This is an episode of “This American Life” that aired almost a year ago. Some of the staff pitches in to buy a toxic asset (I think this sign explains a toxic asset quite nicely). It does a great job of explaining how these toxic assets negatively impacted the economy and housing market. The fact that no one is getting held responsible for knowingly creating these toxic assets (some institutions that created them have even received bailouts!) is one of the the chief complaints of “the 99%.”
Do you remember Gerald the baby bird? Sure you do, I remind you of him every day with my tumblr photo there on the left (or right, if you are reading this from garvs.tumblr.com).
Remember how he was starving and freezing and alone and touched by a human when he came into my life? WELL HE WAS. Remember that.
Remember how he died? Well, you might remember that he died, but I never revealed how he died on here because of the shame of his death and because of the shame from finding humor in his death.
Here is that shameful tale.
Gerald really hated to be alone in his little warm bird box I had made for him. The dude wanted to sit on me all the time. This is either because he thought I was his mama or because he hated me and wanted to cover me with bird shit. Either way, it broke my heart to hear him cry in his little box and try and try to get out. The first night, I let him snuggle in the palm of my hand until he drifted off to sleep before I put him in his box, like some baby I had to walk the floor with until he fell asleep.
The next day, when I got home from work, Gerald was a happy, singing bird as soon as he saw me. I didn’t have the heart to leave him in his box, when he would so loyally perch on my shoulder and never leave. I am such a sucker, I couldn’t even shut him up in his box long enough to take a shower. The solution: take a bath while Gerald hopped around the bathroom floor. (If I ever have a baby, I think this situation might indicate that I will just be dirty for the first month of its life because I have problems.) I shut the door so he couldn’t get out and put his favorite warm towel down just so for him to nestle in.
Except, Gerald did not nestle. Bless his little baby bird heart, he kept trying to fly up to the edge of the tub. The little guy hadn’t learn to fly well enough to do that, yet, so I hung my hand down over the edge of the tub and he eagerly nestled himself against it.
When I was done bathing, I left small, flightless Gerald on the bathroom floor and shut the door behind me, preventing him from running off and getting stuck under the bed. As I pulled a shirt on, I suddenly heard the violent flapping of wings and troubled chirps. I ran to the bathroom. I looked everywhere - under the towel, behind the toilet…and then I saw him.
He was floating in the toilet.
I fished him out and gave him little chest compression, but to no avail - he was dead.
And that, dear reader, is a very long-winded tale of how a bird drowned in my toilet.
In my defense, when I left him in the bathroom, he couldn’t fly up to the bathtub (and by extension, the toilet), even. How was I supposed to know he was GOING TO LEARN TO FLY AND DROWN IN MY TOILET?
I worked hard in high school. I got a scholarship to college. I earned my degree. I have a job that pays for (most) of my bills. I am 27 years old. I am NOT in a position financially to buy a home or have a child at this time and, for this, I am not complaining. But it’s been years since anyone in my department has received a cost of living raise, even. Our benefits costs are increasing next year. Clearly, the company has tightened its belt. I wish it would consider tightening the belt for those at the top, instead of ONLY for those at the bottom. I know CEOs are the last to receive paycuts, but I think its their time. I think the average wage of the worker has decreased (same pay + higher benefits cost = lower paychecks) (some people I am related to have had to take paycuts just to keep their job), while the CEO salary has not. If a CEO in the industry I worked in promised to never take a salary more than 50 times the median worker salary, or even 100 times, (as opposed to the current 200 and something times) and instead use that money for cost of benefits, worker salaries, and company growth, I would run to that company in a heartbeat. IN A HEARTBEAT.
Right now I am obsessed with remembering when I first fell in love with Kyle Chandler.
I watched “Early Edition” in its entirety with my family when I was in grade school. I hope it’s on Netflix, because I kinda want to watch it again. I mean, Kyle Chandler gets delivered tomorrow’s newspaper today from an orange cat and has a blind friend who provides him moral guidance! That is TV gold!
Jim is taking me to Disneyland for my birthday tomorrow because he loves me very much and is a brave, brave man.
The park is open for sixteen hours tomorrow, 8am-midnight, and I am planning on being there the entire time. I have purchased bottled water and granola bars and have rounded up the sunblock and my most comfy tennis shoes. Excited doesn’t begin to describe it.
I woke up this morning singing “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah” and plan on taking three Benadryl at 8pm so that I can get plenty of sleep before I wake up early and excited tomorrow, like a child on Christmas. You think I am exaggerating, but I am not. I am literally taking three Benadryl and going to bed at 8pm. After all, I have to wake up early to do my hair in a style that goes well with mouse ears. Mouse ears that will be purchased at approximately 10am so that I can enjoy them for the majority of the day, but we can still use the first two hours the park is open to enjoy the shorter lines for rides.
I think I have a problem. A wonderful, wonderful problem.
“I want to live in a world where little girls are not pinkified, but where little girls who like pink are not punished for it, either. We can certainly talk about the social pressures surrounding gender roles, and the concerns that people have when they see girls and young women who appear to be forced into performances of femininity by the society around them but let‘s stop acting like they have no agency and free will. Let‘s stop acting like women who choose to be feminine are somehow colluders, betraying the movement, bamboozled into thinking that they want to be feminine. Let‘s stop denying women their own autonomy by telling them that their expressions of femininity are bad and wrong”—