you're all OH MY GOD I AM AN HOUR LATE AND THE TRAFFIC AND THE MEETING AND... AND... and you remember that it's daylight saving time and you just want to hit someone! or, take a nap.

2. with daylight saving time at bat, summer is on deck. summer gets all the love because people don't recognise summer is a problem because people's brains get all shrunk up like sun-dried tomatoes, but here's the thing: summer is a problem. i mean, c'mon - summer is all about showing skin and we don't all look great showing skin. some of us look great showing our favourite grey sweater and tights and boots.

1. "lose an hour". who can afford to lose an hour?? c'mon. life is short enough as it is. lose an hour. be serious.

(do you think it's awkward without a conclusion? i mean, the list just ends, which lacks closure, but that said, i wrote and erased several conclusions because they seemed forced.)

03 March 2016

is reverse psychology the trump card?

okay, this isn't a political blog or anything, and i know i was just all over SUPERTUESDAY and whatnot, but i have this to say: if the GOP establishment had endorsed trump from the beginning, they'd have undone his outsider status and deflated his popularity before it flated enough to even lift its pitiful self off the sidewalk. i mean, as it is, they're just inflaming his supporters with every denouncement. can't they understand these people love him BECAUSE he is an outsider? the more you remind them he's an outsider, the more they love him. pile on a little contempt, and now they love him even more.

unless, you know, that's your plan.

maybe the establishment is denouncing him because they know that's just what the people want to hear. maybe they are tearing him down as a way of building him up. maybe the establishment WANTS him to be president and they have figured out how to make that happen.

what do you think? could they be that together, that organized, that... smart?


nah! no way.

am i right?

01 March 2016


not unlike the super bowl, super tuesday involves a great deal of blather and a small amount of action. the intense focus on bling over substance would tell an extra-terrestrial everything they need to know about politics in the age of television, all within the first hour E.T. is on earth.

i mean, if that makes sense.

it's like this: they're running actual commercials hyping the anchor team covering the results. that's right, the anchor team, who, in these commercials, are so perky they're like... they're a packet of shiny new hair clips away from being an olympic gymnastics team.

there's music. there's glitter. there's touchscreen-based graphic analysis of 5% returns, 6%, 7%, 7.5%...

"This just in! Two more people have VOTED!!"

okay, don't get me wrong. i voted. i was in line when the polls opened this morning. i did my civic duty and -- much like katy perry and all that kissing -- i liked it. i enjoy waiting in the line, participating in political babble with my fellow citizens, signing the forms, schmoozing with the volunteers, putting the voting machine through its paces. i like it all, right down to the dorky little "i voted" sticker they give you on the way out.

i like the voting process because it's real. my neighbors and i discussing issues, giving and taking opinions, verifying our identities, making our choices. everyone gets a turn and when it's over, everyone gets a sticker.


compare the reality of voting to the surreality of the media circus around voting and riddle me this: is it any wonder that we're as a whole overwhelmingly disillusioned with politics and politicians?