Archive for March, 2012

oh, and happy birthday grant

I guess it’s nine years since the Iraq War began. FP has an only slightly half-assed postmortem. I’m not claiming any superpowers of prescience when I say that the disaster played out exactly as I expected it to. I was, after all, only one of at least ten million people who were against it from the start, and that’s only counting those who felt strongly enough to march against it. Everyone I knew was at that march, if not in San Francisco, then in London or Sydney. I had six-week-old Claire with me, in the tie-dyed rainbow footy pyjamas my mother had brought with her from Barraba.

People – like, for example, my Dad – are vaguely surprised, even now, when I say that I consider the Iraq War the most serious failure of my adult life. It’s easy enough to blame the war criminals, Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Rice and Wolfowitz and Feith, and to be sure, it was their fault. They overreached and they betrayed the trust that was placed in them, to put it mildly. They should all be in gaol.

But I knew. I knew there were no weapons of mass destruction. I knew Judith Miller was talking out of her ass and that the Grey Lady was publishing lies. I knew the casualties would be in the tens of thousands, at least. I knew the war would drag on for at least a decade, and that its cost would spiral into the stratosphere. I don’t mean that I had a strong hunch. I mean that I never doubted any of that for a second. Knowing what I knew, why the hell didn’t I protest harder? Why didn’t I fight more? I feel those deaths on my conscience. I always will.

I knew the banks were going to crash, as well, for all the good that did. With those two awesome feats of clairvoyance on my record, you might be wondering what I know now. Well, I’ve known for a while that Romney’s going to get the GOP nomination and that Obama’s going to win reelection. So I haven’t sweated over the outcome of this campaign like I did over the last one. (Pretty cold comfort, though, I have to tell you. The whole women-as-the-punching-bags-of-the-GOP-primaries thing is surprisingly painful anyway.) I’ve also felt the center of geopolitical power shift from Washington DC to Beijing. And I’ve seen the future of work, and unfortunately, it sucks.

mourning trayvon

I keep writing and trashing posts because it is so hard to put into words what I am thinking about. I am thinking about Trayvon Martin and my heart is aching. I haven’t blogged much about Najah because his story is not mine to tell, but he is my best friend’s little kid and I love him as much as I love my best friend’s big kid, which is to say: like my own. And he looks like Trayvon.

I sure as hell used to think I was radical. I sure as hell got treated like a radical, for taking mad radical positions like single-payer health care and progressive taxation. It turns out, though, that nothing ever radicalized me like loving a Black child. I am deathly afraid. Now multiply that fear by everyone who loves every young Black man in America.

I had no idea. I had no idea. I am so sorry.

ETA: icouldbetrayvon (ETA: not that *I* could be; I’m white.)

california sea lions

DSC_9762 by Goop on the lens
DSC_9762, a photo by Goop on the lens on Flickr.

Also epically cool.

When the boat sailed out you can see we were on a silver bay under a pewter sky. As Jeremy noted, you could have rendered all the waves using Fourier transforms. It was exactly like sailing into a mathematical function. I thought that for the first time I understood why people love the sea.

Five minutes later, as I was hurling into it, I had forgotten again why anyone loves the sea.

ETA: Tonstant weader fwowed up.

charismatic megafauna

DSC_0176 a video by Goop on the lens on Flickr.

Elephant seals: hella, hella charming.

in other news

My calves are absurdly hypertrophied from trying to keep my damn heels down, such that the field boots I bought with an already-widest-possible calf are currently at Anthony’s being stretched.

how could i not have told you?

Tuesday night lessons are usually really hard; it is dark, it is cold, and we are tired after work.

But lessons on Bella are always good, and lately they have been near-magical. We did an exercise where we trotted ten strides and then came back to the walk for three and then trotted for ten and back for three and so on. My contact remained the same and Bella softened and softened and softened until she was trotting off the barest pressure from my leg. Then we did it again in the canter and trot, ten strides of canter, three strides of trot. We fell into the rhythm. Back engaged, neck arched, she cantered at a breath.

A waking dream.

funny husband is funny

A Neapolitan mastiff slobbers on his jeans. The dog’s owner is apologetic.

“No, it’s fine, it’s lovely!” says Jeremy. “It comes in vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.”


We are lolling by Stow Lake, when the Segway tour passes. I do the “Squirrel!” thing from Up!, exclaiming:


Jeremy says: “Stop changing the subject.”


I quote a show we like, saying: “I will answer your question in the language of crows.”

Jeremy says: “This is murder.”