Archive for September, 2013

Baby blue


Hi Monday morning warriors. How y’all? I’m good, I’m good. Just recovering from some truly absurd dreams, including one where I had half my face disfigured in some weird accident and was learning to deal with the horrified looks I was getting from the public at large and even the people who loved me. It was not a pleasant dream, and I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere. Also sure that it came as a result of watching the last 2 and half seasons of Breaking Bad in 2 days (ahem, Gus Fring) which is why, as I’ve noted, shows like that are difficult for me. Kind of an empath, hard time letting them go. But a brilliant show and, as per usual, the pain was worth it. No spoilers but let me just say that Walter White was not actually as psychopathic as I thought. He was capable of real love, real sacrifice, and I think the end scene shows where his true loyalty lay, which is also a cultural metaphor I think (the cold, hard, rational and easily justified truths of the scientific pursuit). Anyway, Vince Gilligan is a genius and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to see Bryan Cranston do anything else and believe it. He just was Heisenberg, wasn’t he? My dad is always saying that Sean Connery is dead — he died in The Untouchables. That’s how good his performance was. Same kind of thing. Excellent work. So, here’s some stuff in its honor:

One of my favorite scientific conundrums, second only to the impossibility of measuring anything below the Schwarzschild radius, is the Heisenberg principle (h/t George):

The Principle is also sometimes loosely interpreted as “we cannot know the present with enough precision in order to predict the future with certainty.” I mean, right? Better call Saul.

Posted for the picture of Bryan Cranston at the bottom, and the cross stitches are hilarious.

One really marvelous thing the series did was frame the action with great, sometimes funny, always excellent, music. Here’s some of it. Which reminds me, your morning music. It’s as if it was written for the show and the immediate nostalgia this song evoked gave me goose bumps…

Finally, among the nearly impossible number of brilliant quotes, one really hit me. I hate that I may adopt it because I’m worried what that says about my head space. But so it is…

“If that’s true, if you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course… would be to tread lightly.”

Okay, moving along.

Pretty satisfying football game Saturday. Seriously, all you fickle people who flip flop from week to week about how bad Mark Richt is as a coach and even Mike Bobo — [“Bobo called a fine game Saturday.” ~ Pops] — please, I’m begging you, talk to someone else about it. Because I think you’re wrong and I tire of your bitching. What a great game. We may see Alabama yet again at the end of the season if we keep playing like that. Oh, and to the dude I met Thursday who said Aaron Murray was overrated:

On the shutdown: bring it. I’m so proud of the guys on the Hill not bowing to the bullying tactics of those trying to twist the narrative. Because Jesus that’s exhausting and really the only way it goes away is if you refuse to tolerate it. And it looks like they’re gonna give it a try. Anyway, my friend Dan has a good piece here on it.

Oh for the love of Pete, how is someone who understands physics well enough to be terrified of flying (I can do it but I hate it… and it really is a suspension of disbelief, we’re all in agreement on that, right?) supposed to ever board a plane again Smithsonian Channel? Good Lord stop.

Hahahahaha! Let’s play…

It’s like dancing, although I’m sure the men in their military dress would never admit it. Love it.

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Being scared is unsafe

Random, but I've always wanted a brown cocktail dress. And I love this one.

Random, but I’ve always wanted a brown cocktail dress. And I love this one.

Hi errybody. Mama’s feeling slightly under the old weather — not tremendously. Just kind of sluggish and slow-moving. But I got some work done — and found out I have to work this weekend (hooray!) but I will be watching the UGA game downtown. It’s a big one and no one thinks we’ll win. Haters. — but now gonna run this weird feeling off.

But before that, here are some Friday thoughts:

I’m going to reserve commenting on the cloture vote et al since I’ve written something for someone else and I don’t want to comment till that’s gone live. But I will say what the hell is this? Bush was taken to task for saying he would absolutely not negotiate with terrorists. Obama won’t negotiate with his own colleagues and he’s merely setting a new “tone.” Lame. Especially given the new-found concern about how the rest of the world views us. Because that hasn’t played much of a role in any decisions until now. And it’s gotten tiring saying the same stuff over and over again about this group of people running the show right now, but I suppose complacency is the killer with this stuff. They should just keep pushing on the Hill. Because that “we won’t negotiate” stuff is just…well I mean it’s ridiculous.

