Thursday, September 28, 2006

war is dumb

sometimes i wonder about weird things.
like, who first looked at a shiny piece of metal and thought it would be a good idea to shove it through their earlobe?
or, who looked at the liquid streaming out of a cow's nether-regions and thought it would be a tastey beverage?

but the biggest thing i've never been able to figure out is war.

i'm not talking about my personal opinions on the war in Iraq, or the War on Terror, or anything like that--it's not that kind of a blog today.

i just wonder how war ever happened to begin with.

violence i can understand.
imagine random early people living in their 'natural state.' one guy has a rabbit or something to eat, one guy doesn't. the guy without the rabbit instinctually knows that he needs to eat, or he will die.
violence ensues.

but, war? that is a totally different animal.

think about the big battle scenes in movies like braveheart.
i just don't know how it came to be that two people would have an argument about something that they couldn't seem to work out, and then one was all "that's it, i've had enough. see that big field over there? tomorrow, at dawn, i'm going to line up all the men i can find at one end of it. you put your guys at the other end. then we'll make them all run into the middle and try to chop each other up. whichever one of us has more guys left at the end will be the winner."

not that i like it any better, but at least the 'conquering' kind of warfare made logical sense--you feel you're somehow entitled to something that's not yours, you take all your friends with you and attempt to kill all the people who have the thing you want. if you succeed, the thing is then yours, and the war is over because you have killed everybody.

but this rushing into a field business is complete rubbish.
in fact, i think war has gotten dumber and dumber as civilization has advanced.

i mean, i guess we improved on the field thing a bit when we started digging trenches at each end, and attempted to kill each other by poking our heads out to shoot bullets across the field. even i have to admit that was a great improvement over the running and chopping situation.

but, these days, i think war is probably the silliest it's ever been.
consider the following example of how i think war works.

--an imaginary exchange between war-making type people--

leader of country:
i do not like that thing you're doing. please stop it.
leader of other country:
no, i will not stop it because i am the leader of my own country and you are not the boss of me so there.
leader of first country:
if you do not stop doing that thing i don't like, i will send the youth of my country to fly airplanes over your country and drop bombs on it and you will see who is the boss of you then.
leader of other country:
bring it, biznitch.

airplane flying, bomb dropping, and an excessive loss of life ensue, until...

leader of other country: (only if not killed by bombs)
ok. i'll stop doing the thing you don't like now. i really have no choice because you have destroyed my nation and we are incapable of doing anything now anyway.
leader of first country:
how do you like me now?

--end imaginary exchange--

so, yeah. war is definitely dumb.

if i were queen of the world, we wouldn't have war at all.

sadly, i'm not the queen of the world.
and even though i think it's just about the dumbest thing ever, i guess war
i don't think there will or could ever be a complete absence of war.

my friend Big Steph and i were recently discussing how much better the world would be if we were in charge of everything, and even though we have very different political views (read: she does not hate GWB, and i do), we both agreed that the world would be much better off if we went back to sword fighting--if we just completely got rid of all guns and bombs and whatnot.
sure, i went off on a bit of a tangent about the idiocy of people hacking each other to pieces in large open fields. but i think there would be several benefits brought by a return to sword-fighting: far less loss of life, less destruction of property, and a more level/fair starting point for both sides of a conflict.

we also decided that we would be much happier of the human gestation period could be cut back to three months, instead of the ridiculously long nine months that we have to put up with now.

but that's a different story altogether.

Friday, September 22, 2006

a post, for the sake of posting

all day yesterday, everytime i looked at my blog i got a sick nervous feeling. i do not like that last post! all full of real opinions and feelings and whatnot. i was sure that one of two things was about to happen:
1. some kind of secret CIA type people would be showing up at my door to take me to gitmo (fortunately, i already have several of you signed up to send me vodka in case i suddenly disappear), or 2. all of you (all, like, 6 of you!) would decide that i am a terrible person and stop reading my blog.*

anyhow, none of those things has happened. yet. so, i'm posting something else so that the other post is not the first thing that we see on my page. here we go...

another list of things that are pissing me off lately!!!

