Thursday, October 21, 2004

I know it's obvious that I saw the Motorcycle Diaries last night. What may not be obvious is that I'm not a member of "the cult of Che Guevara" as this Slate article describes it. Sure, Che killed people doing what he thought was right for the masses. What revolutionary, army, or government hasn't? Even good ol' Dwight D. gave the mandate to kill deserters back in the day.

The Slate article describes Che's actions as heinous. How are they any more heinous than the actions America has taken against many different peoples and nations? (Don't even get me started.) I believe that Che did what he thought was best for the cause at the time, just like everyone else does who truly believes in a cause. I am a non-violent person, and so was Che, but he and I realized that sometimes the only way to win may be violence. Maybe we're wrong. God, I hope we're wrong.

Che's was known throughout Latin America as a fair and thoughtful leader, who never killed just for the sake of killing. When troops from the opposing side were found or captured, he usually let them give up their ammo and walk away, except if they were guilty of desertion, treason, or torture. That being said, I believe he would have much preferred a war without violence. Period. And as far as Cuba is concerned, when he saw what direction the government was taking (Fidel's dictatorship), he stepped down from all of his governmental positions and left the country. He was for the people, not any one system or method of governing.

Everything credible I have ever read or seen about Ernesto Guevara de la Serna has
shown that he was an exceptional man of the highest degree. A family member in an A&E Biography remembered that at the age of seven Ernesto was constantly getting into trouble at home for giving the clothing away he was wearing to people in need, especially winter coats. When there was a huge disruption of electrical power and only the street lights in the wealthiest part of town, where he and his parents lived, were left on, he went around the streets smashing out all of the lights. He had a good and true sense of justice from a very early age. He was so honest, it was almost a character defect. I believe he had a beautiful soul and a wonderful character, but he was also naive.

Before anyone makes a judgment one way or the other -- READ. Read many different books, articles, diaries, etc. and form your own opinion. There must be a reason so many millions of people from all over the world respect and admire the man.

By the way, the movie was visually stunning and entertaining, if not a little treacle-y and sappy. Just ask me -- I cried embarassingly like a baby for the last 30 minutes or so.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Viva El Che.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Aaron and I got two free tickets to Margaret Cho's show here in Charlotte on Friday night. I had wanted to go to the show but didn't have the cash to do so. So, it was a wonderful treat to be able to go.

What made it so special for me was being able to be in a building filled with nothing but like-minded people. That thought, and the abundance of side-splitting humor, was enough to bring tears to my eyes quite a number of times. Sometimes living her in Charlotte I feel so isolated and alone in my beliefs. Obviously, I married someone whose views almost entirely match my own, so I'm never politically lonely in my own house, but outside my house I feel incredibly isolated. The only thing at the show I didn't like was the fact that there wasn't a single person I recognized, bar one woman visiting from another city. God, I hate the fucking bible belt.

Margaret was absolutely hilarious and informed. The only thing she said that I didn't quite agree with was that she was upset about the fact that Cat Stevens was harassed on his last flight home. I know that the harassment seems random and stupid, but having a close friend who was sent to fundamental Islamic camps in Britain hosted, taught and led by that man, who taught that violence would probably be the best solution, I am willing to see that there may have actually been a reason why he was singled out for such treatment.

I am making a resolution for the upcoming years right now, and that is to be more politically involved in my community, regardless of the community in which I live. I cannot sit idly back and watch as rights are taken away from women snd their bodies, wars that kill thousands of people are started on shaky premises, and gays aren't allowed to have their unions legally recognized, giving them the same benefits as straight couples, just to name a few.

Three last items:

  1. I love the story of the UNCC professor who went to the Bush convention wearing a Kerry shirt and vice-versa. At the Bush convention he was harassed, even somewhat physically, and was asked to leave. At the Kerry convention he was welcomed with open arms, Bush t-shirt and all.
  2. There was an editorial in last week's Observer which made me laugh outloud and later scared the crap out of me because many people reading it here probably nodded their heads in agreement. It said something like this: "Sure Kerry comes off charming and witty during the debates. But so does Satan."
  3. I got the coolest t-shirt at the Cho show.

Friday, October 15, 2004

To say I was afraid of everything as a child would be an understatement. I was petrified of everything all the time. I think that explains the adrenaline-junky attitude toward adult life I have right now. I mean, now, when I find something that scares me, I have to do it as soon as possible so I'm not afraid anymore. For example, I went to my 15-year high school reunion. I was petrified but I did it anyway, just so I'd never have to live in fear of it again. I'll also bungee jump, skydive or do whatever else comes my way.

