Archive for August, 2008

Biden, Ahoy!

John McCain was wrong, Barack Obama was right! – way to pare it down Joe!

Besides his sincere words about his family, it’s his regular stump, which is good – his personal story is very compelling. His son did a great job setting him up, making Michelle Obama cry (among others). But I wanted some more zingers beyond the Bush/McCain “Freudian slip”. Don’t tone it down for nobody Joe!

Also, his mom is perhaps the cutest old lady EVER.

p.s. Barack comes out for a little sumthin, sumthin.

Where is Bill Richardson?

Why can’t he speak tonight? Perhaps after fisticuffs with Bill Clinton backstage he has to wait until his bloody nose and black eye are cleaned up. BOOYAH!

Work beckons

Tomorrow I begin my teaching assistant job at the local county jail. Unfortunately, but understandably, there is little I can write about my experience without getting myself into trouble/crossing confidentiality lines.  I may try anyway.  I am nervous (mostly of what the students will think of me) but overall excited to work with a population that I can learn so much from, and if I do my job right, can learn a lot from me.

Poetry by William Wantling

I’ve got to be honest, I can
make good word music and rhyme

at the right times and fit words
together to give people pleasure

and even sometimes take their
breath away–but it always

somehow turns out kind of phoney.
consonance and assonance and inner

rhyme won’t make up for the fact
that I can’t figure out how to get

down on paper the real or the true
which we call Life. Like the other

day. The other day i was waling
on the lower exercise yard here

at San Quentin and this cat called
Turk came up to a friend of mine

and said Ernie, I hear you’re
shooting on my kid. And Ernie

told him So what, punk? And Turk
pulled out his stuff and shanked

Ernie in the gut only Ernie had a
metal tray in his shirt. Turk’s

shank bounced right off him and
Ernie pulled his stuff out and of

course Turk didn’t have a tray and
caught it dead in the chest, a bad

one, and the blood tha tcame to his
lips was a bright pink, lung blood

and he just laid down in the grass
and said Shit. Fuck it. Sheeit.

Fuck it. And he laughed a soft long
laugh, 5 minutes, then died. Now

what could consonance or assonance or
even rhyme do with something like that?


I just finished Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book The Beautiful Struggle.  Confused as I was from the insurmountable references to 80s Baltimore black culture, I was moved by his lyricism and insight. As someone who reads Coates’ blog at The Atlantic and has considered him more or less a peaceful, thoughtful, and funny person, I was surprised and humbled by his life story. (Though I sure we all have our teenage indiscretions that made us the mature adults we are today…)  Coates has just told the story of a dispute he had with a classmate over a few words of innocent disrespect. The most powerful and humbling passage comes near the end of the book.

Nowadays, I cut on the tube and see the dumbfounded looks, when over some minor violation of name and respect, a black boy is found leaking on the street. The anchors shake their heads. The activists give their stupid speeches, praising mythical days when all disputes were handled down at Ray’s Gym. Politicians step up to the mic, claim the young have gone mad, their brains infected, and turned superpredator. Fuck you all who’ve ever spoken so foolishly, who’ve opened your mouths like we don’t know what this is. We have read the books you own, the scorecards you keep–done the mathand emerged prophetic. We know how we will die–with cousins in double murder suicides, in wars that are mere theory to you, convalescing in hospitals, slowly choked out by angina and cholesterol. We are the walking lowest rung, and all tha tstands between us and beast, between us and the local zoo, is respect, the respect you take as natural as sugar and shit. We know what we are, that we walk like we are not long for this world, that this world has never longed for us.


I am still digesting this passage. My initial reaction was to tear up with guilt, look out the window, and apologize. I may continue my attempts to understand, but I never will fully – and that is what I have gained from this book. It’s something I’ve always known-that innately, as a white woman, no matter how much rap/hip-hop I listen to, how many black authors I read, how much black history I comprehend – I will never understand that feeling (not to mean that it is not real) of constant disrespect. This passage hit that message home.

update: Amidst the seriousness there are quite a few laughs!

Past BAD, future GOOD

Well, they be on message – yay! It gets redundant for us nerds who follow politics, but it is what needs to be done and let’s pray to bejesus it works.

Give me my f-in mail!

I love my house. I love Bloomington. I hate my mailman. Apparently, we need to put a mailbox (which is currently on our house next to the door) on the road, so our lazy ass mailman doesn’t have to get out of his truck. Fine. I understand…or I would understand if he didn’t already have to get out of his truck to give our next door neighbor only 25 ft away her mail.
When a new resident moves in, the USPS can tell them what to do. They tell us “Put a new mailbox on the road.” Our neighbor has lived there for ??? years (she’s 80 or so, with meticulously placed lawn ornaments that include: bunnies, rainbow windmills, pink flamingos, etc.) so she doesn’t have to follow the new rule.  Of course, as renters, we are not responsible. Our landlord seems to be taking his sweet ass time putting a mailbox in. So Jeff and I are left to meekly as the postal secretary every few days to get our mail and she warned me that we can’t keep picking it up (methinks if Jeff was getting it, it’d be ok.) Sometimes, our mailman TAKES WITH OUR MAIL HIM ON HIS TRUCK and DOES NOT DELIVER TO US.  I sense a conspiracy.

Vilsack & Biden: A Love Story

Excuse my nostalgia for Iowa, but it’s just that our politicians (minus Grassley & a few other losers) know what’s up. Marc Ambinder has a sentimental story about Vilsack (huge Hillary supporter) and Biden. Ah, legislative love…

p.s. Biden at the convention last night: Lovable douche? His teeth shine like Chuck Norris’

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