I am sitting here at home typing. It is so damned cold in this house. Dad is watching another interminably long t’ai chi tape. Heather and Brooks are out having breakfast with one of Brooks’s friends who happened to be in town. Mom is primping for the funeral. The visitation has been arduous for dad. Seven hours on Friday and Saturday and then the funeral today – a service in the chapel and then an hour drive out to the cemetery for the interrment. It is a strained dichotomy at times between dad and all of his half-siblings and the propensity of the siblings to steamroll eachother in conversation and bicker constantly.
This is a terrible war. On Sunday Morning they had a brief history of Iraq and all I kept thinking about was that this was the same bullshit we pulled at the end of World War II – in sewing up a patchwork of nations into Yugosalvia and the Czechoslovakia. That basically the British came in to rape and pillage the three regions of Iraq – the Suuni, Kurdish and I can’t remember the third group – of the Shiites. And they basically drew their map to include these three regions of diversely different people and then we act surprised when they don’t cooperate as a cohesive whole. Iraq is a state made of three different nations. And the constant disregard for that oh-so-sanctimonious idea of a nation of people having a right to self-governance and self-determinance is just bullshit. The idea that once again the British (or the French or the Americans) had come in and reformed the destiny of a people and culture wholly different from their own and with the sole purpose of squeezing out petroleum. And that we all act surprised when there is unrest. And the idea that they installed a strong armed King (and later a dictator that was Saddam’s precursor) because they knew it took a dictator to keep three different nations from imploding together.
The best and most noble outcome would be the United States being a steward to these three separate nations and helping to ensure and rebuild these three groups of people into three disctinctly different and culturally diverse nations. And that these groups have full rights to their lands resources.
But we all know what is going to happen – we all know that Halliburton is going to be called into reconsruc an entire country at an obscene cost to us. That Buh’s oil cronies will benefit and lay claim to Iraq’s oil resources – dissolving any thought that maybe the Iraqis should have control over their own destiny. There will be fake elections to elect the leader most deemed to stay in-line with need to American control and interests. And thirty years from now – there will still be 3 nations of people being forced to make it work. That or I wonder if there would be a restoration movement. Where the separate ethnic groups inside the country decide to revolt agaist the white/european/Christian imposed definition and lash out against the controllers.
Ron and I have been a little on the rocks lately. We have had very intense discussions about money and I sometimes wonder if we have what it takes to make it in the long run given our very divergent views on money and finance. Th whole idea of not being able to control your spending is so foreign to me – this cute little wink that ‘I just can’t help myself when I see a sale’ is so much bullshit and a convenient and immature excuse to spend beyond one’s means. I find myself being even more spartan in my daily living and after my recent reading of ‘No Logo’ and the great illustration of the effects of globalization – I just feel appalled at my own spending and shopping habits. As I come home here to Indiana where Wal-Mart is king and I wonder what would happen if the locals knew of Wal-Mart’s anti-union tactics… and that they claim so many full-time employees when full-time is barely even 30 hours a week. The whole idea that so many jobs today have no career development behind them or lifetime plan or track. That some will remain waiters and servers and retail associates for the rest of their lives with little increase in pay or merit or compensation.
Midway was in a lockdown on my flight home. It was insane. Absolutely crazy.
One of my half-aunts introduced me to her son who fought in the first GUlf War and was talking about how all the men in his group (him included) lost their hair when they came back. And I just wonder about how long it will take this round of veterans to get the armed forces to pay out their benefits for any other mysterious gulf war syndrome.
I’m not going to watch the Oscars tonight. Why sit through it when you can be barraged with the highlights the next morning? I really don’t care who wins what. It just seems to self-masturbatory for the entire entertainment industry to once again stick it’s collective head up it’s ass and dole out preconveived and prepaid awards to go get all of us to buy and watch more. And the whole concession of not taking as long a stroll on the red carpet – as if that is some kind of contribution to the war effort.
And down here in Indiana they are consumed with the NCAA – it is funny that since Chicgo has the Bulls and the Bers and the Cubs and this huge industry of professional sports – that that seems to eclipse the constant watch of college athletics. But down here in Hoosier-ville there is nothing to watch on TV except the war, the NCAA or dad’s t’ai chi tapes – which are as effective as Novacaine.
I have the usual get-back-to-Chicago antsy-ness. I do have a lot of stuff to get done this week in preparation for a conference I’m going to on Friday and Saturday out at O’Hare.
I feel bloated and big after the usual high-carb and high-fat intake of dining at home. True, I could not eat like a pig while I’m here.