K, moving on from that. I went to a thing last night and was reminded that DC is an absolute spectrum of people who are here to do good work and believe they can affect a positive change, and the other end is just the gossipy, “gotta be seen” scene. Everyone (well, in my work life…oh hell, and in my social life as well. But my experience is my own and there are surely others who would disagree with my experience) falls somewhere in between. I tend to be pretty far down at the former end so when someone who just wants the gossip approaches me and — well, just attempts to get the gossip — it’s incredibly off-putting. And I tend to just tell them nothing. I’m not coy by nature, but certain people just don’t get to know, ya know? Based on things they’ve done and behavior they’ve displayed. I’m learning to be cynical. Sadly.

So I’m making my way through Breaking Bad and Charles, who’s a crazy fan, told me the other day that one thing that was strange about Walt is that he’s a sociopathic liar to everyone, but when it comes to Skylar he’s just like a quivering puddle of jell-o. Originally I said it was just because she was his love and that’s how dudes are about the women they love. But as I’ve watched more of the episodes — about to get into season 4 — I think it’s more than that. Skylar is as smart — if not smarter — than Walt. And she’s more pragmatic than he is, less prone to flights of destructive fancy (obviously). But I think the main reason is: she’s not afraid of him. At all. She fears what he’s doing, and the trouble they could find themselves in, but she doesn’t fear him. And he knows it. She totally has his number. Skylar owns Walt. And he loves her for it. If that doesn’t shake up all the bullshit people tell you about relationships then I don’t know what does. Dig it. Even after this brilliant piece of writing, which I haven’t gotten to yet, but was made aware of because Charles sent me this. And now that I’ve seen the clip, I like this link even more. Hemingway is my favorite. Also, can we just talk about the fact that Bryan Cranston is hot? I’d like to talk about that.

Other diversions:

Man I’m looking forward to this. The new Thor comes out in November and that’s cool, but y’all know how I feel about Superman. I know, he’s not the coolest super hero. But I’ve never liked the coolest guys. Give me the hot guy with a great body, who is a little cheesy, loves his mama, and goes to church every week over the dark and brooding rich boy who’s torn between his ability to live without caring and his basic human decency every day of the week and twice on Sundays. I used to like complicated. Now I just want security.

Primer is really, really excellent and Gattaca is also rightly on this list IMHO. I’ll have to catch up on the ones I haven’t seen, The Fountain in particular. Darren Aronofsky is hard for me though…

Oh wow, this is wicked cool.

Well I mean of course it was.

Buttermilk and pepper jelly, people. Get them and keep them. Trust me.

This is pretty close approximation of my grandma’s recipe if I remember correctly. I may try to make them this weekend. Sometimes the Slavic heritage just screams in me.

So, thanks to my friend Micah, I’m believing we can win. Don’t break my heart boys…

Awaken The Nation from Georgia Football on Vimeo.

Alright, I think I might try to catch the Braves tonight. Apparently they can beat the Phillies but not the freakin’ Brewers? Whatever…

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Wild Heart

Hi y’all. I finally have a few minutes to update this space — I’ve been kinda busy of late. Just to start it off right:

Let the cute wash over you. I just want to rub that little nose and scratch behind those ears...puppy faces are created in heaven.

Let the cute wash over you. I just want to rub that little nose and scratch behind those ears…puppy faces are created in heaven.

Okay, the heavy stuff first. I don’t know about these high-level talks with Iran. Not that I have a problem with diplomacy. Obama is right — it should be tested. I’m simply not overly confident that John Kerry is — frankly — the kind of man who can find the common humanity in another man who is culturally, intellectually, ambitiously his opposite. I really, really miss Condi at times like these. And Rouhani seems like a pretty savvy guy — slippery may be the better word. And, while I’m sure Kerry is smart on some level, the greatest obstacle to intelligence is vanity and the willful desire to not actually care what the guy on the other side of the table wants. Kerry strikes me as the kind of dude who is thinking about what he wants to say next instead of actually listening to the person he’s talking to. And it worries me. But, as my Pops is fond of saying, no sense worrying over things you have no control over. It’s just a futile exercise and a waste of time.

