Right! What’s an Ark?


I’m cranky this morning and I’m going to rant. I’m cranky because some weather-witching cretin made a rounding error, and all the rain that was supposed to put the fires out in Texas got sent up to New England by mistake. It’s been raining here for days. And days. Nonstop, too. We’ve had torrential downpours, thunderstorms, light drizzle, threatening spatters, hissing streams, sprinkles, slow steady showers, opaque sheets, and presently, a deluge. I’m starting to feel like the mythical Eskimo with all the words for snow. Now I’m getting warnings from the NWS. It’s not enough that the Connecticut River came up over its banks last week, it’s got to do it again this week.  Because, of course, now it’s working on establishing some kind of tradition.  And the net effect of all this is to screw up whatever harvest Irene didn’t manage to trash. And I feel like a jerk about complaining over this pestilential rain, because my friends in Texas are still down there dealing with wild fires…that are all the more challenging to put out because Perry the Putz slashed budgets for stuff like, duh, fire fighting.  I notice that he’s comfortable enough now that he knows the fires aren’t threatening his house, and he’s gone back out on the campaign trail.  I’d have harsh words for that, ordinarily, but in my opinion, Texas is better off without Rick Perry in it.  I just don’t want him up here in New England, either.

Or, in the immortal words of Sholem Aleichem, “May God bless and keep [Rick Perry]…far away from us!”

I’m annoyed with the pinheads in Washington who are trying to use the victims of these national disasters as pawns to advance their political agenda.  And that’s just what it is, make no mistake.  We’re not broke, we’re just wasting money on graft.  They want funding to offset the national disaster recovery efforts?  Go get the damned 61 billion dollars back from Halliburton and the rest of the defense contractors that stole it.  Dammit, that’s my tax money.  I don’t want it lining the pockets of Dick Cheney or anyone else like that, I want that money back and I want it sent to fix the roads in Vermont and to help the Texans whose houses burned up.

And in the immortal words of Sholem Aleichem, “May God bless and keep [Eric Cantor]…far away from us!”

I could make a pretty extensive list of the people I’d like to have blessed and kept…well away from us.  Any number of the people occupying the national stage…who would be better off spending that time visiting their psychiatrists to get their meds tuned up.  All of the religious fanatics who assert that these disasters are the Wrath of God/Allah/Flying Spaghetti Monster being heaped on the heads of the Unrighteous for voting Democrat/voting Republican/gay marriage/violence against immigrants/government spending/being Christian/being Muslim/being Pastafarians/being Southern/being Texans/teaching evolution/reading tarot cards/practicing witchcraft.  Etc.  Stop that.  You people.  Does it make you feel morally superior to look at the suffering of your fellow creatures?  Because they are your fellow creatures, you know.  They are just like you. Including, unfortunately, that tendency to get all self-righteous and judgmental when someone disagrees with them.  And quite probably, just last month/week/year a bunch of them were looking at some other unfortunate group and priding themselves on how awesome they were that God/Allah/Flying Spaghetti Monster was not punishing them for some perceived slight or sin.

And guess what?  When it’s your turn to get it in the neck, there’s going to be some other group that regards your misery and distress and seizes that opportunity to feel smug about how holy they are while you obviously have been inspected by the divine and found Wanting.

So how about you idiots just knock that stuff off right now.  And I feel totally comfortable using the word “idiot” here because there are some things that every serious student of the matter agrees upon:  if there is a God (and I personally believe that there is at least an organizing force in the universe, and I don’t mind calling that “God”), this God is unlikely to engage in large-scale retributive acts that destroy without discrimination.  Even the somewhat vengeful depictions of God from the Jewish Torah and Christian Bible agree that He (It) made significant efforts to ensure that Wrath was vented only on the deserving, not with indiscriminate enthusiasm.  So, yeah, if you’re out there thinking that God is going to Smite entire sections of the country just because some people in those areas don’t share your personal convictions, I do think you’re an idiot.

I’ll be happy to extend that consideration as well to everyone who truly believes that God led your particular sporting team to some particular victory.  God does not choose who wins the Super Bowl and World Series.  He does not guide the arms of Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, or Curt Schilling…or if he does, he also guides the arms of Adam Dunn and Alex Rios, and no, their anemic batting averages are not evidence of their fundamentally sinful natures.  I met a guy in a bar the other day who told me that he saw David Ortiz arrive at Sonsi in Boston for dinner.  Apparently, David drives a lamborghini, with “Here Comes Papi!” etched into the paint on the front so everyone else can get out of his way.  I adore Big Papi – he’s my favorite hitter, hands-down, but last I checked, Pride is one of the Seven Deadlies.

