Sunday, November 28, 2004

Holiday in Babylon

Recently, there was a traditional American holiday celebrated by my fellow inmates; Thanksgiving. You may ask what people of my persuasion do to celebrate such a day in Babylon, and for that matter, what exactly there is to be thankful for. I may answer...

I received a box of Christmas decorations from my Ultra-Conservative Aunt (UCA from here on out). UCA means well, and did send some fun decorations so we decided we were going to take the common area, and for Thanksgiving put up the Christmas decorations. Now, we are a diverse bunch here holding down the fort in Babylon: we've got Christians, Muslims, a former Druid, some I don't knows, a Mystic Humanist, and me, the ChristoJewiTaoBuddIslamic who'll celebrate pretty much anything. Realize also, that we hadn't taken down the Halloween decorations that the Lady Jennifer had sent our way- and we decided not too. The Christmas decorations went right over them. Colored lights now run along a row of paper bats, our hanging ghost is wearing reindeer antlers, and our over-the-door pumpkins are now holding the mistletoe (appropriately enough I kissed our former Druid under said religion's contribution to Christmas- he's a nice man though and did not try to slip me the tongue, quite a gentleman).

Once the decorating and frolicking was done, we made our way to what our Father's called a "mess hall," but my firm now haughtily refers to it as a "Dining Facility." We grabbed food, and I must say the spread was none too bad. Had all the traditionals, and the guy in charge with all the silver on his hat went around shaking hands. We brought our food back to the common area we had decorated. Candles were lit, we said a prayer, and enjoyed each other's company for a while before going back to work.

So what were we thankful for? Being alive was a good start. Having all of us there and not mourning a friend was good. Hopefully we'll be going home soon. Hopefully our Nation will exercise some more common sense (as opposed to exorcising it) and not create another fiasco like this one. That would be something to be thankful for.

Am I bitter? A bit, but I do my duty. "All enemies foreign and domestic" and all- which am I fighting in Babylon?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Randomly listed things I really like.

Mexican food.

TV shows with Vampires, robots, or spies trapped in strange villages they can't get out of.

Action figures with more than 10 points of articulation.

William Shatner's "Has Been" album.

Lying under the covers on a cold morning and blowing off work.

Where her shoulder meets her neck.

Monsoon season in Arizona.

PJ O'Roarke talking about politics.

Movies about baseball (though I hate baseball- ironic, isn't it?).

People who can admit they're wrong.

Not having to admit I was wrong.

When she comes in from the snow outside and you can smell the cold on her skin.

Books and movies I have to take in a couple of times to "get."

Princess Leia in the steel bikini.

God letting you know They're there.


Big, gay musicals.

Godzilla movies.

Babylonians who don't want me to blow up.

Comic books.

Chuck Palhaniuk books.

The Oedipus Cycle.

Being alone- but not too alone.


Old locomotive engines.


Anahiem chilis.


Self-indulgent blogs.

Monday, November 15, 2004

What's in a name? Plenty...

Whew, been pretty serious here lately, and I think I need to lighten up. Though it would seem our ticket is marked destination: Armageddon, that doesn't mean you have to spend all your time worked up about it. Got to relax, got to think about the good things. I think if we all did that a little more often, not only would The End seem less imminent, it might actually be pushed off some.

But again, I am not here to talk about the imminentization of the eschaton! I am here to talk about a name. It's a lovely name, and in my opinion the single sexiest name in the English language:


Let me say up front that I have a certain bias- I've been rather fond of a few Jennifers in my lifetime; most importantly, my sole chosen life-mate and partner for the rest of my time converting oxygen into carbon dioxide (and might I hope for beyond?) is named Jennifer. Just consider, however, this name and its variants. "Jennifer" itself has three syllables that manage to roll off the tongue in so many ways. Called across a field, its three vowels will carry it through the strongest wind. In a whisper, minor fluctuations in the hardness of the "J" can render it an impassioned plea, or a tender verbal caress. And in the Little Death, it can be a pleasure/pain expression worthy of the Song of Solomon or Ravel's Bolero.

As "Jenny," it can evoke a personality to challenge Nabokov's Lolita in mixed signals, or can be the perfectly innocent name of the girl next door who is not at all "that type." Jenny, Jenny, who can I run to?

As "Jenna" it can bring thoughts of an icon of our current culture's sexuality, and give "just Jennifer" the mystique of someone far more dangerous to your good social sense.

As "Jen" there is the friend, the buddy, the person you laugh with. Jen is affable and straightforward and practical- but there's still that Jennifer (or maybe that Jenna) there, waiting for her turn.

Jennifer. Say it with me now folks; "Jennifer." Close your eyes, hold it in your head and let it come out the mouth: Jennifer. It gets no lovelier than that. If you're lucky enough to know a Jennifer, find a way to tell her you know you're lucky. Maybe Jen will give you a smile; maybe Jenny will giggle a bit; maybe she'll introduce you to Jenna...

Monday, November 08, 2004

Would you look at that...

Well, we went and did it. GW is back in for four more. The only good news here is we don't have to listen to John Kerry for a while. It will be interesting to see if this means we are looking at another four years of half-assed imperialism, if we're going to back off and play nice while cleaning up the mess of the first four years, or if we'll throw off the sheep's clothing and have four years of real imperialism. The American Empire isn't so bad an idea necessarily, but there's a few things we need. One, we'll need a much bigger Army- hell, we need a bigger Army just to maintain our current level of meddling. Two, we need to actually wipe out a few cities in the next country-that-will-become-an-American-province. The reason I still have Babylonian mortars and rockets falling on my head while I'm trying to sleep is because we didn't secure this country with an iron fist. If we're going to stick our nose (or tank barrel) in another country's rhubarb, we need to actually take over that country! Otherwise you're again looking at more post-victory deaths than war time ones.

Am I supporting the idea of America shoving our brand of pseudo-democracy up the world's collective rectum at every opportunity? No. But I wish the Powers That Be would understand that is what they are doing, and act accordingly. There are no friendly Empires- that way lies a fallen Republic.

So that brings up another issue. Here we've got this Government thing, and this time we actually had decent voter turn out. Guess what lads and lasses: it doesn't end there. Civic responsibility starts in the voting booth. From there are the petitions, e-mails, phone calls, and general bothersome contacts to make sure your elected representative knows what his or her boss (that's you, tiger) wants them to do. You see, a Republic like ours is a lot like a puppy. If you don't teach it what you want it to do it goes wild and ends up peeing on your rug. Of course, this puddle looks a lot like higher taxes and more Federal meddling into how you want to live your life. I beseech thee- once a year drop a letter to your congressional folks. Even if you like what they're doing, let them know you are paying attention. Remember, Tommy Jefferson wants us to have a government by us, for us, and of us. Let's keep it that way.