Saturday, November 08, 2003

Church Sign Generator

My sign: moses invests.bmp
(Husband thought this one up.)

Make your own church sign

from Kafkaesque
Just when you thought all absurd language use would turn out to be Orwellian...Here's a new one

McDonald's sues the dictionary

I guess it is a bit Orwellian--words we aren't allowed to use. Interesting how Orwell was right about some mechanisms of control but not always right about the source. They don't all come from the state....

I whine, again...

10 Things I Hate About Being Pregnant

Thanks Nik.

It is nice for some people that they manage to romanticize the gestation, birth and infant-care process. I'm so glad they are capable of finding something lovely and transcendent in: being horrifyingly bloated and ill for nearly a year, hours and hours of agonizing pain combined with bloodshed and much that is too gruesome to describe in mixed company followed by months and months of feeding cleaning the bodily emissions of a squalling but incredibly delicate and vulnerable creature who is incapable of human communication.

More power to you, I say. If only I could share your illusion.

I'd have to steal her #10: The fact I actually become a parent. Permanently. And will never be cool again.

#9: Being a mommy. All the ideological stuff that goes along with being a mommy. The Freudian shit. The fact I'm supposed to change and become saintly and self-sacrificing...As if! Or else I'm evil. There's just no in between for mommies. Mediocrity is failure. And failure when you are a mommy=you are evil.

There is no perfecting this task. You will be inadequate. The whole question is how.

#8: Going to the doctor. The doctor is so happy for me it gets embarrassing. She chirps. "This is great! All your tests are normal!!! Everything seems just great!" I just kind of say 'yeah.' I smile wanly. But out-enthusing her would be a superhuman task. So I seem like I could not care less. Then I feel evil. See #9.

#7: Sensory overload. Bizarre obsession with food and smells and anything icky. The other day on the subway there was a throw up car. It wasn't just me. It was virtually impossible to breathe. People fled from it at the next stop. I can't even imagine a natural explanation for that smell--it was unholy. It was supernaturally horrible. But then I was haunted by it. For days. And days. And this happens. You eat something that tastes bad and you remember it. For weeks, sometimes months. And then you eat something delicious. And you are obsessed. You will travel 45 miles to repeat the experience. You lay awake thinking about it. The bad and icky far outnumbers the good and delicious though. This is perhaps why I haven't gained any weight since last month. I went from being able to eat out of communal bowls in third world countries to being unable to eat anything touched by human hands.

Will I ever be able to forget the range of smells I've unwillingly experienced?

#6: Total personality transformation. I used to be a loner and needed long times by myself. Now I need to be around my husband all the time. OK, I was always a complainer of sorts. But I've broken some kind of record. Never in my life did I imagine that there could be so many bodily things one could complain about. I've had moods that seem outside the realm of normal moods--but I've given my moods nicknames.

E.g., the amnesia: Imagine that something awful is about to happen. But then you get amnesia. The only thing you remember is this terrible feeling of dread. However, you can't remember why you have this feeling.

The extreme annoyance for no reason: Imagine that an invisible imp is sticking its fingers in your mouth or batting your elbow away when you put it down on something (didn't you hate it when people did that?) or tweaking your nose. You'd be annoyed wouldn't you--you'd go nearly insane with annoyance. Now imagine that you are even more annoyed than this but for no reason.

#5: The nightmares (not the sex dreams--those are sometimes quite enjoyable)....The baby shrinks and I can't find it. It becomes invisible, etc. Or I move to the Midwest.

The move to the Midwest was the strangest dream. In the dream I realized: There isn't any place I want to live. Northern California has too many flaky people, New York is too crowded and costs too much, everywhere else is full of Republicans. Where can I live? The dream was really a terrifying nightmare about being forced to live in Iowa.

I'm scared to go on.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Childhood Memory #6(?): Voyeurism

I've always had this strange obsession with strangers and their lives. Remember? The family that lived on your street with kids and yet you never saw them because they never left their house. Once the girl came out and she was pale as a ghost. What did she do all day in there?

Any neighbor who dared on my block to be unknown was asking for trouble. A favorite trick of the evil girl Pam to drive the shy or retiring to the front porch for our observation was the burning bag full of dogshit trick. That Pam! She alerted me to many cruel activities available to the pre-teen when I wasn't being a victim of her cruelty myself.

