Archive for September, 2009

Mythic Truths (aka “When Gypsy’s Not Thinking”)

Posted in Commentary, Uncategorized on September 30, 2009 by gypsygies

This was written on March 19th, 1998, when I lived in Portland, Oregon and went to college full time. I just came across it in a box and decided to share the incident here. I have to admit it’s kindof a good description of me and how I think:

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So. . . to celebrate my newly found freedom of Spring Break..I decided to do some laundry.
Now, though upon moving in I was assured of a washer and dryer …after moving in discovered the actual truth was that there was a dryer that he (Landlord/roommate) thought worked, but the washer absolutely did Not. So, before today, I’ve been lugging my laundry the mile walk to the laundromat. Today, though …today is a nice day, beautiful outside, I’m in a good mood ..feeling inspired. Myself, having fervently refused to learn any domestic skills while still at home …am nonetheless feeling adventurous and decided to wash my clothes by hand.
The first thing I realized was that I had no idea whatsoever how this was done. Undaunted, I filled the tub with some water, and piled some clothes up next to me. Having no soap (poor), and no kind of washboard (they did used something like that, didn’t they?), I decided I would just sortof toss some jeans in the tub and …well… slosh them around a bit. So I did this for a few minutes, and ..what the heck, the rest of the bathroom probably needed that good rinsing anyway. When my arms were tired I decided that the jeans must be clean now, because the rest of the bathroom and I were. So I attempted to “ring them out”. My hands are not very big. I am not very tall. I discovered I could only hold a small portion of the wet, now heavy, jeans in my hands at one time. So I worked through them bit by bit. After a brief moment of this, I discovered that the part of the jeans I was not holding and squeezing at the moment had, in fact, swung back down into the water. So after sort-of ringing them out again, I tossed them onto a towel …so as not to wet the floor (which was already drenched) and a did few more pairs.
I then picked up the towel full of clothes, walked it through the living room (drip drip drip), the kitchen (drip drip drip), into the laundry room and tossed ’em in the dryer. To my delighted surprize, the dryer actually did work. Sort of. It took 130 minutes to dry the jeans (most likely due to my inability to thoroughly pre-ring them). So I walked the jeans back across the kitchen, living room and into my room ..put them away and sloshed around some more clothes. Walked those back through all the rooms, got the dryer going with them …walked back through the kitchen and sat down on the couch to watch a good flick. Some time later, I walked back across the kitchen to get a drink. I happened to glance down.
It was then I discovered that a leprechaun had visited. There were distinct green footprints all over the floor. It is March. Two days late for St. Patrick’s Day, but I thought …it’s a long way from Ireland. I stepped back into the living room to contemplate.   This is when I realized that the leprechaun was obviously following me. There were steps where I had just stepped. I turned around Quick! to catch the culprit, and round again, but alas ..it must be fast. It had stepped where I stepped. I had stepped where I stepped. I had… I had . . .I lifted up my foot. . . .

The dryer really heats things up. Alot. The laundry room is painted bright green. All of it. Even the floor. Apparently, this particular brand of paint melts rather easily.
After I recovered …(from a gut-bust laugh), I realized that Tom, my roommate and landlord …being a very neurotic fella and in a bad swing anyway …Tom would not find this nearly as entertaining as I did.    Shit .  S’lotta GREEN. Luckily, it did not take to the carpet. But the kitchen. . .
After scrubbing down my feet, I grabbed a pan-scratchy, got down on my hands & knees (we’ve no mop), and started to de-leprechaunize the floor. However, I did this in a way so that all the green patches were behind me. When I went to stand up to rinse the scratchy, I stuck. I had succeeded in moving some of the paint from the floor, to my lower legs. “Well then, that’s something, isn’t it?” I thought. So I dug out more scratchies and strapped them (tape) to my legs. Then I got back down and just sortof pulled myself, all parts scrubbing, across the floor. Both of my cats were, at this time, out of the bedroom and lined up side-by-side on the edge of the kitchen, looking at me with extreme concern. Seeing that made me break out into hysterical laughter again, as I realized how ridiculous I must look. This only made it worse and Toby actually started crying (“meeooooow…”) …my poor cats thought I had completely lost my mind.
Of course, after I had gotten the leprechaun evidence up (in much less time with 4 limbs, than 2!) and removed the strapped-on scratchies (`RIP – ouch!!’) …I realized that the second load of clothes were still in the dryer. In the green room. I nearly just decided to count them at a loss and leave ’em. But…
There is some distance between the bottom step out of the kitchen and the drying machine in the little laundry room. Just enough that I could brace myself against the step, and sortof fall forward …catching myself on the dryer, leaning without touching the floor … brace myself with one hand, open the dryer with the other and start tossing my dry clothes across to the kitchen floor (which was wet). Then I had to kindof push-off with my upper arms to regain my balance on the step. Not touching the Green! Triumph!! Except for the now dampened-again clothes. . . sigh.
Tomorrow I am walking my happy ass the mile to the ‘mat. My my a little red wagon would be useful. . .

–Gypsy.

