daily preciousness

Friday, February 28, 2003

valiant attempt

A valiant attempt at caring

I was doubled over, my hands numb from the cold. A chill wind blew in from the open window. Scratch, splatter, scratch splatter went the dustbin. I was using the bin to plow the water out of the basement, which was flooding. Melting snow and a nightlong rain had conspired to saturate the wintry earth. The water bellowed out of the drainpipe in the basement of the home. Scratch, splatter, scratch, splatter I went, for more than an hour.

Jerry had called out to me while I watched cartoons. The adventures of the Wild Thornberrys would have to wait. I went into my FIMA mode of flood management thinking. All I really needed was a clipboard and a suit and I would've been too fabulous for words.

Around me, the 50 or so boxes full of junk slowly saturated with the incoming water. "What am I saving?" I wondered. After about an hour, it grew increasingly difficult for me to keep up with the effort. I mean, I wasn't really making much of a difference -- not any noticeable difference. I mean, the water didn't seem to be gushing out of the drain as it had before. The water stayed about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch deep. No more, no less. Even after the hour of soughing it out, there didn't seem to be a difference. So I decided that I'd done all I could do.

And that was my valiant attempt at caring for this sad, bedraggled house.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003


This is my favorite quote from today's "devotional" scriptural reading (where the word "scriptural" actually means "internet")....

"We all must do our part and make television a more exciting and unpredictable place, like a truck stop restroom at 3:00AM."

- Josh "Livestock" Boruff

In this vein, I would just like to say that (A) it was a very lonely night for me that cold January evening and (B) it was the best truck stop on I-95.

Yes, of course, I'm talking about the Waa Waa gas station, located just off I-95, near the Potomac Mills Exit. The charming little truck stop has a hint of lavender (or is that lilac?) wafting in the warm air. The little bathroom walls (which always remind me of office dividers) are delightfully decorated with cute little sayings. "Willy haz a big cock" and "James Baldwin wasn't joking about Giovanni!" are some of my favorite little sayings.

Bubba, my old pal who drives a shiny silver tanker for Texaco, always has a kind word and a "surprise delivery" for me when he sees me there.

Shirley runs the little diner next door. Her ready smile and steaming pot of coffee always warm my heart -- that and the assortment of free flavored condoms, that is!

Like Josh said, the fun of the truck stop is that you can never guess what'll happen around 3 AM!

Once, when I was sipping on my gin and juice in the dirt-encrusted corner, playing a fast 'n' furious game of Pong™ on my iPod, some plump Thai drag queen crack-whore waltzed in on her 3-inch stiletto heels. She was smoking a fat Cuban and muttering to herself about “that no-good Dunkin’ Donut-eating john” who had just stiffed her after she’d given him a “handy.” I just rolled my eyes and laughed at her!

I mean, everybody knows you can make a lot more than that in the metro area… Like, at LEAST 150 on a good night. Maybe she wasn’t doing so well because of the rough economy. But still… I guess she needs to discuss her pricing plan with her pimping service. Geez. Talk about hitting rock-bottom! Only getting $75 for a handy?!? This isn’t the 80’s, after all! I mean, HELLO?!?

After taking a piss at the urinal, she turned around and saw me sitting there in the corner. I was minding my own business, just playing my game. What followed is much too incriminating to mention here.

Last week, a local high school principal got busted for his leather daddy tastes that he’d described (and photographed) online, so I’m just going to stop right there and let your mind lead you wherever it wants to go, you sick little piece of unsaved trailer trash!


Thursday, February 13, 2003

american dream

Brendon O'Brady, was a dirt-digger -- or a peat digger, to be precise.

He was my great-great-great-great-grandfather on my Dad's (very Irish) side.

Brendon dug turf, near the River MacLeen. He waded, hip-deep in the sloshy lowland peat bogs, day after day.

By night, he led the lads in pub songs of valiant heroes and great battles.

He fell in love with Kathleen Behan, raven-haired, whip-snap sharp.

She loved to read stories late into the night, though most women back then could neither read nor write.

She preferred stories about heroes rescuing fair maidens, but tolerated Brendon's tales of valiant heroes and great battles.

They would do in a pinch.

And there was pinching going on in the cozy nooks of the public houses, during their stolen moments.

By the River Macleen they would steal away, holding hands and spending all day.

Kathleen was the daughter of the wealthy lord of the county Caven.

He was a stern, sour man who had a birthmark on his face that flared up whenever he was mad. He often was.

The Lord didn't approve of Brendon -- didn't want Kathleen to marry a man so lowly.

But Kathleen had different plans. And the scheming began.

One night, Brendon put a ladder up to her window.

One climbed up, two climbed down. By the light of the moon, her raven tresses shone.

She carried with her a single item. It was a blue wedding dress, worn by her mother and her mother's mother.

