Tuesday, October 31, 2006

2006 = 1984?

From Simply Orwellian: Cutting and running from 'stay the course'
By Leonard Pitts Jr.
Originally published October 29, 2006
Available at the Baltimore Sun

The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four years ago. But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, which in any case must soon be annihilated. And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed - if all records told the same tale - then the lie passed into history and became truth. "Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: Who controls the present controls the past." -from 1984 by George Orwell

I'm here to tell you we're going to stay the course. - George W. Bush, Nov. 28, 2003

We've got to stay the course, and we will stay the course. - George W. Bush, April 5, 2004

The United States of America will stay the course. - George W. Bush, Nov. 21, 2004

We will stay the course; we will complete the job in Iraq. - George W. Bush, Aug. 4, 2005

We will stay the course, we will help this young Iraqi democracy succeed. - George W. Bush, Aug. 31, 2006

Listen, we've never been 'stay the course.' - George W. Bush, Oct. 22, 2006

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I am faced with a dilemma this evening. I find myself facing a situation that I thought I'd relish, but instead I am wracked with indecision.

I'm in grad school right now for library science. I'm in the middle of my first semester, and every class I attend just strengthens my knowledge that this is the right path for me.

I have serious ups and downs with my current job. There are days when I think that I can stick it out for the two years it will take for me to finish grad school, and then there are days when I don't think I can make it to the end of the week. It was on one of the latter days when I sent my resume to a headhunting firm that specializes in library staffing.

I got a call from them today. Now I'm excited, terrified, guiltstricken and indecisive. That's not how this was supposed to feel.

On the one hand, I see a world of possibility opening up for me. But this is way out of my comfort zone--it won't always be, but if I walked into a library right now my two classes worth of instruction wouldn't do me much good in the grand scheme of things. I don't know how to go about taking the time off to go to interviews. Only once in my life did I look for a job while I already had a job, and somehow that interview ended up being on a Saturday. (I do not count my restaurant jobs here. I did, on occasion, tell my restaurant bosses "This place sucks, and I'm going home and updating my resume so I can get the hell out of here." That is not recommended in corporate America.) And while I crave the career change, it scares the hell out of me.

Too, I feel guilty. I work for a very small business; we're at a point right now when anyone leaving would be potentially disasterous, but most of all me. There are three of us; the junior member of the team can't do my job, and my boss just doesn't have enough time. I feel like I owe them a warning, but I'm afraid to do that.

I have to call the headhunting firm back tomorrow and arrange an interview; I need to come up with an excuse for taking part of a day off; I need to get a handle on my guilt and decide how I'm going to deal with my current job. Right now, I'm going to bed. At least I can't be stressed when I'm asleep.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Things I Hate (Part III)

Getting excited because I have a new comment or friend request, only to discover that it's an ad. Getting MySpace spam is not cool.

Every single person who drives between Takoma Park and Olney during rush hour.

The fact that I can't afford to hire a cleaning service, yet can't force myself to actually clean.

A Word to the Wise (Part V)

If you happen to make your living by panhandling with an obvious severe physical disabilty, perhaps you should not be seen standing perfectly upright at a McDonalds in that same neighborhood.

Just a thought.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Last night I had a series of very odd dreams that I only half-remember today. But I remember one very clearly: I was doing my laundry. With Metallica.

Yeah, I don't understand my brain either.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I've never considered myself a shrinking violet. I'm not afraid of snakes. Mice don't bother me; in fact just last week I spent several days feeding an orphaned baby mouse every two hours through an eyedropper until I could get the poor little thing to a wildlife rehabilitation center. I don't like spiders, but I'll kill them if necessary. And while I have been known to play the "girl card" to get a nearby man to kill an insect, it's much more because I don't want to do it than that I can't. I'm perfectly capable of taking care of it myself if necessary.

All of this is with one exception. I hate crickets, and they freak me out to an extreme degree.

This is unfortunate, as the house I live in is cursed with an overabundance of both regular field crickets, and the camel variety. (Click on the link, look at the picture, shudder uncontrollably, and return. I'll wait.)

I don't know for certain where this dread/fear/hatred of crickets come from, but I have a theory. When I was about four or five years old, my family went on vacation down to Ocean City. We rented a house known as the Honeymooner's Cottage (and why it was named that when it had at least three bedrooms is beyond me) which was absolutely infested with crickets.

I have very clear memories of some parts of the trip--the layout of the house, and a specific incident when my mother called Dad to come kill a cricket. I went charging up the stairs, acting all tough, to "help" her--then promptly screamed and ran away when I first saw the damn thing. My poor father probably didn't get any rest the whole trip, what with running to and fro to kill crickets.

Other memories of the trip are less clear--I don't remember going to the beach, though I'm sure we must have. And I have a fairly hazy memory of an incident in which I was tucked into a bed that had a cricket in it. My memory of this is unclear enough that I may have just heard about it, or I may have even made it up--my memory does things like that sometimes--but that half-memory still provokes feelings of horror.

"But wait!" those of you who have known me for a long time may be saying. "You used to have frogs as pets, and you fed them crickets!" Well, yes. But when your pet tree frogs can sit on your thumbnail without spilling over, you're feeding them teeny little crickets. On one occasion, there was a cricket who evaded being eaten long enough to get to an impressive size; when it became less likely that the frog would eat the cricket than vice versa, I disposed of it--and it was still half the size of a normal cricket you'd see outside.

So all of this brings me to last night. I moved a blanket, and a cricket jumped out. I promptly freaked out. Then it jumped under my bed. I freaked out some more, because I was alone, and I was either going to have to kill the thing or go to sleep with it still in the room. Once upon a time I had a cat who would take care of all cricket-related disposal, leaving me just a leg or two to alert me that the little fucker had ever been there at all. But no more--Millie lives with Tracy now, and Spats is old and somewhat decrepit and recovering from surgery, and my enthusiastic attempts to get her involved in the cricket issue resulted in her stretching, rolling over, and going back to sleep.

So, I talked myself off the ledge, called O. for moral support, and went cricket hunting. No dice. After O. assured me that the cricket couldn't climb into my bed (I don't know if he was lying to me, and I don't want to know) I decided that I was just going to have to live with the fact that a cricket was in my bedroom. I calmed down, looked carefully every time I set my feet on the floor, and distracted myself with a good disaster movie. (Which also freaked me out. I was not in a good place last night.)

But then.

I moved something else that was lying on the floor, and a completely different cricket came jumping out. I knew it was completely different because this one was a camel cricket. *shudder* I had almost convinced myself that I could live with this one too, when the fucker started climbing the wall. That would not do.

So, long story short (I know, too late) I employed my patented insect-killing method (trap, carry, flush) with reasonable success but extreme stress. The fuckers are dead, but there are many more to take their place. I may have to move.