Sunday, October 26, 2008
This morning, I left for work just after dawn. I poked my head out my front door, and was greeted by the staccato pop! pop! pop! of shotgun fire from across the channel: Sportsmen taking potshots into the great flocks of game birds wintering in the wetlands on and surrounding Sauvie Island. That sound never fails to grip my heart and squeeze.
I hate guns.
My dad owned a pair of pistols and a rifle. They weren’t loaded, they weren’t kept at the ready in case some hoodlum broke into the house in the middle of the night intent on murdering us in our beds. In fact, the pistols were locked up in a metal strongbox.
Dad was brought up with guns; he grew up in a small town in Oregon where guns and hunting were part of the culture. He spoke proudly of earning enough money on his paper route to buy his first rifle when he was twelve years old. He treasured his guns as a connection to his roots, a memento of a time and place far away and fondly remembered.
But he respected their potential to create mayhem in the wrong hands…knew they really had no place in the sleepy, mid-century exurbs of Chicago. Dad’s guns lived in the back corner of my parents’ bedroom closet. We girls were sternly threatened never, ever to touch, look at, or interact with those guns in any way. Ever. So sternly that I don’t remember even being tempted to burrow into their hiding place to look at them. So began my hate affair with guns.
I’m no longer that frightened little girl, totally cowed by the demonic presence hiding in the dark reaches of my parents’ closet. But even in adulthood I have not acquired any love for or acceptance of the role of firearms in 21st century society. “Guns don’t kill. People kill.” Small comfort, really, when you think about it.
Today, with the sound of shotgun fire echoing in my ears, I wondered about mankind’s fascination with guns. And with killing.
We kill the animals over which, our religious tradition tells us, we were given dominion. We kill each other. For the hell of it.
What is wrong with us? Why must we kill? Why are we the only species on earth that has constructed such an elaborate ritual around the senseless killing of other animals? We call it “hunting.” We do it for sport. Not because we need the food. Not because these animals are capable of, or interested in, killing us if we don’t kill them. They don’t come looking for us. We take it to them.
We kill because we can. Because we want to. Because it gives us some kind of perverted feeling of power.
How sick is that?
Fall is my favorite time of year to walk on the dike. I go to see those stunningly huge flocks of birds flying in shifting waves across the marshes to the island. I go to hear their chaotic barking and honking. That sound always stirs up something wild and restless in me.
And when I think of some idiot dressed in camo with his designer dog at his heel, pointing a blunderbuss into those great wild flocks and blowing the life out of bird after bird for sport…for the fun of it…
I wonder where to hand in my resignation from this race that is truly beyond hope.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
This evening, I have discovered two things:
Deleting multiple entries from “Blogger” is WAAAY more trouble than it is worth…
I can SOMETIMES outsmart the capricious cyber-gods and actually bend this recalcitrant medium to my will. To a certain extent.
In other words, I figured out how to convert this old blog to the “Layout” format from the “Template” format, even though it refused to show me the magic buttons through normal channels.
But I will not be able to make the 300+ old “Coming to Terms…” entries I painstakingly copied and pasted into this journal go away without deleting them one by one. Something in which I choose not to invest precious time at this juncture.
So, I cannot restore “Better Terms” to its original ideal of a blog that contains only my “next level” writing.
I can now mess with the template and pretty it up to my heart’s content.
You win some, you lose some…
Thursday, October 09, 2008
AOL actually did something right for a change. I was indeed able to export "Coming to Terms..." in its entirety to blogger.
It's here. It's intact. And it's where I'll be from now on.
I'm not sure exactly what to do with "Better Terms." It was originally supposed to be a repository for my "next level" writing. A way to present my better stuff to the larger blog audience.
But here I am, with three (count them, THREE) more blogs out here in front of this "larger blog audience."
I'll have to think about doing a little paring down.
Until then, all you who thought you needed to follow me here to "Better Terms," please tune me in at Coming to Terms, blogger version...
Monday, October 06, 2008
Of late, I have barely had two hours a week to invest in the writing I so love, and have so missed. Now, I spend four or five hours a day, copying, pasting, saving.
As soon as the danger became known, there was never any question.
Never any thought that I wouldn’t find the time. Never an ounce of consideration given to just letting it go because I would not find the time, in my real life, to deal with this.
Because this, this journal, has been such a huge part of my life for the last five years.
In many ways, and on many occasions, it has BEEN my life.
Or saved my life.
So, yes, I have AO-hell to thank that my world has been turned upside down. And that an additional dire deadline is hanging above my head.
And I have them to thank that I will spend the next 26 days more stressed, more sleep-deprived, more desperate than I would have otherwise been. Something I definitely did not need.
But I will not let my words disappear at the whim of…well, who knows whom.
