drove ma and the sparkster to agway today, picked up soybean hulls, a few bags of grain and while we were at it some seeds that chipmunks like to eat. tryna see if the little bugger who snuck into the livingroom yesterday is still in the house or not - if he found a way out, we gotta hole somewhere! uh oh. also a leather collar and a tampico brush for a few bucks from the discount bin.
then stopped at the englishtown lake and let sparky lookit the geese. fun times. drove back. driving is way more fun now, when i take my adderall. dayumn life gets a lot easier. and less dangerous!!
glenn miller is currently making everything in my life feel classy and happy and chill. so laid back. cleaning my room, actually. back still hurts. knee is sore. but in a good mood. :)
Kelly Harrell & The Virginia String Band: Charles Guiteau
At 9:30 AM on July 2, 1881, 49-year-old James Garfield of Ohio, who had been President of the United States for 120 days walked through the waiting area of the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station at 6th and B Streets in Washington, D.C. (the present-day location of the West Building of the National Gallery of Art). President Garfield had no bodyguards; he simply strolled through the lobby arm-in-arm alongside his Secretary of State, James G. Blaine.
Waiting at the station was an eccentric, delusional man named Charles Julius Guiteau. Guiteau had bounced around from job-to-job, his bizarre behavior never allowing him to settle anywhere for long. In 1880, when it appeared that former President Ulysses S. Grant would seek a third term as President, Guiteau wrote a speech on the behalf of the legendary General. At the Republican National Convention, James Garfield emerged from the field as a dark horse and won the nomination. Garfield’s nomination didn’t alter Guiteau’s support; he simply changed the candidate’s name in the speech from “Grant” to “Garfield”.
Garfield was victorious in November over Winfield Scott Hancock and Guiteau was convinced that his speech, which had only been delivered on a couple of unimpressive, unnoticed occasions, was the key to Garfield’s victory. Believing that Garfield owed his election to Guiteau’s support, Guiteau began sending messages to the new President and his Cabinet, making visits to the White House and various departments of the government, and requested that his reward for his efforts be an appointment as U.S. Ambassador to France. If not France, Guiteau suggested that he would settle for being named Ambassador to Austria.
While all Presidents of the 19th Century were inundated with constant requests from job-seekers and political hacks who desired rewards in return for their support, Guiteau pestered the Garfield Administration incessantly. He bombarded the White House with messages to the President, constantly sought an audience with Garfield and Cabinet members, and basically stalked Secretary of State Blaine so that he could continuously ask about being posted in Paris as Ambassador. Administration officials were annoyed by Guiteau’s persistent badgering. Guiteau was angry and disappointed that no one was rewarding him for what he believed was his obvious role in electing Garfield as President. After an irritated Blaine snapped at Guiteau and made it clear that he would never receive the positions that he coveted, Guiteau resolved to make the Administration pay. Shortly after his encounter with the Secretary of State, Guiteau purchased a .44 caliber British Bulldog revolver that he specifically chose because he felt the gun would look good in a museum.
Now, President Garfield was walking through the Baltimore and Potomac station in order to catch a train to New Jersey where he would visit his ailing wife, Lucretia, who had left the hot and often pestilential Washington, D.C. summer for the fresh ocean air and nicer weather of the Jersey shore. Guiteau had arrived at the train station shortly before the President and nervously familiarized himself with the waiting room while anticipating Garfield’s arrival. With time to kill, Guiteau even had his shoes shined.
It happened very quickly. Guiteau approached Garfield from behind and fired two shots at the President from about three feet away. The first shot grazed Garfield’s right arm and slightly wounded him. The second shot slammed into the President’s back a few inches away from his spinal column, tore through him, broke several ribs, and lodged near the pancreas. Garfield was badly wounded, but the bullet had missed all of his vital organs. The President collapsed and began vomiting, but he was responsive for several minutes before lapsing into and out of unconsciousness. Guiteau tried to escape, but an official of the Venezuelan embassy witnessed the shooting and blocked one of the station’s doors. Guiteau ran for another exit, but the Secretary of State chased after him and he was quickly apprehended. A quick-thinking Washington, D.C. policeman made sure to protect Guiteau from an angry crowd which had gathered and called for the gunman to be lynched.
Guiteau claimed to be a member of the Stalwart wing of the Republican Party and proclaimed “Arthur will be President now!”. The GOP was divided at the time and the President was on one side of the divide while the Vice President, Chester A. Arthur, was on the other. Guiteau’s remarks led some to wonder whether the shooting was a conspiracy to place Arthur, who owed his entire career to the political spoils system, in the White House where he could oppose civil service reform.
President Garfield was a large, strong man and young for a President. Though he was seriously wounded, Garfield most likely would have survived if he had suffered the same wound after the benefits of sterilization were recognized and adopted by doctors. As it was, the President lingered for 79 days, but infections introduced by doctors probing Garfield’s wound with dirty instruments and even their fingers, took a toll. Had the bullet simply been left in Garfield’s body, he may have survived, as well, but doctors continued trying to find it (they didn’t succeed until the autopsy). On September 6, 1881, President Garfield finally made the trip that he had intended to make on the morning he was shot. A special rail car transported him to Long Branch, New Jersey — this time sohecould recuperate near the ocean. By this time, Garfield was barely recognizable, he dropped from about 210 pounds to 130 pounds and his hair and beard had turned completely white in less than three months. On September 19, 1881, Garfield died in New Jersey and was succeeded by Chester Arthur.
Guiteau’s trial proved that there was no conspiracy. President Arthur proved that he wasn’t merely a puppet of special interests or the spoils system by pushing through the most expansive civil service reform in American History up to that point, partly as a tribute and response to Garfield’s assassination by a disgruntled office-seeker, but also partly because Arthur believed the time was right. Arthur finished Garfield’s term and never sought political office again (he died less than two years later), but his legacy has improved over the decades.
