March 2008


President Bush said this past Wednesday that the U.S. economy has hit a “rough patch”, and that everything will be fine in just a little bit. My personal economy has been in a “rough patch” since early 2004, when I lost my job. And I’m not the only one reporting a certain roughness to my patches. Here’s some words from I friend I met at the unemployment office:

It has been a struggle for many of us. I am forever changed by the experience of looking for a job and seeing things from new perspectives.

I continue as a contractor. No assurance of my status, or my project status, but it has been over 8 months of steady work.

I covered sports for the paper last fall for poor money, but it kept me in the game writing. Adding insult, I had to fight to get paid due to a disagreement. (I did not get paid for one week, I complained a few times and the owner then threatened to cut my compensation for the remaining weeks). I got about $35 a week, but I had to drive to the games, pay to get in $5, and write the articles. But I liked covering the team, getting familiar with the team character and players, and writing.

If Bush would just act as if he cared about stories like that, it would improve my opinion of him by leaps and bounds. I think and hope that the events of the past four years have humbled me just a tiny bit, but Bush seems as arrogant and unwilling to deal with or even acknowledge reality as ever.

When I was really small, I used to dream that I could step into the little red tool shed on our back porch, press a button, and a propeller on top of it would lift me into the sky. I used to dream that I would take my sisters for rides in it. I was so young that I didn’t know I was dreaming, so one day I went out to the shed, looking for the button to make it fly. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I thought about this for days. I finally realized the buttons I had been thinking of were the ones that started and stopped the exhaust fan, located upstairs, which sounded a lot like a propeller when it was on.

In the latest New York Review of Books, Elizabeth Drew quotes an adviser to the Clinton campaign as not being especially concerned about working within the limits of campaign regulations:

As of this writing, the Democrats are still trying to figure out what to do about the renegade voting in Michigan and Florida…. When I asked a close Clinton ally and adviser about this matter recently, he replied, “Rules? Rules? The rules are what people say they are. This isn’t law. This isn’t the Supreme Court.”

This sounded familiar to me, so I did some checking around, and came up with this quote from a Bush adviser back in 2004:

The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality… That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”

I don’t know about you, but I think Easter has it all over Christmas when it comes to Christian holidays with pagan roots. The candy is pretty much the same, but the story is way better. After all, anybody can be born, but to come back to life after you’ve been nailed to a cross? Come on! That is freakin’ superhero material! And then to push aside this humungous stone that’s blocking the way out of your crypt as if it were just a plain-old door? Truly mind-blowing stuff.

The weather is also a little better this time of year than it is at the end of December.

  1. Liquid.org is a gas!
  2. I was thinking “Wonderful world of Disney, but okay.

I hope that’s grammatically correct. As far as I know, Portuguese puts the definite article o/a before possessive pronouns, but I’m hedging here because I remember seeing the Portuguese translation of Bill Clinton’s autobiography, My Life, in a window in a Rio de Janeiro bookstore back in 2004. If memory serves, it was just called Minha Vida. But I minored in Spanish, not Portuguese, so I’m really just grasping at straws, and I can’t speak Spanish for shit, either.

The following is something a kid printed out at the library where I work. He never came to get it. I don’t think it’s grammatically correct, but I care about that a lot less than I used to. The word “grammar” has the same root as the word “glamour.” I’m too tired to figure out what that means, so I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

So without further ado, may I present o minho amigo, Weverton:

SOBRE A MINHA VIDA
OI MY NAME IS WEVERTON NOW I GO SPEAK SOBRE A MINHA VIDA COMO EU FALEI PARA VOCES . I PRESISO GO PRO BATHROOM

Otto wrote the following message on 1/25/2008, at 6:39 PM:

mmmmasssssss

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