We went to Value-City yesterday. They had redone the inside and it looked a lot less skanky than it used to. A huge black woman was in for a surprise when a wooden chair exploded underneath her weight sending her and her friends laughing hysterically out of the place. Bouffants still have not fallen out of fashion here. Someone needs to do some kind of government intervention with subsidizing haircuts down here. This place hasn’t changed. It is like some kind of time warp. And obesity seems to be a regional past time as well.
Grandpa looked alright in the casket. It is always so odd to me – ever since I was a kid – the whole open casket thing. That everyone is sitting around talking and I just want to say: ‘Excuse me, there’s a dead body in the room!’ But he had been prepared very nicely and the Femasons came in and did an hour ceremony after Hether, Brooks and I left. I’m lad that dad and mom are on spring break now since Dad has been burned out for the past two weeks from his dad’s fall and hospitalization and passing and burial. I am trying to remember the last funeral I was at. I can’t remember. I always am fascinated about how different people my age grow up with funerals. On my mom’s side of the family, funerals are a huge deal and you bring everybody – even babies and toddlers. For awhile, when grandma’s brothers and sisters kicked off at a steady clip, there were sometimes a funeral every season – that coupled with grandma’s penchant for huge family parties made for a constant stream of family engagements. And mom’s side of the family certainly knows how to have a good time. Between the drinking and the eating and the cut-throat volleyball it was always pretty intense.
Dad still has Windows ME – and I keep thinking that I need to come down sometimes and install Windows XP for him. But I need a weekend to do it so I have time to test everything and make sure that all of his preferences and what-not get transferred over and files and stuff.
I was going to try and get the earlier flight back to Chicago tongiht but it wasn’t there anymore. Probably the only reason there’s a flight tonight is because I’m on it. Ron is laying over in Cleveland tonight. I think this is his last weekend working for a long time. That or he’s still on for next week. I guess it is so frustrating seeing him in financial peril and trying to make suggestions and they are met with no consideration. And I find it fascinating that he is entertaining living off unemployment after all of his tirades about lazy Americans and the welfare state. Et tu brute? I’ve suggested he start tailoring wedding dresses for the huge FIlipino community here. Or get his personal training certification. Or at least stop eating out for nearly every meal. Or cancelling his broadband for a while.
I have to admit that I have never understood what ‘Et tu Brute’ is supposed to mean in a converstaion. I understand where it comes from but I don’t understand the whole reason or context to call it up in. There’s a few things like that in the English language that I just don’t get.
God it’s cold in here. I am antsy and impatient. I’m always like this the day that I go home. Teresa had left a message that all the reports we’d worked on in Excel for 8 hours were wrong. Absolutely fantastic. We had some revisions to our shitty online management system that were requested nine months ago and now that they are ready to be made no one can remember why we requested them in the first place. The IT process at my day job company is so anti-business.
I turn 28 in a month. Every birthday I am displeased that I’m not further along with where I wanted to be. Everything seems to develop too slow for me. I always feel like I’m wasting my time no matter what I’m doing. I still wonder if I hold dreams of being successful in theatre, acting or playwriting. I just don’t know if I care anymore. The money and politics just seems like too much work sometimes. It always seems like a losing battle. I’m never going to lose money again like I did last time.
This wait is awful. I know it is driving dad crazy. I just still can’t believe the visitation was so brutal. And there weren’t the throngs of people I was expecting. So basically you’re standing around with the siblings you never grew up with for seven consecutive hours.
I feel so disgusting after eating the way that I have. I feel like I’ll never get rid of the bodyfat that I want to get rid of. That I’m doomed to be stuck where I’m at. And I haven’t really gained a whole hell of a lot recently. I feel like I’ll just look pasty and fat at the beach – and why do I care? I don’t like going to the beach anyway. It is a waste of time. I don’t enjoy laying there and listening to all the catty faggots. Christ.
I used to dream of being the next big writer or the next big author or the next big boy wonder in theatre or ebusiness.
I am at SDF now and waiting for my flight home. Mom and dad and I went to Sam’s Tavern for dinner. The one thing I always want to go there for is that they put a slice of orange in your tea instead of lemon. The funeral went fine. I was a pallbearer along with five other older cousins who I will have never met and will probably never see again. The levels of grief in attendance were the gamut. One cousin was hysterical with grief and was clinging to Heather and I insisting that we are all still a family and that we have to stay together and that Jesus is watching over us and the Lord is with us everyday. During the eulogoy I silently edited in my head as if it were for my own passing: ‘hmm… strike that… move that there… change that ‘God’ to ‘the universe’… strike that reference to paraide… less bible here… insert Nelson Mandela quote there…’. The airport here is much much less busy than Midway. Security much less of a nightmare. Heather and Brooks drove home directly after the funeral. It was a long drive out to Bardstown and the funeral service at the grave lasted under 15 minutes. Our family is always surprised by Protestant rites because they are so brief. With Catholic funerals you have to put a full mass into the bargain and that’s before you even get to the cemetery and do some hymns and then flowers and then blessings and incantations. Mom and dad said that Musa Belle’s funeral there were still people getting out of their cars when they lowered her casket into the vault. It was odd all the references to John and Musa Belle’s marriage and faithfulness and commitment when there is dad sitting right there – the prodigal bastard son… they still think there might be another sister elsewhere that they haven’t been able to contact yet.
