Tuesday, June 19, 2007

So Very . . . . Seattle

Having been unceremoniously tossed from my condo, I'm now enjoying a quintessentially Seattle experience. I'm in a coffee shop on Capitol Hill, latte by one side, plate decorated with scone crumbs on the other, typing away on my laptop while listening to an mp3 player. It's break week (sort of, since I'm still teaching one class), so I could be at home right now, luxuriating in patches of sunlight with my cats, but the construction on my building continues. Today they're sealing some cement (last chance to ditch those bodies, kids!) on the first floor of the building, and since I live on the first floor, I can either hole up for the day or get out. As I do have to go to work, I opted for out. So here I am. Out, but taking all my accessories with me.

I was just having a humorous exchange with BF Toasty on Messenger, and I discovered a serious flaw in the whole latte experience: if you snort-laugh while preparing to take a sip, the foam covering disguises any accidental snubbling. (To snubble: to snort, accidentally, a snot bubble out the nose due to uncontrolled laughter) This latte foam-cover is both a good thing (I'd rather not know) and a bad (what if?). I have been reassured that coffee is a sterilizing medium, and I'm opting to believe that, since it's a fairly recent cup of coffee for which I paid a Nicaraguan's annual wage.

Several very good friends offered me crash space at their homes for the time when I'm not able to be at home, and while I appreciate this hugely, I'm looking on my involuntary ouster as an opportunity to eat scones and drink overpriced, hopefully snubble-free lattes.

PS My fat cats are officially On Diets (from 1/2 cup of food daily to 1/3), and I'm suddenly afraid to fall asleep at night. I fear waking up to find bits chewed off in the night. If I don't show up for an appointment within an hour of the appointed time (oh come on; I'm never more than AN HOUR late), someone come find me. Bring kibble.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Hey, Who Pardoned Paris? (And Other Rantings)

Rant the First: So she had her fifteen minutes of fame, followed by her fifteen minutes in prison. I think we're sending the right message when spoiled little rich girls can drive around more tanked than the entire US armed forces in Iraq and get what amounts to a rap on the snoot in punishment. Yes, that's what this country is all about: the rich elude accountability and the poor vote Republican.

Rant the Second: I have a theory about all this immigration nonsense that everyone's spouting these days. Send them back, people cry! No amnesty for lawbreakers! And yet, not one of the hundreds of immigrants (legal and less so) that I've taught in my ESL classes has ever tried to pass off a measles-laden blanket on me. Not one has ever tried to shove firewater down my throat (though they do occasionally try to pass off meat-laden dishes at the potlucks), nor have they hustled me down a trail of tears onto a crap piece of lifeless desert. Not one has tried to sterilize me against my will. They haven't shuffled me off to prison or put my grinning idiot face on their baseball jerseys. All in all, I'd say these immigrants are a fair sight better than the last crop.

So here's my theory: Bush and Co. are to blame for a crap economy in which everyone below a six-figure income per annum is heading steadily down the slippery slope of economic depression and most of us are a single bad accident or illness away from serious financial difficulties; however! however! if they can just get us to believe it's ALL THE IMMIGRANTS' FAULT, well, come next election season we might just vote for the guys with the really big fence over the guys and gals with the actual ideas.

Don't fall for it. The people cleaning your hotel rooms and building your homes and picking your fruit and tending your gardens are not The Problem. They aren't terrorists or drug smugglers or even drains on the economy. Instead, they are people who work hard, really hard, for eight or more hours a day, then come to classes like mine for another three hours every evening. They send money home so that their families can afford to buy tortillas despite the insidious effects of NAFTA and our panhandling farmers. Bush and his disastrous regime are the ones responsible for the dire state of our economy. He can wave and point his hairy little fat fingers all he wants, but we won't be fooled, will we?