11 March 2010

The First Day of Spring

Although it was only March 10, today was the first day of Spring for me. I sat outside on the deck, sunglasses on, Yankee hat on, rehabbing my knee, reading in the sun, and watching the birds come in to the new feeder eight feet away. I swatted away a yellowjacket a couple of times and missed a few others. Some sort of centipede bug crawled along the rail of the deck onto my hand. The sun was glorious and so was the day. It was about 65 degrees. I live in Western New York and 65 degrees is good for any time of the year but especially above average for the first half of March.

I blame Spring for the academic flameout during my first attempt at a college degree. I went to a community college and on a day like this I would be at Mendon Ponds Park, drinking Busch beer from the trunk that still had a hint of coolness. After today I am officially Spring crazy. I start getting up earlier and earlier, anxious for the day to start. This might be my favorite time of the year. It's definitely the time that I feel the most energetic. Deep into summer it's easy to get lacksadaisical, sleeping til 9 or noon sometimes, especially if you've been like Springsteen and running the backstreets all night. But this time of year is alive and everything is restless and starting to come out. Water trickles and feeds the pond. Birds pop and flutter along the ground. The creek in Honeoye Falls gushes with the brown water of all the melted snow from here to Honeoye Lake. I don't see any buds on the trees yet but I know they're coming.

It doesn't matter if we get more snow or not. I'm sure we will. Some people will escape to see the cherry trees in Washington D.C. bloom and others will come back tan from a week in Florida, and that's fine. We'll get cold, wet days when you just can't get warm, and that's fine too. But my friend Melissa posted a note the other day and the refrain was familiar: I will not get emotionally attached to warm weather, I will not get emotionally attached to warm weather, I will not get emotionally attached to warm weather...You know if you have to tell yourself that, then it's too late.


Shenanigans At The Massa Townhouse

In 2004 I was so disgusted with the Bush administration that I actually got involved in politics. Well, if attending a meet-and-greet with a candidate is getting involved. I met Massa a few times when I was out with my friend Mary and he seemed to be a straight shooter. He served alot of years in the Navy and ran for Congress on a platform of pulling out of Iraq. He lost that election, Bush won his, and I was so disgusted again that I vowed not to watch nothing but ESPN for the rest of my life. I was done paying attention to politics. But in 2006, Eric Massa ran again and won. I attended a rally early that fall and was glad to see him out there again, putting his time and effort into doing what he thought was right. I still wasn't paying attention to politics but I was glad he won.

Congressman Massa supported the new health care legislation that was up for a vote last fall. I have no idea which bill he supported because I don't understand how our government works. I mean, I can grasp checks and balances, I know how a bill becomes a law (Oh, yeahhh!! thanks schoolhouse rocks!) but I don't know why there are multiple votes for the same bill. Anyway, when asked why he was supporting the bill when the majority of the people he represented were against it, Massa said that sometimes you have to do what is right for people if they don't know what is best for themselves. Not only do I not like that type of thinking, if someone said that to my face, I would have dreams of kicking the shit out of them. You can't take care of yourself and don't know what's best for you, but your elected official does. I believe in personal freedom, freedom of choice, and use-it-or-lose-it personal rights. Rights are like muscles; the longer they go without use, the weaker they become, until one day they quit working. I'm not a hero worshipper, I like the Grateful Dead but wasn't bothered too much when Jerry Garcia died. I like reading Hunter Thompson but never forgot that he slapped his wife. So as much as Massa's position on health care irked me, it wasn't like I had lost one of my heroes.

Flashforward to the first week in March and then-Congressman Massa has become former-Congressman Massa. First he said he was not seeking re-election because of health issues, then he said he was stepping down due to the same said health issues. Then he said he was stepping down over some inappropriate remarks he made to his staffers at a wedding, and that his language was "salty" and inappropriate. Then, during a radio interview in his hometown, he called White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel "the son of the spawn of the devil" who accosted him while they were both naked in the Congressional gym showers. Massa melted down after this, saying that the "inappropriate" behavior was a tickle fight he engaged in with his staff. What grown man tickles another grown man? Very strange. Massa spent an hour on Glenn Beck and filled the hour with abstract ramblings, saying that he couldn't tell his story in sound bites despite the long rope Beck had given him. He contradicted himself over the tickling and the groping, admitted to the groping but said that it wasn't sexual in nature. He just acted kooky. So that is the extent of my personal connection to politics in the last six years. Massa has never been a hero to me nor has he ever riled me enough that I should forsake politics for 24 hours of Sportscenter. I'm glad that I have reserved my hero worship for my mom and dad.