The Fool-Proof Guide to Failing with Flair

Everything you need to know about getting it wrong.

Tag Archives: United States

Crisp and Crunchy


Crisp and crunchy
Red, gold and orange
Airy, earthy, light

Tangy morning
Sharp and clear
Coolness strays from night

Spice and sweetness
Knit and wool
Warmth and wings in flight

Nipping day
Green is brown
Yesterday I wish I might

Have more hours
Ocean’s roar
Off beyond my sight

Come a time
Around again
Everything’s all right


Yes, it’s Fall. Summer is gone. Tomorrow we celebrate Columbus’ bravery and poor navigation skills. No, this is not going to be another political post. I just couldn’t help myself. I’m pretty sure Columbus never even set foot on North American soil. I could be wrong. I’m not a historian, but I’m still fairly certain it was a different slew of European pilgrims who tried to claim these now United States for themselves, and who killed off the native population. Columbus mostly did his damage in South America.

Don’t get all upset with me. I’m not trying to take away your holiday or abuse poor Christopher’s memory too roughly. He was a bold and adventurous fellow, sailing without the benefit of satellite-enabled GPS. He had to make do with the stars, and sea-travel was a much riskier business in those days. Things might be quite different here if not for his daring and arrogance. There are pros and cons to that, like anything else. “Discovery”, however, is a relevant term. What I mean is that it matters only in relation to personal knowledge and experience. For instance, I was 20 before I “discovered” that I liked broccoli. Broccoli was around for ages and ages before I gave it a try. South America was around for more than a millennium before Columbus “found” it. Still, he discovered something new to him, and discovering new things should be encouraged. Just be careful not to run around causing chaos and genocide by claiming that you were the first. “There is nothing new under the sun.” (Yes, I just used a quote from the Bible, Ecclesiastes 1:9.)

I am willing to embrace Columbus’ legacy, but only insofar as it celebrates the spirit of discovery, and not the misconceptions and falsehoods we were taught in grammar school, or the murder of culture and people.

Although Fall is the season of nature’s twilight, it is also a season of new beginnings and often, the onset of journeys to self-discovery. The school year kicks off and fresh educational opportunities abound. I’m no longer a student in any academically official sense (and haven’t been for a long time), but this Fall feels like the New Year’s Eve of learning and self-discovery for me. I don’t have a list of resolutions (except maybe “keep all my teeth” just in case I ever want to date someone from Craigslist) but I am excited to sail the next ocean of my life, and to discover new intellectual continents. I promise not to kill any natives.



I think I said to someone, somewhere, at some time, that I wasn’t going to get political or discuss my views on religion here. I also once said I would never get married or have kids. For the most part, I will stick with the no politics/no religion rule. I do have one marriage and one childbirth experience under my belt though, so I may as well keep up the tradition of breaking resolutions. Once.

Quick overview of my political position (turn your head pretty far towards left of center and cough): large corporations are–largely–the devil’s playground (why not throw some religion in too for good measure?); social programs are problematic but not THE problem; any consenting adult human should be allowed to get married to any other consenting adult human (sanity optional); prayer should be allowed, but not required in public places; critical thinking skills and scientific knowledge should never be banned from schools (or we end up with politicians that have neither); healthcare for everyone is a good thing; all politicians are liars and owned by interests other than individual civilian interests but some are more palatable than others; poor people are not, overwhelmingly, lazy “takers”; guns should be regulated and no crazy people or violent felons should ever be able to buy even a single one; Fox “News” is more of a comedy show than The Daily Show; women should be allowed to chose whether and when to have children, and birth control should qualify for insurance coverage the same as ED drugs (more so, if you really think about it); no one should be paid more or less than anyone else based on gender; the minimum wage should not be so minimal. It goes on. You get the picture.

Why politics now? Well, duh. Government been gone and shut down over taxpayer-funded pap-smears and prostate exams, or ain’t you aheard?

I don’t believe the shut-down is President Obama’s fault for not caving into the economic terrorist tactics of the right-wing loonies. That’s like saying it’s a woman’s fault for getting raped. Oh. Wait. Those loonies do say that. They also say that the raped woman should be made to carry any rape-progeny to term and give the rapist visitation rights. No food, housing or healthcare for rape-momma and rape-baby though, if rapist-papa can’t/won’t pay, and rape-momma wasn’t financially prepared to raise a rape-baby. That’s taking things just a little too far. (Read last sentence in a judgmental tone of voice with a snippy emphasis on the last 3 words please.) Rapist-papa is probably in jail on unrelated charges anyway so he’s all set with taxpayer-funded food, housing, and rectal exams. Pro-life politics seem to extend only from conception to birth. Anti-woman politics extend from penis to grave. I wish the ride was more fun.

Enough of that.

Anyway, these buffoons went and had themselves a hissy-fit over health care. They don’t want their corporate cronies to suffer the terrible fate of having to *gasp* pay to insure the slave labor, or their pharmaceutical friends to get screwed out of the $300 more per pill they charge US citizens as opposed to, say, British citizens.

What does this all mean, you ask? More than I am willing to get into here and, no doubt, more than any of us can guess. What do I know? I know you are paying for this shut-down. I am paying for this shut-down. Veterans and veterans families are paying. Grandma, Grandpa and the kids are paying. People who just wanted a peek at Old Faithful on a lovely October day are paying. Government employees are paying, or rather not getting paid. (At least that means the IRS is not coming after me today.) We are ALL paying for this shut down and will all be paying for it for a long time to come.

Hey. Hold on. We are not all paying. Congress isn’t paying. They are getting paid to screw us. Well, politics and prostitution are the oldest professions. It’s no wonder they have the same basic economic pathology. Oh, and Congress also all still has health care you are paying for.

Let me take a moment to summarize. The right side of the aisle on Capitol Hill hates taxpayer-funded health care (except their own), women, veterans, the elderly and babies. They love rapists, fetuses, CEO’s and drugs. Yup. Sounds about right to me. At least today, instead of looking for a job, I can just pretend I work for the government and am on a forced vacation.

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