During his trial, Guiteau continued his bizarre antics. When his lawyers argued that the assassin was insane, Guiteau angrily denied it and claimed that he was fine. He wrote poetry and sent editorials to newspapers, made numerous outbursts in the courtroom — often loud disagreements with his own lawyers, placed a personal ad in a New York newspaper noting that he was looking for romance with a “nice Christian lady”. Most delusional of all, Guiteau believed that he was a hero, noting that “The President’s death was a sad necessity, but it will unite the Republican Party and save the Republic…I had no ill-will towards the President. His death was a political necessity.” Guiteau was convinced, much like the role that he (in his mind) played in electing James Garfield, that he was responsible for placing Arthur in the White House. Technically, that was true, but he believed he would be rewarded and looked upon as a hero and that President Arthur would soon come to his rescue and give him his freedom.
In January 1882, Guiteau was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. When he attempted to appeal the conviction, it was denied. On June 30, 1882, almost a year to the day that Guiteau shot President Garfield, the assassin was led to the gallows at the District Jail in Washington, D.C.. The man who killed the President was smiling, waving to the spectators, and dancing as he was led to the spot of his execution and, after nearly tripping while walking up the stairs, laughed and joked, “I stubbed my toe on the way to the gallows!”.
By now, it was clear — even to Charles Guiteau — that nobody was going to save his life now. Yet, the assassin was oddly cheerful and had one more bizarre performance before his hanging. Guiteau had thought about his last words and told the crowd, “I am now going to read some verses which are intended to indicate my feelings at the moment of leaving this world. If set to music they may be rendered very effective. The idea is that of a child babbling to his mamma and his papa. I wrote it this morning about ten o’clock.”
Guiteau had asked for a full orchestra to be set up in the prison yard near the gallows, but that idea was summarily rejected. So, despite not having music, Guiteau sang his last words in a strange, a capella hymn that he wrote himself:
I am going to the Lordy, I am so glad, I am going to the Lordy, I am so glad, I am going to the Lordy, Glory hallelujah! Glory hallelujah! I am going to the Lordy. I love the Lordy with all my soul, Glory hallelujah! And that is the reason I am going to the Lord, Glory hallelujah! Glory hallelujah! I am going to the Lord. I saved my party and my land, Glory hallelujah! But they have murdered me for it, And that is the reason I am going to the Lordy! Glory hallelujah! Glory hallelujah! I am going to the Lordy! I wonder what I will do when I get to the Lordy, I guess that I will weep no more When I get to the Lordy! Glory hallelujah! I wonder what I will see when I get to the Lordy, I expect to see most glorious things, Beyond all earthly conception When I am with the Lordy! Glory hallelujah! Glory hallelujah! I am with the Lord.
As he finished his homemade hymn a black hood was placed over Charles Guiteau’s head, a noose was place around his neck, the trap was sprung, and the strange little man who shot a President exactly 131 years ago today dropped through the hole, had his neck snapped, and was sent to “the Lordy”.
so i hit 30 pages today. that’s nice, but all i wrote today was four pages, when i could have done much more. on the other hand, my adderal wore off sometime before evening since this morning, and i’m supposed to take it again, which i didn’t. so no wonder after every few sentences i would have to stop and look around and not be able to stay focused for more than a few minutes straight. kind of frustrating, because i had so much i could have put down today, and spent tomorrow moving into new parts. tomorrow i’ll have to play catch up and first finish all my thoughts from today.
however, with the million interruptions, i did have more - new thoughts tacked on to previous ones, which could have been continued, taken further were they not diverted? it went so slowly because i worked rather hard to hang on to my previous threads, and let just enough new bits in to keep it interesting but not make it crazy. whereas before i went twelve pages on a single conversation, which i did have moving through lots of information and detail, but probably could have used less emotional reflection and more action.
so, balance. i’ll find it. on the bright side - i have a clear idea of where i’m going. with my meds working again i’ll be less mired and more productive, and tomorrow my goal is to put down two more major scenes and hit 40 pages. i want this to grow, and i’ll never be able to reach real story lines if i can’t discipline myself to sit and work.
it’s super nice to have a tumblr with no followers. it’s so strange, because my old tumblr had hundreds and my dash was full of awesome stuff but it became, weirdly, work. i was worried about missing cool stuff that would be on my dash when i wasn’t looking. and the idea of everything i posted coming up in the newsfeeds of so many other people was strange too. sometimes it was nice, because i could vent and feel as though someone was listening. a stranger would reply to a post i made and it was sweet. but sometimes it was crazy, because i felt like i was being watched. the stuff that the internet does to our heads, man…
i mean, what happened to keeping a journal? does it not fulfill our exhibitionist needs? lol. i feel like blogs mix our desire to keep personal records with our desire to broadcast everything. we can blab to the world while telling ourselves we’re just diary-ing online.
what the fuck ever. i don’t like being so connected. i’d leave my facebook deactivated, but it really is a good tool for keeping in touch. i’m letting my twitter be killed. in 30 days all my tweets will be wiped. phew. how many online connection things do we need? sheesh! no wonder we’re all fucked in the head.
so, yay. i’m not telling any of my friends my new url, as much as i love em. i want to use tumblr as an easy way to keep up with some of my interests, and not as a social site. thank god.
“Not being assaulted is not a privilege to be earned through the judicious application of personal safety strategies. A woman should be able to walk down the street at 4 in the morning in nothing but her socks, blind drunk, without being assaulted, and I, for one, am not going to do anything to imply that she is in any way responsible for her own assault if she fails to Adequately Protect Herself. Men aren’t helpless dick-driven maniacs who can’t help raping a vulnerable woman. It disrespects EVERYONE.”—