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random expressing

Posted in about Me..., Uncategorized with tags , , on September 28, 2009 by gypsygies

sometimes I love the uncertainty in this world. Others love their routines, find comfort in decisions already made, the same as before, decided for them, without pain or stress, carried along by a stream of routines that lends them comfort. I love that I do not know quite the color of the sunrise tomorrow. That I am not God, not in control. That something I have never thought of may yet occur, outside of me, changing me, challenging me to break, waking my pure Defiance, calling me Mortal. Jubilant recklessness of the Universe. Order and Chaos do not have to be at odds. For how would we know we were in one, without the other? Order brings comfort, brings conscious sleep. Awake, but sleeping still. But I love that not knowing the sunset outside of me, outside of the bounds of my control, keeps me Wondering. We only wake when we can sleep no more. When something more alive than we causes us to stir. Many find more stress in this than comfort. They turn to the God of pages. The God written by Man in a book, with lines, rules, judgements. The God that forces Order on the Chaos. The God that tells you how to be. But I smile above me, all around me, at the God that exists with no distinction between Order and Chaos, the God that simply Is, and Loves without rules, lines, judgements. Consciousness unchained, unbound, untamed. The God that does not Know, but does not need to. This liveliness is my religion. Some, many, call it my weakness. My inability to to find great comfort in the Control, within those lines of society. But I consider it my greatest Strength. Defiance to the end.

The Half-Broken World

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 23, 2009 by gypsygies

Occasionally it both depresses and generally irritates me that I live a life in the Half-Broken World. The television downstairs only works when you hit the side of it really, really hard (I kid you not). And even then only for a few minutes, until you have to whop it again. My little tv upstairs is a fuzzy freebie graciously granted to me by the landlord. My computer, yes, half-broken… the memory in it is dying, and the case fans, and..got knows what else. The thermostat upstairs…half broken. You have to manually turn it on and off. So I wake up at 5am broiling, sweating it’s 85 degrees. I turn the bugger down…wake up a few hours later freezing cold, even covered in blankets. I’ve told the landlord the past 4 months now that I’ve been here, and he’s told me the past 4 months he’ll “fix it tomorrow”. Then he freaks out and complains when he gets large electricity bills (. . . !). The VCR doesn’t actually play tapes anymore, just serves as a connector for the tv-to-dvd player. The Car? oh my god… we could be here all day discussing the mostly-broken state of that poor limping thing. A ’92 cutless ceirra with more miles on it then anybody can believe. Needs new rear brakes, recently told all 4 motor mounts are broken (holds the Motor in place.. $500…riiight), *still* has a broken rear driver’s side window from years ago. Can’t fix it, costs too much and something more vital always breaks. Rattles like an old lady gasping for breath.

Yes, the glamorous Half-Broken World. What astounds me more is the fact that there are actually people who do *not* live in the Half-Broken World. They live beside me, but on another planet where things actually work. They drive cars that both stop and go when asked. They live in buildings that are not too hot, nor too cold. They have showers that have not only hot and cold water, but that mysterious-to-me setting inbetween, I’ve heard called “warm”. Televisions, telephones, technology and mechanics that actually do what they were intended to. Sounds like mythology to me.

Granted, I was quite pleased that the Ice button on the refrigerator actually produces ice, because that’s the first one of those things I’ve *ever* seen that actually works. It even has  “crushed ice” setting and produces…crushed ice! Then last week that stopped working. Go figure. Well, that was good while it lasted.

The AP and an individual’s privacy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 4, 2009 by gypsygies

Huh – for *once* I actually agree with the Secretary of Defense:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090904/pl_politico/26759

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is objecting “in the strongest terms” to an Associated Press decision to transmit a photograph showing a mortally wounded 21-year-old Marine in his final moments of life, calling the decision “appalling” and a breach of “common decency.”

The AP reported that the Marine’s father had asked – in an interview and in a follow-up phone call — that the image, taken by an embedded photographer, not be published.

The AP reported in a story that it decided to make the image public anyway because it “conveys the grimness of war and the sacrifice of young men and women fighting it.”

The photo shows Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard of New Portland, Maine, who was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in a Taliban ambush Aug. 14 in Helmand province of southern Afghanistan, according to The AP.

Gates wrote to Thomas Curley, AP’s president and chief executive officer. “Out of respect for his family’s wishes, I ask you in the strongest of terms to reconsider your decision. I do not make this request lightly. In one of my first public statements as Secretary of Defense, I stated that the media should not be treated as the enemy, and made it a point to thank journalists for revealing problems that need to be fixed – as was the case with Walter Reed.”

“I cannot imagine the pain and suffering Lance Corporal Bernard’s death has caused his family. Why your organization would purposefully defy the family’s wishes knowing full well that it will lead to yet more anguish is beyond me. Your lack of compassion and common sense in choosing to put this image of their maimed and stricken child on the front page of multiple American newspapers is appalling. The issue here is not law, policy or constitutional right – but judgment and common decency.”

The four-paragraph letter concluded, “Sincerely,” then had Gates’ signature.”

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There is NO way this photo should ever have been released, published. Hell, even taken. But then I am a woman who also looks the the *other* way when passing a car accident in which my assistance is not needed. I specifically do *not* gawk, do not stare, but avert my eyes. Why? Because it is someone else’s personal tragedy. They are having a terrible day, possibly the worst in their lives, maybe the last in their lives: give them their privacy. Give them their peace, away from your inconsiderate prying public eyes. It is enough, too much already, to suffer great bad things in this mortal life…but to have to suffer them in public is so much worse, still. It’s just so wrong that people cannot respect other human beings enough to leave them be in tragedy (if you cannot assist or aide them). To not stare and gawk at the downfallen.

This dying Marine deserved that photographer’s respect. Not opportunistic ways. This is not an entertaining moment. This is a mortal individual beings’ death. A onetime child that someone loved. A billion thoughts, feelings, emotions, wild ideas and funny memories all ceasing to exist within a few moments time. Give him his privacy.

Some people *choose* to die in the public eye, and I am fine with that. It is their choice. But the choice is not automatically made just because you happen to get killed near an opportunistic photographer, or in a public place or service. We as individuals can choose to show some decency and look away.