Thanksgiving

This year I had Thanksgiving at crickets. Thank you, cricket! This is cricket carving the turducken. That’s Anne to her right, waiting with the gravy.

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This is cricket and the soon to be famous Bean. Jonathan, who is to Anne’s right in the first picture, sitting down, wrote a piece for New York Magazine about her getting lost and thankfully found. It comes out next week.

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I should make a “Things I’m Thankful For” list. But I’m feeling kinda lazy and trying to decide if I should work out and work on my book (that’s the good angel on my shoulder talking) or go to the movies and shop (the devil talking).

Partial list: My book contract, the cats aren’t sick, I’m not sick, none of my friends or family are sick, my rent stabilized apartment, my HDTV, my new glasses, Cute Overload, technology in general, cameras, computers, ipods, etc., coffee, good hair days, Bush’s days are numbered, all the cute clothes in the world, Tolstoy, Bach, Mozart, sparkly red nail polish, and the internet. Thank you for that, Department of Defense.

I’m a little sad that I missed seeing The March of the Wooden Soldiers this year, even though the only part I like is when the soldiers come to life.

New Glasses

Without any prior planning, me and my friends all bought new glasses, and we’ve been sharing pictures. Here are mine! These are my favorite glasses EVER, of all time!! View 1.

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View 2. Jonathan did not like the red sides of mine. Too flamboyant, he thought. You gotta be kidding me, Jonathan. (That’s my beloved HDTV behind me. My favorite thing that isn’t a person or a cat.) Ha. I just realized that in pictures they look very similar to my last glasses. But they’re not!! They fit my face better, not as wide, and the shape is very different. Really.

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Trying to Understand the Numbers

Iraq5.jpg I just read in the Times that 3,709 Iraqi civilians were killed in October. That’s 119 people a day. Other figures from the article.

3,345 in September.
3,009 in August.
3,590 in July.
3,149 in June.
2,669 in May.
1,129 in April.
710 in January.

This is insane. Every month, more people die in Iraq than died on 9/11. The grand total is between 47,440 and 52,642. I’m having a little trouble finding what their military/police death totals are.

The total U.S. soldiers dead so far is 2,866. There have been 48 so far this month. We’re .05% of their total dead (based on an average of the disputed total).

I’m trying to understand what those numbers mean. The population of Iraq is 26,074,906. (We’re 295,734,134.)

Essentially they’re sliding into civil war. 620,000 died in our Civil War, which was four years long (1861 – 1865). Our population in 1860 was 31,443,321, so they’re 18% smaller than we were then. Still, it’s not anywhere near as bad yet. It’s hard to tell what their numbers would be if it was a full-out war. We’re three years in right now.

I started looking at figures for Vietnam. We had 58,178 casualties in Vietnam. (We had troops there from 1965 – 1973.) Based on an average of the various disputed figures for civilian deaths, the percentage of our dead to the total dead civilian dead looks like it’s in the area of .01. So the death rate of our soldiers now is higher.

It’s just a fucking mess for everyone, no matter how you look at it, isn’t it?

What We Do Counts

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I love this comic. It perfectly describes my friendship with Howard, and sums up my attitude towards life. I am the person on the right. It came from Randall Munroe, who must be such a charming human being. All his stuff is great. This one reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from the show Angel.

“In the greater scheme, the big picture, nothing we do matters. There’s no grand plan, no big win … If there’s no great, glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do. Cause’ that’s all there is – what we do now, today … now I just want to help. I want to help because people shouldn’t suffer as they do. Because if there isn’t any bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness is the greatest thing in the world.”

I love that last line. It’s not so much that I want to help, I volunteer here and there, contribute to causes a couple of times a year, it’s more that I just like the idea that if there is no God, if this is all there is and all we have is us for a little while, then everything we do matters. The smallest kindness I do matters, and my effort to not add to the suffering of the world matters. That means if I’m a jerk it matters almost even more. Because there’s no God to make it all better in the end. It all matters. Until we die and the next crew takes over, of course. (Ack.)

Yaphank and the Suffolk County Police Department

tree.jpg This is a ginkgo tree in Sheridan Square (in the Village). They’re my favorite tree because they look so science fiction-y. Oh God, I just read this. “Extreme examples of the Ginkgo’s tenacity may be seen in Hiroshima, Japan, where four trees growing between 1-2 km from the 1945 atom bomb explosion were among the few living things in the area to survive the blast.” I also just read that they’re still alive today!

None of the ginkgos around the world seem to grow as weirdly as ours in New York City, though.

Anyway, I was on the Long Island Railroad at 7:37AM this morning, God help me, to go out to interview the people from the Property Section of the SCPD in Yaphank. They were all extremely nice to me, and showed me the gun that Ronnie DeFeo used to kill his family (of Amityville Horror house fame).