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Cute but mean as hell

Feeling like this. I like writing.

Feeling like this. I like writing.

Hey kids. How’s everyone’s good Friday? Good? That’s good. Mine’s been spent writing for a project I’m working on. Super glamorous, I know. But it suits me. Keeps me from focusing on the Jekyll/Hyde stuff going on around me at present. A new acquaintance asked me recently why I’ve stayed single for so long. Sigh, that question. Again. But it’s been coming up a lot lately and my stock answer is always the kid thing. The men I’ve dated seriously just weren’t ones I wanted to have children with. I’m sure they are for others, but I’m pretty picky when it comes to what I’ll subject a child — hell, even an animal — to, and I’m sort of like my brother John who told me once that he didn’t see the point of getting married if not to have kids. I’m aware of the financial benefits, sure. But, and especially in light of what I’ve seen of people who marry just to do it, that’s never seemed a great trade-off for me personally. There’s a decent argument that I don’t care enough about money. That’s valid. My co-worker/boss is always like “Stop working for free!” So there’s probably room to reconsider some things in that regard. But the the Jekyll/Hyde thing is increasingly something I’m having to admit is also a major player in what keeps me detached.

There are relationships on my periphery that are contributing to this mindset. One in particular just seems to blow hot and cold on a consistent basis, and sometimes I take the brunt of the fallout because I have a business relationship with the couple. I deal more directly with the man, and he and I get on pretty well for the most part. But I swear there are times when things just get goofy and I feel like I’m some surrogate punching bag for whatever’s going on in his marriage and it freaks me out. I mean it really freaks me. Because for the most part, I don’t like most people (picky about who I let in at all, in fact) getting too close to me — judge away. It’s weird but I own it. — and so I don’t even know much about the particulars of their relationship. I just know when things are bad because I get talked to a different way. And it’s not pleasant. And frankly, it kind of pisses me off. I mean come on man, deal with your stuff without beating down someone who can’t defend herself because she doesn’t even know what the hell’s going on. And, because you’re married, I can’t get in there and dig around and try to help. It’s inappropriate for me to do that. I feel for you — I know how hellish relationship problems can be. Trust me on that one. But I can’t help you with this one. The best thing I can do is remain unaffected and try to vent out how cruddy it makes me feel in the only way I can, which tends to be writing about it.

I talk to my brothers about this kind of thing and they always counsel me that bad women can make an otherwise kind and decent man kind of a beast. And they’re right. I’ve seen what they’ve been through so I know that’s true. But, with respect to my awesome protectors, the men have a responsibility here, too. Their choice of mate is on them — like when you, my loves, in your younger years, chose not to see past the superficial and outward pretty and examine the characters of the women who ended up being sources of great pain and life-altering circumstances. No one made you look past the red flags. In fact, I think there was probably some effort to point them out. And I get that once the commitment has been made, and especially if there are children involved (“Why have you stayed single for so long?”), things get much tougher, but it cannot be one-sided. It is never totally the fault of one person. So yes, a selfish woman can turn a man. But a man willing to look past those qualities bears at least 50% of the weight. And, for the love of pete, he is remiss in taking out that weight on some unsuspecting woman who’s just trying to live her life and find her own way without being dragged into some relationship turmoil that has nothing, and never will have anything, to do with her. In the past few months or so I’ve felt the need (even if I didn’t actually do it) to reassure no less than 4 women that I’m not interested in their relationships except that I happen to know and am friendly or have a business relationship with their significant other. And frankly, ladies, I’m tired of that. And a little offended you think so little of me. And to the gentlemen — your ladies need some attention. Take care of that, would you please?

Finally, is it really so wrong to throw your hands up and be done when the dismissive behavior starts because that’s what the jealousy demands? I don’t give up on people unless they give up on me. But when a respect line is crossed — and in the best cases you hope it’s temporary — sometimes you must be done just to preserve some integrity and self-respect. So, forgive me, but don’t be like Vivian Kensington in Legally Blonde who gets the wrong idea about the law professor at the end. Because you don’t know what’s transpired and what’s been discussed and what’s been said. Reserve your judgment. Because you could be really wrong.

