Tag Archives: culture

The troubled march skies are finally here: Part 3 (& final)

31 Mar

[The final installment of my cultural diary.]

March 12, 2011


Woke up to sun. And a fly. I’m convinced a miracle took place in my room over winter. Here’s the story. I noticed in November a fly hanging on the window screen. It was inside the house, but cased between glass and mesh. It hung there, not moving all winter. I was more than convinced the fly was dead. Here’s the miracle: this morning while I opened the window again (see cleansing above), I saw the fly was gone. That would’ve been miracle enough, a fly just disappearing like that. Then I realized well, if dead it could’ve decomposed, fly probably turned into dust. I mean, it is that season of lent and the disappearing of bodies in caves. However, a more miraculous thing happened: the fly was alive and buzzing around my window, trying to get out! I wanted to know what role I played in this miracle. Do I have an aura of heeling powers? Of course, I’m presumptive enough, as human, to believe the fly’s miracle had something to do with me. Finally, believing that there is hope for miracles in this world – and not religious miracles, but life miracles – I ran out to my roommate to tell the redeeming story. He relayed to me that flies hibernate over winter. More than that, their eggs can only hatch in temperatures between 75 and 95.  Wait? So a fly exposed to the entire winter conditions (cold, snow, wind) didn’t die but was only hibernating? That seemed too easy, but if science has taught me anything it’s that it knows best (even when it doesn’t) – even over human intuition.

Regardless of how it happened, even from hibernation, it is a kind of miracle isn’t it?

The fly is still in my window – desperately buzzing to get out. I’m worried that if he gets out he’ll die out there. That’s a funny thought, isn’t it?  My mind has gone into overdrive because I now believe that if the fly doesn’t get out and eat something within two or three hours it’ll starve to death. But I’m not sure I’m strong enough to assist him into a cup and out my door. Maybe even flies don’t deserve to live in such a cruel time. And it still just might die out there, and that seems wrong to a fly that has magical powers.

I am happy to repeat anything in these days that has come off as confusing. Though I don’t promise that the additional telling will be any more clarifying.

After the earthquake I’m reading reports about Japan’s nuclear reactors going out. Or rising. Or doing things they shouldn’t be doing. At one place there was an explosion. Why do the Japanese have such trouble with nuclear problems? It is, after all, the only country to have nuclear weapons used on it. Now this? Could it be all this industrialization isn’t actually beneficial in the long run? We’ve lost our roots and our technology will kill us all? As far as I know, humans can’t hibernate. Well, not counting people like Walt Disney.

I can’t help but watch clips of the tsunami reaching land. But first I have to wait out the ads. Even in the face of destruction we have ads.


I’m returning the calendar to the local national book chain and see a book titled: The Rational Optimist. I can’t buy it because it’s too positive a view under these troubled skies.



March 13, 2011

The Day:

“By preventing people from entering the capitol building Thursday morning, the police also denied entry to legislators, including at least two Democratic Assembly members — David Cullen and Elizabeth Coggs.

Mr. Cullen was turned away even after displaying his Assembly identification.

Asked why the officers did not allow him inside, Mr. Cullen said: ‘I don’t know. And they won’t answer why.’ Later, Mr. Cullen and Ms. Coggs could be seen climbing into the building through a first-floor window.”

Is this American Democracy? Is this what we’ve come to?

Someone told me this is all the start of a new civil war in America.

But someone said using the word ‘war’ was hypocritical.

Yet we’re fighting wars because we like wars. Everyone in power likes a good old war. And who’s gonna win against the middle class? And what happened to the Japanese? Are why are there suddenly so many flies in my window? It’s not that warm yet.

The march skies are too much. I have to hold out for April.


The troubled march skies are finally here: Part 2

30 Mar

[My cultural diary continues.]

March 11, 2011


My roommate woke me up to say that Japan had an earthquake. I was in the kitchen finding orange juice in an early morning daze, wondering who I was and why I was awake, when he spoke words of truth that woke me up. I watched from my bedroom desk the destruction against a civilization. Through the magic of wireless I watched Hawaii morning news. Watched waves flap against the shores of the islands, thinking even their destruction is beautiful.

The sun tried peeking through the blinds, and I found comfort in that before heading out into the windy air and letting the sky bland my thoughts in my gray car ride to the bus. I drive further out of my way to catch a bus for school. On the bus hangs a sign, “Thank you for decreasing congestion and improving our air quality.” Every time I read that I think about how I drive further out of my way to catch a bus.