What I always wanted to know was what the Tom Waits song asks: What's He Doing In There?

What are other people's lives like? Their thoughts? What's in their drawers? What are their sick secrets? What are they afraid of? Being left alone in someone else's house is one of the things that made babysitting enjoyable--although I was rather timid and would probably do a much more thorough search now.

It was also incredible when you would find a letter on the street or in someone's trash ('alley picking' was another Pam-directed activity)...Even the mundane writing of a stranger took on a kind of mystique.

Then of course was just outright voyeurism: Looking in someone's windows. That's still a favorite activity of mine although the people around here generally draw their curtains pretty tight. At the moment, given my unsatisfied nesting instinct though, I'm much more interested in the size of their condo than in them.

My dream of course was access to the lives of strangers. I used to think: What if I just called up someone in the phonebook? What if I wrote them a letter? Would they talk to me? Would they respond? Could I ask them anything without reservation?

And then of course, the internet arrived. The answer was 'yes.' Whether they would tell the truth of course was a whole other question.

I remember when I first came across a message board detailing personal facts...a self-help message board. I was shocked, amused, full of scorn that people would blab their darkest secrets to total strangers. After that point, I was hooked. But it didn't work so well for me. Even on rather wide-topic boards I would go off topic, make shit up (not lies--amusing anecdotes), take random polls and generally violate the venue restrictions. Mostly there was a lot of stuff that nosy me wanted to know about you--the person willing to spill his/her guts. Then of course came blogging.

And I found out that I am far from unusual in my fascination with anonymous others.

Connected Selves is a blog about ways people connect over the internet...

from SickCandy

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

"People want children. They actually do. They go to some trouble to reproduce..."

said the pregnant woman.

Some recent examples:

A baby is born...

Nora Smartypants arrives!

When I see these or other (select--I'm discriminating to some extent) little ones I feel a painful ache. Anticipatory love. Like when you were in 9th grade and didn't have a boyfriend and had never had a real boyfriend but you knew that you wanted one. There was someone out there to fill the void.

Such a desire seemed inauthentic, though. It seemed absurd to want a boyfriend to fill some absence and to have emotions that were attached merely to an idea rather than an actual human.

I did not trust it. I took up smoking instead and rebuffed any potential candidates. I discovered that the more detached and brooding I was the more appealing I seemed to be. It backfired a little but I couldn't do otherwise than be unreachable. Another drawback: I continued to find cigarettes irresistible until I conceived.

I thought I realized the folly of my overly rational ways. Even so, I do not trust this baby-inspired longing. I see it from a distance, puzzled. All the while I have a permanent picture in my mind of this little 6 month old girl I saw about a month ago. But then I also have noticed that there is also no real argument one can give to decide the issue either way--Should you have children? Should you not have them? I never got a handle on the question or even how to think about it. In my more objective moments it seems incredibly unwise and I'm dumbfounded. How did I let this happen? And good Lord why are people going to such insane amounts of trouble to get themselves in this kind of situation? What's the point of becoming a parent--really?

Fortunately, I don't have to think through or resolve anything anymore. I'm pregnant and the baby is sort of like my husband--the man who wouldn't take no for an answer. There it is and rationality, schmationality! And I'm besotted in spite of myself.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Political Bla Bla-- my sweeping and unfounded claims are an attempt to be succinct

Krugman--this can't go on forever. Here's the thing and don't shoot me, 'kay.

I want to tell you: There's no hope.

Everyone gets somewhat hopeful thinking that Bush will be defeated and then somehow....Well, what? Things will go back to normal, improve slightly, etc. He may of course win re-election.

Even if your favorite democrat wins the country is on the verge of insolvency and the problems created will take about 4 years to clear up. The impatient public won't see the next president as cleaning up the messes of the last and will buy some claptrap about how the downward slide can be fixed by some sort of right wing 'toughness'...The downward slide which was delayed for a while will continue and the deficit and debt will become astronomical. The gap between rich and poor will reach third world levels. The finger in every pie is the downfall of the American Empire and so forth.

Oh yeah...when you first heard the U.S. was an empire didn't you wonder: What's going to be the cause of its decline? Nothing declines more interestingly and spectacularly than an empire. You wondered: Will it be some decadence orgiastic frenzy (possibly caused by lead poisoning) with horses named as Senators and barbarians at the gates? A big fat world war and rebellion in colonies? Nah. Just overreaching. Overextension. That's the decline. The imperialists will be the ones to crush their own empire.

