"I don't hate people, I just don't like being around them." Mickey Rourke as Charles Bukowski in the film Barfly

Too nice of a day to stay inside and blog. But I have one comment. Already the news coverage (AP wire) is claiming that Iraqi troops are giving up and going home. Yesterday the news claimed that many of the troops that were seen by reporters (which reporters were not indicated and I believe I was watching NBC) looked starved and not like the "regular Republican Guard." I am beginning to think that Gulf War II is going to be about as serious as Gulf War I. We do have some fatalities, but still three days into a war and the opposition is already going home? Not that I'm complaining. If the war ends tomorrow, I will be out on my front step with champagne and kisses for the soldiers who want them. Ok maybe not ALL the soldiers that want them, but then again I was proposed to three times this week and I don't want to rush into anything. I'm just saying at the beginning of the week this looked like it had the potential to be the next WW III and be the very thing to finally take the US off its throne reigning "superpower." ( I have long considered that the US is now at the same place the Roman Empire was in before the Vandals began to attack.)-I am reminded of a line from the film Catch-22 . An Italian old man and Yossarian are talking about which is the best country. Yossarian, being an American soldier, obviously supports the US as the most powerful country. The old man points out that Rome was an Empire once, but it is now gone. Italy maybe seen as the "weaker" country, but it survives. Other countries come in and dominate, but eventually the other regimes fall and italy remains. It is an interesting point. Very much like the point one of my theater history teachers made about machiavellian villians. The only way to survive in a Jacobean tragedy, as she pointed out, is simply not to be noticed. Once you are of note, you are not safe. I mean when was the last time luxembourg was threatened? (who would even bother?)

maybe I should hide under the bed

I would like to take a moment here to comment on the perception of manhattan to non new yorkers. I fone more person tells me it must be hard to get in the morning and not see the WTC I'm going to be forced, mind youm forced to slap them. My window faces north. I live on the first floor, AND I live five miles, MILES away from ground zero. All this means that if I do face south, I still can't see ground zero from where I live. People seem to have this idea that WTC was visible from every corner of manhattan. Totally untrue. Please, for the love of G-d and my sanity, pass it on.

I had a dream last night, a very vivid dream, part of it at least I remember. I was talking on the phone with E's mother. I was yelling at her, screaming about her arguing with about how awful my life is, about the depression and the hopelessness, about how it has not ended. There are those who still claim that time heals all wounds, and they are wrong. I have been living with disability for twenty eight years and I have never gotten over the loss of my abilities. There is not a day that goes by that I don't wish that I was a "healthy" person, a person who can actually walk up a flight of stairs or wiggle her toes or even feel the ground beneath my feet. But I can not, and I never will. The loss of E is even more severe than my disability. There are some losses that people do not recover from, we like to think that healing is always possible, but it isn't and anyone who thinks different should work in a hospital for about one week. That is that is will take to change your mind. Just go and watch, particularly the pediatrics ward (especiall if there happens to be a pediatric intensive care ward) go and after you watch those children you come back and tell me that time heals everything. I dare you.

You see I've been on the other side of that ward. I grew up in hospitals and emergency rooms. I grew up with experimental treatments and gait labs. And even with all the emergency surgeries, the tests, the injections, the casts, the braces, the physical therapy, the hours and hours and hours spent in waiting rooms, the incorrect diagnoses, the prognoses, none of these things, even put together, the totality of being a cancer survivor NOTHING I went through, chemo therapy, surgery, radiation therapy NONE OF IT was as bad this loss. The loss of E makes cancer look like Disneyland. Because at least with the cancer, there was hope. I have been pretty much been living without hope for two years. It is a tiring thing. And eventually, eventually, if hope can not be restored, this loss will kill me. It make take its time, but it will. It took my father quite a while to finally succeed in his quest for death. But eventually he did. To those who say time heals all wounds I say this, just because I'm still alive doesn't mean that I have survived. Some diseases take their time killing you, like diabetes or heart disease. It can take a while, but sooner or later it will take you out. On days like today, I just feel that the most that can be said about me is that I am not dead yet. But I probably should be.

