Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I feel the need to post more often. At least I have lately. For a while I posted here and there, off and on. Now the more my brain is filled with so much stuff that it's spilling out, I suppose this is as good a way as any to help filter it.

I spent nearly a half an hour at the post office today after work. Since I left late, I knew I was cutting it close and that I was probably going to really annoy some postal workers. I had 55 magazines to ship out. I had stayed up until 11 p.m. last night stuffing them into envelopes and labeling them and knew many people were eagerly awaiting the new issue. Considering our subscribers, keeping the desk people at the PO 10 minutes late isn't a HUGE issue. But to them it may have been. I hope it wasn't too much of a bother. They were pretty kind about it. So that they might be less annoyed with me, I waddled more exaggeratedly out the door and held my belly. Sympathy for the pregnant lady overrides annoyance? I waddle anyway, so it's not like I was totally making it up.

So the magazines are on their way. They are also on the way to the three people who purchased issues since yesterday. And I'll be sending an invoice momentarily to a shop on the East Coast who's been carrying the mag for a little while, Teardrop Memories, which you will learn about if you read the new issue.

If you're reading this post anytime around the time I post it, you are probably sweltering. Our central air is fighting the good fight but just doesn't have the oomph it used to. Freon was added not that long ago (pretty sure I spelled "freon" way wrong), but this heat is just too much for it. Last night I only slept a few hours and am hoping to make up for it tonight. I've been sleeping snuggled up to an ice pack the last few nights. Trying to cool the pulse points. Last night I tried to cool ALL points. Just didn't work. If I had 21 ice packs then maybe.

Lately I've been a little scatter-brained. The heat isn't helping. Too bad global warming "doesn't exist" (according to some politicians); I'd blame that. Yes, I'm ticked at the human race. We've been energy and consumer crazy for centuries and have decided that we don't need to take responsibility for our actions. Since the Industrial Revolution, we've been on a downhill slide in many ways. Don't get me wrong, I am THRILLED with the invention of air conditioning, cars, the Internet and such. Technology is groovy. But, as Spider-Man's uncle says, "With great power comes great responsibility." Humans have been so busy for hundreds of years wondering "can we do this?" and not asking "should we?"

Ah, but I could go on and on. And I'm sitting here in air conditioning while there are folks with none. How sad to hear on the news, "check on elderly neighbors during these heat advisories" as they might be sick or dead.

Other things I could go on and on about are the futile wars overseas. When in history have there not been wars over religion and hatred? Especially in the Middle East. And what makes ANYONE in America think that we, whom many countries hate for our egos and excess and debauchery, can bring democrazy to an area of the world that doesn't really want it?

I recently read a paper a friend of mine wrote about Hitler for a class she is taking. She was actually doing a comparison between Hitler and Martin Luther King Jr. The similarities were in how they both were able to reach massive audiences and sway them with their words and personality. I'm not doing her paper justice, but it's not as way out of a comparison as you might be thinking. Both King and Hitler were charismatic leaders. Both have made impacts on history--though on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Today I read an article on Salon.com about Mel Gibson's drunken, anti-Semitic tirade. The entire article, which I highly recommend, can be read here: "Mel on the Cross" by Neal Gabler. The article doesn't just talk about Mel's disorderly conduct and horrible rant of hatred; it talks about we Americans say we don't condone hate, but our actions show that we really don't condone is outward, blatant signs of hate. Hate and intolerance are still rampant.

Gabler writes:

"Sexual peccadilloes and frat boy stunts are forgivable. Hate is not. No matter how many people may harbor the same sentiments as Gibson, hate speech has typically been condemned, and no matter how often hate raises its ugly head, it has usually been beaten back by the forces of relative enlightenment in journalism and the federal government if only because it fails to comport with how most Americans want to see themselves.

