sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 13, 2022

posted by soe 1:20 am

I’m pretty sure this is the earliest I’ve ever filed my federal taxes. (I have yet to file the local ones, so there’s still time for things to go sideways, but I’ll do that as soon as I track down a pen with black ink.)

Honestly, I like paying taxes. I believe in many of the things that taxes pay for, like schools and libraries and roads and arts programs and the post office and supporting those who aren’t able to care for themselves or who have served our country. I mean, sure there are things the federal government does with our money that I don’t like, but I choose to believe that most of the money I pay goes toward the good things.

That said, though, I try to balance my withholdings so that we’re at roughly sum zero after I’ve filed. My grandmother used to say that if you’re getting a big return, it just means you gave the government an interest-free loan of your money. While I have no problem giving the government what they feel is fair for me to pay, I do object to giving them money they aren’t entitled to. So, I aim for my paying a couple dozen dollars or them giving me back the same amount each year, and mostly I’ve been pretty successful.

Now I’ll just keep my fingers crossed I did the same with my local taxes.

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October 6, 2021

in america: remember
posted by soe 1:28 am

In America: Remember

We passed 700,000 dead from COVID over the weekend. And “In America: Remember,” an art installation on the Mall from Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg recorded each one with a white flag.

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

I visited twice: once while they were setting up and then Saturday night. You can see in the daytime shots the expanse of space that was still needed to be filled.

In America: Remember

Each time I was struck by the sheer waste.

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

It didn’t have to be like this. No, we probably couldn’t have saved everyone. But just this volume. This many people.

Those who’d lost loved ones to COVID were invited to personalize a flag in their memory. Because each one of these flags represents a person who had a life — friends and family, pets, jobs … Holes in the fabric of our country.

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

If you haven’t been to D.C. recently, it’s hard to impress on you the sheer size of this installation. It takes up at least two square city blocks. It’s enormous.

In America: Remember

It’s devastating.

In America: Remember

And more than 30,000 dead in just the two weeks the exhibition was open.

In America: Remember

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January 20, 2021

now this is what presidential looks like
posted by soe 1:31 am

I won’t waste space on the name of a man who was so small he couldn’t take the time to do this for a nation, but I thank the Bidens and the Harris-Emhoff family for giving the American people this. We’ve needed it.

I’ll be taking an extended lunch break tomorrow to watch the first woman being sworn in as vice-president and to watch adults take back control of the room.

My city remains on high alert. An entire town’s worth of military, 20,000+ troops, has been brought in to keep the peace and protect downtown. Helicopters have buzzed overhead constantly for days, with mobile command units parked a half mile up in the sky. Traffic is excluded from a record swath of the city, up to within a few blocks of my neighborhood.

Yet, as happens every year at this time, anti-choice protesters have come to complain that they should get to decide what women do with their bodies. Tonight they went up to the pizza place right-wing whackadoodles decided a few years back was home to a pedophilia ring. My neighbors met them with glasses of champagne and RuPaul and Lady GaGa played at such volume and dance moves so fly that the protesters were drowned out — and so discouraged that they had to leave:

It would only have been more D.C. if it had been Go-Go music.

May you find peace and encouragement as we move forward.

Category: dc life,politics. There is/are 2 Comments.

January 7, 2021

no words (or 305 of them, but who’s counting?)
posted by soe 1:02 am

I just don’t have the words to express the whirlwind of emotions I felt today, as we careened from the high of winning the Georgia Senate races to the low of racist domestic terrorists storming Congress at the behest of the President.

D.C. went into a lockdown at 6, so I did take a break from work in the afternoon in an attempt to get some extra groceries. I didn’t make it to Safeway before they’d locked their doors, but I did manage to find most of what I was looking for between the mom & pop shops and drug store.

But, honestly, it was exhausting being out, looking over my shoulder at anyone who passed me by, wondering if they were a threat. They’re staying at all the local hotels and at many of the Air BnB’s in the area, including one a couple doors down. (A pair of them mistook Rudi’s red baseball cap for a MAGA hat the other day.)

So, in the end, I hurried home even before I needed to. I finished my work, answered all the tweets and texts from those worried about me, called my folks, and took a fitful nap.

It was quiet in our neighborhood tonight. There are no cars on the road or passersby on the sidewalk, which is disquieting. There is an uptick in helicopters overhead (albeit less than during this spring’s protests or during the last Inauguration), which always adds a level of constant uneasiness to daily life.

Two more weeks. It’s a false goal, of course, because all of these dangerous jerks will still be here, lurking beneath their rocks, and now recruiting more to their cause who saw heroes in the display of toxic masculinity today. I despair for America tonight, which just seems like a lot when this morning was so hopeful.

Category: politics. There is/are 2 Comments.

November 8, 2020

posted by soe 1:50 am

Results Night

White House Fence

Biden Harris


It was a good day. I was awakened shortly before noon by pot banging in the neighborhood, which quickly escalated to cheers, horn honking, and, eventually fireworks. The emotion everywhere was jubilant and contagious and if we weren’t living amidst a pandemic might have involved strangers hugging.

I biked down to Black Lives Matter Plaza and the White House earlier tonight to see the crowd down there. You may have heard Trump built up the wall to “protect” himself; it just gave folks a bigger canvas. There was dancing and more fireworks and champagne bottles being popped and whole families out so kids could be a part of this historic day.

It was a good day.

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November 4, 2020

posted by soe 8:19 am

I spent last night on a Zoom call with Rudi and a couple friends from shortly before midnight (they’re all out West, and I’m a night owl) until nearly 2:30. I was also working on a presentation for this afternoon at the same time.

When I got off with them, I emailed the Powerpoint to my boss, ate an ice cream sundae, put on the tv, and pulled out the laptop to write this blog post. And then promptly fell asleep on the couch, exhausted by the day’s activities and the crushing disappointment that we don’t know much, except that way more people in our country suck than I’d hoped. (I know, I know. They don’t suck. They just … live in a world where it makes sense to hand your car keys to someone who, in the past has driven your car full speed into a brick wall, and now wants to take take your little kid for a spin on a mountain pass at midnight in a huge storm without a seat belt on. While drunk. And high. And a jerk.

Okay, well, I guess I have to go get ready for a work day that includes a four-hour strategic planning meeting. I’d tell you to think good thoughts for me, but keep them with the fate of the country. My meeting will wrap up by day’s end; I can’t say the same for this nightmare.

Category: politics. There is/are 3 Comments.