Then of course there’s the defunding battle. I think the Senate Republicans are talking about it today in a meeting of members. I don’t have much to offer — except anytime the old Republican guard AND Obama start to kvetch about something, I tend to think there may be something good about it. Simplistic? Sure. But it’s an instinct thing. David Freddoso has a pretty nice, quick, explanatory piece on it in the briefing and I think, if you scroll down to the end of the first segment, it’s the #3 that’s always intrigued me about the Cruz master plan. I do think there’s a second phase to this. Whether we see it is an entirely different matter.

I need to give a shoutout to my friend Dan Mitchell for having mad skills. I didn’t believe in you and I should have. And you do owe me. I’ll come up with something properly compensatory.

As you read stories like this where these monsters declare, “We’re not monsters,” remember the image of a four-year-old clutching a candy bar next to the body of a dead man people can’t move to the side, presumably out of fear they may be shot. That sounds like something out of a nightmare to me and some things really are not relative.

So I’m somewhere in season 3 of Breaking Bad and I think I’m going to be using the next week to catch up. It’s a tough show for me (is it only me?) because it actually, while impressing me for its brilliance, actually makes me view the world in a much grimmer way (Game of Thrones does the same) and I’m peculiarly sensitive to that. But Goldberg’s beautifully written piece has convinced me to go ahead and take up that mantle and see it through to the end. For passages like this:

But what is evil if not the ability to delude yourself into believing you are the sole arbiter of what is right and wrong based on your self-interest? Freedom itself is not evil, but freedom devoid of conscience — rightly formed conscience — is very close to the definition of evil. The bully is free to do what he likes simply because he is stronger and it pleases him to do so. It does not matter that he tells himself his cruelty is warranted. Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot — the historical figures we use as stand-ins for metaphysical evil — all believed they were acting on their own personal definitions of the good. They didn’t feel constrained by the “slave morality” (Nietzsche’s term) of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Because here’s the deal: this is a concept that I’ve been overwhelmed by lately, this justification of terrible behavior in order to twist it around and make it somehow noble. I repeat: some things are not relative. Also, he talks about White’s bitterness and jealousy and…I have trouble with that…and it’s a weakness I hate so so so much that I find it nearly impossible to forgive myself for it, and that leads to problems…

My friend/dance teacher Ali and I had an interesting chat last night about prescription medication as it relates to the Navy Yard shooter. Alison is a scientist who actually works on neuro-related things so she may know a thing or two about such things. And, while she and I do not share many political opinions (of course, a Georgia Democrat is more like a Blue Dog Dem of old, less like your Chicago Progressive of the stripe we’ve got running things currently), she noted that when people have been on things like Zoloft since they were children their brains actually change. She didn’t say it — and I won’t put these words in her mouth — but that sounds akin to drug lobotomizing to me. Again, those are my words not hers. Also, she’s headed to Athens for the UGA/LSU game this weekend and I’m so crazy jealous. One day I’ll actually be able to do fun things again. I just know it. (Have a great time my friend!!! Pictures please…)

Speaking of Ali, she put this one out into the world the other day, because that’s the way this kid thinks. God but it turned me into a puddle. Number 3 is a habit and a very good thing to do, but I think I like number 4 the best because I almost never do it and I think that might be a mistake:

4. Let people in.

Truly. Tell people that you trust when you need help, or you’re depressed — or you’re happy and you want to share it with them. Acknowledge that you care about them and let yourself feel it. Instead of doing that other thing we sometimes do, which is to play it cool and pretend we only care as much as the other person has admitted to caring, and only open up half way. Go all in — it’s worth it.

The Fab Miss McClain and I are supposed to meet for dinner later. I really hope it happens…

I don’t care how weird Jim Carrey has become, I’ll be watching this. Because, seriously:

We had a red one I barely remember and then a powder blue one I remember slightly better, but only because I have a freakish memory for things from before the age of 5. God but we must have struck a total Partridge Family pose.

Last night, walking down H Street to dance class, I was feeling pretty crummy. Unattractive, mean, needy, awkward, etc. And then a dude walked by me with his friend, cut off his conversation, and said, “Hey how you doing snow bunny? G*ddamn you’re beautiful.” And he wasn’t even crazy and homeless! I swear to God it lifted me off the ground. I’ve always wanted to be called a snow bunny. Checking that one off my bucket list. And, in case you’re wondering, I’m not being facetious. It thrilled me. I am a girl, y’all…

Alright, morning music, just slightly late. We danced to it last night. I didn’t pick up the floor work very well — which I mean to amend — I was just a little behind on timing, but I’ll work it out. But the song is good and the choreography was awesomesauce.