Alright, I need to correct something I wrote in my last blog post. I said 2/3rd of the economy when I was talking about Obamacare and I meant 1/6th. But, now that I think about it, given the auto industry stuff, and the bank bailouts, and the Union stuff, and the housing bubble (which is linked to this progressive ideology) and etc and et al, 2/3rds might not be too far off base.

Putin and game theory. Meh. Because, as this writer notes, the tautological outcome of Crimea is not proof that Putin is smarter. Succeeding sometimes means rolling the dice and getting lucky. He recognized a weakness and struck. Good strategy, sure. But not some guaranteed master plan.

Good Lord, has it come to this? That weird dude I used to know who was a big fan of eugenics must be super duper excited right about now. How can we simultaneously be thinking that too many people are incarcerated for stupid reasons and think that sterilizing women prisoners is a good idea? It’s the inconsistency that kills me.

This lady cracks me up. And I gotta say, of all the characters in DC, Hill staffers are the ones I’d be least interested in seeing how they go about their daily business. There are far more complex and interesting personalities doing important work to choose from.

This was pretty sobering. I’m not paranoid to this degree but the alliance building has been on my mind.

Worth a read. If for no other reason to drive home the idea that there was a need to fix something that wasn’t actually out of line with what they decided was the solution. Which is just kind of weird.

Oswalt is no where even close to conservative so this is very encouraging. Because it’s okay to disagree without needing to shut people down.

Best prank ever. Seriously. I love this so much.

I dreamed about this mean-ass little cocker I knew as a kid last night. God that dog was insane, and I tend to be pretty chill with most dogs, so I looked it up. This is wholly unsurprising.

The argument is between conservatives who say American politics is basically about a condition, liberty, and progressives who say it is about a process, democracy.”

This is probably not a good thing. I’m waiting to hear that it makes people sterile or prone to stripping naked and jumping off buildings.

Alright, I’m gonna watch some baseball. Y’all be good.

Because sometimes sarcasm is the only appropriate response.

Because sometimes sarcasm is the only appropriate response.

Hey boos. Not much to say because I want to get a run in during this fine, soft weather we’re having before heading to Va. I actually really love running in the rain. In any kind of weather actually. I just like being outside. I don’t get people who bitch about the weather all the time. Is there anything more futile to bitch about? I mean if there’s one thing you really can’t control, it’s that. On a related note, I get that bitching and moaning can be funny in the movies and as an escape, but this is real life man, and it’s hard enough, so if you need to gather a consortium of the miserably like-minded to commiserate with, can you maybe break it up a little and not find something to be peeved at every single day? Ya know, take a few days off. Because I’m not sure if you’re aware of this but if you start things off with a positive — “Hey this was so cool…” — rather than a negative — “Waaaa, someone pay attention to my needs because harumph.” — the chorus will agree with the cool. Supply the tone and the emotion will follow. Or something. Anyway, the world will be a nicer place in some small way. And the rest of us will be most grateful. Just putting it out there. Please pick it up.

I’ve spent the last few days concentrating on writing about women and what they want from the economy, particularly the differences between what conservative women want versus what liberal women want in that regard. So, while men are infinitely more interesting to me (the reasons for that should be obvious), I had a little thought about women that kind of struck me: man can they turn guys into jerks. They can also be the best thing that ever happened to a jerk, mellowing him and showing him how to be a little kinder. We really do have a lot of influence over men (the reasons for that should be obvious). And I’ve seen, over the course of the last year or so, what both of those scenarios look like: the mild-mannered man whom I get along with pretty well turn into an absolute cretin jerkwad because the lady in his life is putting pressure on him (is it because I’m a single woman you need him to treat me like that? Because lady, really, I’m not interested. And if I was, you’d know it and it’d be a whole different ballgame than the one you’re currently trying to manage); and the raging ass who is tempered by the influence of a good girl who — and man did you get lucky. For real, dude. You need to never forget that. — turns him into something of a nice guy by association. It definitely falls under the “traitor to my gender” thing but when a man is being a tool to me I immediately look to the woman in his life. Because she either inspires you toward kindness or the opposite. And all that is just so very telling. So very, very telling.

