Sunday night, when i left the house a little before 7, when i took my first real inhale, my first thought was that it smelled like snow.
Fall seems to have been cancelled, importing California’s rainy season instead. I have very few long-sleeved shirts that i like wearing, but i have something of a fondness for the chill season, so it will be okay; i will just live in my grey Smith sweatshirt as always. (Emily M. said that it’s because of all the rain we’ve been having that the trees haven’t changed color much.)
Walking from Spanish class to my Bodywise meeting today i passed Chapin lawn and lots of people were standing around looking at one of the trees. There was a hawk, and three squirrels (appeared to be two parents and a youngster). At first no one was moving much, but then the youngster would move around on the tree near where the hawk was. The hawk was on a branch only about a foot out from the trunk, and a couple of times the young squirrel would go out so it was mere inches away from the hawk and then scurry away, but the hawk did no more than turn its head. Sometimes leaves would fall and many of us bystanders as well as the hawk would turn our heads to look. Mostly the hawk was just there, sometimes looking around. After 10 minutes my neck started to hurt and i decided i really should go to my meeting. Passing that way again 45 minutes later the hawk was on a lampost, one of those classic black candy-cane-shaped ones. It was in the middle of the curve, backdrop a near cloudless blue sky. Would have been great to have had a camera.
At Bodywise we had yet another new person and Connie was telling her about why Bodywise no longer does eating disorder stuff (once i finally get copies of the research from her, i’d really love to talk to you about it, btw) and i said “I’ve heard this like 9 times” and got up and threw out my trash and when i returned to my seat, i pulled off the sweatshirt i had draped on the back of the chair and put it on as i was a bit cold. Lanie thought i was leaving. Oops, i wasn’t actually trying to be dramatic.
I really dislike the GroupWise desktop client, but i finally downloaded it Sunday night because while usually i take an inability to access it via WebAccess to be a sign that i should really be doing my homework instead of obsessively checking my e-mail, sometimes i really want to be able to access my e-mail. (And it is nice to be able to constantly have the window open, so i can obsessively check my e-mail without wasting time logging in -- though that was part of the appeal, that it took time and you felt like you were actually doing something even though you knew you really weren’t.)
I always find it interesting which (portions of) posts generate comments and which don’t.
I had been waiting for Andrew Sullivan to chime in about Bush’s declaration of Marriage Protection Week. * It’s scheduled to come on the heels of National Coming Out Day, which is ironic. I’m all for same-sex marriage, so one would expect me to be outraged. And yet i don’t really care. Partly my instinctual reaction to criticisms of the current administration is to not side with the criticisms (this is what years of vitriolic personal attacks from the Left have done to me). Partly because i put no stock in declarations of Official Anything Day/Week. I think it’s a great cause for pro-same-sex-marriage forces to rally against, having debate forums and passing out informational literature and all that. But i don’t think this proclamation is going to suddenly convince fence-sitters that oh yes, marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Everyone already Bush opposed same-sex marriage, so all it does is bolster support among those already support him and further anger those who are already angry with him.
* I have yet to see Andrew Sullivan or any of the other bloggers i read respond to this news directly, though some have pointed to a recent USA Today poll showing growing support for same-sex marriage, which is of much more interest to me and which i haven’t seen floating around on my LJ friendspage yet. Andrew Sullivan says "What I particularly liked about this poll was that it asked the important question: will this change hurt or help the broader society? A tiny majority said it would help. What chance does a Constitutional Amendment have that cannot even get a simple majority in most polls? Close to none, I'd say." Glenn Reynolds says of the results, "That's amazing progress. Less than 20 years ago, the Supreme Court said it was OK to send gay people to jail for having sex. Now half the country is comfortable with gay marriage." Eugene Volokh isn’t so sure about the poll and also points to a handy reference page of recent polls done on the topic by a variety of different organizations. Now that is something which interests me.
Reading comments on Marriage Week, on the California recall (particularly Arnold, speaking of whom, this made me laugh out loud, particularly since i have no respect for Maureen Dowd; i should make the time to research/post about the whole thing now that the recall’s actually happened), and on other stuff recently, i started to doubt my ability to get righteously angry. And then i remembered that it’s my insistence on knowing the whole story, my growth in oceans of information, that means i don’t react so often, that means i want to learn at least 2 sides regardless of my initial reaction. Typing this i worry that i’m sounding like i’m insulting those who do get righteously angry right off the bat, and i really don’t mean it that way.
While we’re talking politics and major figures...
