jump over the last cherry tree

So Friday night, I caught the tail-end of CNN’s second showing of the Presidential Debates.  Now it’s not very often I watch campaign stuff (mostly because I can’t get over how ripe with bullshit it is), but this election is very special to me and, damnit, I want it to end well.  After all, this is the very first time I will get to vote in a Presidential Election.  My generation, as a whole, is going to make a difference: a real difference.  And I’m going to be informed.  …Somehow.

But anyway, watching McCain get all puffy and excited for an hour got me in a political mood.  My election mojo is on the prowl, and I feel like talking politics.  Enjoy it while it lasts.  For while I am always happy to jump in to a political debate and laugh when the other person is completely uninformed (better yet when they’re just old fashioned stupid), I rarely go out of my way to honestly research what the other side is saying about us goddamn liberals.

We’re at that point in time in Election Season when headlines like ‘<a href=”http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/27/palin-takes-questions-during-cheesesteak-run/”>Palin Takes Questions During Cheesesteak Run</a>’ are front page news (or, since we are in the information age, homepage news).  People are coming to blows about every little disagreement and everyone is more than willing to tell people that their chosen candidate is a doo-doo head.  I think it is important, then, for everyone to take a step back for a second and remember that we’re all in this together and, regardless of the results of this election, we will all soon be stuck underneath the same person.  So instead of thinking about what would be best for me, personally, we should start thinking about what would be best for everyone as a whole.  At the same time, however, I realise that this is rather impossible because, after all, we are Americans.  We are the people who demand instant gratification and constant capitol.  We are the people who come to fisticuffs over Tickle-Me-Elmos the day after Thanksgiving.  Sorry to say, folks, but we’re really not that great at the whole ‘Communal Mindset’.  But I’ll leave Wole Soyinka to that essay.

Mine today is going to focus on everyone’s favourite Stepford Wife, Sarah Palin.

Everyone I know — seriously.  EVERYONE — has been hatin’ on Sarah Palin.  Which I totally understand.  There are a great many things to hate on.  The argument I’ve been hearing most recently is that she made women in her town buy their own rape kits.  This doesn’t sit well with me, but I’m also aware that the facts have gotten a bit skewed about this story.  It is election season, after all.  I just now read a very animated facebook note written by a girl I went to high school with about how this is completely false and people shouldn’t hate on Sarah Palin.


I must admit that I don’t like Sarah Palin.  I just don’t.  I have many reasons for this (par example, she thinks women belong in the kitchen and yet is running for vice presidency; WAKE UP AND SMELL THE HYPOCRISY), but my biggest reason is that she is a flaming idiot.  Maybe you aren’t aware of this, madame, but you should probably know what the vice president does before trying to be vice president.  Just a thought.  But in my defense, I dislike every idiot.  The only ones I don’t openly hate happen to be related to me and my father has politely asked that I avoid making family reunions even more awkward.

But I digress.

When thinking about Sarah Palin and what I wanted to say concerning her, I came across another facebook note, posted by my good friend Randy Colburn, and it really hit the spot in what I feel needs to go on during this new campaign.  This essay was written by Gloria Steinem (the newest of my research crushes) and has been circulating around the internet since early September.  I really think it’s worth the read, so if you have some free time, please check this out.

Here’s the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing — the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party — are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women — and to many men too — who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the “white-male-only” sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.

But here is even better news: It won’t work. This isn’t the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It’s about making life more fair for women everywhere. It’s not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about baking a new pie.

Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton’s candidacy stood for — and that Barack Obama’s still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, “Somebody stole my shoes, so I’ll amputate my legs.”

This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can’t do the job because she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn’t say the same about a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden’s 37 years’ experience.

Palin has been honest about what she doesn’t know. When asked last month about the vice presidency, she said, “I still can’t answer that question until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?” When asked about Iraq, she said, “I haven’t really focused much on the war in Iraq.”

She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular, and she’s won over Alaskans mostly by using unprecedented oil wealth to give a $1,200 rebate to every resident. Now she is being praised by McCain’s campaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax. Perhaps McCain has opposed affirmative action for so long that he doesn’t know it’s about inviting more people to meet standards, not lowering them. Or perhaps McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department, of putting a job candidate’s views on “God, guns and gays” ahead of competence. The difference is that McCain is filling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency.

So let’s be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can’t tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom. If that were not the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows what a vice president does and who has thought about Iraq; someone like Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. McCain could have taken a baby step away from right-wing patriarchs who determine his actions, right down to opposing the Violence Against Women Act.

