Chatter #45: September 24, 2001

12/14/2001 — I started the Chatter section on July 27, 2000 when I noticed that the rest of my site was sometimes getting cluttered with lots of text. I'm a talkative guy, after all! So now I talk about my life here, instead of all over the place. Originally this was one huge section, but in December of 2001 it simply became too large to remain as one page, and I broke it into dated sections, as you can see. —>PM


The State of My World

Medical Update

Had the post-operative exam this morning. It was remarkably quick. I seem to be okay; which is good, because I've had some extra pain lately. There are hard ridges on each side of my navel (they're not visible, but I can feel them clearly), but the doctor says that's part of the normal healing process. He also urged me to lose weight.

The last of the Steri-Strips fell off several days ago, and the incision is dry and clean; no bleeding, although it <I>does</I> still look gross. There's a fair amount of muscle pain at times, and some surface pain, but overall things are improving.

The Baby

Teri's experiencing a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions (which are "practice" contractions, if you didn't know; they can be painful), and as of today we have 14 days to the due date. Scary! An ultrasound last week put the baby at 3.9 kg (a little over 8.5 lbs.), so it looks as if we'll have an over nine-pound baby on our hands soon.

I feel a bit helpless; I wish so much I could help Teri more. I guess it's lucky that I'm not the super-obsessive type, because if I was this would drive me insane. We just have to put our trust in medical science, I guess.

A Sad Encounter

Teri and I were driving home last night and had an adventure. I wrote about it immediately on rec.pets.cats, and got some help. Be warned: it's a sad story.

Split Nature

I haven't been unaware of the events of the last several weeks, of course, but mostly I've been viewing them with detached horror and rage. Not so much at the destruction of the World Trade Center and all those lives; that's too big an event for me to get my mind fully around, perhaps. But I'm horrified and enraged by the way that the smirking moron who occupies the White House is suddenly being aclaimed by all as the Second Coming, and the frightening, almost fascistic attitude of so many of my fellow citizens. I have no objection to flag-waving, although sometimes I wonder if all of this frantic genuflection towardsn the flag is merely cover for fear and mistrust; real patriotism, it seems to me, doesn't always have to proclaim itself at the top of its lungs. Nonetheless (and it bothers me a LOT to have to say this) I love my country. I do not love the hatred, bigotry, celebrity-worship, right-wing fanaticism, and commercialism that has infected this nation's culture, however. In my mind, when people start waving flags they are only a few short steps from a lynch mob—and the news too often has proved me right on that point lately.

Did you know that an authoritative evaluation of all Florida ballots has been going on for months now, under the auspices of NORC/The University of Chicago? They were categorizing each ballot; for example, the overvotes in which the same candidate's name was both punched and written in (these were invalidated, although the voter had clearly indicated only one candidate). The results were to be released on September 17. Not only were they NOT released, but the NORC website disappeared! It's still down, with a "Technical Difficulties" excuse. Is Bush a King, that we aren't allowed to hear even the slightest aspersion on his noble name? It's starting to look that way. My brother watches Saturday Night Live, and he tells me that since the attacks not one sketch has been re-run that in any way mocks Bush. What's happening to this country?

You know, I sort of lead a double life. I write quite a bit in my anonymous political persona; I'm fairly active online. But there are times when I burn out, and then I turn to my creative side and start writing more here. When my creativity poops out, I usually find that my political side is ready to take up the sword again. But I can't let my political readers know much of my roleplaying/creative side, and vice-versa. Sometimes this bothers me. But I really believe that the day could come when disagreeing with the American right wing will no longer be a freedom, but a crime. I've heard recently that a file has been opened by the FBI and Bush Administration on one of the online political columnists I've written for. I would not put "disappearing" political enemies past this gang of thugs, if they had the chance...which makes me suddenly remember that I'm not writing as my policial persona. I should probably delete this, but let it stand. It's still hard for me to imagine that I'm important enough to bother about, politically.

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[email protected] Copyright 2001 by Peter Maranci. Revised: December 14, 2001. version 1.0