Ok I have a few, very limited comments here about the war, or more accurately about the war coverage. I'm fairly sure this is the best televised and media covered war. Most of the major networks have pre-empted all programming, including popular shows and soap opera, to show us continuous footage of bombing and aerial raids. What strikes me about the coverage is how repetitive it is. After watching for about five minutes, the footage looks all the same (particularly footage shot at night) and the commentary is pretty much the same information we've been hearing for months, now repeated every five minutes instead of every night. I was talking to a friend last night on the phone and I asked him if the networks were planning on showing the war non-stop until its conclusion. He guessed it would. I, personally, am surprised. I would like to know if the ratings have jumped for the channels (like TBS and USA) that are continuing to show regular programming. I'm assuming that after two days, the American public is going to get bored with all of this and want to return to their regularly scheduled programming. They are going to want episodes of Ship Mates and Friends, if for no other reason, to relieve the monotony. Another friend of mine suggested that this apathy towards war footage is exactly what the US government wants. That constant broadcasting is intentionally breeding in the American people a disinterest in the war, so the government can do whatever it wants. This would work if we assume that the private interests of the broadcasting companies are aligned with the interests of the government. What with conglomeration being what it is the US this isn't as far fetched as it initially sounds. The manipulation of the media by the government, particularly slight of hand tactics, is quite old. (The first to suggest diversionary tactics to ensure political success is Machiavelli in his politcal treatise, The Prince .) The war can be seen as diversionary on several different fronts, first to distract the American people from the economic situation of this country (Machiavelli recommended that the Prince always wage war. If the people are dependent upon him for defense, they will not have the time or interest in being critical of his policies. They will be too busy trying to survive. ) So in one model the war is waged to distract Americans from the current situation, in another model the coverage of the war is meant to distract Americans from the war itself. A distraction built upon a distraction.

As much as I have tried to avoid commenting on the war because I feel that everyone and their borhter is yiping about it (and deservedly so) I have two comments on the war I would like to post here. The first is that i actually heard a fox news reporter use the word ain't this morning. Ther had been talk previously at CNN about incorporating slang into nescasts as to make it more accessible to "the youngsters" the demographic that CNN most wants to capture and has the least success with. Of course I attribute this failure more to the matieral than to the grammar used. In addition to Fox using "ain't " (which means I will never again watch fox news) Dan Rather apparently said last night that the first bombs might have been intended to give Hussein the "heeby jeebies". Now who thought this kind of slang would be more accessible,hmmmm? If anything, it just illustrates how out of touch news casters are.

Secondly I keep hearing about these 35 countries who are with us. But which countries? Germany is against, France is against us, the Uk has issued a statement saying they "with the Iraqi people", China has said they disapprove of the use of force, Canada has told its citizens not to say insulting things about American, but clearly offered no support, so where the hell are these other 35 countries and why won't they tell us? I'm beginning to think this alliance is made up of Luxembourg and Micronesia and 33 other microscopic countries.

Julius Caesar was murdered on the steps of the Senate so that he would not become George W Bush (mad with power).

Ingrid Bergman: This is a very strange love affair.
Cary Grant: Why is that?
Ingrid Bergman: Perhaps because you don't love me.


"I remember I was in jail this time, and I was talkin' to this guy. He said to me, 'You know, no one believes in G-d until you put a loaded gun to their head. Then everyone believes.' I'm not sayin' that's my mentality, but what I'm sayin' is that even people who don't believe in G-d, even Agnostics, when something big happens. When some big catastrophe happens, even they look to something beyond themselves. They acknowledge that there is some force beyond themselves."-Mike (a friend)

Ok so I went out and did no work. Went to my local hang out after finding out we had finally started bombing Iraq. So I expected the tvs to be on and everyone to be talking about the war. No, the tvs were on ESPN showing some basketball game. Some of the regulars were there. Jim and his fiancee. Audrey. Shane. Mike. Patrick. Meredith. We sat around and talked about random things, Jim's marriage, and after Jim left, whether we thought it would last. It was like any other night in F's. For the first time I saw the comfort in the routine. I had always found it a torment, how some things never change, but this was reassuring that no matter what happened I could go to F's and there would still be joking and relaxation and at least temporary escape. Only temporary of course, but still its something.