Palin’s value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women’s wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves “abstinence-only” programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers’ millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn’t spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

I don’t doubt her sincerity. As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Assn., she doesn’t just support killing animals from helicopters, she does it herself. She doesn’t just talk about increasing the use of fossil fuels but puts a coal-burning power plant in her own small town. She doesn’t just echo McCain’s pledge to criminalize abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wade, she says that if one of her daughters were impregnated by rape or incest, she should bear the child. She not only opposes reproductive freedom as a human right but implies that it dictates abortion, without saying that it also protects the right to have a child.

So far, the major new McCain supporter that Palin has attracted is James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Of course, for Dobson, “women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership,” so he may be voting for Palin’s husband.

Being a hope-a-holic, however, I can see two long-term bipartisan gains from this contest.

Republicans may learn they can’t appeal to right-wing patriarchs and most women at the same time. A loss in November could cause the centrist majority of Republicans to take back their party, which was the first to support the Equal Rights Amendment and should be the last to want to invite government into the wombs of women.

And American women, who suffer more because of having two full-time jobs than from any other single injustice, finally have support on a national stage from male leaders who know that women can’t be equal outside the home until men are equal in it. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are campaigning on their belief that men should. 


deep in the belly of a whale

Here is a brief of what’s been going on in my life:

I spent almost the entire weekend in bed sleeping.  I had a constant, throbbing headache, incessant ear pain, stomach aches, and body aches.  I don’t know what the flip was going on, but I felt like shit.  This practise did little for my academia, of course, and now I am hopelessly behind in school work.  What else is new?

Monday morning, my ears got so bad that I went to the ER (because I knew there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of me getting into the Student Health Centre, even if I wanted to).  I spent a good three hours there, all to find out that they have no idea what’s wrong with me.  What else is new?  They did, however, set me up to see a specialist in Herrin (a nearby town) at the end of October (which she had to fight them for) and they gave me some pain medication.  The pain medication is FUCKING.  ME.  UP.  Oh goodness.  Headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, hiccups, mood swings, stupidity…  Basically, it makes me drunk.  Really, really drunk.  I now fully understand why it’s an awful idea to come to rehearsal intoxicated.

Speaking of rehearsal: my SM is an idiot.  Disorganised, unproductive, unpleasant, and really, really good at passing the buck.  The buck, naturally, gets passed to me.  This would be all well and good if it weren’t for the fact that I’m completely doped up and have to sit down every five minutes for fear of passing out.  I think I’m going to talk to our production manager about the issue, just so he’s aware, but I can’t decide if I should tell Schnauzer (my director) first.  I don’t want him to have to worry about this (since he’s got about a million other things to worry about right now), but I also don’t want him to feel like I’m going over his head.  I think I’ll discuss it with Lisa and see what she thinks.  It just needs to be addressed, you know?  I would totally take the reins for Schnauz, but I just can’t right now.  I’m having a hard time keeping up with my job, let alone hers.  It’s such a mess.

Grandma’s not doing very well right now.  I’m worried.

Got to see Paige S. this weekend.  That was really cool.  She was home, getting her wisdom teeth pulled.  I miss that girl.  There are very few people I can be crass and catty with without the fear of them judging me, and there’s a severe shortage of those people in Carbondale.  It was nice to not have to put up a facade when talking about people.

I’m really missing home right now.  I’ve been calling my mum a lot, which is a sure sign that I need to get out of Carbondale.  Lordy.  I’m not sure when I’ll be able to leave town.  I’m hoping I can find a way to afford Chicago in a few weeks; I need a serious vacation.  All this drama and sickness and bitching is getting to me.

Chelsea’s been a little less crazy recently, but her mood is constantly questionable.  She’s also made a complete sty of the room (which I just cleaned Saturday, before I started feeling shitty).  I think the meds are making my OCD worse, but it’s still a mess and a half in here.  Matt’s been staying over a lot, too, which doesn’t help the situation.  This room is way too  small for three people to be in it.  I also keep coming home to find the room smelling really funky, and I know it doesn’t smell that way when I leave in the morning.  I don’t know.  My tolerance for this nonsense is so low right now.

I’m so tired of feeling tired…

not as crazy as they thought

A little bit of Kiri lore for you this morning: I do not, as a general rule, use a blow dryer.

This may seem like a very trivial thing, especially to some of the dudes out there who are wondering who in their right mind would ever spend twenty minutes on something like that, but it has resulted in a vast amount of mockery from the female world ever since I developed boobies.  I had a friend in junior high who was forever berating me for my blow dryer-less life and demanding to know why I don’t use such a blessed invention.  I would swiftly respond that G-d invented air and I intended to use it and that was that.