Okay, going for a run. Get out in it people.

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I love the Kimbrel lean. It's as if he's testing the wind or maybe trying to get a better view of the catcher's signs. Whatever it is, it's iconic.

I love the Kimbrel lean. It’s as if he’s testing the wind or maybe trying to get a better view of the catcher’s signs. Whatever it is, it’s iconic.

So, except for the behind-home-plate Braves season tickets my dad had all through the 90s, I had my best seat at a baseball game ever Wed. night. Front row, right down the 1st baseline. My friend Kevin pulled through on those — they belong to an associate of his — and it was awesome to be that close to the field. We were so close that when Uggla nearly threw a ball away on a short throw from second, he heard me say, “uh, Uggla…” and he looked up from his crouch and waved. Heh. Anyway, thank God the Braves finally cut through all the aggression that sits like a cloud in Nats stadium — which I suspect will eventually mellow once they figure their business out and start relaxing a bit — and found their bats. Seriously, that homerun J. Up hit was a rocket. Not sure I’ve ever seen a ball come off a bat that quick. And I squee’d like a little girl. And man did everyone behind me hate me for the last few innings of that game. But you know what Nats fans? Losing’s part of the game, too. As a Braves fan, you should trust me on that. So just check your egos at the door already and enjoy yourselves. Your team needs you to do that.

I keep having these weird dreams where I’m living in the dorm again in college. Can’t imagine why…ahem. Back then, I had a dear friend to keep me sane. Bob and I have been friends since the first grade and we shared a dorm room and lived together over the next four years. Still friends. I’m proud of that. Coming to DC has been slightly different. The people are older and so more practiced in their weirdness — which looks remarkably similar to what I remember during my freshman year of college — and the one person I knew (outside of family that lives an hour or two away, traffic depending) turned out to suck pretty hard. Sorry dude, but you did. We both know it. On a related note, I strive for success and financial security (and then some) as well, but the promise of those things — and the taste of them — just brings out the worst in some people. You ever noticed that? Like, if you have that thing inside you that’s negotiable, the promise of stuff and social standing and bragging rights just starts the bidding. It reminds me so much of what Bill Cosby said about cocaine:

Anyway, I’m struggling with having to own up to some things I’ve said recently — which are how I feel and I have no problem owning up to them — but that I never intended to be shared because I’m not about hurting people’s feelings. But you know what? Sometimes things I say that come from a place of concern get used as weapons — we all have this experience, right? — and so I’m taking the lesson to be EVEN MORE selective about who I talk to. Pretty soon I’m never going to talk to anyone about anything except the weather and how much I like their shirt. And that’s sad. It is to me anyway. I don’t like shallow all that much.

This is a good piece related, I think, to the sentiment above. These kids just stir it up. Because:

The youth, now fully convinced they embodied a pure and untainted wisdom far superior to their dull-witted and tech-challenged parents and grand-parents, all intoned the highest of all credos, “It’s all good.”

The thing is, it’s not all good. You’re kinda pains in the collective ass. I respond the way I always do, with the best my generation can give, written in a beautifully grouchy missive.

Right now, Generation X just wants a beer and to be left alone. It just wants to sit here quietly and think for a minute. Can you just do that, okay? It knows that you are so very special and so very numerous, but can you just leave it alone? Just for a little bit? Just long enough to sneak one last fucking cigarette? No?

Whatever. It’s cool.

I re-read Honen’s rant frequently because seriously, shut up. And you want to know why? Because this is the kind stuff we have to do to appease your warped sense of right and wrong, fair and unfair. And it’s all so irrational and exasperating and made-the-f*ck-up. The ESPN article he links to is one of the best things I’ve read by any writer in quite some time. I told someone yesterday that the last line of this article is representative of why I wanted to be a journalist so many years ago. Brilliant.

And even though an Annenberg Public Policy Center poll found that 90 percent of Native Americans were not offended by the Redskins name, and even though linguists say the “redskins” word was first used by Native Americans themselves, and even though nobody on the Blackfeet side of my wife’s family has ever had someone insult them with the word “redskin,” it doesn’t matter. There’s no stopping a wave of PC-ness when it gets rolling.

