29 January 2004

I'm slowly relearning HTML to give my blog a much needed face lift. It mightn't be so pretty in the process . . .

I am, of course, none other than blank verse.
I don't know where I'm going, yes, quite right;
And when I get there (if I ever do)
I might not recognise it. So? Your point?
Why should I have a destination set?
I'm relatively happy as I am,
And wouldn't want to be forever aimed
Towards some future path or special goal.
It's not to do with laziness, as such.
It's just that one the whole I'd rather not
Be bothered - so I drift contentedly;
An underrated way of life, I find.
What Poetry Form Are You?

27 January 2004

It's cold with a capital BRRRR. Today schools let out early and businesses closed due to dangerous windchills. The animals still need feeding, despite my polite requests for them to hibernate for a month or two.

While I'm home, barn chores are my responsibility. A responsibility which thankfully keeps my parents from pressuring me too much to find a real job. Hauling water to the horses is the part that gets me. The pump at the barn broke years ago, so water for the horses means hauling 5 gallon buckets, two at a time, over 100 yards of snowdrifts. The water sloshes up over the edges of the buckets and turns my coveralls to cement before I'm done. Would I rather be doing this than sitting in a stuffy classroom at Cornell? You betcha.

It's funny the little things you forget about a place. Like the way everyone leaves their vehicles running in the grocery store parking lot, the way cars are plugged in and still need to be started five minutes before they're driven anywhere. The way everyone in town knows who drives what, and the shit you get if it's your car that gets left overnight at the bar. Yesterday I was in town and stopped by Walmart to get a new journal and to pick up things to finish my photo albums. I got carded at the checkout counter: buying rubber cement. Apparently you have to be 16 in North Dakota to buy rubber cement. I'm not quite sure how to take this. Maybe I should stop wearing my hair in pigtails?

If you live in New Hampshire, how about a few votes for David Palmer? Check out his profile here. You can also have a look at him in the White House. Howard Dean out, David Palmer in.

Me, I have a date with the bathtub, sexy-sexy Jack Johnson, and another hour in the third longest day of Jack Bauer's life.

24 January 2004

You Easterners think you're hot stuff with your record breaking lows . . .

I tell you that cold in the East is nothing, nothing compared to a winter storm on the Great Plains. Here it snows horizontally and the winds make ungodly sounds as they hit trees and buildings, the first since leaving the Canadian Rockies. There is fear in a storm like this. Sheer unadulterated fear.

Night falls and the horses are fed, the hens have roosted, and girls with nothing better to do than skulk around creaky farmhouses have retired to clawfooted bathtubs, chin deep in bubbles.

21 January 2004

Sometimes my habit of not planning for anything does get in the way of my actually having something to do. I'm broke and in North Dakota until further notice.

I watched the State of the Union Address last night, painful as it was. The hat I was knitting is one of the few things that benifited; as the speech progressed the angrier I became and the faster I knit. The hat is nearly finished.

I have previously commented that Republicans are motivated either by greed or ignorance. I would now like to add bigotry to that list. Republicans are motivated by 1) greed, 2) ignorance, and/or 3) bigotry. Can someone be motivated by ignorance? Yes, I beleive so. To so many who have never been to New York City or even the East coast, September 11th is a fresh memory. These people talk about needing more security and the terrorist threat and supporting the war. All in attempted empathy for a tragedy they can only understand in limited and removed fashion. New Yorkers have moved past it, so should the rest of the nation. That President Bush preaches fear and doom to the country angers me beyond words. There always has been a threat, and always will be, at least in this life. Fear is not what this nation was built around, nor should it be the only thing to shape our future.

I originally made the statement about Republicans being motivated by either greed or ignorance at a table of 10 liberal and educated friends. There was a surprisingly negative reaction. Vinny said he hates blanket statements like that. OK, I said, you're right. Would I be more correct to say 95% of Republicans are motivated by either greed or ignorance? The greedy educated leading and deluding the uneducated ignorant.

I don't intend any slight or PC breech. Many people do not have the educational resources or time to make informed political decisions. This a social problem, not a character flaw. Being ignorant in and of itself is no crime. That being said, being purposelly ignorant, or feigning ignorance is. Exploiting the ignorant is even more abominable.

Later on Vinny made a good point about waste in government programs. "We've got Democrats saying we need more programs and more aid and Republicans saying we need less, when truthfully the programs already in place need to be run more efficiently. There is a middle ground in all of this." Good point, but a streamlining program is going to cost too.

Ariel was irritated at my commented and got angry in Ariel fashion. She asked me how I could be so stereotypical. "Would you say that all Democrats are martyrs?" Martyr is a strong word. Would I say all Democrats altruistically seek social and environmental justice for the greater good? Well, yeah, I would say that. Would you tell me any different?

After a brief stint in Ithaca I made my way back West, towards Venus, and home. I took my time, meandering my way through snowstorms and the forests on the eastern edge of lake Huron. At Sault Ste. Marie I crossed back into the states. Now my car, being packed full of every item in my college life, was singled out for searching at the border crossing.

"Any weapons on you today?"
"No, no weapons."
"Any tobacco or liquor."
"No, no sir."
"Any weapons."
"No, didn't I already say no, sir?"

Well, an hour and a half later, they had picked through every box and duffle bag on my posession. They must have been disappointed with my array of underwear, textbooks, and tupperware, because they decided to confiscate the two oranges and three tangerines I had acquired in Canada. Not an entirely fruitless raid for all their effort.

What I would like to know is: Where the hell does Canada get their oranges that we do not also get our oranges? I was made to feel like a second class citizen, a criminal even, but very well. I suppose I ought to thank dear Mr. President Bush as I sleep soundly tonight knowing that my country is being kept safe. I shudder to think at the devastation a fruit disease would wreck on North Dakota's citrus industry.