Thursday, June 30, 2005

Shouldn't we all just get along?

There seems to be a new mantra in the daily chatter I've heard recently, suggesting anyone not willing to passively agree with the moral values placed on us by certain folks is either un-American, uncouth, unkind or unfriendly. Churches who impose certain views on their congregations, basing membership on things that should never be considered prerequisites for salvation, teach laziness, teach people to stop thinking for themselves. Threads on message boards titled "United We Stand Game," --the object of which is to find three things "we all agree on." If someone objects, he's out of the game. If you can't agree, you can't play--is that it? "Supporting the Troops [...I think it's safe to add that we ALL support our troops...]" is another. Yes, even the troops who decide to torture, over the course of several days, unsuspecting taxi drivers to death, I suppose. But they are troops so it's okay, right? And what is, "I think it's safe to add that we ALL..."? Safe? Who cares if it's safe? Stop being so damn SAFE all the time! (yes of COURSE I'm talking to myself--I'd never preach at you). And. I tend to bristle when anyone includes me in his or her 'we all' assumptions. Attention, person who does not know me: please stop speaking for me. Thank you.

But what boggles me is this need to find something that everyone...EVERYONE...will agree with. Is it so important to have perfect harmony, or to pretend to? What fear has instilled this urgency in people? More and more often this behavior reminds me of that horrible wonderful book somebody made me read. And sadly, I think I know the answers to these questions. As for the question in my blog's title, the answer should be a resounding "NO!" Sprinkled, I suppose, with a few yesses to ward off the irony of my ownself's thoughts. Or we all lose.

Wait. We all are losing. It's happening, isn't it. Tin foil hats, everyone, and hurry.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Oopsie

Don't you just love it when the AP releases an article reporting about something that hasn't happened yet?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Superman

is coming to visit me on Wednesday!

I am disconnecting all phone lines at this time.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Mom, Governor Goodhair said a naughty word

Governor Rick Perry of Texas really ticked me off by signing his stupid hate bills into law a few Sundays ago in a Christian environment. At that time he basically said that if gays didn't like his marriage ban, they could go live somewhere else.

First, I'd like to invite all gays from Texas and elsewhere to move to Arizona, for selfish reasons as well as the fact that I'd probably like you. I'm thinking if you move here, our state may turn blue again and we could defeat the planned 2006 marriage ban proposal.

But the purpose of this post is really just to shake my head and laugh at the irony of the righteous right. Apparently some very bad person taught the unsuspecting, innocent, holy governor a naughty thing to say. Someone should have told him not to say it to a reporter:

"Adios, Mofo."

Very slick, gov'nor. You dwork.

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Monday, June 20, 2005

We rescued a gecko from the pool

The children have named him Bandit. He's a Tucson Banded Gecko. I think we should let him go, don't you? Poor thing, just wanted a quick swim.

The Birds

My daughter wants a pet. Before we moved to AZ, we had two cats, a hamster, a gerbil, and a gecko.
Now we have a gecko. Not the same one as before. Geckos don't travel well in winter in the back of a vehicle for 4 days, so we gave the first one to a friend and bought a new one when we got here.

Anyway, I'm tired of pets. I? Would never have a pig, for example. But my son is the keeper of the gecko, and my daughter is petless. So I told her she could have as many outdoor birds as she wanted. She could feed them and give them water. "I will teach them to eat birdseed out of my hand!" she said. Yeah. You do that.

So, we knew the Gambel's Quail like to eat fruit. So Wheezygirl chopped up some pineapple and put it on a plate. She brought it out to our back wall and set it on top. And she waited for them, watching through the glass slider door.

I told her it might take a few days for the birds to find it. But she wanted to watch. After a few hours, I said, "You know, the birds usually don't look for food in the middle of the broiling afternoon. And that fruit...well, it's probably pretty dried up by now. Maybe we should try again in the morning."

