Thursday, November 19, 2009

There. Now it's official. I'm senile.

Tonight on the drive home I scared myself. A lot.

I've been driving this 60 mile commute since mid-August and I know I-57 between Cairo and Marion like the back of my hand. I can drive it in the rain, in the fog, before dawn, after dark and, up until tonight, even when I'm deadly tired. Tonight I got lost coming home. Really lost, like "where the hell am I and where is home?!?" lost. If it weren't for the nifty direction finder in my car I might still be out there somewhere getting ready to cry.

I'm still not sure how it happened. It's dark and I was tired, but I know my exit. The highway curves to the left and the exit veers to the right. It takes a long curve to the right, then a curve to the left and comes to a stop. Then you turn left onto Route 3 and you're there. But tonight when the highway curved left and I veered right, taking the same long curves right and left, and came to a stop just like every other night, the left turn put me on little highway I've never seen and there was nothing familiar anywhere. I finally turned into an old pot-hole ridden gas station I've never seen before in my life and turned around. I found my way back to the highway, not sure which way to go, and took a guess. The next sign I saw said I still had seven miles to go to Cairo. At that point I was so confused I wondered if I'd somehow managed to drive across the bridge into Missouri without realizing it. There was still nothing that looked familiar. There were lots of lights I don't remember ever seeing and railroad overpasses that seemed completely unfamiliar and out of place. My directional computer thingie said that I was, indeed, still headed south, and the signs kept saying I was headed for Cairo, but nothing looked right to me until my exit came (again?) and it was exactly the exit I always take. But it was also exactly the exit I just took, except this time it went where it was supposed to.

I still don't know what happened, but whatever it was I didn't like it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


So, where the hell have we been, anyway? Obviously not blogging. We've been reading, baking cookies, walking the dogs, hanging out on Facebook, working, commuting, settling into the new house and generally not being very interesting. Certainly not blog interesting. I feel guilty about it, if that counts, so I thought I'd make a token attempt to post something in November, what with it being NaBloWhatever.

On the upside, we're loving our house and our town. We're as settled in and unpacked as we can be until we erect the wall-o'-bookshelves; and aside from painting Ev's work-out room there aren't any other inside projects that need done right now, so we're in the idea gathering stage until some need reveals itself. Ev's big project has been clearing and cleaning up the lots we bought adjoining the house and wow, there was a lot of extra yard under that mess! We've been sneaking the dismantled chicken coop and other sundry trash from the yard to various dumpsters around town under cover of darkness, where we usually meet up with people who are taking things back out of them to sell for scrap. It's sort of like a social event ... but not. Burning shit in the yard was much more efficient!

Ev's also been collecting hundred-year-old bricks for the upcoming patio project. The really cool ones are heavy as hell and stamped with the year and manufacturer, so those are the ones she watches for when a house or building comes down (which they do with saddening frequency. We just lost three more historic downtown buildings last week). She and Pickle find the good rubble piles on their long walks (the last one was about six miles worth along the top of the levee clear to the Mississippi river) and then we go back (again under cover of darkness) to load bricks in the truck. I'm not sure anyone cares, but the clandestine nature of the scavenging makes it more fun. What can I say? We're easily entertained.

On the downside, Ev's been working way too much overtime way too often, Cooper's ear needed surgery for another hematoma, the Sebring has gone rapidly from being my dream car to a problem child to a goddamn mechanical albatross around my neck that spends as much time in the shop as on the road, and we finally had to put our sweet old Sage to sleep at the end of the summer. All in all, life balances out, but I wish it didn't feel the need to swing from one extreme to another in the process.

And I'm really really disappointed in President Obama.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Death is lonely, Hunter

Today in Rhode Island, a bill that would allow same-sex couples to make burial decisions about each other passed the state Senate unanimously and the Assembly overwhelmingly, only to be vetoed by Gov. Don Carcieri on the grounds that it is a "disturbing erosion" of the "principles surrounding traditional marriage."

In an almost flawlessly executed catch-22 with a double twisting dismount, Carcieri stated that "he was also uncertain 'how it would be ascertained in many circumstances whether [a couple] had been in a relationship for year' since there is 'no official or recognized form'' of domestic partnership agreement in Rhode Island."

Ooooh, you're good, Gov. You've caught us. Our days of making fun-filled funeral arrangements in Rhode Island, and paying for the burial or cremation of any old body we want to, just for the hell of it, are over.

You can read about the veto here:

As the comments pointed out, there will probably be an override of the veto, but there's no overriding the hatred that led to it ... couched, as it was, in good intentions about family and tradition.

One of the many places that Carcieri's argument falls apart is that, in many cases, we're all we've got. For some of us, there is no family who wants anything to do with us, dead or alive. Others of us have families waiting in the wings for just such an occasion so they can punish our partners. Some of us have families from whom the only protection we and our partners have is each other. We don't want our screwed up families making the decisions our life partners should be making. Oh, silly me, that's the point, isn't it? To stand between us and those basic rights we want.

I've been wracking my brain, but I can't think of any group of people in the United States who were prevented by law from burying their dead. If we are to have no rights in life, can we not, at the very least, be afforded some small measure of dignity when we're dead?