I mean, when media stars like USA Today’s Christine Brennan, a white woman from Ohio, and Peter King, a white man from Massachusetts, have jumped on a people’s cause, there’s no going back.

This is also where you’re taking us. I’m convinced that quinoa is your generation’s version of the rice cake. Ugh.

Next I see the gluten-free section filled with crackers and bread made from various wheat-substitutes such as cardboard and sawdust. I skip this aisle because I’m not rich enough to have dietary restrictions. Ever notice that you don’t meet poor people with special diet needs? A gluten intolerant house cleaner? A cab driver with Candida? Candida is what I call a rich, white person problem. You know you’ve really made it in this world when you get Candida. My personal theory is that Candida is something you get from too much hot yoga. All I’m saying is if I were a yeast, I would want to live in your yoga pants.

***weird aside — turns out the Navy Yard shooter was on Trazodone, a reportedly safe anti-depressant administered as a sleep aid. So fine, it’s safe; but it does have some side effects that include violent dreams and thoughts, aggression, suicidal tendencies, in some who take it. I still say we hand this stuff out and forget about it, and in those few cases where the person is seriously troubled, those side effects mean something. And I just think we need to tighten up on that. But here’s the weird aside: I was reading these online message boards where people who take this stuff talk about how it affects them and HOLY COW THESE PEOPLE ARE POPPING PILLS LIKE MAD. I can be naive but I had no idea…Fascinating.***

Someone posted this on Constitution Day. Awesome.

Bahaha! Most powerful nation on Earth folks.

Okay, the music for today comes courtesy of a dear old friend of mine, Chris Farmer, who, on one high school weekend trip to our friend’s lake house at Lake Lanier outside of Atlanta, he told me to listen to a song because he thought I might relate. Also, I think he’s a secret Mariah fan and had to use his concern for me to justify listening to her awesome voice. Will always love this song for that association. It helps me remember that I have been loved in life.

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Just an absolute joy inducer.

Just an absolute joy inducer.

Hi kids. Just taking a quick lunch break and having some hot chocolate because HOT CHOCOLATE! And of course with mini marshmallows. I’m not a monster…Then I have to get back to it so I can feel reasonably comfortable going to the Braves game later, even though that part of the Hill is a very sad place right now. On that subject, something’s been bugging me, summed up pretty succinctly yesterday by Charles Cooke of National Review on Twitter:

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 12.55.18 PM

I know some like to blame guns, and some are hot over mental health (I lean toward the latter with an emphasis on medication. I don’t deny medication has its place, but medication affects different people differently and maybe we need to really reexamine our drug trial process. Just a thought.), but there’s something else here: when did we get so far removed from behavior as a defining characteristic that we’ve stopped recognizing people for what they are? This dude had a history of problems — his father was open about it. Yet his brother-in-law said he didn’t see any reason he needed to be watched? He fires a gun through his apartment ceiling and a woman indicates she’s terrified of him, and yet he’s allowed to wander back into society? He hears voices in his head but because he speaks Thai and claims to be a Buddhist he’s a peaceful guy? As a good fellow Southerner friend of mine likes to say: “Words whisper, actions holler.” It might be a stretch but I think we’re suffering from the “look the other way” philosophy of a soft culture. I see it every day, just in regular socializing. “Yeah, [some name] treats people like crap and is hellbent on making people feel horrible, but hey, they like to party and are good for entertainment, so we like ’em.” Obviously there’s a spectrum, but I just think we’re bending over backward to be tolerant that we’re enabling some pretty bad stuff. And in the case of this shooter, pure evil incarnate. Have we become cowards or is it something else? Something that looks more like “I don’t want to be inconvenienced… .” I actually think the latter is worse because we have a RESPONSIBILITY to create a good, healthy atmosphere, not only as citizens of a city and a nation, but as human beings looking out for each other in this one precious life we have. And I recognize the fine line between being a meddler and knowing when to say something. But I think the pendulum has swung too far toward the “say nothing” side of the equation. And that has little to nothing to do with sequestration. Anyway, this is the opposite of the look the other way thing. Good stuff.

Okay fine, enough. Other stuff.

So glad our new best friends like us so much. I’m sure they’ll be telling everyone else how much respect they have for us.

This is the video the picture above comes from. Let it make you happy. We all need that today. That dog is one of the best things I’ve seen in a while.