Anyway, that’s really all I have because I’m slightly brain dead and my writing assignment just got reupped (because I did good, yo) so I’m now turning my attention to 5000 words on the separation of church and state. There’s a way to be funny and charming about that subject, right? I’m determined to find out. Till the next time we talk, here’s just a few things.

I think this un-ironically falls under the “Thanks Obama” meme.

It’s starting to seem like maybe there’s more going on here than an annexing in Crimea. That’s the scrubbed, PR version. And that scares me a little.

This is a thing of beauty. So glorious. And Uggla, it’s so nice to have you back. See you next time you’re in DC. I’ll be the one inappropriately yelling during crowd silences. Find me.

He’s doing a James Joyce novel today but here’s one of my favorites:

A friend posted this song this morning “Just because it’s awesome.” And it is. Enjoy your rainy day my sweethearts. Rain is pretty, too.

The empty sidewalks

Hey hey. It’s early and I’m debating taking a train to the Mall and running over to the Tidal Basin to see those beautiful trees before the hordes descend. I have SO. MUCH. WRITING. to do though, and I need to get to Virginia and make a dent before the weekend since we have our first softball game tonight somewhere around the Washington Monument (or the Ellipse, depending on where we field save), and we have a preseason tournament out in Greenbelt on Saturday that’s at least 3 games, possibly as many as 7. Hence the debate. Do I have time? Or should I just wait till Sunday morning when I don’t have to squeeze 800 other things in to do? Who are we kidding — I’ll run around the hood here shortly and save the trees for Sunday when I can relax and take it all in. Anyway, since I haven’t written anything here for a bit, I felt like maybe a check-in was in order.

My brother John told me once that one of the biggest problems he saw that I had was a tendency to assume people were acting from a good place and had good intentions and were trustworthy without knowing them long enough to see evidence of any of those things. “I don’t trust people until they give me a reason to,” he said. “You trust as a default position. And that’s why you get hurt a lot.” I guess. I have a real bitch to vent out about that…but I don’t think I’m going to. I know, right? So unlike me. It’s just that when a situation goes down — let’s say a group of people walks away and leaves you alone in a crowd without explanation (my mother was horrified. “You’re a woman! That’s not safe!”) — and a stranger, a guy, witnesses it, and looks at you as you’re standing there watching them walk away, and says, “Are those your friends?,” and you say, “I thought they were…,” and he looks at you dead in the eye and says, “I don’t think they are,” you really have all the information you need. So what’s the point of even trying to make sense of it? As a friend of mine noted the other day, “Sarah, if you spent half as much time worrying about the people who actually give a shit about you, things would improve.” Damn straight. So, whatever. Live with yourselves and your behavior. I’m so tired of trying to mentally work out the whys, and I’m real tired of feeling bad about it. Now I just have to figure out if the pettiness extends to gargantuan asshole levels — which I suppose I’ll find out tonight — and once I know that, the douche/non-douche ratio, I’ll be able to make some decisions. Sorry to curse so much. I just wasn’t allowed to growing up and so it’s a particularly bad habit when I’m feeling rebellious and frustrated. There are worse crutches I guess.

On a somewhat related note — only in as much as it’s representative of a reason someone else is being grumpy with me — don’t tell me to look something up and then be mad at me if I do and it proves my point. I mean Christ Almighty, that’s what I do. For a living. And I generally — at this point in my life, having made the mistake as a younger person — don’t assert something unless I’ve got some evidence (if the evidence proves false later, that’s another issue) to back it up. Maybe I should just hand out a card when people meet me that says, “Warning: feisty, passionate, not afraid to argue, doesn’t mean harm. Probably will cry.”