(She wouldn't run away with Brendon to live in sin -- this was Catholic Ireland, after all!)

In her father's stable, they mounted the fastest horses and fled.

When her father rose at first light, he saw Kathleen had taken flight.

He clutched his birthmark and made a vow,

"They may run, but I will catch them, somehow."

When he got to the stable, all his horses were gone, so he ran by foot.

But by the time he got to Dublin, they'd already wed.

They were a curious sight, I'm sure. Brendon wore the turf-stained clothes of a peasant. Kathleen was immaculate in her blue dress and her long black hair.

They got tickets for the next ship to America.

But the wedding ceremony had allowed her father time to catch up with them.

At the dockyard, the ship was leaving just as

Lord Behan arrived. He didn't catch them. So he caught them with a promise.

With his birthmark glowing scarlet, he cried,

"If you leave, you understand, you'll be dead to me and dead to Ireland."

Kathleen wept, falling into Brendon's strong arms. He stroked her hair and promised, despite her father's threats,

"One day, one day, Kathleen, we'll see our families, and the River Macleen."

The passage was difficult. Brendon grew despondent as Kathleen grew green.

A terrible storm engulfed the ship.

In the height of the squall, Brendon was washed overboard.

But before he knew what was happening, another wave came and washed him right back.

Before long, Kathleen recovered from her illness and her color returned. Brendon's spirits brightened.

Soon he was telling stories and leading the lads in drinking songs and telling tales of valiant heroes and great battles.

Kathleen joined him. And when she drank, what a mouth she had on her!

So loudly did she laugh, so fiercely was she a swearer,

the captain declared her an honorary mariner.

The captain threatened to throw her overboard at one point.

Brendon laughed at this and offered to lend him a hand. "She'll probably wash back up like I did," he joked.

"The ocean would love the likes of me, but I reckon it knows well enough to spit you out, Brendon O'Brady," she countered.


Their ship arrived in New Orleans harbor on July 4th, 1???.

They moved to north Louisiana. Brendon farmed and built a small cabin in the rolling hills of Winnfield, Louisiana.

(They reminded him of the hills around the peat bogs back home.)

Soon a son was born. They named him Brendon Behan Brady.

When the Civil War broke out, the new father went to fight for the Union.

Their Parish hadn't seceded from the Union, you see. It was one of the only parts of the South not to.

Kathleen and her son wanted a flag to fly above their home, to show support for Brendon.

But flags were scarce and there was little cloth to be found.

They took a cotton sack and made the white portions of the flag.

They dyed other portions of the cloth red with Indian berries.

But blue cloth proved impossible to find.

Kathleen couldn't imagine any other way, so she took out her wedding dress -- one of her only possessions from home.

With tears swelling in her eyes, she cut out the blue background for the white stars.

Her son cut down a sapling tree, and the Irish family flew an American flag above their little home.

Miraculously, Brendon came back from the war unscathed.

Brendon taught his son the songs of his youth and the stories of valiant heroes and great battles.

He worked his land but often swore

that he'd return to the land they'd left long before.

They prospered. And after many years, they eventually earned enough money to travel back to Ireland,

for he and Kathleen longed for their son to see and be seen

by their families, and the River MacLeen.

Ireland was not dead to them, but Kathleen's father was.

They rested flowers atop her father's grave, red ones, as bright as his birthmark.

They joined old friends at the pub, and, for a change, told brand new tales…

And, of course, tales of valiant heroes and great battles

But this time, they happened to be true… and they were set in a land called America.

terror (top ten)

This is chilling. My friend sent it to me right after he pointed out the presence of surface-to-air missiles scattered throughout the DC area. Yikes.

This is the creepy e-mail message from Odell Huff. As my pal Todd describes him, Odell is "one of our fair city's
most dashing, colorful, and brilliant gay Libertarians
(and such a party boy, too!)"

From: OdellnDC@aol.com

Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 13:37:15 EST

Subject: Odell's Top 10 Geopolitical Predictions

Odell’s Top 10 Geopolitical Predictions 2/11/03

Ok, maybe "predictions" is too strong of a word, we’ll call them "fears."

Don’t take it to court:

1. There is no chance Hussein will exile, so a US invasion of Iraq is

virtually certain.

2. The invasion will be a blitzkrieg, with hundreds and thousands of air bombings in the first days.

3. Hussein knows there is nothing he can do to stop the US bombings, so he will focus all of his capabilities towards attacking Israel. He is prepared and very willing to be martyred, and sacrifice his country, for the cause of the annihilation of Israel.

4. Israel has the absolute right to defend itself, and this time, the

willingness. The recent elections were a strong endorsement that Israel wants aggressive retaliation. I believe that if Hussein attacks with biological or chemical weapons -- and if he has them, he will -- Israel will nuke Baghdad. In fact, this may be the plan: the US technological advantages are much reduced in urban warfare. Trying to take a resistant Baghdad with infantry would be bloody and feed momentum of war resistance here in the US.