"Thus when the Ku Klux Klan was revived after World War I, it met general opprobrium even as it professed to be carrying the cudgels for morality and even as it was taking over several jurisdictions, including the state of Oregon. Thus when the popular and populist radio priest of the 1930s, the Rev. Charles Coughlin, began spewing anti-Semitic bile, he was quickly quarantined by the Roosevelt administration, which pressured the church into removing Coughlin from the airwaves after having successfully pressured radio networks into dropping his national broadcasts.

"Thus even as racism was the prevailing order of the South, blatant racists like Sen. Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi were excoriated in the national press and ostracized by polite society. ... Call it hypocrisy, but it was hypocrisy that underscored just how uncomfortable Americans were with overt, publicly declaimed hate.

"Or so it was. Mel Gibson, however, does not operate within that elevated environment, because America itself has changed -- one might even say has been radicalized -- since the election of George Bush. The merger of evangelical Christianity, which has long had a tinge of racism and anti-Semitism, with right-wing Republicanism has had many effects on American culture and politics, but perhaps the foremost among them is that it has legitimized attitudes that were previously considered illegitimate by the custodians of the social order."

That was a longer excerpt than I intended at first to include, but I think it tells the story. An eye-opening one at that. Gibson's tirade was shocking and embarassing. As my friend Tim says, "Just because a person is rich and famous doesn't mean he's happy. I'll take my life over it any day--debt and all--because I have my family and we're happy."

My husband, Bill, told me a few days ago that he's worried that I get too upset over things I can't control. That it's not good for me or the baby. You know, things like work issues, politics, things in the news. I see it as a natural response. My theory of the world is this: "Common sense is not common." I'm sure there are tons of people (majority ruling, I'd bet) who go to work and think, "Well, we could do it this way, but that would make sense. We'll most likely do it the hard way." Just try not to get frustrated in those instances. And as unorderly as I am (I'm a messy pack rat), there are certain things that I am a perfectionist about. My writing is one of them. The magazine and website, etc. When it comes to those, typos bother me. Mistakes tick me off. But the thing that really gets me, in whatever situation (work, family, etc.), is lack of communication. I do my best to communicate the things people need to know. Lately I've been annoying myself because some things have fallen aside due to pregnancy issues. It bugs me. When I'm responsible for something and I either make a mistake or slack on something, it really bothers me. I've been called on things before. I could make up a ton of excuses, but lately I've just been fessing up to those things I need to with the hope that people understand that I'm only human. And humans are freaks and we make mistakes.

For example:

- Keanu Reeves (who I adore) in "Dracula" (what was anyone thinking with that one??)
- Grease 2 (it was on TV this weekend ... loved it as a dumb kid ... got over it)
- plowing through way too many pints of Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey the summer after college graduation, therefore gaining a Chunky Monkey butt (a sad yet true story)
- Milli Vanilli
- Al Gore saying he invented the Internet (love ya, Al, but d'oh!)
- the Darwin Awards
- getting a tattoo with a boyfriend/girlfriend's name on it (Johnny Depp had "Winona Forever" on his arm, I believe. After that relationship died, he had it altered to say "Wino Forever")
- Adding a third cat to the mix in our house--which led to the great peeing incidents of '06. But we love her and can't just get rid of her. So we're dealing.
- Deciding to start a cemetery magazine while at the same time finishing "Cemetery Walk" and planning all the stuff that went with that. That was crazy talk! And co-organizing a live cemetery walk at a local cemetery at the same time. And teaching classes. And working fulltime. And ...

You get my point. We all have our issues and we all make our own mistakes. That's what life is about, right? Making mistakes, learning from them and loving life no matter what it throws at us. I used to say in college that life was just a series of things we have to get over. But that's rather pessimistic. Sure life has up times and down times. I'm fortunate to have a supportive family and group of friends as well as an amazing husband to share my life with. I'm very fortunate. I also have a group of people who cheer me on in my extra endeavors--all my taphophile friends! You guys make all the efforts I put into Epitaphs and the website and other things worth while.

And on that thankful note, I'm going to sign off for the night. Baby and I have some sleeping to do soon!

Minda

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