That's Right's The End.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Mouse

Once there came a sound so teeny, while I slurped my clam linguini,
O’er an inane show on Hulu, since I’d finished 30 Rock,
While I sat there, finally resting from the traffic jam so testing
Of my patience, at last nesting in my bed, at sev’n o’clock,
Thump! It sounded faint then silent from downstairs at sev’n o’clock.
T’was a mousetrap – not a shock.

For, you see, we’d caught eleven, sent them all to mousey heaven,
Started marking each one’s conquer on the wall with colored chalk.
Now with noodles in my belly, pausing laptop – slash – the telly,
With a heart like Machiavelli, I dumped the trap and took no stock.
It was one like all the others, causing me to take no stock.
T’was a mouse corpse – not a shock.

On the wall I made a tally, record of the sweet finale
Of the life I loathed by virtue of its birth from vermin stock.
Up the stairs with great elation, I returned in celebration,
To my bed, that sweet location, where I could watch, like a hawk
Sitcoms that I will not mention, watch those sitcoms like a hawk.
Fine, it’s New Girl – such a shock.

Well before the half hour’s closing, came a sound not so imposing,
Just that old familiar thump, without a squeak or scratch or squawk.
Planning to mark one more vict’ry, I found something contradict’ry
When I peered upon the body ‘round which plastic jaws did lock,
For I saw they pinched his hind parts. Not his neck did those jaws lock.
Boy, was I in for a shock.

Could it truly be, I wondered, that these plastic jaws had blundered?
Had they failed, the breath of life from this poor rodent’s lungs, to knock?
Once released, the mouse was squirming, all my dreaded fears confirming.
Ne’er a scene was less affirming, and my thoughts it still does stalk.
Paraplegic mouse now scooting – yes, that scene my thoughts does stalk.
He was living – what a shock.

Trying then to end the drama, and to mitigate the trauma
That would surely haunt me if I did no more than stand and gawk,
I was chasing him and pinching with the trap as he was inching
T’ward the stove. We both were flinching, and his path I failed to block.
‘Neath the stove he made his exit. Yes, his path I failed to block.
Poor mouse – he had quite a shock.

I had failed to end his anguish. In my mind the sound does languish,
Of his faint and final cry, so small and yet so hard to block.
Now I know he surely suffered, dying slowly, pain unbuffered.
No relief to him was offered. He could barely even walk.
Now this memory I’ll carry, as through life I slowly walk.
One more thing I’ll fail to block.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

we don't believe a word our heros said

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." - Wayne LaPierre, NRA lobbyist, on having an armed officer in every school

This is the most terrifying bit of rhetoric I've heard all year. Yes, scarier than politicians saying that women's bodies will automatically protect themselves against pregnancy in the case of legitimate rape. Because most of the population is aware that this 'legitimate rape' nonsense is crazy talk spewed by an ignorant, sexist moron. Yes, the 'good guy with a gun' stuff is more insidious because a HUGE number of people buy into this.

I have three main problems with this wicked little cliche.

1. It's not even true. 

Quite often, two guns cause (surprise surprise) MORE damage than one gun. When we give up on creative solutions to our problems and assume that there is only ONE WAY to do things, we limit ourselves. A world filled with violence is our only option? Well I don't wanna live there!

2. It assumes that there will always be 'bad guys with guns' and that there's no way around it.

Well that's pretty hopeless. But I guess when you make your living promoting the use of guns, you're not primed to think that there could be any way to prevent this. Again, I don't want to live in your world.

3. It labels people as inherently bad, as if you're born that way and there's nothing we as a society can do about it.

I spend my days telling children that everyone in our class is good.
No one is bad.
We all make choices.
We can all make good choices, or bad choices.
Some people need more help making good choices, and it's our job to help them.
And we can help them because we're smart, kind people. And we can be patient with others.
'He started it' is not a good reason to hurt someone.
There are people you can go to when you feel in danger.

And then the children go home, and their parents tell them to stay away from the bad kids. The stigma starts at three years old, my friends. Telling your child to defend himself physically is one thing. Telling him that his peers are bad is... completely damaging in a way that's hard to undo. Can you even imagine what that does to your little child brain if you ever find out that the adults in your life think you're just flat out BAD? You probably can't imagine it. But if you could, it would probably make you want to punch someone. Whoever's the closest.