I think I’m warming to this theme of “idiocy”.  Next on my list are doctors who have nothing useful to say but say something anyway, and those who have no idea what’s going on but don’t think to send you to someone who might.  I’ve got a friend with pretty bad acid reflux, it keeps the guy up at night a lot, everyone in his family has it, so it’s clearly genetic.  Unfortunately for him, the usual pills aren’t terribly helpful.  His GI goes on my Idiot List for responding to the information that the drugs aren’t working so well by advising him to put a couple of bricks under the head of the bed.  Uh, yeah.  That’s definitely going to help a lot more than, say, sleeping on a foam wedge.  It’s certainly going to help the guys down at “Sleepys, The Mattress Professionals” when he’s got to buy a whole new bed because these bricks under one end have caused the frame to pull apart and destroyed the joints, and the mattress is getting all lumpy at the foot from the Force of Gravity.

I mean, what kind of advice is this? I don’t know what to do to help you, but instead of saying ‘I don’t know’ and helping you find someone who may be better equipped to treat this problem, I’m going to blow a bunch of smoke out of my butt and give you bad advice that not only won’t help your problem, but will damage your furniture?!?!  Why can’t the guy just admit he’s stumped, and send his patient to someone who is more on the ball?  Boston is 90 minutes away, that should be good for something.

This same friend had a moronic internist.  Besides acid reflux, my buddy has high cholesterol. As does every other single member of his family including the ones who have been running in the New York Cit Marathon for years, and they all get the problem somewhere in their mid-fifties.  Even the matriarch of that tribe has the problem, and she’s still running around New York City in her nineties.  Dude, it’s genetic.  It would be one thing if 1) it weren’t obviously genetic, 2) my buddy had a weight problem, or  smoked or drank, or ate a lot of fatty food or junk food.  But he doesn’t do any of those things – he exercises for about an hour a day and eats the American Heart Association heart-healthy diet, and he took in an eating diary so that the doctor could see what his diet and exercise look like.  Because, you know, it’s genetic for him, it’s not something that is happening because of lifestyle factors.

But does that doctor pay any attention to that?  No.  She dishes out the same crummy advice that everyone who has ever been bored in a grocery check-out line and picked up a copy of Prevention magazine has seen, because I think they run the same article every  month.  You don’t even need to be in the grocery – you can probably type “high cholesterol” into Google and hit the I Feel Lucky button. Or go search through Yahoo! Answers…you’ll get it there, too.  It’s not crummy advice for people who drink, smoke, don’t exercise, and have poor diets – I’m not saying those things aren’t relevant.  It’s crummy advice because it wasn’t appropriate to the non-drinking, non-smoking, exercise-junkie with the low-fat diet, and she was being paid for this advice.  What a waste of time.  Silly woman should either dish out the statins that everyone else in his family needs to take for the cholesterol problem, or explain why she’s reluctant to dispense them.  I’m Not That Kind Of Doctor, but even I can read the health news that says that statins should be used carefully – I don’t understand why that wasn’t part of the conversation, but the rubbishy Google advice was.

In a moment of real honesty, it’s not the aforementioned idiots that are making me cranky (although any time I think about them for more than 30 seconds I do start feeling that way).  It’s this wretched rain…coupled with the Horse Soon To Be Known As Mine.  I decided to buy this guy and I haven’t gotten to ride him since because of the bloody rain.  There’s a potentially suitable bridle and bit at the stable that I could buy if it works for him, and I want to try it out.  I just bought a set of brand-new grooming tools and a purple heart-shaped bucket to hold them, and I want to go try them out too.  But mostly, I want to go hang out with this critter for whom I’m in the process of assuming Ultimate Responsibility, and bond with him.  And, dammit, I want to ride.

Boston Cemetery 2

This boneyard holds the remains of Paul Revere and a few signers of the Declaration of Independence. They'd probably be cranky on account of the rain, too.


About Lori Holder-Webb

I'm a Southern Woman by birth and a Texan Woman by upbringing...and yet I find myself living in New England and married to a New York City boy. Up here we use the same currency as we do at home, and I don't need to travel with a passport, but the commonalities pretty much end there. The language is different, the jokes are different, the people are different, and the weather and terrain sure are different too. I moved away from Texas in 2002, and ever since then, I've been the stranger in the strange land... I've had some questions about the name of the blog - if you were not alive, or living abroad or under a rock, or in grad school during the late 1980s, Oldsmobile attempted to shuck its stodgy image with a series of commercials intended to bring brand appeal to the younger generation: this car, they said, is not your father's Oldsmobile. If you have a morbid curiosity, hit YouTube for William Shatner Oldsmobile...it will take you right there.

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