Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Compendium of #OWS Backlash

Note: this is a "rolling" post. I'll probably add to this as I come across articles that hit home for me.

When all other forms of government redress fail, civil disobedience is a noble option, in my mind. I support the Occupy movement. What impresses me most of all is that while the movement seems organic, enormous, and leaderless (I write that word with no implied value), there has been a remarkably peaceful tone to it. I haven't heard any confirmed reports of violence perpetrated by the protestors.

The movement's opponents, however, to be getting really ugly. And it seems that the movement is its only ally. Government and media seem to have seized on whatever negative aspects of the movement they can, and have attempted to do it harm.

Some friends, journalists, bloggers, and others have posted or linked to really insightful pieces on the backlash to the Occupy movement. I'm compiling those here:

This sums up the police element for me.
This sums up the press element for me. Specifically, "bold political protesters abroad, stupid criminal hippies at home."

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Power (?) of Num nums

Please go read this brilliant piece right now, because it is so very spot on, and covers so many situations.

I scream-laughed. It is that good.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Truth and Consequences

As I grew up, always an annoying little question-asking gunner, I realized that my dad often made up answers out of convenience.

10-year-old me: "Dad, what's 'rape?' "
Dad: "It's when someone gets attacked.

12-year-old me: "How many years is a generation?"
Dad: "35 years."

me a few minutes later: "How many is 'a few?' "
Dad: "3."

me a few minutes after that: "How many is 'several?' "
Dad: "4."

14-year-old me: "What's the boundary between [two towns we grew up near]?"
Dad: "Your friend Kate's house."

The other day I was eavesdropping/listening to two kids on the train peppering their beleaguered parents with questions. I noticed that the parents refused to answer questions unless asked twice. E.g.

Kid: "Dad, why aren't we moving?"
Dad: [silence]
Kid: "Dad, why aren't we moving?"
Dad: "There's a train in front of us."

Kid: "Dad, where is Grandma's house?"
Dad: [silence]
Kid: "Dad, where is Grandma's house?"
Dad: "It's in California."

Granted, these questions were pretty easy to handle. But given the low energy level of these parents, I can only imagine how much more exhausted they would get if asked more challenging questions like "How does the train move," or "Why doesn't Grandma live with us."

For that next-level annoyance, I would highly recommend my Dad's patented strategy of making up simple, but false answers to hard questions, and delivering them with utmost confidence. "The train moves when the engineer kicks it." '"Grandma doesn't live with us because she is afraid of snow." I see nothing going wrong with these answers.

Too bad no one at work understands why, when they ask me for "a few copies," I make 3.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Laundry as Metaphor

I'm a person who always likes to just get things done. I do not procrastinate - I desperately want chores and tasks in my rear-view mirror so I can move on to more fun things, or relax. "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good" is one of my mottos.

One thing I struggle with is the idea that laundry, a classic chore if there ever was one, never ends. I repeat: laundry never ends. You can finish a basement, you can clean a floor, and those results will last a little while before you have to revisit them. However, laundry needs to be done every few days around these parts. If there are dog or child accidents, then every day.

Laundry falls into my section of the old division o' labor around these parts. I don't mind it. It's easy to sort and drop things into the wash. What I hate is folding. But what's tricky about this chore is that even as you are folding your stupid underwear for the fifty millionth time, you still have dirty laundry in your hamper.

Laundry used to be easy. Me and Mike. We are not that dirty. Then came a dog. Then came a baby. There's no way around it. Two of us have occasional accidents; three of us wear clothes, so our things get dirty, we need to wash them, so we need to dry them, then fold them, then put them away. Then wear them again.

As a person who likes order and finality, I've finally accepted the fact that I never really "finish" laundry. I finish "a load" of laundry.

It's frustrating to continuously have laundry on my to-do list, but it's also a blessing. To me, having lots of laundry is a testament to the fact that our home is dynamic and full of life and activity. Laundry seems banal, but it's also a sign of life.

Por ejemplo. Yesterday we went apple-picking and our daughter's clothes got dirty and apple-y, as they should have - children need to get dirty. Then we strapped her into the carseat and it was hotter than expected, so I let her play with an open bottle of water. Surprise, surprise, she had poured an entire bottle on herself at our next stop. We then changed her out of her wet clothes and took her to an ice cream parlor. Ice cream. More mess. But as they say - bless this mess.

So I still don't love laundry or anything. But I do know why it's endless - because we make an effort to live a messy, full, fun life. It's now my pleasure to accept that fact. Sometimes that means that I can't have the finality I like when it comes to chores. But given the choice between just the two of us and all four of us, it's no contest.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go take those very clothes out of the dryer and... well, you know the drill.