We stopped by my old high school and saw Dale and Bobba. They are gearing up to do the school version of Les Miserables at the high school. Dale was in heavy smoking phase as always. He hasn’t changed one bit.
I wished I’d brought my headphones and I”d be listening to some DJ Irene right now. My right wrist hurts a bit. I got about 45 minutes till the flight home. I am antsy as always. Anxious. Hee hee… the songs playing on the airport muzak are the same thing that they’ve been playing for probably the past 8 years… ‘I been tryin’ to git down… to the heart of the matter… where the will gets weak… and my thoughts seems to shatter but I think it’s about forviveness…’. This song was in my senior retreat. I still need to do one of those – with my old high school. I’d be the rollicking good time heretic on a Jesus-freak weekend. I think it’d be fun.
I am bored bored bored. I want to be home. I know that the dirty dishes are going to stink up my apartment. I need to get my shelves up. Damn – I forgot to get the mollies from dad to put my shelves into the drywall. I need to also do my damned taxes as well.
‘Sarah…. sarah… no time is a good time for goodbyes…’
Dear all Nextel phone owners:
You think it’s really cute that you have that walky-talky feature on your phone, don’t you? Truth of the matter is nobody but you likes that little double beep that begins and ends every spoken transaction and we all just secretly wish your phone would turn tino salt whilst you hold it in your meaty paws. And you probably think that when your cellphone plays a tune that it’s pretty cute too. Notice how you cringe when someone else’s phone rings ‘My Heart Will Go On’ or ‘It’s Getting Hot In Here’? That’s how we all feel about you with your phone.
And to those that let your phone ring once. You start looking for it. It rings again. You find it. It rings thrice and you pull it out. It rings a fourth time and you stare at the caller ID. Then it rings a fifth time and you decide not to answer it. And it takes you a six ring before you learn how to turn the ringer off and let it go into voicemail. Real classy.
Ah… the plane is here – we fly in 20 minutes. Or 30. Trying to decide if I’ll take myself out to dinner when I get home. I just don’t know.
(later on the plane)
I just feel like I am never happy and satisfied just being who and what I am. I think it is part of my upbringing to always be rooting for and striving for something more or something different. Will I ever be the LA screenwriter I envisioned myself to be. Or on the cover of magazines as I had once hoped? Does it matter? Does it mean anything? Am I too wrapped up in acclaim and accomplishment?
I had a terrible feeling of dread on the plane as we were taking off and I have started getting in the habit of counting how many rows there are between me and exit. And thinking how quickly I could jump the other passengers and crawl over their seats to get out of the plane. I shouldn’t have to live like this.
I have an hour and a half left on this laptop.
I miss Karen and the whole Karen, Brigitte, Andy, Matt and everybody just moved here for a great adventure energy. I think of scheduling a retreat to have in a year or so and have my brain trust and think tank there with me.
I need major pow-wow time with Monica and Beth. Something about Queen Latifah really makes me miss Monica. I think it’s the brash brassyness of Monica and her call ’em as she see’s ’em style.
9 minutes until we descend to Chicago. 57 degrees in the city.
On the orange line into the city. Not moving yet. The flight was uneventful. Called mom and dad and told them I got home alright. Called Heather and Brooks and told them I got home okay. Called Ron but he didn’t answer.
I was thinking of my blog and how I have really become a lot more politically charged in my life in jsut the past few months. I guess I always knew that there were forces at work that weren’t being talked about but I’m now finding the journalism and research behind what I suspected was going on all along. I always knew that there was bullshit behind everything and I’m just now figuring it all out – and understanding what it all means. And seeing every dollar I spend or every cent that I am taxed as a vote or an endorsement of a certain worldview.
I worry less and less about Ron and I. I figure that I need to keep focused on m life path and trajectory and let him take care of himself. I need to think harder about our compatibility economically. Isn’t it nuts that it might come to that? I have a lot of meetings to schedule this week. I know that for sure.
I definitely need a fucking massage. Jesus. I’m tight. I need to get back to the piano. I’m a song and dance man at heart. One way or another I have to get up and in front of people. I need to be at a piano or a podium or at a play
Ah – we’re at Roosevelt. Almost home. Actually then I have to go to the brown line. I thought of goin gto the Red line and taking it north. But I think that I want to stop at home first.