In any event, I guess we’ll see how things play out but I gotta say — I’m pretty free of emotion about anything lately. I don’t guess I’ll ever be truly cynical — I don’t care enough about fitting it to play it all cool like nothing touches me — but I do have to emotionally take breaks where I just don’t give a shit. For a little while. Otherwise you people would fucking kill me. And that’s not going to happen.

Now for the good news! Just kidding. You know, you can’t go in an start smashing up 2/3 of the economy without panic setting in. And that’s really all the stock trade runs on — the emotions of investors. How they feel and what they intuit based on gut and experience. So, ya know:

thanks-obama

And I’m really over the glassy-eyed, incredibly ignorant, 20 something, catchphrase tossing, no experience-having, but-I’m-aggressive-and-kinda-mean-so-I’m-gonna-shove-my-ignorance-in-your-face kids that got this trainwreck of an administration elected because HOPE! and CHANGE!. Gah. Substance is a good thing, too. And track record. And voting history. And associations. And all that other stuff that is the true measure of a person and a leader. Looking at you sociopath I used to know. Feeling pretty good now about all the aspersions you cast on anyone not a total progressive? But then I guess you’re likely moving back to the center now because that benefits you and that’s how you roll. Principles are hard.

Speaking of: “Let the scapegoating begin,” says my Pops. Whatever. Laying down with dogs and all that.

This one is far more intriguing because I believe she may sing to avoid going to jail. And if the Elijah Cummings part is true — and it’s looking like the evidence is strong that it is — I can see why Issa has focused on this and put Benghazi on the back burner. Low hanging fruit is good leverage. And this is just the window dressing.

This is old because it’s been so long since I’ve updated here, but I liked it. It is true — there’s no strong evidence to suggest that the man called himself God. As a good Jewish man of the 1st century, that would have been blasphemous. But as my old friend Thomas Cahill wrote in this amazing book (huge fan of this author), the Pentecost (new testament) is where the real mystery lay. Something turned these no accounts who hung around with him into different men who traveled the world to talk to people about their friend who died but had these amazing ideas about spirit and love and mankind’s place in it all. And what that thing was is where the meat is.

Just an interesting read that came through a listserv I’m on. If you work in communications, you should probably avail yourself of the knowledge contained within and take it for what it’s worth.

He might be secretly in love.

Why are you doing this? It’s like spitting into the wind. No one believes you’ll do anything except to prove you’ll do something and that will be a complete disaster because it’ll be for the wrong reasons.

Alright, I’m out. I’m sorry for being a jerk to you if I was. I really am.

Shoe Fits

But if you think it was about you, who are we kidding?, it probably was.

But if you think it was about you, who are we kidding?, it probably was.

Hey! A few minutes here for a check in before a run and then the increasingly familiar trip to Va. There’s something I need to purge a little bit…

So, I’m 12. Which is to say, in my heart, I can be very naive and incredibly hyper; I can get super excited and be filled with the whole “childlike wonder” thing; I’m a tremendous nerd — tremendous nerd — for language and numbers (even though the latter sometimes mystifies me); and I can be embarrassingly socially awkward and unsure of myself. No one’s more embarrassed by it than me, I assure you. But the thing is, I choose to be this way. It’s a conscious thing. I’m not unaware of how to play it cool. I can do it if I think it’s necessary to further whatever goal I’m after. But it’s just an affectation, one I see versions of almost too much for comfort. I often feel like there’s this massive game going on around me at all times, (generally speaking, I know when it’s likely to amp up by the people in my immediate vicinity), the rules of which are agreed upon and learned through trial and error and — this is where I get both amused and horrified — are reliant on the fact that no one acknowledges the rules. The first rule of social drama: you don’t talk about social drama. You just play.