thing one: my friend sarah, who goes to U of M, recently pointed out to me that the young republicans club (or whatever they call themselves) at the university was planning an event called 'catch an illegal immigrant day.' the highlight of the event would be when a few of the students would 'dress up' as illegal immigrants, and then be chased around the campus by the other students in the club.
um. does anyone else find that absolutely disgusting?
i mean, how does one 'dress up' like an illegal immigrant? it makes me sick to my stomach.

thing two: the same club of brilliant future leaders also held an event called 'fun with guns.' this event consisted of the members setting up life size cut-outs of recognizable 'faces from the left,' and then taking turns shooting them with beebee guns in the middle of campus.
it seems a little dumb to me. i mean, i'm pretty liberal (an internet quiz actually told me that i'm a socialist), but i don't have a problem with guns, per say. it's more that i have a problem with the stupid things that people do with guns. like, you know, shoot people.
so, right on, young republican club. way to represent. i mean, if 'immature violence loving assholes' was what you were aiming for.

thing three: i have to stop writing now, because i have to get ready for work.

* i am sometimes a terrible person. but not always. and really, i think it makes for better blogging--or, funnier, at least.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Look at the Lives We're Leading, the Way We've Always Done Before...

Like everyone else, I remember what I was doing on the morning of September 11th, 2001. I was running late (who, me?) for a doctor’s appointment. I had just gotten out of the shower, and I was standing—wrapped in a towel in my parent’s kitchen, because, yes, I still lived with them at that time—on hold with my doctor’s secretary, waiting to tell her that I would be late. I remember being annoyed that instead of the typical elevator music that one can normally expect while on hold, it seemed that I was listening to some kind of crazy radio show that was putting on some kind of a ‘War of the Worlds’ type of performance. I heard people say things like ‘a tragedy like this doesn’t happen very often…’ or some other such nonsense.

It did not occur to me that I might have been listening to an actual live broadcast of actual live news events.

A few minutes later, I hung up the phone and headed upstairs to dry my hair. On my way, I stubbed my toe. As I walked down the hallway to my parent’s room—where the TV was on—I was mumbling a lot of different variations of the word ‘fuck.’ Because, you know, stubbing your toe fucking hurts.

I hobbled into the room just in time to see the second plane hit the World Trade Center, in real time.

I think I said fuck a lot more over the next few days.
Sometimes it was a ‘fuck’ of disbelief. Sometimes it was a ‘fuck’ of anger; other times it was a ‘fuck’ of horror, or of sadness. Twice, it was a ‘fuck’ as in ‘fuck, I am really hung over,’ after my friends and I spent long nights at the bar talking about everything that was going on in the world.

When I started thinking about writing something about that day, and how the world has changed since, I dug through my old journals (read: made out of paper! not available online!) to see if I could find out what I was actually thinking at the time.

This is what I had to say on September 12th, at 2:45 am:

Tonight is the first night in the 23 years that I’ve been alive that I will go to bed really scared of what will happen tomorrow. Scared of what my country will be like.
And after everything that I’ve seen on TV today—people jumping form 100 story buildings, stories of flight attendants getting their throats slit, watching a man run from an unfathomably huge rolling cloud of debris with a tiny infant in his arms—all I can really feel is…lucky.
Because this is the first time I’ve ever really been afraid.

Two days later, in a much sloppier (read: drunken) handwriting, I wrote this:

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to get the fuck out of Michigan. Get a degree, get a real job, and get a life. But suddenly, tonight, I just want to keep driving down these same streets. I want to be able to go to work, and go to school, and go to the same bars, with my same friends, and come home to my same house and know that my family is safely asleep. Everyone keeps talking about ‘at what cost freedom,’ or whatever. And I just don’t know how to answer that. There’s a part of me that feels horribly ashamed—when everyone asks ‘why do they hate us,’ it’s not all that hard for me to come up with a few ideas. The freedom that I enjoy can’t have been earned(?), won(?), or taken(?), without some really heinous things happening along the way. But does that mean I can’t want to keep it?

But I think that was the last time that I came even somewhat close to allowing myself to believe in the U.S. as the ‘good’ and the terrorists as the ‘evil.’ It is, of course, important to note that this does not in any way mean that I believe the opposite—that terrorists are ‘good,’ while the U.S. is ‘evil.’ In my world, there simply is no such thing as pure good or evil. There is no black and white.This is basically what I was thinking about 9/11 by the time the 3rd anniversary came around. By that time we were at war—wait, scratch that, we’d claimed to win a war that was (read: still is to this day) being fought in Iraq.

