Friday, July 01, 2005

Rant and Roll


Hey folks. Helluva week. Went from wacko to more or less stable and back about a million times in the last five days. Feeling, for the moment, right in the middle of the stream, which is a happy place for me (although I’m careful not to recognize it or celebrate it too much lest I trigger an upswing to mania. Eeesh.)

Have been noticing the swings more, possibly due to the rapid cycling and a purposefully heightened awareness. Last night after a day of steady multi-tasking, I found myself suddenly exhausted and wrung out at seven o’clock. And by sudden, I mean from the beginning of one second to its end – that fast. In the blink of an eye, going from purposeful and slightly irritated (bordering on hypomanic, in other words) to the bottom of the barrel in energy level and motivation.

But at least I can notice the swings when they happen sometimes. Used to be I was oblivious, until someone else would give that meaningful look that meant I wasn’t quite where I needed to be – I was either talking too fast or explaining too much, or else I was curled in a corner, absorbed in my own misery. What a fun party girl – you never quite know what you’ll get with me.

I noticed yesterday that the more work I did, the faster I got. Those little bursts of accomplishment had cumulative effect, and by noon I was jumpin’ like that little Mexican bean they sell in South of the Border. And loving it – of course. That’s the dangerous part about mania – unless you’re really paying attention, the energy seduces you. Who wouldn’t want to be ultra-creative, productive, and energetic? But damn, that let-down (really more of a sudden drop off a cliff) really sucks afterwards.

Food has helped a lot this week. I’m doing better eating 5 – 6 small meals a day, and making sure that there’s plenty of protein in the mix so the carbs don’t process too quickly, forcing a sugar rush. Been trying to cut down on the caffeine but by Wednesday I was already dipping into the Diet Dr. Peppers in the evening, just to stay awake long enough to get stuff done at home.

Have tried to stay off the blogs. I’m letting myself read them, but am not allowing myself to comment on the political ones – that way lies disaster. Not only do I get caught up in the discussion (damn, but that woman running Shakespeare's Sister
rocks), I also start to experience this intense, misguided need to belong to these people, to be acknowledged in some way, to be part of the group. Tell me I’m smart, somebody! You know? Yeah… well, it’s probably just me. Holdovers from growing up as a geek, I guess, where being smart was the only thing to hang on to for self-esteem. ‘Cause I sure as hell was never one of the cool kids.

Still, I can comment here and then let it go, so I will. It has been a helluva week, after all. Yeah, there will be some profanity in the next few paragraphs. Please forgive me, but I can’t say anything around the Duckster right now or she’ll parrot it right back to me. I have to vent sometime.

Dubya outdid himself in bullshit Tuesday night, but it didn't look like many people were watching (23 million people being relatively few.) After Brian fought the radio for a while, I was able to listen to most of it. Just listening instead of watching the telecast really helped, given that I’m usually so pissed at Bush that seeing his lips move causes my brain to melt down in outrage.

The speech itself was so much hooey – as Elizabeth put it in a comment last week, “Don’t look at that man behind the curtain!” Trying to redirect attention from the crap he spouted to get us over there to begin with, managing beautifully to imply that those of us who won’t “stay the course” are un-American cowards. Don’t get me wrong – since we’ve helped blow the country up, I do think we have an obligation to stay there long enough to get things stable. But I’ll be damned if I think the Bush administration has the insight, compassion or competency to make that happen. (This is not – I repeat, this is NOT about the competency or heart or bravery or intelligence of the troops fighting over there. They are doing their job, and while I think it’s a shitty job, I do sincerely acknowledge their value. I just wish they weren’t there for the wrong reasons.)

Case in point, the following quote: “To further prepare Iraqi forces to fight the enemy on their own, we are taking three new steps” (emphasis mine.) Bush’s new plans for training up the Iraqi police force include the partnering of Coalition units with Iraqi units, embedding Coalition “Transition Teams” inside Iraqi forces, and working with the Iraqi government to solidify the anti-terrorist infrastructure, including command structures and leadership training.