Anyway, like I said, as a child I was incredibly scared to try anything new. I was always the last one to do anything new out of my circle of so-called friends. ('Mean-ass buzzards circling for the kill' would be a better description of the female friends I had while growing up. It's no wonder I preferred the boys instead.) There was one exception in my grade-school years, an exception that had to do with a cute boy, of course.

His name was Mark and he was about four years older than I was, which is an eternity when you're only seven or eight. I was at the community pool one day without the other evil little girls and I saw Mark by the diving boards. I decided to go follow him around like a tomboy puppy for a while. I had always had a crush on Mark because he was older, tall, lean and athletic, just like my father (Freud would have looooved me.) Mark was naturally cool, meaning he didn't have to work at it, and he was hilarious. Everyone who meets Mark to this day just loves him.

This was back in the days before everyone sued everyone else at the drop of a hat, the days when my local pool actually had two spring-board diving boards, a regular one and a 12-footer. (The pool now has no diving boards.) Mark was diving off the 12-ft. dive. I say 'diving' because no one under the age of 16 dove off that thing. We'd jump, but not dive. It was just too darn high. But Mark was diving, and I wanted him to like me and pay attention to me so I asked him if he could teach me how to do it. Being the nice kid he was, he agreed. That, and I think he was afraid of my sister, who was older and could beat the shit out of any boy. He told me what to do once I got to the top and I climbed up.

Let me just say that climbing up 12 freaking feet of steps with just a hand rail to hold on to was scary enough, but then you had to walk out the length of the board, about 9 feet, holding onto a railing which came up to my shoulders (there wasn't a lower one), meaning if my slippery wet feet took a misstep and I fell, I'd fall the 12 feet down to the cement below. I saw it happen twice. One kid broke both legs and the other, a drunken teenager, became a paraplegic.

I stood on the edge of the board and leaned over into a dive position. There wasn't going to be any spring in this dive, I was just trying to learn to go in head first from this height. And I stood some more. Then I stood for a while. I eventually stood there a little more, for what seemed like a half and hour. The kids waiting in line were screaming, "Shit or get off the pot!" Mark finally got embarrassed at waiting on me, his diving protege, to make the leap and told me to climb back down if I wasn't going to do anything but stand up there.

I gave up. I decided to turn back around, but turning back around on that springy board and walking back on it scared me to death. I tried and almost slipped and decided I just couldn't do it. I don't know why just jumping off the board didn't spring to mind, something I'd done at least 50 times before, but it didn't.

Thank God it didn't because being given the choice of diving off or climbing back down made the diving much easier. I went to the end of the board and dove. When I came to the surface the kids were yelling something about me 'taking long enough' but Mark told me I 'd done a great job, then sauntered off in the way only Mark knew how to hang out with his buddies who'd just shown up.

The next day I impressed the shit out of those nasty little girlfriends of mine. I believe it was the one and only time ever, but at least I got to do it once.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Last night when I came home around 9:30, I was hungry. The only thing in the house to eat was the same thing I had for breakfast -- a mixture of two cereals that both contain "Ass-reaming amounts of butthole-singeing fiber."

This was a BIG mistake. Do NOT attempt this at home.


Thursday, October 07, 2004

Whilst giving 42nd Street it's annual view, I realized that I have quite a list of movies I watch on an almost yearly basis. They are varied, and some are out-and-out garbage, but we all love some of those, don't we? This is by no means a complete list. These are just the ones I could come up with in 10 minutes, so I stopped at 20.

  1. My Fair Lady
  2. Sabrina (the original, of course)
  3. Roman Holiday
  4. Holiday
  5. Bringing Up Baby
  6. Gold Diggers of 1933
  7. Rosemary's Baby
  8. The Exorcist
  9. Top Hat
  10. The Gay Divorcee
  11. Monty Python and The Holy Grail
  12. Monty Python's Meaning of Life
  13. Life of Brian
  14. The Thin Man
  15. Roberta
  16. The Quiet Man
  17. Young Frankenstein
  18. Blazing Saddles
  19. Swing Time
  20. That Touch of Mink
  21. Pillow Talk
  22. North By Northwest
  23. Rear Window
  24. The Philadelphia Story
  25. Evil Dead

I made it to 25 and could still keep going.

