Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Rainy days, Good books, Nepalese food, and Political action

When I woke up yesterday it was so dark outside, I thought (wished! hoped!) that my alarm had gone off early. Um, no. Major storm clouds. Then right before I was supposed to walk to the train, major storm. So I went to wake up Scott (a.k.a the Best Boyfriend Ever) to beg him to drive me the L. He ended up driving me all the way to work at 8 am on his day off. What can I say, that’s why he’s the BBE, and I tend to be really whiny especially on Monday mornings…

I really like storms when I know I don’t have to be outside in them or when they aren’t coming in on me… Unfortunately my house hates me. My mom’s house was old and creaky and some days you really expected that it would just crash down. (Like our garage did on Valentine’s Day one year. That sucked. Poor mom was at work and I heard this loud crash and went outside to find the garage roof on the garage floor thanks to the ton of snow that had been piling up for months. Reason #53 why I hate Chicago winters…) But Mom’s house only leaked on two occasions that I can recall. One was a strange flash flood of water that came in under that basement door. One involved a leak in the roof and this particularly sucked because I was awakened by thick, rust-colored droplets falling on my face through my ceiling. It ruined some of the magazine clippings that I had up on my wall as a collage and left a stain on my ceiling in the shape of my evil ex-boyfriend’s initial. But that was two occasions out of the nearly thirteen years that I lived there. I’ve lived in my house for four years now and every storm I have an anxiety attack about what might be leaking because so far there have been three cracks in the foundation (none of which were disclosed by the asshole that owned the house before us, fortunately my lawyer was savvy so we got him to pay for the first one) and inexplicable flash flood (may have been the most recently discovered foundation leak) and now ever since we put a new front window in, if the rain blows sideways that leaked.

Well supposedly that was fixed last week, so I was not unnerved at all during the storm that descended last night during my writer’s group. The tornado sirens went off and I even played that cool at first even though those usually send me into a panic of finding the cats (very difficult during a storm, particularly extracting Sid from beneath the bed upstairs). When I was a little girl, apparently every time the sky even got dark, I’d gather my most valuable belongings like my favorite books and my hamster in his hamster ball and put them in this baby carriage I had for my dolls and pushed them around the house waiting to bring it all with me down to the basement. But now I’ve gotten used to the thunder and lightning setting off the tornado sirens by my mom’s old house and convinced myself that it is highly unlikely that a tornado will ever touch down in Chicago. Then, the rain started blowing sideways and sure enough came in through the supposedly fixed window. Apparently it’s really a siding issue. Grrr. While I was trying to protect the new wood floors from the onslaught of wet, one of my writing group members got a text that Chicago really was under a tornado warning. Cats were gathered and we all moved down to the basement. In my case, my writing wasn’t up to its usual level because I was so distracted by the damn window. I’m so sick of leaks ruining a perfectly good storm. *Sigh*

Speaking of things I usually like to do while enjoying a good storm, the main thing being reading. Two books that I am highly excited about were released today: Violet in Private by Melissa Walker and Cherry Bomb: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Flirt, a Tougher Chick, and a Hotter Girlfriend—and to Living Life Like a Rock Star by Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna. I am going to have an exciting announcement relating to Cherry Bomb tomorrow and an exciting announcement about something that will hopefully allow me more time to read these books later this week.

I suppose instead of just teasing about exciting announcements, I should make at least one exciting announcement today. I am officially coming to do an event in the state that inspired IWBYJR: Wisconsin!!! I’m thrilled to be a part of the Wisconsin Book Festival and even more excited that the event will take place at A Room of One’s Own Feminist Bookstore, my favorite bookstore in Madison on Saturday, October 18 at 4 pm. This is right by Himul Chuli, the best Nepalese restaurant ever! So, if you’re stalking me, you will likely find me having dinner there after my reading.

Okay, I hate to end on a depressing note, but this is something I read today that highly disturbed and upset me and I feel that as a feminist, I can’t not share it because this woman’s story needs to be told and the military needs to be held responsible for this atrocity. Private LaVena Lynn Johnson was raped and murdered and the Army has been covering it up as a suicide attempt since 2005. The story is sad and awful, so if you read it, go in prepared to be upset, but also possibly moved as I was to call and demand justice (though it never seems all that satisfactory because they basically just go, mmhmm, I’ve written it down, but if enough people call….) and also to bring it to light.

I’ll have a happy, exciting feminist thing for you tomorrow, so stay tuned for that. Changing the world involves both laughter and tears.

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