Tuesday, July 3, 2007

dead baby bunnies

So yesterday I didn’t get a job I had wanted, which was fine (fucked-up, insecure, neurotic and emotional for Italian Job fans everywhere).

Honestly, it was fine…I won’t go into here how I had asked 5 months ago if this was a job I could do from Seattle, and then it turns out they want someone in California, which they let me know, of course, yesterday…but I was onto 8 more by the early afternoon. But really, writing cover letters for 8 different jobs is obnoxious. So I was happy to take a break when Siri yelled, “Sweet Pea has a rat in the kitchen!”

Of course I ran down to the kitchen where Sweet Pea, the 16-year-old-cat-who-is-missing-half-an-ear-and-whose-tail-is-permanently-crooked-from-the-time-Dad-accidentally-ran-over-her-a-while-ago, is hiding under the kitchen table with her prize, which from what we can see, looks like a large furry creature one would not like to run into in the dark. The dogs are barking at her, and she’s guarding the damn thing like she’s stationed at Fort Knox, and I am hovering in the doorway while Siri just points at the thing and yells, “Sweet Pea, go outside!!”

This was not an effective tactic.

So we hovered for a minute and I opened the front door in hopes that Sweet Pea would take her treasure outside. No go. I said, “Fuck. Sweet Pea, go outside.” It didn’t work. I guess when you’re a 16-year-old-cat-who-is-missing-half-an-ear-and-whose-tail-is-permanently-crooked-from-the-time-Dad-accidentally-ran-over-her-a-while-ago, you don’t get freaked out by someone cursing at you. So I called my dad on his cell phone at work, because really, what else does a 27 year old do when faced with a rat in the kitchen? And he said he was working late, to get a box to cover it up, weigh the box done, and when he got done with work, he’d come get it. Brilliant. Okay, now we had a plan: Dad to the rat rescue.

Then the furry thing moved. And I shrieked, and Siri shrieked, and the cat picked it up in her mouth and ran out the front door as quick as you please.

I Lysoled the floor and then went outside. No Sweet Pea to be found anywhere. Back to cover letters.

The dogs come into my room about 20 minutes later, Bramble looking at me with her huge black eyes, tail thumping energetically, and Saffron’s collar jangling while she sits sporadically, then moves toward the door, then back towards me again, and then drunkenly back to the door. Time to go out.

So we go out the front door and Bramble crosses the driveway and picks something up in her mouth…thinking it was the rat, I yelled at her to drop it, and out of her mouth tumbles this 6 inch long baby rabbit, breathing heavily, not moving otherwise.

I know rabbits are annoying to gardeners. I know there are places in the world that happily eat them, and I know there are places in the world where they are so obnoxious that people shoot them for sport. (I think for example, near Greenlake/Woodland Park Zoo, they’re overrunning the place and people are arguing about what to do). I recognize all this. But I looked at that little rabbit hyperventilating and all of a sudden had this urge to drop on the ground and bawl my eyes out.

I didn’t, of course. I yelled for Siri. She came out the front door and we debated what to do:

Me: “It’s dying!!!”

Siri: “It’s probably got internal injuries.”

Me: “It’s dying!”

Siri: “It’s still breathing.”

Me: “It’s dying!!!”

Siri: “We should put it out of its misery.”

Greta: “It’s dying!”

Siri: “What would you like to do?”

Me: “Call dad!!!”

We put the baby rabbit in a box, and watched it breathe heavily and hoped it wouldn’t die. I googled “how to save baby rabbits”. Apparently rabbits stress out easily and usually die after a pet attack. I called dad to advise him of the change of status in the rat rescue operation. Dad answered the phone and immediately starts telling me about the motorcycle accident he’d just witnessed and how he helped the injured guy….while he’s going on and on, Siri says, “It’s dead. It’s not breathing.” So I told Dad about the dead rabbit, and he told me about all the important steps you should take when disposing of dead rabbits. Apparently you have to wrap them up well. He said that burying it in the backyard was probably not a good idea.

We did not wrap it well. We closed the box, put it in a huge black trash bag, and then went to get the garbage can from the curb to throw the baby rabbit in. Siri held the lid up and I threw the bag in. Goodbye, baby rabbit.

Sigh. I wish I was the sort of person who would have no problem throwing away dead baby rabbits –I didn’t cry, but I wanted to. This of course, might have been more about the job and less about the rabbit.

In Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Dreams, Codi’s talking about a nasty person, and she says, “You can’t let your heart go bad like that, like sour milk. There’s always the chance you’ll want to use it later.”

I don’t want my heart to go bad. So I’ll be sad for the dead baby rabbits and curse at the cat for killing them.

Monday, July 2, 2007

bruce willis is still pretty hot...

what was demi moore thinking, leaving him for ashton?

anyway, i confess i haven't seen the first three die hard movies, except about half of the second one when it was showing on tv, probably some spike marathon or something, but i didn't really pay attention to it.

but after seeing live free or die hard, i want to go back and watch them all in a row. lots of funny one-liners, blowing up lots of things to save the world, and according to the guy siting next to us, lots of references to the previous films.

it's a great summer flick: requires no concentration or mind-work of any kind, and you know the good guys win in the end. excellent.

in other news, the blog I posted yesterday, I actually wrote on Friday, which is why the first sentence, "the Supreme court decided yesterday" is wrong...sorry for the missed editing. the court actually decided this on Thursday.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

supreme court seattle ruling

So the Supreme Court decided yesterday that it is unconstitutional to assign students to schools based on race unless the purpose is to undo a history of forced racial segregation. I'd like to ask John Roberts what constitutes a history of forced racial segregation.

There are those who think that institutional racism doesn't exist and never has existed in Seattle, since it's not in the South and doesn't have a large population of African-Americans. There are also those who want to skirt around the issue of racism and sometimes these people argue – as several prominent Seattle journalists did this morning on NPR's Weekday Edition – that integration by socio-economic status is the way to go. I agree wholeheartedly that economic disparity is an excellent way to integrate, but it is not the only way, because it ignores the entire issue of race.

As dissenting Justice Stephen Breyer wrote: "The last half-century has witnessed great strides toward racial equality, but we have not yet realized the promise of Brown."

Do I think the Seattle program really worked to effectively end discrimination in schools and provide equal opportunity to all 46,000 kids in the district? No. But it was something, as former Superintendent Joe Olchefske noted in an interview today (in the Seattle Times).

It is better to have done something to work toward equality than to not try anything and ignore the disparities so obviously around you (simply walk the halls at a Rainier Beach and then go walk them at Ballard). As with so many other issues, Seattleites wish to stick their heads in the sand and hope it all goes away.

It's not simply going to go away. This issue, which is really a civil rights issue, has not been solved. I thought about Jonathan Kozol's The Shame of the Nation today, and the interview he does with Congressman Joe Lewis, who worked with Martin Luther King and who has fought tirelessly for civil rights throughout his lifetime. Congressman Lewis told Kozol:

"A segregated education in America is unacceptable. Integration is, still remains, the goal worth fighting for. You should be fighting for it. We should be fighting for it. It is something that is good unto itself, apart from all the other arguments that can be made. This nation needs to be a family, and a family sits down for its dinner at a table, and we all deserve a place together at that table. And our children deserve to have a place together in their schools and classrooms, and they need to have that opportunity while they're still children, while they're in those years of innocence.

You cannot deviate from this. You have to say, some things are good and right unto themselves. No matter what the current mood in Washington is like, no matter what the people who are setting policy today believe, or want us to believe, no matter what the sense of temporary hopelessness that many of us often feel, we cannot give up on the struggle we began and on the dream that brought us here." (pages 316-317.)