But here’s where things break down for me. One of the unspoken, learned rules is the acknowledgement that those unwilling to play must not understand. Let me just clear that one up for you. We get it. It’s all pretty transparent. We see the sidelong glances, we get the innuendo, the subtle jabs, the clever putdowns disguised as jokes. Nerds are pretty smart by definition. Your game — for all its absolute clunky and see-through subversion — is very, very, very boring. I mean it’s not even minimally challenging. Let me give you an example…

When I moved here, one of the first people I met took the opportunity to meet some need within himself by bullying the crap out of me. I had just lost my 13 year old dog (laugh if you want, but that was a devastating blow and I don’t care if you think it should, or should not, have been), I was new to a huge city and knew barely anyone, I didn’t know how to navigate and get around, and I was a bit helpless and could have used a friend. Well, predators smell blood in the water don’t they? So — a guy. To a girl. Class, people. Chivalry. — dude made me cry maybe the second time I interacted with this new group of people with whom I was trying to make friends. He never apologized, never offered up explanation, and continues to this day (I still see him every year) to treat me like I owe him some sort of deferential behavior, and if I don’t comply I’m prone to the wrath. That first time wasn’t the last time I cried. And, I should point out, he made fun of me for that, too.

So here’s the non-challenging part: at some point it should have occurred to this guy that if he’s not throwing anything on the table that is useful to me, there’s going to be no reason for me to just behave the way he wants me to just because he wants me to. There’s no benefit to me. I’m better served ignoring him and acting like he doesn’t exist than complying with his demands. I get nothing either way, and ignoring him means I don’t have to expend any effort to get nothing. But for the life of me, the dude has not figured out yet that he would get me to comply if he were to just be nice. For once. He started things off pretty poorly and that set a tone, but, given my choice to continue being around him for a little while every year, clearly there’s room for a different relationship. So, that grand game he thinks he’s running where I’m victim and he gets to take his frustrations out on me is really just him looking like a spoiled child who’s not getting his way. And I’m not sure he knows it. And, well that kind of lack of self-awareness makes me feel bad and conflicted. I don’t know if I should be amused or feel pity. And when I get confused I tend to want to be somewhere else. Where things make sense.

I guess what I’m saying is, bring something to the table. The results are better. And if your main interest is just in the non-tangible game that you are certain those not playing are unaware of, I actually just feel kind of sorry for you. But carry on. I’ll be in the corner rolling my eyes.

Okay, other things.

I worked on this issue for a while and its a huge win for free speech. I think the thing that has always been the deciding factor for me was something that my old Big Boss used to say: the idea that we don’t already know who gives, and to which organizations and parties, is pretty silly. And, per the Mozilla situation, there’s some evidence to suggest that knowing everything is not necessarily a good thing. I mean this guy lived a policy of inclusion, and demanded it at his organization. But it wasn’t enough. In his heart he had a difference of opinion on the definition of marriage and is therefore to be made to suffer hardship and public humiliation. The callousness of people is astounding at times.

If I thought for one second this would encourage any one overweight person to actually get in shape instead of just making them feel like crap about themselves I might be for it. But it won’t. So I’m not. How is this the job of government anyway? You’re not so great at accomplishing the things you’re designed to accomplish lately so some focus would be appreciated.

Wait, wait, wait, wait…are you trying to tell me that the nature of climate and Earth systems is chaotic and in flux, and we’ve known about since the beginning of recorded history? You’re anti-science.

My brother got married in the Callaway Gardens chapel and Cumberland Island is on the bucket list.

This is ridiculous. Also, kinda hilarious.

I need to clarify something I said yesterday on Twitter — regarding the shooting at Ft. Hood, the fast food doctors, who tend to treat all people the same and just dole out prescription medication based on symptom rather than doing some actual work to find out if the patient is actually physiologically capable of handling whatever you’re giving them (this guy, it turns out, had been telling people he had traumatic brain injury when he never even saw combat. I wonder if he was prescribed meds to treat that phantom injury…), are more complicit in why these lunatics go off the rails than the gun manufacturers or the armed services. I mean if we’re going to move away from just blaming the individual (which I think is a mistake), let’s point the finger appropriately.

This is relevant to nothing. It simply is one of the funniest pictures of a family I have ever seen. I know not everyone shares my sense of humor...