However, if Israel nukes the city, we could just walk right in. The world will be outraged if tactical nukes are used no matter who does it, so it might as well be Israel since everyone hates them already anyway.

5. If Israel nukes Baghdad, there is a good chance the rest of the Arab world will unite in another effort to attack Israel. We all know who would win that conflict, so maybe we could have a Five Day War, and this time no land will be given back. "Visit Israel -- see the Pyramids!"

6. Simultaneous with a US invasion of Iraq, there will be multiple terrorist attacks in the US. The targets are those which are likely to have the greatest psychological and economic multiplier effect in making people scared enough to halt economic activity, which will bring the economy crashing. A school, mall, or major metro station suicide bombing could achieve this. A bug in the water would be good. A stadium bombing or shooting down a plane might kill a lot of people but would have minimal residual reverberations.

7. NATO is dissolving, as I’ve been predicting, balance is realigning. "Old Europe" is terrified of US military hegemony. They have good reason to be afraid. Throughout history what has mattered in Europe is balance of power.

Whenever one country developed hegemony -- and usually pushed its advantage by trying to take over everyone else -- the rest of Europe united to defeat the hegemon. All the treaties were designed to maintain a balance of power. The Cold War was a balance of power. To Europe, balance means stability, and a major hegemon, no matter how currently benign, means eventual war and probably someone trying to take over the world. We Americans might be smug in the stability of our benign democracy, but Europeans have no such confidence. Continental Europe will unite with Russia to create a balance against the American Empire, and US and British military imperialism.

Odell’s Tom Clancy Scenarios:

8. If there is a fourth major attack on Washington (following the Pentagon, anthrax and sniper attacks), martial law could be declared. Remember that Abraham Lincoln suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus and arrested the Maryland State Legislature, so there is a precedent. If I had dictatorial aspirations, I would make sure, in the event of crisis, that Congress were safely sequestered, for its own protection. I would also make sure I put half of the House and half the Senate in a bunker in Virginia, and half the

House and half the Senate in a bunker in Maryland, and tell them they could leave when it’s safe. In the meantime, Congress would have no quorum, the Supreme Court would have no claimant, and the executive branch would have exclusive authority. Despite our confidence, there are many historical examples of republics going dictatorship, Rome and Germany being most relevant. The American Empire would be easier to achieve than you think.

9. The great wild card in all this is China. They have an irrational desire to possess Taiwan, like an obsessed ex-boyfriend. If there ever is an opportunity to invade Taiwan, this is it. The US will be fully engaged in

Afghanistan, fighting terrorism abroad, invading Iraq, and fighting terrorism at home. If China were to attack Taiwan, we would not have the capability to defend her, nor, I submit, the willingness. In the middle of all this, would we really be willing to take on China, which has 1.5 billion people, and ICBMs capable of striking the West Coast, just to defend Taiwan? After all, Hong Kong is fine, Taiwan could operate like that, so who cares? It is exactly because we have no interest in defending Taiwan under these circumstances that I think there is an excellent chance China will press this advantage. It will never have this opportunity again.

10. In short, if Bush invades Iraq, I am fearing/predicting World War III.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

the voices (in my head)

It was a few months ago when they started ... the voices, I mean.

At first I thought they were the squirrels. But their voices weren’t high-pitched. (The squirrels’ voices are squeaky. . .)

The voices in my head are now proclaiming that they are Santa and will give me everything I desire if I listen and act upon their requests. (This includes requests of a marshmallow variety.)

This puts me in a strong state of anxiety and fear -- I basically freak out. They brag that I have no proof. Proof – as if I need proof that they’re there!

This continues through February. February 13:I go into the city to visit my boyfriend. I have developed a painful ear infection and a cold because of having taken a very cold bath (with bath salts) month before. While I am in DC, the audio volume is seems to be at maximum, the voices are now deeper and continually telling me that they are actually Satan (and had actually suffered from a brief bout of dyslexia before, when they’d said “Santa.”

And they want to see me die -- they proclaim that they want me to jump off of a building… Well, they actually specify a one story building, not a very tall building. Do they want me to sprain an ankle? Or maybe they just want the wind to mess up my hair?

I think they go as far as informing me that my boyfriend is Santa and that I will give birth to Santa's child.

At least he’ll be jolly. I want a jolly child. At this point, I am seeing crude pink and blue images of people in pain, screaming, but in still frames. These are most clearly seen when my eyes are closed. The blue and pink do merge to form clear purple images in some instances, but basically it acts like a slow-scan poorly composited video. It’s kind of pretty, in a purplish, people-screaming-in-pain sort of way, you know?

Hmmm. The more I think about it, the more I think that the voices in my head are actually just voices from a public address system.