Thanks AOL. Thanks for treating us like negligible, expendable crap.
It’s the American Way, is it not?
Tags: leaving aol
Saturday, October 04, 2008
I have spent, oh, about ten hours so far on the "copy, paste, redate, publish" thing… It reminds me of the hellish months I spent trying to re-invent myself as a data entry clerk. Very much why I ran screaming back to the foodservice business. B-O-R-I-N-G!!!!!
And, yet, the entire time I’m doing this, I feel this sense of doom hanging over my head. As if there is no way I’m going to get this all finished before the deadline. Auugh!!!
I have gotten all the way through March of 2004. Which means I have only 4 ½ more years to go.
And I haven’t noticed any helpful e-mails from AO-Hell telling us they’ve figured out how to move our journals to…somewhere else. I’m thinking it will be a cold day in hell when that happens. And I’m also thinking there is no way I would entrust THEM with this precious compilation of the last five years of my life. Sure as s**t they would lose it all into cyberspace, never to be seen again. There is no way I would take that risk.
So, soldier on, everyone. We shall meet again on "the other side!" :-]
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Anyhow, the woo-hoo was because I just found out that you can pick the date of a post. So, theoretically, that means I can go to "Coming to Terms..." bring the posts here, and put the proper dates on them, and they will go back into the archives and line up just the way I want them.
And now I have to go DO that thing and see if it works...
Okay...IT WORKS. It's going to be tedious and time consuming. But it works.
And if anyone knows a better, faster way to do this thing, I'm listening...
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
You all knew I'd have something to say on this subject, didn't you....?
Dubya is possibly the lamest duck in the history of the genre. Legless, headless, plucked and gutted, he lies, rotting, while his presidency grinds to a merciful close. And the American people are engaged in the process of choosing his successor.
Four years ago, I firmly believed Americans were facing the most important election in their lives. After four years of goose-stepping nationalism, state-sanctioned racism and payback fever, the 9-11-induced madness appeared to be abating. There was a slim glimmer of hope that we as a nation would come to our senses and reject George W. Bush and everything he stood for.
It’s fair to say the Democrats didn’t present us with much alternative. Rather than take a stand and advance a candidate who embodied everything that King George wasn’t, they gambled that Americans would back a Democrat only if he promised do everything Bush was already doing, only better….? So they created "Bushenstein;" I mean, John Kerry. Kerry was easily dispatched by G.O.P. hatchet men back in 2004, perhaps because he was never more than a cardboard collage of a candidate to begin with. My sincere apologies to Mr. Kerry, who, I think, took his candidacy much more seriously than did just about anyone else in the world.
And now, it is 2008. The year for which the sidebar on my original aol blog has yearned since shortly after the 2004 election results became final. But I find myself curiously detached from the process, this time around.
First of all, I’m sorely disappointed in the American people. Oh, they’re all for change…now. They see what a mess Bush has gotten us into…finally. They’re crying, screaming, clamoring for a drastic, sweeping leadership transformation…at last. I’m sorry…for me, it’s a case of way too little, far too late.
So, when people tell me this upcoming election promises to be the most exciting in their lives, I just…cringe. And shake my head. I can’t help feeling they showed up four years late for that boat.
We could have made a statement, could have made a difference, in 2004. We could have shown the world what we thought of Bush and his cronies and their power grabbing, world-dominating, civil-rights-stealing ways. We could have served notice that it isn’t all about the money. That the peons of the world do not prosper or starve, live or die, at the will of the rich and powerful.
Instead, we granted the Evil Empire another four years. Four more years to dig deeper into the cookie jar. For more years to hone and polish the art of the spin, the embellishment of the truth, the outright lie. Four more years to brand the values of greed, dishonesty and arrogance indelibly upon of the Spirit of America.
But change is in the wind. It has to be. We won't be allowed to give Bush another four years (thank god.) So we're hopping up and down and clapping our hands at the excitement of it all!
As the Democratic candidates spar and bicker and one-up each other right down to the wire.
And John McCain sits quietly on his nomination, and the Republicans contrive to dial down the rhetoric and bide their time. Hoping that, in doing so, they will morph the GOP into looking like the perfect alternative to…the GOP.
It looks like it could be a very long four more years….
I’ve been screwing around with the template, trying to get it to where I can customize it, but that doesn’t seem to be working for me. And I am not, by god, going to abandon this blog, too, and start all over AGAIN! I’ll make it look like I want it and do the things I want it to do if it takes forever.
And it might…
Anyhow, to any of you sliding over here from "Coming to Terms…." (y’know, I get a little misty just typing the name…)
Let’s see if we can curl up and get comfy here. Or feisty. Or whatever mood strikes us.