8.30.2008

This Space For Rant



When HBM put out the call for a bitchfest round-robin, I happily signed on. We all need to let it out, and sometimes our very own spaces are not the safest place to do so. (hi, remember my first blog, pulled down when I no longer felt I could write honestly there without being judged by someone close to me?) So, I offered my space for rant, to whomever felt she needed it.

Turns out, my tennant is a gem. Not only did she keep the kitchen clean and put the furniture back where it was before she left, but she kicked my sorry ass with her honesty, sensitivity and sagacity. Here I am, thinking I'll be posting a vent about somebody's m-i-l or boss, or why John McCain is an even bigger idiot than we first thought, and instead, I got a big ol' helping of perspective. And it tasted way less bitter than I expected it to.

Enjoy.



So the kids put a hole in the new LCD TV. Not a big one—a pin poke in a black cloth. Star in a dark sky. Very small. Nothing compared to the volcano that will erupt when my husband gets home to find that his one true love, the one over which he fawned for months, is whole no more. He will freak. And I will feel guilty. Not over the damaged television…over buying a television that costs more than the GNP of a small country.
We, I, want what’s best for our children--the things that will make and keep them happy--the things that we may not have had as children. These things I want for my family, plus happiness, love and freedom. But the things, the emotional things I want for them, are often shielded over by the fact that I want. Despite all my best efforts, I am a Capitalist at heart. I try to make myself believe I can live without the trappings of modern life. I yearn for the freedom I perceive would be achieved by living in the wilds of Alaska (not a deserted island…too much risk of spiders and other large bugs that thrive in humidity and heat). I raise chickens and for the moment feel like Mother Earth because of the poultry roaming my suburban backyard. But therein lies the rub: I live in suburbia. Complete with minivan, two kids, a black lab and a two-story Colonial. Suburbia has firmly ensconced itself in my being. And I am consumed with guilt.

So my rant is not focused on another person, but on me. On my failing to tear my spirit from the want of objects. And when those objects begin to fail, my husband and I feel like failures. The children damage the LCD TV and we’re heartbroken that we will forever see the minute flaw. My husband does a slow roll into another car and we’re devastated that our car is no longer perfect. The dog’s too long nails leave long grooves in the hardwood floors and we cringe every time we have to walk over them. These things control our lives and our emotions.
I am all the more consumed by the guilt of consumerism because the daughter of a good friend is dying of a tumor on her brainstem. The child is five, barely two months older than my son. They have played together, worshipped in Sunday school together, and she will most likely not live to the end of next year. I’m convinced her parents do not care one iota about the condition of their things. They are completely hyper-focused on the now, on the truly important things in life—those things that are not things.


I later found my husband, post damaged television announcement, in our bedroom holding his head in his hands repeating the mantra: “My kids are healthy, my kids are healthy,” putting the event in perspective. This is the man who puts his hands over his ears and hums whenever a bad story about a child comes on the news. He gets it. The television has not been mentioned since—the hole barely visible. The insurance company is handling the car accident and told us not to worry about—that’s why you have insurance. The grooves in the floor add character—the dog adores the children, putting up with ear tugs and tail yanks no other dog ever would. And I realize how to rid myself of the guilt…perspective. I would give all I own to ensure the health and safety of my family. I would live in a hovel, surrounded by the bugs and spiders I fear. So, tomorrow I will go out in the garden and hold a chicken. How can anything be wrong in the world when you can walk out your own back door and hold a chicken? And I will try harder at being a better person.

***

8.17.2008

Our Olympic Trials

So, it’s Sunday, and while I know it ain’t over ‘til the perfect Chinese child lip-synchs over top of the not-so-perfect Chinese child’s voice, I just want to interrupt the olympic games to say how proud I am of my country’s efforts.

Way to go, Canada. Seven medals now. Good on ya.

Seven is a nice number. Sure, it’s one medal shy of the total number of gold’s that one freakin’ American kid has managed to rack up on his own, but still, it’s respectable.

We’re doing better than Roumania, the country that my grandmother fled almost a century ago because of the horrific, oppressive, poverty-stricken circumstances that my people were living under. Roumania only has --- oh, shit, never mind. Two more just went up on the leader board. Ok, well, we’re still ahead of… um… Georgia. Ha! Looks like Georgia isn’t faring very well, at home or on Olympic soil.

Ok, at least we can remain ahead of the countries that are currently in the throes of a nasty siege.

Oh, and Kazak… no, wait... somewhere Borat is jumping up and down in his Speedo; looks like the Kazakhs have eclipsed us too.

Jesus Christ. Seriously. I know that the number of medals we stuff in our gym bags next week is not the point of the games – One World One Dream* and all that garbage – but C’MON!

(Oh, and btw – the missing comma in the Olympic motto – very distracting.)

Canada is a fully-developed nation (some in-fighting over which province is richer and who should pony up more oil for the US aside) of 30 million people.

We have managed to figure out how to get our people nationalized health care, a democratic voting system, a decent reputation on the global stand and some pretty good beer.

Why is success at the summer games eclipsing us?

I don’t expect our basketball team (do we even have one?) to beat the US dream team. I don’t expect our divers to beat the Chinese divers, and I didn’t expect any swimmer going up against Michael Phelps to make it to the top of the podium either.

But you know? We did have some hope coming into the games, didn’t we?

Of course we did, or we wouldn’t have sent 332 people halfway around the world to give it a shot.

I really don’t want to minimize the efforts of our athletes. We have had some really heartening stories, some really heartbreaking stories and ok, a few disheartening stories (cough*Perdita*cough). Apparently, we’re even breaking our own records all over the place.

So, like, as long as our records keep getting broken, but no other country’s do, we should be ok in 2012, right?

Come on, Canada. $140 million budgeted for the Olympics, and only $27 million is for training programs.

If you want to know my honest, Socialist opinion, I think the money might be better spent at home, than in sending under-performing amateur athletes to a country that had WAY better things to spend their own Olympic budget on.

Anyway, the games will be over soon, and I’m sure many (men) out there will be jonesing for their nightly dose of (ridiculous) beach volleyball bunnies, shorts traveling up their butts and all.

Me? I’ll be wondering where the hell the coverage of the good stuff was, why China spent months training middle-aged women to cheer correctly as they were paid to fill the seats of the women’s soccer games, and offer thanks once again that these games didn't fall into the lap of my hometown (Phew. Thanks for fucking that one up, Mel, truly.)

I’ll be waiting for the winter Olympics, where at least we have hockey women’s hockey to assure us a gold.


*Fucking hell, China, tell that to the Tibetans.

***

8.13.2008

Two Reasons I Haven't Been Posting Much This Summer




I just can't tear myself away from them.

However, if you miss me (even just a little), I'm talking about pancakes and what a fucking brat I used to be over at Eat Me.

***

8.10.2008

I Didn't See That In The Flyer

(please click on image to see the workings of a man whose wife kinda hopes he gets another job soon so he'll leave her the hell alone.)