Monday, October 22, 2007

Wait...Is This How It's Supposed To Feel?

Thirty feels a bit like a rip-off, I have to say. Certainly not what I imagined 30 would feel like when I was a kid. Thirty was sort of the "it" age for being an adult. And whatever I am, I don't feel like an adult.

There are times when I alone with my little monkey and I think to myself...geez, does anyone know that I'm responsible for a whole other person? It's insane to make decisions about someone else's life when I'm such a mess.

I literally don't feel any different inside now than I did when I was 18. Maybe a little sadder, but that's not really true, because eighteen year old me was an even bigger mess than thirty year old me. At least now I can look up from the middle of a wallow in self pity and say, "Come now, Laura, aren't we feeling a bit more sorry for ourselves than is strictly necessary?"

And in case you're wondering, yes I do talk to myself in pretty much exactly that way. As though there are a group of me and we're all kind of laughing at the others. And if that revelation's not enough to get me put in a nut house...

But, seriously. At what point am I going to feel like a grown up? You know I've paid rent and had a car payment and all of that for years. I've changed diapers and sat up in the middle of the night with a sick child puking all over me and every damn dry cloth in the house. I've even made meatloaf...on purpose. I've done all this stuff that signifies grown up, and I still feel like I'm teetering around in my mom's heels and at any minute someone's going to figure out I'm just a kid playing dress up.

I mean, okay, the average life expectancy is 76. Thirty is pretty damn close to halfway there, and I still don't feel grown up. Or is it a third...crap, why wasn't I ever any good at math?

My point is, when do you finally say, yeah, okay I'm a grown up and I've got this whole life thing figured out. How old am I going to be before I finally get that feeling?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

War on Words

As a writer, I spend alot of time thinking about words. Words as symbols, since that's the basis of all language. Words have power, and depending on how they are used the power invoked by a single word can shake you to your core.

War is one of the words I've been thinking about alot lately. It should evoke fear, anger, outrage and despair. But it doesn't. We toss the word around so freely, throw war around the way we throw just any other word around.

It started in the eighties, with the Reagan administration's War on drugs. It was meant to signify that finally the government was going to get serious about drugs and drug related crimes. That we were going to have a "take no prisoners" sort of mentality. Drugs were supposed to be as heinous as Nazis or something, I suppose. So, I like everyone else in my generation, I grew up thinking drugs were a serious problem. Which they are, especially when you think of the connection between drugs, poverty and crime. But, drugs all alone are hardly worthy of the term war.

And these days every where you turn, we're at war. Still waging a war on drugs, not to mention one on terror and one on crime and one on illiteracy. War no longer refers to the utter desolation of the human condition that causes us to kill and destroy each other. Any situation that calls for problem solving, the most basic of human abilities, we call a war, which should only ever refer to the most appalling of human conditions.

In The Fifth Element, a bad science fiction film starring a model and an action star, there is this scene where the perfect creature is learning about us, about human beings, and she comes across the word "war" and it shocks and disgusts her. To the point that she almost fails in her task to save the human race. And that's what that word should do. We should hear war and stop breathing. We should always remember that war means that people die. That people do the worst possible things to one another under the guise of fighting for their beliefs, or for the freedom of other people, or for their own freedoms.

As human beings, we should always remember what we are capable of, both good and bad, and we should never allow someone to diminish the power of our most basic symbols. Stop using this word to mean anything other than what it means: bloodshed, horror and desolation.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rats are cool...

So, check out this great video on you tube that shows just how fantastic rats can be. My rats have all mastered the fine art of looking pitiful for yogies. Who cares if other rats can climb ropes and do hurdles? Mine are cute!!!

And this video shows I'm not the only rat freak out there!!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Your Modern History Lesson

Presenting the latter half of the 20th century in less than five minutes. Courtesy of Billy Joel.