Wheezygirl managed to talk her brother into making a bird feeder. She was convinced that birds don't eat off people plates. So Wheezyboy got to work in the garage. He hand-sawed two-by-fours and particle board, and built a shelf that would attach to our wall. He measured twice and cut once, just like grandpa taught him. Once he had the base, he rummaged through my kitchen looking for a birdbath basin. I had just the thing for him--a giant tin cookie platter with raised edges and a picture of a creepy Santa on it. We bent the edges up to form a bowl, and superglued it to the base. Then the boy took a frisbee and nailed it upside down to the corner of the base, so most of it stuck out beyond the edge of it, to seem perch-ier. This was the food dish.

This contraption is the coolest bird feeder ever. It's easy to clean, and most of the bird droppings fall on the other side of the wall. :)

We went to the pet store and bought some black oil sunflower seeds, and a big block of something that the quail like to peck at. Stuck that thing up on the wall too.

Within 24 hours, every bird in Maricopa County had found our home. The sky was dark with wings. We also bought an Arizona bird book, and have identified the following visitors to our feeder: Gambel's Quail, Apert Towhee, White-winged Dove and Mourning Dove, Cactus Wren, Curved-bill Thrasher, Mockingbird, and House Finch. And a variety of Hummingbirds (though they don't feed here, they just fly around). So far the Grackles have stayed at the screaming lady's house two houses down, and we are fine with that. I got a little freaked out yesterday when two turkey vultures began circling overhead. They have wingspans of up to six feet. Serious. One flew over the house and cast a shadow like a low flying airplane.

Ooh, and just a moment ago, I went outside and saw something struggling in the pool. It was a lizard. Crap. We're turning into the desert version of Kimmah.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Star Wars

Dweeze reminded me of something.

Mr. Wheezus was a collector of toys and action figures from the time of the original Star Wars movies. Yes, yes he was. He was seven when the first movie came out. He began to collect the toys one at a time, working summers with his dad (picking up nails on dad's construction site) to earn money for the next great thing.

He kept all the tiny pieces. Played with his Star Wars toys very carefully. Reverently, even. And put them away in their boxes when he was finished playing. Then filed them alphabetically in his specially contracted humidor created for quality toys such as these.

Twenty years passed.

And one day, when we were young marrieds and Wheezyboy was a mere babe, and we were so poor we couldn't buy macaroni and cheese, Mr. Wheezus saved us from finacial disaster. He drove 150 miles to his parents house in the rusty '86 Chevy Nova, collected his babies, and returned home. He carefully went through each toy, lovingly and thoughtfully, dusting off their boxes and trying out each one, putting in fresh batteries (removed from various flashlights, boom boxes and smoke detectors around the house) to ensure the items still worked. They all did. It was an amazing sight to behold. Landspeeders upon Att-Atts upon Boba Fetts upon wookies upon talking Yodas and crawling wompas, all moving or buzzing or standing or speaking wise things around and about a new galaxy known as Our Basement. After a while, he packed them all up as carefully as ever, and loaded them back into the Nova.

And then? He brought them to a collector and came home with nearly two thousand bucks. HA!

The end.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Faith

A good friend of mine recently said that faith, to her, was to have an idea for a book, to know full well how hard it would be to take it from a mere idea to a published, income-producing novel, and to believe it will happen.

Which really got me thinking about faith again. Not faith in God, but faith in other things. And how I've lost faith in so many non-spiritual beings the past few years. My writing shows it -- it's much darker, much more critical than ever before. And for a little while, I thought...I've lost my faith in goodness.

But then I realized that the day I stop writing is the day I've lost faith in humankind. And that I must still have faith--in this country, in the goodnesses of people, in nature. And I must still have hope, or my passion for social justice and humanity would have turned to apathy or despair by now. Injustice, unjustness, is a fuel; or it should be. Whether the goal of a writer is to teach or entertain, to provoke or comfort -- an audience of fifty million or an audience of one, it doesn't matter -- all writing is capable of moving others (or the author himself) in some way, to feel, to act, to rage; to hope or to heal.

And so we press on.

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