In case it wasn’t already clear, i have no respect for Michael Moore.
"Unless you are a student of linguistics or an ardent anti-war militant, it has been easy to ignore Noam Chomsky."
One of my dearest has him on her interests list, though, so i need to research my impression that while he may be a brilliant linguist but is among the idiotic and psychotic Left and thus should stay the fuck out of punditry. Doing preliminary research i’m coming up with not very helpful stuff, so it might be easier just to ask for samples of what she admires him for and go from there.
While researching to respond to Miranda, i found a fascinating piece by Andrew Sullivan about the current Iraq war. Excerpt (emphasis mine):
It is, first and foremost, the United Nations' war. Without the U.N., it would never have happened. Indeed, without the U.N., it wouldn't have even been necessary. Back in 1991, U.S. and U.K. forces were only a few hundred miles behind the positions they advanced to in the middle of last week. Saddam was reeling, after a coalition invasion to repel his aggression against Kuwait. Both the Kurds in the north of Iraq and the Shi'a in the South, emboldened by the war in Kuwait and encouraged by Washington, launched an uprising against the same tyrant we are still battling today. With American air-cover, they could have succeeded. But the Americans, in the greatest military miscalculation of the last few decades, hung back. Then-president George H.W. Bush insisted that his war aims did not include the removal of Saddam Hussein, but were limited to the liberation of a small oil company known as Kuwait.3)
" The chaos broke out minutes after Trot Nixon's 11th-inning homer saved the Sox from playoff elimination."
We haven’t won a World Series since 1918.
and did i mention in there somewhere did i mention somewhere in there that i traded babe ruth? yes, i traded the only player that was bigger than the game and i can't even tell you why cuz you'd think i'm insane and that's the truth
Against the Cubs no less.
"The Cubs may have lost longer, but we lose harder" says ghostintheshell, who has been my main source for this Red Sox thing.
People were screaming last night and i remembered when the Pats won the SuperBowl in 2001 and Emily down the hall had a party in her room and i caught the last 10 minutes or so because i kept hearing screaming and came out to investigate. The only time i’ve really cared about football is last winter when while i was home i watched with my father and he explained it to me.
The one time i remember being really into baseball was that one year in high school (2000? 1999?) when the Red Sox were playing the Yankees and Linda (my high school best friend) was all about Nomar Garciaparra.
"We hate the Yankees." /Willoughby’s Wonders voice [Ask if you really want the story.]
4 baseball fans stood on top of a mountain: Cubs, Marlins, Red Sox and Yankees. To prove how much he loved the Cubs, the Cubs fan screamed, "This is for the Cubs!" and jumped off the mountain. The Marlins fan did the same. The Sox fan moved to the edge and screamed, "This is for everyone!" and pushed the Yankees fan off the mountain.
We won the first World Series in 1903. Can we win on the centenary?
4) I attended the budget forum tonight, and i definitely love Abby. She mentioned how a girl at the dining forum had brought up the fact that Smith uses pine nuts, which are expensive, and that got Abby thinking about what else we spend money on that’s frivolous, like cable. And she said certainly not everyone is going to agree about what’s frivolous, but if the administration could publicize a list of how much gets spent on what, we could dialogue. Maureen and Rick and Ruth pointed out that with $150million in expenditures, not only would it be impossible to give us a full listing, but they wouldn’t really be meaningful numbers, but they definitely did think it would be a good idea and said that if students told them areas of concern, they could certainly crunch numbers for certain areas and see where cuts could be made.
Personally, i would eliminate the athletics department in a heartbeat if financial aid and faculty positions were on the line, and while my instinctual reaction is “But, free cable!” i could so live without it (and really, i never watch it, so it doesn’t matter to me). Free Ethernet in every room is crucial to me, but i’ll let a lot of other things go. I mentioned in my Update of Doom that i will sacrifice the opportunity for longer dining hours and more food options to keep the house dining system as is, but that’s my personal choice and i’m not sure i want the college as a whole to necessarily make that choice. I mean, ideally i want them to do so, but there are certainly other things which take priority.
Carol Christ said that her priority is academic excellence and financial accessibility, and i was very very glad to hear that. One student said that it’s important to keep Smith running but when we talk about making cuts we need to think about what makes Smith what it is, and i really liked Carol Christ’s reply that we can’t hold anything sacred, that we need to be able to put everything on the table and that in that process you find out just what your priorities really are, and that “to say we can make cuts in financial aid, that we can make cuts in faculty, but that we can’t touch dining, would be irresponsible.” Bravo.