So if you think that somehow one group of plunderers losing an election is going to save things...Sorry. It's too late.

You heard it here first! Things will only get worse. There's no hope. All is doom.

Oh no! Not Black Power!

Excuse me but how is it relevant that the D.C. sniper had a book in his "Caprice" that was called Black Power?

Well, it might be if the book said to go shoot people. (Didn't he shoot black people? I thought he did but I can't remember.)

The Post has a scroll with updates of the trial. But that one just annoyed me. Uh, I think I know where they are going with that one...and they get to--it's legal. And that bothers me very much==both the legal and media emphasis.

And the guy could be as guilty as hell and it would still bother me.

I'm not going to bother following this story. I don't see the point. When I said to my husband: God, I wish they didn't make stories like this major headlines he said "Don't try and get a job in journalism." Actually, that is one of my alternative career plans...but maybe it shouldn't be.

Actually, I have a book called Black Power by Stokey Carmichael. I just remembered. I wondered if it's that book? Hmmm. Better not carry that in my car. Well, I guess I can.
Silly Question

You may or may not know that I have this strange problem with the passage of time. I was reading this piece in the NY Review of Books about Einstein and Poincarre describing a proposed metric system of time. Rather than hours we would have pieces of the day--so what serves as a second could be 1/10,000 of the day.

I wonder if that would have helped me.

I wonder what would have happened had there been an entirely different way of measuring time. How might our subjective experience have changed? What if we had no seconds or minutes? How I wish I could escape the measurement at the least.

I have approximately 20 clocks or other time measurers in my house if you include the built ins. Perhaps I should remove them and see what happens? I'm too afraid.

(The article is more interesting than this thought so I'll come back to the article later.)

Sunday, November 02, 2003

This is something I learned in Catholic school: Just because everyone is doing it, doesn't make it right!

God bless those nuns! They taught me alot. Everything I needed to know about a cruel, repressive and unforgiving world I learned in Catholic school.

In Catholic school (I guess like in Israel) they were very into collective punishment. So if 95% of the students did a bad thing then 100% of them would get in trouble. They also liked the idea of punishing 100% when only 1% did something bad. We learned. I guess. We learned to be scared. We learned there is no such thing as safety in numbers.

I suppose I should mention I am still Catholic. Could laugh about it then and can laugh about it now. When I'm not crying, that is.

If marijuana from Canada--grown only by individual growers--is a bigger business than lumber and wheat combined I think there is one thing we can conclude: A whole lot of people in the U.S. are getting stoned. I.e., virtually everyone is doing it or has done it. Canada isn't even the biggest supplier--Mexico is. (I done it but am not doing it). However, only some people are going to jail for it. Billions are being spent to stop it. I find it hard to believe that most people find it anything but absurd.

The obvious question: What is the purpose of these laws? does not seem to be asked. I think asking whether they are effective is a bit of a joke.

I doubt anything will be done to repeal the law in my lifetime.
A while back I wanted to know why going naked in public is illegal but I was sorta kidding...but I really DON'T understand why marijuana is illegal.

(No, actually--why IS it illegal to go around naked? I mean, who is more harmless? Someone wearing clothes with pockets where they can hide weapons and crumpled icky kleenex or someone naked who could not conceal a thing? I mean, I can imagine that this is a major problem with nakedness in the workplace--the absence of pockets. But still. )

I don't even enjoy getting high all that much...It increases my tolerance for bad entertainment and makes mediocre art seem incredibly profound but I would be fine with never smoking pot again. I guess I'm not fine with thousands of people in jail and billions of dollars spent to ensure...What? How do those billions affect the average very, very occasional drug user (not to mention the committed and knowledgeable user).

Well, I guess that if I choose to buy pot I have to be a little eensy bit scared and moderately secretive. And go through some sort of black market channel. Like...uh, someone I know from my statistics class.

What business is second only to the oil business in Canada's commodities exports?

The related story about how fertilizer companies are targeting pot growers was amusing.

And Tommy Chong is going to jail!?!

Huh? "Marijuana is illegal because there are specific laws that make it illegal." And a tautology is? No wonder kids today grow up and listen to right wing radio!

Pot gallery...their pride in their buds is so darn cute.