To this day, I still make a point of calling Stacy (another refugee of Chiddix and a fellow friend to The Blow Dryer Queen) and informing her of my womynlyness whenever I use my mum’s blow dryer (I, like the aforementioned dudes, also don’t understand this waste of twenty dollars).

Since entering university, I have come to find that I have been living with another worshiper of the blow dryer alter.  It’s a wonderful sound to be jolted from sleep by, let me tell you.  This has always been my basic frustration with blow dryers: the noise.  I can’t stand loud, continuous, mechanical sounds.  I hate them.  They hurt my ears.  This is why I don’t like to vacuum.  It has only be recently, however, that I’ve discovered my true distaste for the hair drying menace.

Its smell.

Maybe this is just Chelsea’s blow dryer, but whenever she dries her hair with it, the entire room reeks as if she just set a Persian on fire.  A wet Persian.  Probably a Calico.  I’ll walk out of the bathroom, having just had a nice, fruity-scented shower, and my nostrils will immediately be filled with this monstrosity.

Add to that Matt’s Sensodyne (which is currently all over the faucet, which at least explains why the room smells like that) and her constant need to apply a thick coat of Victoria’s Secret Love Spell Body Mist and you’ve got a very unhappy pot of sensory gumbo going on right there.  And when they leave, the scent lingers.  It’s been over ten minutes now and I still can’t get the wretched scent out of my nose.

Needless to say, Housing still hasn’t called me back.  Homicide is looking like a very pleasant option at present.

drill a tiny hole into your head

It’s hot.

I’m currently in my underwear, laying on the linoleum floor more or less spread-eagled in a vain attempt to cool down.  I am so very, very glad I didn’t have time to take a shower this morning.  It would’ve been a real waste of water.  To make matters even worse, the university is getting ready to switch the cooling system to a heating system, so my air conditioning isn’t working properly.  Really, SIU?  Really?  I’ve got it going full blast and getting little more than a March breeze out of it.  Mother truckers.

So here’s what’s been happening to me since last we met.

Housing called me a couple days ago to tell me that they had found me a room.  I went in, got all the information, found out what I had to do.  Pretty groovy, huh?  At least it was until we discovered that my new single room currently has two people living in it.  Thanks, Housing.  Thanks.  I was swiftly informed that this was, of course, nobody’s fault (I resisted laughing in his face and screaming at him) and that they could move me into another double room instead.  The room they offered me is in the same dorm as Chelsea’s brother.  Because that would so totally solve my problems.  Upon asking if I could move in to said room and still stay on the list for a single in the event that a single opens up, Fat Douche said, ‘So do you’re just gonna stay in your current room, then?’  …THANKS, HOUSING.  THANKS.

So I’m still living with Chelsea.  She’s being abnormally nice to me right now.  Probably because she’s decided she can’t live without me.  Jesus.  I wrote to my scholarship coordinator about the whole situation and I’m hoping to hear back from here soon.  Hopefully then some other poor sap won’t be going through the same nonsense I am right now.

I got to see the Avett Brothers, though.  That was fantastic.  So much pee.

I’m more or less constantly sick right now.  This is due to the fact that the temperature is anywhere between 45 and 90 degrees at present.  My body is freaking out all the time.  I’m trying to stay hydrated constantly, mostly because it makes my throat stop hurting for half a second.  Unfortunately, we have to use a Brita filter because the lake water tastes so bad.  Of course, the water still tastes bad even with a filter, but at least it’s cold and more or less non-toxic.

American Theatre is boring.  At least until the Provincetown Players.  That is all I’ve learned in American Theatre History.  Well, that and Nathaniel Hawthorne totally did Ralph Waldo Emerson.

don’t go revenging in my name

I went to housing yesterday to see if they could at all expedite the process of me moving out (yes, there was another incident.  This will never, ever end).  Of course, I came up at a complete dead end and ended up getting completely patronised by some fat douche in an ugly tie.  It’s times like these that I wonder why I’m staying at this school.  And then I remember: oh, yeah: it’s free.  Is it bad that this is the primary reason I’m staying down here?  I’m so frustrated with the department right now in the way they go about choosing shows and how suddenly juvenile nearly all of my fellow students have become, I feel little to no attachment to the place.  Obviously, living conditions are obscene and if someone who’s flippin’ job it is to listen to me and help me won’t do that, what’s the point in having any faith whatsoever in the administration of my chosen school?  I’m sorry, guys, but it’s pretty shitty P.R. if this is how you treat the students you take such pains to compliment as ‘the best and brightest’.

My tolerance for being bullshitted is dropping faster than my hydration levels this week.