This is relevant to nothing. It simply is one of the funniest pictures of a family I have ever seen. I know not everyone shares my sense of humor…

This post is a total whine so if that’s like nails on a chalkboard to you, I’d advise you move to another page. And I get it. I’m no fan of whiners. And I’m no fan of myself when I become one, but I do try to use this space to get it out so I can deal with people in a healthy way. So, yeah, fair warning.

For someone who hates to admit when people get to her, it’s amazing how much they actually do. I would love to be a tough chick who doesn’t get my feelings hurt or suffer insecurity. And sometimes I am. But sometimes I cry. And my poor mother has to listen to it. (You’re a saint, mom.)

I used to know this kid — this guy — but circumstances changed (driven in part, possibly in large part, by actions he took and decisions he made) and we went our separate ways. This wasn’t a romantic situation, by the way. Just someone I knew. Anyway, when the situation changed, things got harder for me and I was pretty annoyed at the developments that led to the change. But I guess I’ve been through enough in my life to know that it’s best to just walk away and try not to look back when circumstances are dark and beyond your control. And so I did. I gave it some thought, got my head right about it, and washed my hands of it.

Well this kid seems not to have done the same. I keep seeing him — Friday was the most recent — to the point that I’m pretty sure it’s not coincidence. My belief is that he’s trying to force a run in. And what makes that bad is that I’m reasonably certain it’s not out of a real interest in how I am. No, I think it’s one of two things, neither good: He wants to either be a reminder of something difficult or he has a guilty conscience and wants me to ease it for him by letting him know I don’t hate him. How do I know this? Because I know him.

But here’s the thing — there was a time in my life I would have helped him feel better. But that girl is gone because she has to be. I have the capacity to forgive a lot of things. But you, kiddo, crossed a line. And you have to deal with what that means — in this case, you don’t get to know me and I have no interest in talking to you just short of politeness if I’m absolutely forced into dealing with you — because if you don’t deal with the reality that actions have consequences, you’ve learned nothing. And I always tried to help you learn. Because I cared about you and I wanted to see you become a good man. Consider this my parting gift and final lesson in that regard.

Anyway, as much as I like to believe these things don’t hurt me, they do. And they cause me to have rebellious dreams as if I’m still a teenager who wants to run away from home, and I’m far too old and have too many other things to concentrate on to have to negotiate those feelings.

Interestingly, this boy is a member of the millennial generation and I just read this and he’s a pretty good example of what I think about the selfie gen. Obviously painting an entire group with one broad brush is ill-advised — I count as friends some members of this group and they’re absolutely lovely people — but there does seem to be a hardness to these kids in general. And I think the constant me-ness inherent in the taking of selfies (which, to Gillespie’s point, really is driven by the technology rather than some over developed sense of awesomeness in these kids), is representative of that. What I mean is, the kids I’ve known who take a million selfies do it not because they love themselves, but because, after taking 20 or 30 shots they finally alight on one where they look perfect and cool. And this makes them happy. And that’s what they’re after. That fleeting moment where they look like a star to themselves, and they hope to others, and they’ve not had to do much to feel that way, save adjusting the angle of their jaw or applying the right filter. And there’s no joy in that.

So the whole Stephen Colbert thing has just fascinated me. I like Colbert. I think he’s very funny (and not racist. Sigh.), even though his politics drive me crazy because he seems to reason only insofar as his worldview is justified and then the narrative ends. But I think what’s fascinating is that the people who turned on him are HIS PEOPLE. That’s what being arrogant gets you. The belief that there’s honor among thieves, so to speak. You have to very careful walking around people who tend to drop eggshells wherever they go. But the truth is this: he did nothing even remotely approaching the entire movie Blazing Saddles, as brilliant a satire on race relations as exists in any medium. Which probably says something about the culture (there’s that broad brush again…).

A friend of mine sent this to me regarding what may be driving Putin’s aggression. And it’s rather brilliant and makes a great deal of sense. By way of explanation, it’s compelling. But what it doesn’t get into — and what I think Peggy Noonan touches on a little more — is the why. And the what now.

