Friday, May 20, 2011

Dear World, It's Been a Good Run

May 20, 2011

Dear World,

Hey, just wanted to thank you for a cool time.

I mean, I'm not just talking about the good times either.

The bad times you gave me made me a much stronger person.

I tried to not take you for granted too much, in case you were wondering. I did really love it when you gave me lots of sunshine, but let me say, this last winter in the tundra, I'm not sure I'm ready to forgive you for that yet.

Also, and don't take this the wrong way, but I would have stopped recycling YEARS ago if I knew that things were going to come to an abrupt end like this.

I know that we all eventually are supposed to leave this place, but I guess I wish I maybe got the memo more than a few weeks before The Rapture begins the End Times.

But really, it's my own fault. I wasn't attending enough meetings at the Tin Foil Hat Church, apparently.

Listen, I just want you to know that I know where I'm going. It's alright. You don't have to feel bad for me, because I've known my fate for quite awhile, now.

But yeah, outside of that, I wanted to also thank you for starting this whole thing while I'll be in my hometown for my nephew's HS graduation reception. At least I'll be with family when meteors start hitting the earth, and hail the size of elephant dung begins to fall.

Oh yeah, and one last question...why the hell did you let people settle in Minnesota?

Hope you enjoy your time as a comet field, buddy!



Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Salute to General Jean

I love my mom for so many reasons.

I love my mom because she taught me to tie my shoes (it was hard on her, I hear, since I was not a fast learner).

I love my mom because she was always there when I was hurt, whether by falling off my bike, or a fifth grade girlfriend, or when I was scared that I wasn't going to make it through college during my first semester away from home.

I love my mom because she taught us that we could always do better.

I love my mom because she taught my brothers and I at an early age to be self-sufficient and responsible.

We did our own laundry by junior high.

I remember learning how to make my own breakfasts (a hard boiled egg) and after school snacks (PBJ and hot chocolate) by third grade.

And we were regularly reminded of the things we had to do on a daily basis, whether it was at school, home, or elsewhere.

Chores were not an option.

So it shouldn't be a surprise that my mom's nickname was always General Jean.

Some families have matriarchs. My family had a military dictator.

But make no mistake, the mutiny runs rampant in the Clem Corps.

My brothers and I (perhaps or perhaps not learned through informal tutorials led by my dad) have tormented my mom for more than 35 years.

She's down with OCD. So we have fun rearranging her knick knacks and furniture.

She's not one for someone changing up a schedule. So we'll arrive late and leave later.

She doesn't like chaos. So we do what we can to create it.

Yet she still loves us unconditionally.

And that might very well be the reason I love my mom the most.

Happy Mother's Day to every mother out there tonight!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The not so United States of America

For a brief moment last night, the days following 9/11 began to reappear before me.

During the post 9/11 days, people seemed to put our differences aside.

What a proud moment for our nation.

Despite the controversial presidential election of 2000, less than a year later we were all united in our disgust at Al Qaeda's actions.

And last night, as the news broke that we had finally found and killed Osama Bin Laden, there was a very short time we were together again.

Sure, it was odd to be uniting at the death of this evil figure. It was strange to see kids who couldn't have been over the age of 8 on Sept. 11, 2001 chanting "USA! USA! USA!"

But there was something right about it. Like finding out a criminal has been caught, tried and convicted for his crime.

And then by this morning, the unity was gone.

Fragmented by people who had to turn this into a political story: "Bush deserves the recognition for this, not Obama, because he started this war."

"Obama couldn't have done this, because he wouldn't want to hurt his brother or cousin in Pakistan."

"I thought they said Obama died. What's the big deal?"

And just to be fair, there were those on the left who disgusted me, criticizing former President Bush on a day when we should be patting him on the back for his role in helping make this happen.

Or my favorite...the conspiracy theorists.

There's one guy on a Hawkeye message board that I frequent that says Osama Bin Laden has been dead for a decade, and this is all a ruse so that we can invade Pakistan and continue bombing.

These actions are not being done by our government, he says, but by the shadow government who actually runs things.
Of course he still believes Obama wasn't born in Hawaii.


Enough of the "right wing nutjobs." Enough of the "communist lefties." Enough of the tin foil hat brigade.

Nearly 10 years ago, our country was forever changed by a group of young men who were inspired by Osama Bin Laden.

Last night, we finally got the inspirational leader behind the most heinous act of terrorism ever to occur on our shores.

And we couldn't even go 24 hours without it turning into a fight between ourselves.
It's sad, really.

So I'm done talking about it. You all can fight until you're blue in the face. I'm going to quietly be proud of all the people who helped last night happen, and be thankful that they are there to protect me.

You can choose how you want to react.