(Still, if you made me pick, I’d probably have to put both my country and the terrorists in the ‘evil’ category. Call me a pessimist. It wouldn’t be the first time.)

So, what do I think about 9/11 and the way it’s changed us now?
I guess the most prevalent of my feelings is sadness. Like Amalah, I feel sad about the state of humanity.
I feel sad that so many Americans can blindly follow our leaders into the most asinine and dishonest scenarios, because those same leaders help them ignore the fact that the U.S. is not a completely innocent victim to whatever violence or hostility it may face in the world. I feel sad that so many of us can’t see past our own desire to drive home safely form work to see our families—the same feeling I wrote about just days after the attack that set this all in motion—and try to consider that maybe, just maybe, our security isn’t actually worth all the violence that is supposedly necessary to keep us driving safely home.

I feel sad that George W. said (as pointed out by Dave)“it is unacceptable to think that any kind of comparison exists between the behavior of the United States of America and the Islamic Extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve their objectives,” and sadder that most people would think that I’m a traitor (or, worse—a liberal!) because I think that’s a completely ridiculous and untrue defensive remark made by a man who knows exactly how badly the U.S. has at times behaved to achieve it’s own objectives—be it to keep it’s citizens driving safely home, or just convincing it’s citizens that their ability to drive safely home is in some kind of (terror alert level: orange) danger.
At another blog I read, Dave said,
Our countries (UK, US, Australia) are complicit in so many war crimes in a war that was started using lies. Can there any longer be any doubt that the ‘War on Terror’ is an evil cynically used political tool?
And that made me sad, too. Because I’m jealous of his ability to articulate my feelings on this situation. I’m sad that one the biggest ways that 9/11 has impacted my life has nothing to do with the astounding destruction and loss of life, and more to do with the spirit of freedom of speech and self expression that began to crumble when the two mammoth towers fell.

I’m sad that, through all of their missteps and goof-ups, the post 9/11 administration has done an excellent job of scaring most of us into silent submission by creating a ‘with us or against us’ bumper sticker mentality that allows anyone who questions the motives and actions of the U.S. to be dismissed as ‘unpatriotic.’

Still, after all that, I’m mostly just sad that there’s still a little tiny part of me that thinks there is no price too high, no action the U.S. can take, that isn’t validated by the fact that my little sisters are all safe tonight.

~look at the hate we're breeding,
look at the fear we're feeding,
look at the lives we're leading,
the way we've always done before.~

Friday, September 15, 2006

Stupid Ass Hat of the Week

This week, the prize for Stupid Ass Hat of the Week goes to the douche in the orange shirt who came into the bar for the poker tournament last night.

Dear Mr. Ass Hat in the Orange Shirt (and, I might add, the particularly heinous shoes),

It is really, really dumb to order a vodka red bull and insist on paying a dollar extra to up-charge the vodka from Smirnoff—our normal house vodka—to grey goose.
Like, really, really, REALLY DUMB.
See, the thing about vodka red bull is that—unless you order vodka with a splash of red bull or something—you can’t really ever taste the vodka. So the ‘flavor’ or ‘smoothness’ or whatever of the vodka in question basically becomes a non-issue.
In the bar business, when someone orders a vodka red bull with some sort of top shelf liquor, we pretty much assume you are an idiot who is concerned with showing off how much money they can toss around on unimportant things—like expensive vodka that you will never be able to taste.
You were no different, at first. In fact, I believe your exact words were “I want a vodka red bull, and give me grey goose. I don’t want any of your cheap shit.” However, you later set yourself away from the mold when you began to complain, loudly, about how expensive your drink was.
Still, I think my favorite part was when you complained that you felt I hadn’t put any vodka in your drink. Because you couldn’t taste it. Imagine that! You couldn’t taste the super smooth vodka mixed with the really potent and sugary red bull—crazy!
No, wait! I think I jumped the gun there, because my actual favorite part was when you ordered the same drink FOUR MORE TIMES and made the same complaints FOUR MORE TIMES and then never tipped me at all. Yeah, that part ruled.
For all of these reasons, plus the fact that you sucked royally at poker, and I also saw you making fun of a handicapped man behind his back, you have been awarded the not-very-prestigious Stupid Ass Hat of the Week Award.