So turns out my Pops agrees with Mark Cuban that the NFL may implode in 10 years, but not because of an expanded television package. He thinks it will come from repeated attempts to smear the sport regarding injury, cultural sensitivity, and the push to unionize at the college level etc. and et al. Speaking of, this just made me laugh. I mean a pundit should really know what happened to Detroit.

Ha, this is why I try really hard not to complain too much. Because I really don’t want to be like Gwyneth Paltrow. I mean her silliness is harmless I guess. But not impressive. I’m not even sure she was trying to say she has it harder necessarily. But the implication that she somehow suffers is there. And really, hon, what I would give to suffer your life. I could probably even make the paparazzi and loneliness and all the other celebrity associated things work if I didn’t have to worry about how my rent and bills were going to be paid and I could go on a reasonable vacation to see loved ones or just get to the beach so I don’t go insane. And I sure as shit wouldn’t be complaining about it publicly. As my friend Shana noted, you need a publicist in that bubble of yours that leaves the comfort of your world sometimes and checks out the way things are on the other side and can advise you on what you should and shouldn’t say. Give it some thought.

What’s up friends and frenemies? I’m trying a little harder to stay current. Sometimes I succeed at the things I try, sometimes I don’t. We’ll see how this one plays out. Anyway, y’all know what’s coming up right?

This is true.

This is true.

The Boys of Summer of Atlanta will be playing here in DC (!!!!!) for the Nats opening series the first weekend of April. Friday is sold out, but I have tickets for Saturday and there’s a group likely going Sunday, of which I hope to take part. Baseball, people. Baseball. I love it so. And I really can’t explain it except I spent most of my young life at ballfields, all my crushes growing up were baseball players, my first kisses and stolen pets were baseball players, and, because I played fast pitch softball for 11 or so odd years, I just get the game; the fundamentals, the waiting, and the glory of making the play when you haven’t done anything for innings on end. I love it so much. Okay, I’ll stop…

So I really don’t have much to add to the greater dialogue. Except that I forgot how, comparatively speaking, much more stressful it is to ghost write an op-ed than it is to write under your own byline. Because if it’s you and you screw up, you take the heat. When someone else has their name on it, they’re trusting you. I mean I can handle it. I’ve done it 8 million times. I just forgot. And I’m remembering. Other things…

Charles and I were talking the other day and the conversation eventually (because I bother him for his opinion) got around to Putin and Russia and whether or not Communism as an ideology still holds much interest for people, here or anywhere. And of course, as is our way, we got to talking about the liberalism of the privileged. And Charles said something that was great:

“Because once the evil capitalist devil is slain, we can all live in a socialist utopia
To them, America is the biggest hindrance to world peace and harmony. We’re a victim of our own success. Pretty much all of the people who believe that shit are spoiled brats. You don’t hear people in repressed countries saying that America is a hindrance to world peace. It’s only people who grew up in the west
They’ve never seen what actual repression looks like. [It gives them the luxury to be] incredibly naive and stupid. If you were to put someone like that in a room with a former soviet who didn’t want to be soviet, the former soviet would slap the shit out of them.”

Charles and I are friends for a reason.

So who thinks Mark Cuban is right that the NFL will implode in 10 years if it expands its television coverage? A friend of mine thinks the market will saturate with less than optimal play and this will eventually make people feel about football the way they do about basketball (ahem). I take his point. But I just don’t know. I mean almost every man I know would have football on in the background just to make them feel safe even if it was the worst game in the history of ever. But then perhaps I’m underestimating the desire for excellence…

Sandra Fluke is an attorney. She studied logic as a prerequisite to even passing the LSAT. And yet, she has somehow reasoned that elective preventative birth control is healthcare, like chemotherapy or insulin purchases, presumably. As a woman, I have to say, she disappoints me.

My friend Jeremy said about this piece, “If only one of these competing interests was a constitutional right.” (or something along those lines. I may have butchered his quote…)

Ha, I got “accused” of being a neo-con recently (I’m not). So this just made me laugh.