Maybe we can all wrap our heads around the fact that a three-year-old isn't bad. At some point, though, we draw a line. I guess it's the arbitrary age of 18? Sometimes younger? Then there is no more compassion or understanding of human development. There is no more help. There is jail sometimes. And sometimes there's just a gun.

So who's bad? Is it someone who grew up with no model for self-regulation, so that when someone bumps into them as an adult, they literally have no other strategy in their brain other than to retaliate physically? Is it someone who feels defeated every day because they are constantly fighting their own demons and the urge to end their life?

GUESS WHAT? If you were raised in a supportive home with no mental illness and a variety of opportunities that got you into the position of power where you are today, and you STILL can't come up with a more compassionate and creative solution than adding violence to violence and turning our schools into prisons, then MAYBE YOU'RE THE BAD GUY.

I don't want to live in this hypothetical world you've created, NRA dude and everyone who thinks like you. And you know who else doesn't want to live in this world?? MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE. People who are depressed and feel hopeless. Maybe if we created a different narrative for the actually awesome world we live in, people like this would feel a little more hopeful. Maybe violence could actually be prevented.

We live a beautiful life. But it's hard for some people. I want to teach my children that we can actually help each other out. That joy and kindness and mindfulness and positive thinking are (evidence-based!) ways to change the way we think and feel and act. Maybe it's too late for you to buy into this, but it's not too late for kids. So stay out of our schools.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

stop trying to make fetch happen

things I did during the hurricane:
  • schoolwork, schoolwork, schoolwork 
  • extensive twitter and facebook research to determine the meaning and appropriate usage of the new Bmore term 'crouchy'
  • made pumpkin ice cream 
  • watched an angsty relationship movie
  • attempted to integrate the word crouchy into my vocabulary  
  • expressed my own angst to friends 
  • received an awesome lobster card from friends 
  • danced, kind of
  • played Apples to Apples
  • found out via twitter research that some kid's grandma just said crouchy, and crouchy is therefore over

Sunday, October 21, 2012

'Does your person buy Monster energy drinks?' will be my next Guess Who question

I thought the guy in the checkout lane next to me was attractive at first glance today. Then I looked into his cart and saw 2 packs of Hi-C, 2 different kinds of Hostess snacks, white bread, some other stuff, and a Monster energy drink. 

Ew. No longer attractive at all. Then at closer look, I saw he had a dumb hat and a Chinese character tattooed on the back of his neck. 

I'm gonna go ahead and say that the grocery cart test is an accurate pre-assessment.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

the first one

I realized something. I miss documenting the stories of strange daily interactions. People do and say weird stuff. All the time. And I used to write it down.

I think I'll start again. And now, since everyone thinks this blog no longer exists...I have a secret blog. Here's the first post on my secret blog:

I went to The Book Thing the other day. As I rounded a shelf, a white man with white hair who looked to be about in his mid-fifties (But I could be wrong! I would never think to assign a fixed age to someone!) said to his friend:

Watch out, there's a young lady behind you. Or a little girl, I can't tell which, but she looks young either way.

Clearly he wanted me to respond. Why else would you say something like that? My response was to keep looking at books and not lift my eyes in his direction. After a second of processing, however, I did mutter under my breath, That's...really rude.

I suppose Rude Guy thought I hadn't heard him, so he tried a different approach to...insult me?

Rude Guy:
What do you do?
me: (while giving him a blank look) For work?
Rude Guy: Yeah.
me: I'm a teacher.
Rude Guy: You look too young to be a teacher.
me: ...That's not really a polite thing to say to someone.
RG: You'll appreciate it when you get older.
me: I'm an adult.
RG: Most women like that. Oh...okay. Okay.
(RG walks away to pretend to look at different books.)

A minute later, a lady walked around the corner and whispered Well-handled! to me, and then I felt all triumphant and stuff.

Moral of the story: When you find yourself saying, within the first minute of trying to strike up a conversation with someone, Most women like're doing it wrong.

Then again, if a toothless man who looked like he just walked in off the street had said that to me, I would've just chuckled and brushed it off. I suppose my expectations for appropriate comments are directly proportionate to the amount of teeth the speaker has.

(Thanks, secret blog. I needed that.)