A friend is coming into town tonight – needs to take a test for a state he no longer wants to teach in. It’s called the Praxis, which is funny to me because doesn’t that mean practice? And isn’t that what life is all about but not standardized exams? He no longer wants to teach in Idaho because it, I’m told, now has woes. That’s at least what the email said: Idaho has woes. Doesn’t the sky too?

Because of his impending arrival I have this extreme compulsion to clean my room and bathroom. I don’t care about the kitchen, living room, just my bedroom and bathroom.

My second trip to Rockin’ Rudy’s allowed me purchase of the new Adele CD. I regretted buying it because I had already downloaded most of my favorite songs, but I figured I drove there twice for it, and it’d be weird to drive a third time. So I bought it. I do things like that.

I’m listening to Lovesong by Adele on repeat, half-way done cleaning my room (still need to vacuum and change my bed sheets; I always occasionally change the sheets), when I’m brought to the skies and to the nights when I once watched this show that was borrowed to me called Queer As Folk, and on one episode there was this one kid who was dating this one violinist. At the end a song called Lovesong by The Cure came on, and the way the two boys lied, holding one another, love, the violinist, they weren’t going to survive, you could tell by their words, by their eyes… but it ultimately doesn’t matter because it’s a scripted TV show and ultimately it doesn’t help me clean my room.

But Adele does.

I stared at a peppershaker top for quite some time this afternoon while talking to my roommate. It was all residue, left over pepper dust, not quite destined for the plate, nor was it welcome back in the shaker. It sat exposed to the air, and I couldn’t believe it was the same as the pepper in the shaker itself. I couldn’t quite believe it. It just didn’t seem like pepper anymore. I wouldn’t want it touching my food.

Speaking of which, I went to the store last night to buy pork to cook for dinner. By the time I got home, late, I no longer wanted to cook. So I heated a TV dinner package which proclaimed Shrimp Pad Thai. While eating it, I couldn’t tell if the shrimp were breaded or just skeletons of shrimp. I regretted the meal, especially since I just finished a book by a man named Michael Pollan, who, in his book, told me to eat real food. I’m sorry Michael, I wasn’t in the mood to cook at 8:30 at night by myself. I never am. So the TV dinner made due. Luckily, on my way home from the grocery store I stopped at the liquor store and bought a new bottle of rum. That made the brown shrimp sing.

Who could buy the wrong calendar? It’s March, and I needed a calendar. So off I went some days ago to the local national bookstore chain. The store, losing books, adding games, losing minds, adding kinesthetic lives, had two calendars: one of Italy, one of Ireland. I looked at the pictures. Having been to both countries once, at separate times, I realized I loved Ireland more than Italy. Even though I want to learn more Italian and move to Italy. I wanted to see pictures of Ireland for the next year, I wanted to believe there’s a place untouched by human destruction. Yet, the calendar doesn’t work. It skips March, April, May, June and starts on July of 2011. I would like to skip those months too, if it were convenient, but it’s not because I’m in school and I need to ride a bus to appreciate irony. So I need a calendar that’s strong enough to start three months late but go with me month-by-month until I kiss 2011 goodbye, which would be the way I brought it in, a simple smile and wave. Hello, year. Goodbye, year. That’s all one can say in those situations.

I have mouths to feed. A baby after all has never been dropped off at my door. But with these skies the way they’ve been this month, this year, this time when we’re scattered from each other, when there’s this cultural war happening, when the haves scream at the have nots and the choosers stare at the deciders and I’m predicting a stork to come by and say, ‘I can’t go on. Please, take this child, it’s not yours, but I need need to rest.’ And all I can do is say, ‘But I’m not trained to love.’

There was a show on TV. An old man kept a diary for twenty-five years where he wrote hourly the news headlines across the country. I thought of how I can barely hold onto my thoughts, they pass wildly through the mind. I thought of how I once tried to write a diary, it came out as nothing but whines. Oh woe is me Oh woe is the world Oh woe are the living who watch the dying. And I wasn’t even in love.


Who are you? I ask, standing at the door. Something new is fighting us from ourselves. Someone here is going there!

Today I opened my window for the first time since winter started some months ago. I braved months of frosty winds and cold nipping temperatures while always dreaming of that one day in the spring when I can open it and let the warm, clean, fresh air come in and soak up the moisture problem. Today I cheated, I so longed to open my window and let the air in and cleanse my soul that I opened the window and let the dirty, brown, stale march air nip at my semi-clean clothes on the floor. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel cleansing anyway.

The way I clean my bathroom: spray 409 or some bleach around, let sit for a while. Throw some water on it and go to the toilet.