When it Rains…

The blog’s been a little political lately, and though that’s a big part of who I am, and this being an election year, it’s bound to be more prominent, I thought it’d be good to write something else since I know a lot of my friends who come here aren’t as liberal as I am. I don’t really care if I offend people I don’t know, but for those who I do–and whose opinions matter and/or are civil–I thought a return to nonsense would be welcomed…and I like folks like Roger and Nik, whose political views often vary from mine, but who I still can count as friends. Might be nice to write something I know won’t irritate them for a change.

So here’s a list of my top ten favorite things to do on a rainy day–which is probably all we’ll have here in St. Louis until the backlash of Gustav blows away. (By the way, I’ve heard virtually NO reports of major damage from that…have I just been missing the reports due to the RNC overshadowing it, or was it less than what they imagined? Anyone know?)

Also, I know I’m posting this in the same day as my last post, but that’s because it’s DEAD in the office and I need a quick break from working on the same thing I’ve been working on all day. My last post is still worth reading if you like my political posts…but if you don’t, I wouldn’t recommend it–even though I think I’m being a little more fair than usual in that one.

…anyway…when it rains, I like to:

10. Sit around with the lights off. Don’t know why. I just like the sound of the rain hitting the roof. I find it relaxing. I particularly used to like the sound the rain made on the roof of the auditorium of the Ferguson church, back when I worked there. There was a resonance that was just great. Not too bad at the house, but nothing echoes like a church.

9. Play guitar. Specifically acoustic, but plugged in with a lot of delay. I just think an echoing guitar balanced against a rain-shower (not a STORM, mind you, but a shower) sounds really cool. I usually don’t play anything too specific during these times. Just experimenting around–nothing salvageable or even very good. Just stuff.

8. Watch John Cusack movies. Not just because Cusack’s my favorite actor…but mostly because it rains in almost every movie he’s done, except for “Grosse Point Blank.” I’m sure there’s another one or two that it doesn’t rain…but most of them have at least one major rain scene. Just kind of cool/geeky to tap into that.

7. Solitary Things. This one’s kind of a catch-all for whatever else isn’t on this list. Just stuff that I do by myself that I don’t do on an ordinary day. Stuff like go to a cafe or a pub and have a drink and a sandwich. Or go shopping for dinner-ware. Or sit with a glass of wine and watch a DVD. Stuff that I don’t really need or want other people to be around to do.

6. Write and or sketch. Specifically longhand (if I’m writing), on a blank and unlined piece of paper, with a pencil. I like the scratching sound of the pencil against the paper, offset by the rain. I’ve come up with some of my favorite writings and drawings that way.

5. Walk through a parking lot. Especially if I don’t have to look good, or can easily excuse it. I like the aesthetic of walking in and having people KNOW I was rained on. I don’t quite know why. I think it’s just because that’s something we all can relate to–anywhere you go in the world that people can inhabit, there’s rain (or snow, which is close enough). We’ve all come in with wet-socks and had to change our clothes before sitting on the good furniture. It’s a common human experience. There’s something comforting in that. As a Humanist, I like things that are common to all of us. It rains on both the terrorist and the pacifist, the Christian and the Jew, the Sunni and the Shiite, the living and the dead. I like it so much that for the entirety of my adult life so far, I have never owned an umbrella (ella ella–sorry, it’s still stuck in my head).

4. Drive. I especially like to drive at night–like 2 or 3 a.m. I don’t really care for it at noon or 6 p.m. when the crazies are out and no one bothers with thinking of the OTHER drivers on the road. (I don’t know what it is, but when it rains in this town, people freaking FORGET how to drive–not that they’re very good at it on a dry day. It’s probably like that in every city, though.) But in the wee-hours, when the roads are pretty empty, I find it really relaxing to drive around in the rain. Sometimes with moody music. Sometimes with nothing at all. Usually with a window cracked open.

3. Listen to David Bowie. I think that’s why he’s so big in the UK–the rain. His music just seems to fit the rain really well–particularly stuff from “Hours” and onward, in my opinion. I especially like to listen to Bowie driving around at 2-3 a.m. like I was just saying. 🙂

2. Read. There’s a really nice quality to reading when the rain’s bouncing off the roof. Usually with a cup of coffee or tea. Perfect time to escape into a novel or biography. I mean…that might just be a librarian-thing…but I dig it, anyway.

1. Sleep. By FAR my favorite thing to do in the rain. I don’t know why, but I always seem to sleep much, much more soundly when it’s raining. In fact, I’ve slept through major, tornadic storms before. I guess it all goes back to me finding the sound the rain makes on the roof (and/or windows, depending on the bedroom) relaxing.

So…there you go. A lighter post for y’all. 🙂

Well, if you were pissed off LAST time…

More about Palin…

In the interest of fairness, I’ll do my less liberal readers the courtesy of giving them a few lines before I start on this. If you’re pissed off by my anti-Republican posts, this is your chance to click away. If you don’t, you’ve only yourself to blame, and I don’t want to hear it. Any such posters will have their posts immediately deleted. Clear?

This is your out. No one will blame you for being the bigger person. Ready? (Also, I promise to return to blogging about less controversial things in the near future.)

Still here? One last chance…

Okay. At this point, I’m assuming we’re of like-mind, or thereabout.

I didn’t watch Palin’s speech tonight, but I did read a summary (from a Republican-slanted website, FYI). I really don’t know how people are still defending her…but since they are, I’m going to throw out three notes about those defenses…this is stuff that I find difficult to wrap my head around coming from the Republican Party, and the reasons why I think that they no have no room to tell us (the liberals) what we can and can’t say about her anymore.