So not going back to the John story yet, it's too depressing for the beginning of the war. I will forage ahead and tlak about the two other wedding proposals I've had. So I get into a cab on wednesday (I have not been taking the subway this week because of the harassment I suffer from my mother) and this cab driver, Mario, starts in with, "You must be in love. Only a girl in love has a beautiful smile like that. You are in love?" So I lie, "Yes I'm in love." and he goes on and on. Very poetic cab driver, talking about, "I am a ghost now, but I know all about love. I have been used by beauty all my life. That is why I am only a ghost now. I have been a victim of love. Not such a bad thing. You make the sacrifice knowing it will use you up." Not bad, not bad. I wonder what he has been reading. Then he starts in with "So are you married?" I say, "Not yet, I'm getting married this weekend." So then he says "Well, to a boyfriend?" Again, I lie "Yes." "Well," he says, "This is no good. You can not marry a man that you know. This is what everyone does. You need adventure and mystery you need to marry a stranger. You need to marry me." I'm like "Oh great." So he goes on and on asking me what sign I am and all this finally I have to get out and he doesn't want to charge me at all, he just wants to marry me. There is a fair trade, in exchange for the fare marry me, it will be your dowery. So I manage to extricate myself from Mario and his cab of love and I get out and call my friend James. I'm leaving him a message "James, its an epidemic, I've never proposed to before and now two men in three days." So, and here is where things get funny if you can believe it, so this guy as soon as I'm done with my phone call turns around and says "Will you marry me?" So I start laughing. I mean, smart guy, normally you can't just start talking to a girl on the street, but he found an in. So he says to me"Now you can say you had three proposals in three days." So I'm laughing. Then he says "So what are you doing for the next forty years?" and I was like "Only forty?" And he says "Well, after that amount of time I think we will have to renegotiate our contract." So we walked a ways together and chatted. He studied classical music for a while. So then I gave him my card. And he sent me an email, as the first of my suitors to actually continue contact, he does have a shot and winning my hand.

There is a part of me that regrets not taking John G. (the first of the suitors) up on his proposal. Ther eis a part ofme that wishes I had just upped and married him in Atlantic City. Of course there is the other side of me that says I did the right thing, and you can't just haul off and marry a man you don't know at all. There are some romantic ideas that just don't work in life, and this is one of them. It's better to just leave it as an idea.

Ok so the intended has not called. Men. Even my enfianced doesn't call. Jesus. What does a woman have to say to get a man to call back these days!

Ok so now I'm totally depressed because I just saw About Schmidt . Well I depressed because of a lot of other reasons too, although I did get two more proposals today, making three marriage proposals in three days. What is this an epidemic? We go to war and suddenly the men want to marry me. Not call me you understand, just marry me and then go fight somewhere. Life is just getting too god damned wierd. So I'm not going to finish my John story just yet as I am depressed and I need to grade papers so I am going to go to my local hang out to be depressed and grade. If my students knew I think they would spring for me to go get a script from my psychiatrist. Assuming he will even still treat me. I would just like to make this comment about the movie and then I will will adjourn to drinking. About Schmidt seems to me like what American Beauty would have been like if it had been written by Samuel Beckett. The film had this winding down quality that reminded me of Krapp's Last Tape which may be an unfair comparison since I read it in high school, but they seems similar enough to me.

Liquor calls. I must follow.

"The Cowards never started the journey. The Weak died along the way. Only the Strong made it across. They were the Pioneers." Sign in ABout Schmidt

