Tuesday, January 20, 2009

day of change

Back in November, the U.S. collectively voted for a change. Today we inaugurate a new President -- one that ran a platform promising change. Nothing but hindsight will enlighten whether or not we receive the change we desire.

This historic inauguration not only places the first African-American in the role of President, but I hope it also opens the door for women in upcoming elections. It is certainly just a matter of time, but perhaps now time becomes inconsequential in the equation.

Mr. Obama has been likened to a celebrity. Perhaps that is what this country needs right now. President Bush was not followed as a celebrity, and our country has many inhabitants that could not even recognize his photo, nor the name nor photo of Vice-President Cheney. Perhaps we need a figure that the paparazzi cannot wait to follow, that the magazines salivate over the opportunity to write about as he and his family appeal to fashion and entertainment. Maybe this man's charisma and charming good looks can bring about a social consciousness and political awareness in this country. Maybe with a face in office that people are excited about seeing, maybe he can unite us in a way we have not been united since JFK.

And for the first time in my life, I understand a very little bit about how crazy the country could be about John F. Kennedy. With his charming good looks and winning smile, with a beatiful and graceful woman by his side, the country paid attention to what he did and therefore, what was going on around him. I was not there, but I've heard about the "I was _____ when JFK was shot" stories. Everyone remembers that moment, just as I presume that this country will remember where they were on January 20, 2009.

Regardless of how votes were cast back in November, this day we inaugurate the one man that won the election. There is no point in mourning the loss of some other outcome. This is where we are in history, and it is from this moment that we will move forward. I am hopeful that when we look back on this administration we do indeed see positive change in not only foreign policy and economic policy and such, but in ourselves as a united people.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Owls and Songbirds

"There are many peaceful and monogamous birds in the Animal Kingdom who provide a model for loving human relationships. Mourning doves, sparrows, and finches all have their tender and caring courting rituals and share jointly in the nurturing and protecting of their young.

There are, however, a few bad birds. And the baddest of the bird world Bad Boys is the rare male great tit (Parus Calioptrus). Ornithologists are usually excited when the see a pair of great tits in the wild, as you can well imagine.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who's ever had to suffer through an episode of Benny Hill that the great tits make their home in England. While there are also blue tits and mouse tits it is the great tits who are notorious for being among the very few songbirds that actually murder other songbirds. Male great tits have actually gotten so aggressive that they will steal food from humans, using their sharp beaks to open freshly delivered bottles of milk on people's doorsteps.

You'd think great tits would have their own milk, but of course, they don't.

This tendency for great tits to go wrong (thus becoming killer tits) is avenged only when they themselves become victims of larger birds of prey like hawks or owls. There is almost no sight in nature as ugly as a battle to the death between a pair of big hooters and some killer tits."

-Cathryn Michon, The Grrl Genius Guide to Sex (with Other People)
Pages 36-37, First Edition, copyright 2004

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

You can't always get what you want....

.... but sometimes you get what you need.

I've ranted and rampaged for years about hand-outs versus hand-ups. I've railed against something for nothing and lauded the importance of pulling one's self up by one's own bootstraps.

It is within my own personal experiences that I could draw enough analogies, anecdotes, and tales of woe and hardship to bore the reader right off of this page. Suffice it to say, I did not form my opinion on the words of my parents.

For the last few years I've pondered my greater purpose, sometimes eloquently, sometimes not. And recently I got quieter and quieter as the voice I most heard was my own. The world sat by and patiently let me puzzle out my own Rubik's cube.

When I was done, I pulled up my bootstraps.

This year is going to be the beginning of a journey for me that will not end until I walk across a stage to accept my Bachelor's degree and then following with my Master's. I mention this because some of you have been loyal readers since I first started this blog, and have known me to spend time procrastinating, in introspection, and in self discovery. So many times I found myself lacking, simply because I refused to live up to my potential.

It was never anyone else's job to drag me up to that potential, but I have some good friends that have contributed in their own way at propping me up while I struggled to stand on my own. Thank you, good friends.

For several months I've been looking into schools, searching for the right one, the right program. I have completed searching, and am enrolled and already back at it. So now, while I'm still excited and passionate, I announce my plans, in part so those that have always supported me know where we're headed next.

The blog will continue as always, but if things show up slower than they used to, at least my avid readers will understand why.

I have indeed embarked on exactly what I need, and I'm fortunate in that it's also exactly what I want. Sometimes you get both.