By the way, Way Down In The Hole celebrated it's one-year anniversary in mid-September. Who'd a thought?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

For months I was seemingly unaffected by my Epstein-Barr virus, the virus which causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but over the last two weeks, it has returned with a vengeance. By the way, it's important to note that before I got said disease, I didn't believe it existed. Every person I knew who had it was lazy to begin with, and I thought it was just a cop-out. Needless to say, I will never ever say I don't believe in a disease again. I don't need that kind of karma.

I was talking to a woman last night who was inquiring where I'd been lately, and I decided to tell her the truth. It turns out that her mother has had it for 20+ years. Like myself, she tries to stay active and fit -- she is the senior US badmiton champ, afterall -- but she also has times like I'm going through where just to get out of bed is a major undertaking. I also learned that the EBV has been causing some of my other strange circulatory and nerve-related symptoms, such as: the right side of my face spasming and cramping up every night as I try to sleep; the feeling that there are bugs crawling on my skin; when I'm feeling really tired, my lips take on a purplish hue to match the dark circles under my eyes, etc. If I haven't said it before, this fucking sucks.

Enough complaining and wallowing in self-pity. I'll tell you what I've been doing while lounging around the house. I burned 15 CD's, including a lot of old funk and some new, like Black-Eyed Peas and the Fugees; Beatles; Stones; U2; The Jam; Iggy Pop; Bob Dylan; the Strokes; the Whitestripes; the New York Dolls and many, many more. I also created covers for each and every one on my beloved Microsoft Publisher. It's so easy to waste time and have fun on that software. Plus, it's musical month on TCM, so I've been DVRing those and watching them like crazy.

Oh, I did venture out to see a really cute movie, Garden State.

Sunday, October 03, 2004


On my way back from Raleigh, where I thankfully stayed with Tom, and Chapel Hill, where I saw my niece play two games of field hockey for UNC, I encountered a 40-minute standstill on 85S, due to a number of different accidents. While moving much slower than I could walk, and at most times being at a complete stop, I had occasion to ponder the trash strewn about the median dividing southbound and northbound lanes.

Mostly, I saw a kaleidoscopic array of plastic bits, none of which could be traced back to their original origin. The bright yellows, blues, whites, reds and other colors stood out easily from the grass growing there. One had to look a bit more closely to see the other items strewn about, items that must have been tossed out of a car's window, blown out of a vehicle, or thrown into the median through open or smashed window during an impact. Those items included various articles of clothing, a tarp, a huge purple blanket, many CD's and tapes, cigarette butts, toys and the like.

At one point within a foot of my car door there was a large chunk of fur. The more I pondered its origin, the more it became obvious that it had belonged to a dog. It had been in the sun so long that, while the fur was intact, the skin seemed almost tanned by the weather. This find definitely took a disturbing turn when, a few yards later, I spotted the remnants of a plastic portable dog kennel smashed to bits. Poor dog. At least I hope it was quick.

Along the same lines, I saw many large animals, like dogs and deer, as roadkill on this trip. I actually saw a lot more than usual. The only thing they all had in common, other than a ten-foot-long blood and tissue smear across both lanes, was the fact that none of the carcasses had a head anywhere in the vicinity. I mean, sometimes they were literally ripped limb from limb, with the ribcage being over here and a leg being over there, but never was there a head to be seen. This made me think, and the conclusion I came to is that the head is solid and round, unlike torsos and limbs, and are probably 'booted' by the impact, much like a soccer ball. There is probably a ditch somewhere filled with the heads of road kill where they eventually rolled to a stop. This is the kind of shit I think about when I'm bored. God save me from being bored.

Some things overheard this weekend:

"It comes with extra Zulu's. You just can't have enough Zulu's."
". . . so he has some place to put his foot when he pulls their tails off."
"His skin was ripped off of his chest by doing so many squats." (????)
"She just picked her fingertip up off the field and carried it over to the coach."

A few more things:

Michael -- I hope you're well again. I was sorry to hear you weren't feeling so great. Maybe after you feel better you could post now and again. I normally don't have any room to talk, but with you, I can get away with it.

Tom -- My pseudo-bro, thanks once again for you hospitality, taking me to spend time with your weird friends, making me laugh, making me watch a sick Japanese movie, letting me bitch about some things and listening while I get cash-register honest about some others.

Ed -- Although I don't comment on your blog very often, I need to thank you for all of the political items you post on an almost daily basis. I think the reason I don't comment more is because you just seem to sum up my thoughts exactly most times and the only thing I'd write would be "Right on!" or when I realized that I'm a white woman living in 2004 I'd write "So true. So true." or some other type of nonsense.

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