Don’t worry your pretty little heads about why this is relevant to anything but holy cow, they still sell Bar Nones. Want.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge fan, and I’ve read all of these. I’d start with Different Seasons. And put “IT” outside at night so the evil clown doesn’t kill you while you sleep. That’s what I did. (I’m not joking.)

The coral ones. I need them.

Here, have some dancing. Gentlemen, seriously, learn to dance. On a related note, I need to find some ballroom kids here. I miss dancing with them.

If this is what you bring with you, don't come.

If this is what you bring with you, don’t come.

Hey boos. Been a while I realize so just playing some catch up here. And of course I want to talk all things Putin because Holy Cow he’s just got our number doesn’t he? And I’m a little more concerned about that than the lighthearted way I just put it.

It occurred to me sometime last week — I think after reading Rand Paul’s assertion that Ronald Reagan was more a diplomat than a hawk, and how that’s a good thing — that we have a serious problem in the way we think about defense in this country. No disrespect intended toward Sen. Paul because he’s got some fine ideas on some things, but I think he’s wrong on this one. It’s true Reagan didn’t rush headlong into war. The restraint when it came to Russia during the Cold War is certainly a good example of how he ultimately held things together diplomatically until some kind of relaxing of tensions could be achieved. But part of the reason he was successful at that was because he was unafraid to bomb your house after only a few days if you couldn’t get your act together. Therefore, people took him seriously at the negotiating table. If you can be counted on to make the really tough decisions — and I think for an ethical guy like Reagan, bombing Libya probably left him with some lasting regret — then you simply pull more weight with leaders who are willing to do things they know you aren’t. I mean I guess you have to meet their crazy strength with moral strength — and sometimes that means pulling the trigger. I think this is what a friend of mine calls using “diplomacy as a weapon.” Which I think is a really great skill. We just seem to suck at it right now. Or Putin wouldn’t be acting so aggressively, right?

Anyway, here’s Krauthammer on the issue and I tend to agree with him. I’m a little tired of looking like — what did Obama call Al Qaeda now? — the JV team.

As I’ve argued here before, there are things we can do: Send the secretary of defense to Kiev tomorrow to negotiate military assistance. Renew the missile-defense agreement with Poland and the Czech Republic. Announce a new policy of major U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas. Lead Europe from the front — to impose sanctions cutting off Russian enterprises from the Western banking system.

As we speak, Putin is deciding whether to go beyond Crimea and take eastern Ukraine. Show him some seriousness, Mr. President.

And I’ve been asking everyone I know — people I consider reputable by experience, profession, and native intelligence — why we’ve gotten to this place where we have basically become a liability as an ally on the current world stage and what I’m hearing is basically a version of this every time. These guys, by the way, are hilarious and smart. As evidenced by their admiration of Val Kilmer in Tombstone.

And apparently I’m not the only one on edge over this stuff. The normally adorable and forgiving Dana Perino (which is not to suggest she doesn’t know her business. Just that she’s pretty nice.) nearly made her disgust with Bob Beckel palpable. Some may say that it’s about time given some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth.

And here’s Paul Ryan on the GOP and hollowing out of our defense capabilities. I agree that defense spending suffers bloat. But I’m not so jazzed about the perception of cuts right at the moment. I really wonder what kind of defense we’re playing just trying to appear weak. Is this some master stroke of psyops I’m unaware of?

And, because I have to touch on it because the push to sell seems to be gaining speed rather than slowing down, the always hilarious Mary Katharine Hamm on the improbable idea that “tons” of people are writing the White House gushing about ACA. Come the f*ck on.

Okay fun stuff now. Trying to decide if I want to meet the Arlington kids later to watch basketball. Maybe…If I can find the spark…

The first smart watch I’ve seen that actually appealed to me aesthetically.

This is how you burn a loudmouth opponent after an upset.

I want them all. The abstract painting one is so, so cool.

Be nice to each other this weekend everyone. I have a feeling we’re going to need that kind of thing in coming months.

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