I had the wierdest day yesterday. WIERDEST. Ok so I booked the singles cruise. No one tried to talk me out of it, so your silence amde me think maybe it was good idea. So I decided in horror of st partick's day to have ONE drink at the local Irish pub. Right, one drink. So I go in and immediately absorbed by a group of guys. There was one guy there, Scott, very cute. We were all flirting (he liked my ass) he just broke up with his girlfriend so I don't have worry about the whole "i'm kind of seeing someone in a way sort of" (come to find out this "sort of seeing someone" secretly means "he's married" just joking) So I have to go to ballroom I give him my card with my number and my cell phone because he wants to know how we will hook up again if they move bars. So I go to the ballroom and come back and he's gone (I'm now four drinks into my one drink). And all his friends are asking me, where is Scott. I'm like I don't know. So they are like "Oh he didn't leave with you?" And I was like no. So he vanished. So now I'm standing there with my drink (his friends bought me one because they felt bad for me being abandoned) I'm by the door thinking well I'm going on home after this when this young guy walks in looks behind him to see me turns around and plops his bag down. He starts to talk to me and five minutes later he says "let's get married." I started to laugh. He was like "Seriously, let's get married." I was like "No, you don't know me." And he was like "Listen, I think I could be happy with you for the rest of my life." I mean, if I never get paid a compliment again in my life, that would be a good one to end on. So then he going on about how I'm hot and beautiful and funny. (My therapist was like "He proposed after talking to you for five minutes? You must be one hell of a conversationalist.") For the record he was NOT drunk (I was however). So he was like "Let's go to Atlantic City." I'm laughing, but he keeps saying he's serious, that he wants to marry me. He tells me he will introduce me to his parents. He takes me out of the pub and calls his dad and introduces me on the phone as his fiancee. I'm laughing right now thinking about it. The guy in question, my intended, is a fireman who lives about fifteen minutes out of the city. So we talking and talking and he keeps saying he wants to marry me so I finally said yes I would marry him this weekend. I thought wouldn't this be great? Go on spring break single and come back to school are married woman? Wouldn't my students just love that? And in terms of it being a story, well, it IS like a bad comedy premise ( She's the One and Fools Rush In ) but still I could get mileage out of it.He was asking me if I would change my name. He promised to treat me like a queen. So he leaves promising to call me today.

He hasn't called.

What a shock. of course, he still could call. I mean he is a man. But even if he doesn't, in a way, it would be a relief because how do I explain to him that now sober I wake up the next day and think "I promised to marry a fireman in atlantic city this weekend. Christ!" Everyone is very impressed and amused by the story. It's good to leave it at that. A great story with no kind of reality entangled with it. None of the mess.

But wait, there's more. So my "intended" leaves and I'm sitting in the window. (There were no bar stool and my legs were killing me. In fact, my ankles are still so sore today I was wlaking with a limp.) And I'm sitting there and I see John the "I'm kind of seeing someone but I'll call" and his friend Russ. Now I told myself if I saw john I was going to play it cool, but I was drunk and therefore forgot so I called his name. They came over and I talked them into coming in. But they didn't come over and talk to me. So I went over to them. Ok I know this is dramatic, but I'm tired and I'm going to end the story here for now. You'll have to tune in tomorrow if you want to know the conclusion to my thrilling wierd st patrick's day.

Drunken. Irish. Have to be conscious tomorrow....Spock.....

"When you are crazy, as you clearly are, do you know that you are crazy?" Brad Pitt to Kevin Spacey in Seven

Tired. Depressed. Don't want to elalborate. Yesterday the only people who called were A my gay former student B my mother and C the mad professor. Spent the night out with my former student drinking specialty cocktails and reminscing about college. We agreed. We miss it. We want to go back. I didn't really miss it until this year. But now, I miss the summer nights in the courtyard, drinking forties of cider, the roof parties at Whitney's, the balcony parties at Blair's, the until 11 am parties at Ryan's, sleeping on couches at John C's, bitching about our voice teacher being drunk everyday and giving the same three comments ("you're holding back" "You aren't fully in touch with your cheast resonance" and "You aren't dealing with the place." How are you supposed to "deal with the place" with you voice?), Mark and his invisible girlfriend, Jeff and his "I don't why know people think I'm gay just because I have a Phantom of the Opera shower curtain." Living on fifteen cups of tea a day. My best friend living across the hall and showing my the "inspirational" ice skating performance of the day.(I left college knowing the differing between a sow cow and a toe loop.) Kevin and his obscene way of eating the soft ice cream. Spending Saturday night at Wonder Bar. I miss it. As depressed as I was then, it was sheer joy compared to how I am now.

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