1. There is a defense going around that those of us bashing Palin are just a bunch of sexists. Well, sure, I’d imagine that some are bound to be…but most of us aren’t. In fact, the liberals tend to be the ones fighting for equal rights. It’s not that we don’t want to see a woman in office–it’s just that we want to see a qualified one. I, for example, have no problem with women in the workplace. I just think they should be able to do the job they were hired to do. I wouldn’t want a woman to be my mechanic if she doesn’t know how a car works. I wouldn’t want a man to be either–and I could tell a few stories about a really crappy male mechanic I know.

Palin’s gender doesn’t matter. Yes, she’s a woman, and there are some factors related to that which merit discussion…but even if we took that away, her qualifications are still in question–and I’ll get to that in a minute.

But, for the record, from this point forward, any time someone accuses me of being sexist for not wanting to vote for McCain/Palin, I’m going to accuse them of being racist for not wanting to vote for Obama/Biden. If that’s the reasoning we’re going to play by, then let’s at least play on an even field.

2. The leaders of the Republican Party keep shouting about how the Dems shouldn’t be talking about Palin’s kids–like they never said anything about Chelsea Clinton or the Gore or Kerry girls. (In fact, McCain himself told the following joke in 1998: “Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father.” So he played the kid/sexist cards WELL before the Dems started doing it this month. Quid. Pro. Quo.) Point number one–her kids ARE an issue, since she and her party have made a big issue of being all about “family values” and yet McCain has put a parent of a special-needs child into a position that would almost REQUIRE her to either neglect her office or neglect her child. (I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and believe that if it came down to it, she’d choose the kid.) To me, that says less about Palin than it does about McCain, actually. I would probably be less alarmed by it if the kid wasn’t a BABY, and were in its teen/adult years…but (not to play the Jesus card) I believe that God gives special-needs children to people that He knows are going to be able to provide them with the special love they need, and (male, female, liberal, or conservative) I think the primary role of these specially equipped parents shouldn’t have to be split between caring for their kid and cleaning up the messes of America. (In case you missed it, I just said that I think God trusts Palin to care for a child with special needs, thereby saying that God Himself clearly thinks she’s a good parent. Of course, that theory falls apart when special needs kids are born to heroin addicted drifters…but they’re the minority, and to my knowledge, Palin is not among them.)

Then there’s the pregnant one whose name I don’t know. As I said in an earlier post, I’m not going to drag her name through the mud for that–people make mistakes, and at least she’s being responsible about it. However, I will say that it’s kind of ironic that Palin was quoted as saying, “The sex ed programs will not find my support” in 2006, and now has a pregnant daughter. (Though I should say that the sins of the daughter do not necessarily reflect the quality of her parents.) I feel bad for the girl–I really do. She shouldn’t have to go through this in the spotlight…but I will say that I don’t really see the difference between the jokes being made now and the jokes that I read on many conservative blogs and websites when Jamie Lynn Spears got pregnant (except that Jamie Lynn’s mom isn’t running for VP). All of this is to say I don’t trust the party and is not a personal attack on the kid. Sure it might be an attack on Palin herself…but I’d guess that being in politics she should be able to handle attacks on her name (and I’d also imagine that being a former beauty queen she’s probably used to being dismissed as brainless as well, whether it’s fair or not).

Now…even if I agreed that her kids should be off limit–and I’m only about 50/50 on that since a person’s personal life dictates what their political life must be like (or at least that’s the premise the Republicans used during the Clinton impeachment trial)–I think that Palin changed the rules on that tonight in her speech. She made a point of talking about her kids and bringing her motherhood into the race. Door’s open, folks. If she doesn’t want them dragged into it, she shouldn’t talk about them either. I guess it’s fine to talk about her kids if you say something NICE or are writing off their actions…but have a criticism and you’re a sexist. Of course, that’s coming from racists, so I guess that’s not too bad of an accusation. (See what I did there?)

3. Let’s remove all of that stuff above and focus just on Palin’s qualifications. What were they again? Ah yes. She’s a governor and a former mayor, therefore has more executive experience than Barack Obama or Joe Biden, PLUS she commands the ENTIRE Alaskan National Guard! WOW!!! She’s clearly the best candidate for the job…in fact, I’m not even sure why they’re running McCain since her experience trumps HIS as well by that standard (but let’s just
ignore that, I guess).

Let’s put this in perspective. I’m a manager at a college library. I prepare and maintain the budget. I have a staff answerable directly to me and me alone. I make all of the major decisions affecting (effecting?) my department. If war were declared upon the college bookstore, I’d be the library’s general. Can I be President, too?

Since that’s pretty much the extent of her “qualifications” I guess I’ll just have to stop there. Maybe that’s why the liberals are focusing so much on Palin’s personal life…she has no real professional one to speak of, so we’ve got to say SOMETHING.


Look…I sympathize with the Republicans. I know what it’s like to know your candidate isn’t going to walk away with the White House. I know the disillusionment, the feelings of defeat…and I know that it leaves you with nothing to fall back upon but anger. I’ve been a man without a country for eight years (and if McCain somehow wins, I’m seriously going to consider moving to Canada or British Europe, because I just don’t think I can make it another four). I know the pain of the bad ticket. It’s not easy.

…but there’s a really big part of me that’s really glad to FINALLY see the shoe on the other foot.

Okay…enough politics. Barring something really big happening, I’m going to give it a rest for about a week or two. Tomorrow and following, I’ll blog about something less blood-boiling.

Apologies to those who disagree…but on the other hand, I really didn’t write with you as my intended audience, and I gave you ample warning…so…

Current Listening:

  • I’ve surprisingly moved on from Aimee Mann, but I’m still in the girl-rock genre. Listening to a mix of Alanis Morrisette and Tori Amos. Both put out really strong records in the past year that haven’t gotten near the attention they deserve. (Times like this, I kind of miss the 90s. I also miss the 90s when I’m at the gas pump.)