I just woke up at 3:30 in the morning, which I never, ever, do. I woke from a dream I actually remember rather well, because I essentially had it twice in the same evening–it repeated itself, not exactly, but the scenario came out much better. Very similar, but better. The dream was quite lavish–set in Italy, many people, flowing fabrics and some costumes, food. In the second version, a storm comes up and I go outside (I’ve spent most of the time in a boat-like house which I have often navigated by slipping through apertures that most houses don’t have, and the house has few rooms, turning in on itself frequently with a spiral staircase of stone. the first part was somewhat frightening, the second part I felt more confident. So I went outside into a howling wind and some rain. I was surprised that trees weren’t falling around me, but they were all fairly old and craggy. There was a statue of a person bent over at the hips completely, under a load of a tree. The statue turned its head and spoke to me, but I don’t remember what it said.

I want to describe the people, but all I remember is it seemed like members of Toni’s family and young girls like Anna or Harper, and a couple of toddlers and babies. Few men, but aside from my brother pursuing us, I don’t remember who else was. I’m now starting to fade and have to resume later.

LATER: Turns out to be 2.5 mos later, and I sort of remember this incident, but just barely.

I’ll post this and start another.


Government workers do NOT belong to the people!

A conservative friend and I were discussing the SEC employees who were caught watching porn at work.  We both agreed that was stupid, but he had a typical conservative response, at least in my experience.  He felt that “If someone STEALS thousands of dollars they go to prison. When a worker is paid to do a job but instead watches porn…or cartoons for that matter…they are STEALING and should go to prison. When someone watches at home (porn or cartoons) they are on their own time. Government workers should be held to a higher standard…they are serving the citizens that work hard to pay their salaries. I am SICK of huge government for this very reason.”

This is my response:

I think that’s a very extreme stance.  Employees are employees, whether they’re paid by the government or not.  In fact, they’re paying part of their own salary because they pay taxes too.  I have other friends that hold this view (though not many of course), and I’ve genuinely never understood it.   It seems like you think people personally owe you something because they work for a government to which you pay taxes, which is absurd.  Why should one employee be held to a higher standard than another?  Because government employees are NOT your representatives, elected to hold office and accountable to you, they are employees and accountable to their employer.

So while I disagree with watching porn at work (of course, or at all on your computer because of the viruses), the argument that government employees are employed by the People of These United States represents a fundamental misunderstanding of government and how it works.

Re: the classic government vs. business debate (which BTW, sets each up as a straw man to be taken down–they are both so interwoven that to talk about them separately is too simplistic).  Anyway, I have never understood the point of making money for it’s own sake, which is the ultimate end of capitalism and free markets, with the bottom line being that currently, business is performed so that stockholders make money, not so that a service or product is fairly produced and sold.  Costs are trimmed, usually at the expense of the people or product, so that the stockholders can be serviced.

Now, I know you don’t like large business either, because most conservatives, when they are discussing these things, are imagining the corner shoe store, or their own small business.  But we’re moving pretty quickly toward a society in which that’s a quaint notion, so you end up sounding like you’re fighting for large corporate interests who I don’t believe you care for either.  I can’t imagine anyone standing up for enormous box stores like Wal-Mart, etc.

Thanksgiving ’09

Hi all,

I realized today on Facebook that I should blog more.  You’re only allowed so many characters in your updates, and I usually exceed them.  I’ll never forget a professor responding to a draft of my thesis with the phrase “turgid prose”.  I had to look it up, and was pretty embarrassed, but I’ve been montioring my writing for swolleness ever since.  The admonition from Strunk & White to “write actively” frequently comes to mind in this endeavor.

Something on my mind a lot is that a friend’s husband is dying; or at least has a pretty awful chronic disease (or three–the doctors genuinely have no clue what’s really going on).  He’s being great about it on Facebook and Twitter, but he’s naturally scared, and I’ve seen him be scared, and take it out on my friend.  I don’t think she minds, or at least, I think she understands and so forgives. I really can’t imagine what she’s going through.  I’ll never have been married for over 35 years to the same person, or still be married to the father of my children, or still love the person I’m living with. And so I’ll never have the kind of grief she’s experiencing, but never have had the joys that leads to its depth, either.  It’s very sad.  I’m not able to connect, to be intimate with, the person I’m supposed to be the most intimate with.  My therapist and I call it my bubble–the hard plastic shell I keep around me that evidently is only meant for my husbands.

People in this country are dismally, stubbornly, stupid.

Caught a clip of protesters in DC today who are against health care reform. The people who are now worried about the deficit, but thought it was fine for Bush to run it up for an illegal and immoral war. The people on Medicare who don’t want us to mess with their Medicare or Social Security, but can’t seem to figure out that THESE are Gov’t. programs, and they are doing okay (and would do better if the well-off paid more of their taxes), whereas the almighty, free market, freedom loving, Republican-supporting businesses of Bank of America, Citibank, Lehman Bros., Enron, Haliburton, drug and insurance companies, you name the company, are the people who have brought this country to its fiscal and moral knees. The little old lady who says “We just “want freedom, we want to take our country back. We can read between the lines, they just want to give our tax money to their special interests.” Health care for everyone is a special interest, but tax breaks for the wealthy is in everybody’s best interest. I throw up my hands. I just can not fathom the idiocy. The complete inability to think or to reason, but only to parrot back phrases that make them feel good about themselves.

My comments on 9/11

Clearly, I’ve moved on. Today is my friend Karen Homa’s birthday, and that’s how I like to think of the day.

The memory of all those people, and the people who died trying to save them, has been tainted in my mind by the purely political use to which the images of suffering were put, and the wars still raging that were its consequence.

I’m sick of 9/11 and of the hideous arrogance that passes for patriotism it constantly invokes.

OMG, I was already blogging!

Tragically, I have already begun to blog, on It was last Christmas time, and I wrote an excellent little piece on not giving, but spending time for the holidays, given the financial mess everyone was in.

Now I’m embarrassed. Oh well, perhaps I should just think of it as a wealth of my riches being tossed out to the world.

We saw “Prick up you Ears” with Gary Oldman and Anthony Molina about Joe Orton and Kenneth Hallewell. Very sad, but also fascinating watching Oldman, who looked uncannily like Will Truman in “Will and Grace.” It was a bit distracting, because Oldman of course looks nothing like that now. Great expressive face, even then though. And my favorite, Wally Shawn, played the author of Orton’s biography John Lahr. So many little connections in the world.


I heard the podcast of two Edith Wharton stories today and realized that I absolutely love that period, that writing–Woolf, James (Henry AND William), Wharton.  Trying to express every little nuance of feeling from people who were trying to be so subtle.  Incredible.

Also listened again to a lecture by Michael Pollan.  I find his writing, his voice, his message, very inspiring.  He makes me want to eat really well!  Mostly plants.

Watched “Prick Up Your Ears” with Tom tonight.  I thought I’d seen it before, but now I don’t think so.  Joe Orton was a git.  But fascinating to watch the very young Gary Oldman.  I couldn’t get the actor who played Will on “Will and Grace” out of my head, they looked so alike.  It was weird, because they certainly don’t now!

Tragically, tonight I’m starting too late to really do this up right.  So until tomorrow!