OK, so while I have some basic issues with the leadership training thing, here’s what I want to know – you’ve been trying to train up Iraqi forces for two years now and you JUST NOW started to put Coalition forces with Iraqi police? Gee, who’s the fucking genius who thought that up? Fucking brilliant. Just brilliant. It’s about time. One more piece of evidence that points to no planning at all for this invasion. And people wonder why the government is a piece of shit. It’s run by idiots at the upper levels, that’s why. (Except for Cheney, who hovers above it all with strings attached to the players, choreographing carnage.)

Whew. Better calm down and take a break. Be right back. While I cool my jets for a minute, check out this reaction to Bush’s speech at Baghdad Burning (scroll down). I spend a lot of time wondering what it must be like over there. This helps answer some of my questions, at least from one perspective.

*sigh* I’ve been caught up in thorny ethical questions lately. Making efforts to give the Bush administration the benefit of the doubt, I think, “Well, what if they are really well-meaning? Isn’t it a good thing that the U.S. took a stand and decided to take Saddam out of power? After all, he was a mean and nasty dictator, right? Bad for human rights, midnight raids, rape rooms, other atrocities…”

The answers keep coming back loud and clear from the other half of the screaming peanut gallery that is my brain: “No, you fucking wimp. Stop giving that bastard a break. If his intentions were so fucking pure, why did he lie about them going in? No, bitch, shut up about those damned WMDs, they didn’t exist. Why didn’t he just say, ‘Listen, folks, this is what needs to happen, this is why, and I need your support.’ And if you’re going to obliterate a government, even if it’s a not-so-benevolent dictatorship, you’d better damn well have some idea of how you’re going to run the show once you’ve demolished everything. Oh, by the way, you might want to have your own frigging house clean before you go trying to clean up someone else’s. Tell me how we’re supposed to justify taking Saddam out of power when we waltz around the world with the golden interrogation practices of Guantanemo Bay looped around our neck like the world’s biggest pimp chain? Tell me how we’re supposed to be peacekeepers in a part of the world that provides the juice for our oil addiction? Can you say conflict of interest? Give it up, Andi. This is wrong, and you know it.”

Ouch. Sometimes the bitch inside is right, y’all.

Sandra Day O’Conner resigned today from the Supreme Court. I remember when she was appointed. Wow, I thought, how cool is it that, a woman on the Supreme Court (give me a break, I was 11. I would have thought Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State was The Shit.) I didn’t hear about her conservative background until later, when it didn’t matter, because Justice O was doing a bang-up job of holding the center.

So when I heard she quit today, I said, “Crap.” Then I said it again. Then I said some words that I won’t even write here.

Because Supreme Court justices keep their positions for life, y’all. (Unless they get sick of the bullshit and resign, that is.) Talk about stacking the deck – with O’Connor resigning and Rehnquist rumored to head off into the sunset himself – sheesh. Gives Team Shrub a lot of opportunities to screw things up for a looooong time to come. And, of course, a lot more news coverage and partisan squabbling in the Senate to distract from the Downing Street Memos. (Yeah, you knew the link was coming. Just for shits and giggles, here's another one. And yet another... and yet ANOTHER.)

So while I’ve been staying off the blogs, I guess I’ve been saving my political bile for this post to end off the week nicely. I am working on finding my own center, and trying to balance my need for truth, honesty and justice with my need for mindful quiet space. This includes turning off Fox News and choosing to melt some brain cells with the exquisitely cheesy Dancing with the Stars. This includes playing with my daughter, dancing with her to hip-hop music and freaking out (in a good way) when she sings the McDonald’s jingle, “Ba-da ba ba baaaa…” Dead-on pitch, too. Geez, I really despise what Micky D’s stands for in so many ways, but it’s such a catchy freaking jingle I can’t help myself… This includes relaxing in the sun, cooking out, maintaining, and staying aware. Even keel, my friends.

Wishing you well, as always.

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