I’ve been pretty sick recently.  I’m not entirely sure what’s going on; I’m hoping it’s just the typical seasonal change shit I get all the time.  After all, two days ago it was in the high 80s down here, and today it’s a balmy 66.  If that’s not going to fuck with my system, nothing will.  It’s just weird because it’s all in my throat.  That makes me nervous.  I’ve also been getting wicked bad girl cramps.  Which, you know, happen and all, but usually they’re only saying, ‘Oh, yeah.  Hey.  You’re a girl’, instead of now when they’re saying, ‘FUCK YOU, KIRI, EAT MY SHORTS’.

I do not want to eat your shorts, cramps.  They’re my shorts, too, and I need them for things.

Gah.  Gross.  Being a girl is flippin’ gross.  For anyone who’s thinking about making a change, I greatly discourage you.  It’s tragically icky.

I really, really want to go see The Avett Brothers when they’re in town here Saturday night.  Now I just need someone to go with.  Damn.  Why are all of my concert-going friends out of town in places where there are many good concerts???

Shut up.  I did not just answer my own question.

useless bit of post

I hate that too tired to sleep stage of exhaustion.  It’s where I’m at right now.  Unfortunately, it’s also where I live most of the time.  Gross.

Had another late night last night, made later by the fact that my roommate decided at three a.m. that ‘we needed to talk’, despite the fact that I was ass-deep in Amiri Baraka and trying to write a paper for Segun.  Of course, my concentration was killed and paper did not get finished until about 4.30.  Jesus.  I had the worst vertigo today; you do not even know.  The number of times I almost fell down stairs was ASTRONOMICAL.

The good news is I’m supposed to be hearing from housing sometime this week about where my new home will be.  Yay!  I’m excited.  I’ll have to go buy a fridge once I get there, but that’s okay.  I’m planning on asking Mum and Da if they can lend me the money for it since things are still rather tight.  It should be pretty fun.  I’m looking forward to refrigerator shopping adventures.  Hurrah.

I’m already ready for Thanksgiving break.  This is kind of sad.  Alas.

I’m going to go quench my sorrows with some old episodes of B-Rated.  One day I will get to Family Video.  Then my sorrows will be quenched with The Shield.

back to the grind

I had a really good, relatively relaxing weekend at home.  Ate really, really shitty-for-me food; cuddled my kitty; petted my puppy; only got irritated at my mother once; hung out with Paiga; drank homemade limeade; saw the Osburn/Britton (sp?) clan; hugged my favourite five-year-old; had some pretty hilarious conversations; started watching The Shield: Season 6.  It was nice.  I really didn’t want to come back to school, but here I am.  I’m desperately hoping that this week is less crazy than last week, though, to be honest, it really wouldn’t take much.

My roommate isn’t back from home yet.  I’m pretty excited about this.  It’s just very, very awkward.  For those of you who are not yet informed on all that happened, we made up (kind of) Thursday night, but the whole fiasco ended in her tearful announcement that she is, in fact, in love with me and that’s why she doesn’t want me to move out.  I, of course, being me, think this is an AWESOME reason to move out, and am only further convinced that University Housing cannot call me soon enough.  Oh no, sweet Jeebus, they cannot.  Until the time of my exodus, however, I will live in a vague amount of fear and a massive amount of discomfort.  I now feel that I cannot even change clothes in my room as this will do nothing more than to feed her hunger for whatever sexual acts she perceives we could have.  Being an appreciator of the female form myself, I admit than when a girl happens to disrobe in my presence, I take a peek.  I do.  It’s not something I’m proud of by any means, but it’s also not something that happens a great deal.  I try not to watch Chelsea change because, ha ha, I live with her and having to put up with that kind of shit on a daily basis would get really, really old (at least to me).  I also have no feelings whatsoever for her.  Now I’m feeling like taking off my clothes in front of her would somehow encourage these feelings she apparently/supposedly has for me and would also make me a giant tease.  I am not a tease.  Or, rather, I can be a tease, but that’s only when I want to really rial someone up and she does not happen to be a person I want to rial up.  

This does, however, put me in a rather uncomfortable position as she will, no doubt, notice my sudden change in changing habits and probably call me out on it.  Which is also awkward.  There’s a lot of awkward going on around here.  Which is why I didn’t want to go home because there is little to no awkwardness there especially in my room (which is where I find myself getting naked most of the time).

I also don’t have any of my homework done.  This adds to the not-wanting-to-come-back-to-school thing.

However, I am soon to acquire some pretty adorable notebooks and also get to see my friend Steve, both of which seem pretty g-ddamn majestic right about now.  I’m also rather excited about the quick nap I’m about to take.  Mmm…  Nap.

I can’t wait to get back to Family Video.  It is a place of mirth and wonder.  

Speaking of roommate, here she is.  Jeez.