Thanks, and please don’t come again,

these crazy internet quiz thingers rule.

Take the quiz:
What Stock Character Are You?

The Hooker with the Heart of Gold
"I appreciate this whole seduction thing you've got going on here, but let me give you a tip: I'm a sure thing." - Pretty Woman You know what your good, er, points are and you flaunt them! But deep down (or as deep as a screen writer can dig in 90 minutes) you're much smarter/shyer/sweeter than most people suspect. You just want to do right by your man/God/your bastard children. Sometimes you get the man. Sometimes you die. It's a toss-up with you.

Quizzes by -- the World's Biggest Yearbook!

because everyone knows that, above all else, i am concerned with 'doing right' by my man/God/bastard child.
now, if only i could stop confusing the three.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

sweet internet joy

the internet has returned to the house of tiffany.
many bloggings to come.

however, for now, i feel compelled to surf into oblivion--a time-wasting activity i have been unable to participate in for over a month now.


does anyone know what happened to pretty white trash?
she was the first blog on my links list, but her blog has now completely disappeared for the SECOND TIME IN 2 MONTHS.
it is making me very sad.

Friday, September 08, 2006

the new adventures of tiffany

once upon a time there was a girl who went to school--with varying periods of actual attendance--for nine years. during that nine years, she worked as a bartender. for the same man. the entire time.

one day she graduated with a BA in language, literature, and writing, and became a manager of that bar.
the end.

so, yeah.

i'm now managing (but still bartending, of course) the bar.

it is important to note that i am quite sure this isn't because of any important managerial-type qualities that i possess, and more because the guy who was managing quit, and my boss sort of forgot to find anyone else to do his job.* i imagine the decision making process went something like this...

my boss: (internally) oh, fuck. who is going to work all those extra shifts next week? let me see... who do i trust? i know i can trust jen** and tiffany. and they both kind of already know how to do it, because i make them fill in for me when i don't have a babysitter. but, wait! jen can't work for the next three months, because of her internship. i guess tiffany is a manager now.

so, here i am,
does this count as the 'real job' i was supposed to achieve with my degree?
somehow i think not.
and still, this new(ish) job is causing me quite a bit of anxiety.

first, there's the issue of the counting. of the money. the Very Important Money.

you see, i know that my boss trusts me. i know that he knows that i would never do anything to deliberately hurt him, his partner, or the restaurant.
but i do find it equal parts hysterical and frightening that he has any sort of faith that i won't fuck things up royally on accident.

the decision to put me in charge of making sure all the money is figured out correctly at the end of the night could have gone something like this:
hmmm. tiffany has been a bartender for ten years, and still her bar drawer is almost always at least a little bit off at the end of the night. that girl just can't count for shit. i know! let's put her in charge of all of our money!

let me just be honest about one thing here. i have no math skills. whatsoever. even very basic math functions make my brain hurt. i am so bad at subtraction that i sometimes can't even do it with a calculator.
i wish i was kidding about this, but i'm not.

and while i'm belittling myself, i should also point out that i am not the most organized person in the world. we don't need to go into any details about how ridiculous of an understatement that is. we only need to understand that perhaps a job the requires one to be responsible for the proper handling and organization of thousands of dollars is probably not one that i am very well suited for.

but i'm trying anyway.
i've closed the office twice all by myself, and as far as i can judge--through the absence of my boss screaming at me--i didn't fuck anything up. even though this isn't 'The Job' for me, it's still my job at the moment. i want to a good job; i want to be able to help my bosses through this sort of crazy time, and i want to prove to myself that i'm really not as much of an idiot as i always think i am.***

*kind of a big oversite, but understandable when we consider that my boss was trying to open two brand new restaurants while simultaneously destroying and rebuilding the bar we work in at the time.
**my roommate. i think you're accustomed to hearing of her as 'baby girl.'
***the jury is definitely still out on this issue.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


i will:

eat beakfast
work out
go to the bank
end world hunger

and most importantly, write you a story about why i haven't been around lately.*

i just can't do it right now, for i am far too sleepy.

*you know, other than that pesky fact of not having internet access at home.