Nothing but net. This guy should’ve been a surgeon.

Cracked me up. From Popehat: “A Frenchman, playing a Scotsman, berating an actual Scotsman, who plays an Egyptian, pretending to to be a Spaniard.”

This is good news. Chick’s hilarious. I’ve spoken with this character many times and she nails it. “I’m the mirror, Seth, to siety…”:

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Accolades and competence

I want some of these.

I want some of these.

Well. There’s just a whole bunch going on, isn’t there? I’ll get to the important stuff in a minute but first, as per usual, some personal…

There was a minute there this week when I was reminded what it was like to have someone actually believe in you and expect the best you have to give rather than…well, whatever the opposite of that is. And it was kind of remarkable. Look, DC is the kind of place where, unless you know yourself and who you are and have a good, solid core of ethical black and whites, you’ll be changed. Generally out of necessity. That core, if you let it, can get squishy. I recently told someone who’s from here about another person I knew who came to DC and turned into a nasty little social climber and this local said, “Yeah, that happens to a lot of people when they move to DC.” Apparently it’s a known potentiality. And it’s really rather counter productive. It has been to me personally and professionally — nothing that isn’t being overcome but a hassle nonetheless — and I think it is to the purveyors of that kind of relativism when it comes to ethical behavior. Let me use a dance metaphor…

All dancers are divas, myself included. But some are just divas with a capital psycho. I’ve encountered these girls and guys before. They are so sure of their own talent they will step on, over, in front of anyone to be center stage. Even in class, when no one cares. It’s actually quite sad. There was a girl last week — and I reckon I’ll be seeing her again — who ended up standing in front of me after enough improv negotiation throughout the room just to a) block me from the appreciative eyes of the audience (read: the stupid, people-free mirror. We’re dancing, not watching ourselves. Well most of us are…) and b) to look at herself in said mirror. This is the type of chick you can’t get up to go the bathroom around because when you get back she’ll be sitting in your seat, chatting up your man. And DC is full of these folks. The worst is, generally, the ones who behave this way are NOT the best and the brightest (I’m sure there’s some kind of negative correlation between how aggressive they are about self-promotion and their level of competency but it bores me to think about it), and so you find yourself at the mercy sometimes of the less than excellent. And it can be disheartening. And I try to remember something my Pops said when I decided to go back to grad school in my early 30s after working for many years. The charming guy I first spoke to in one of the departments at UGA I was initially interested in joining (thank God I went in a different direction), outright made fun of me for even considering coming back to school. I was too old and there was no way I’d get a high enough GRE score to ever be part of his little clique. (Heh. My GRE score turned out to be just fine. And then some. Jerk.) I called my Pops crying after that phone call and he got pretty angry with me and said, “Sarah, if you let one asshole deter you, then you don’t deserve to go to grad school and you’ll never make it should you get in.” I find myself revisiting those words a lot. And, both in that case and now, there are eventually, if you have patience, people that come along and say, hey, you in the back with your head down…nice work.

And it’s awesome.

Okay, other things.

Everyone seems to think we will end up striking. I remain unsure — not skeptical exactly, because I can see it happening to save face (and that is apparently of paramount concern with this administration), but I’m not sure the intestinal fortitude exists to carry it out effectively. What with the NYT functioning as the stateside Pravda and the libertarians out of the goodness of their hearts genuinely opposed, I wonder if the top brass has the guts to go to war. I’m by no means advocating — I remain torn on the issue until more information comes to light and, thankfully, I don’t have to make that decision — just observing a man totally out of his element trying to adapt.

Daniel Hannan has a good piece with an across the pond perspective. This was sent to me by my British friend Matt, who, I’m glad to report, seems to have an affection for Hannan. I do as well.

I disrespectfully throw this in the face of the voters who snickered and sneered their way to demonizing a decent man who may have had the jump on the brand new conflict we’re facing on the geo-political stage. You continue to not impress me. My favorite is this one:

And done with rancor and snark and nastiness.

And done with rancor and snark and nastiness.

My inner techie is fascinated. The NSA is just behaving like that creepy dude on the sidewalk that you notice watching you eat lunch about halfway through your club sandwich. Or is that just me?

I like the ones about the marines and quidditch.



So, the Clermont Lounge doesn’t play. They don’t care who you are. That’s Atlanta, y’all. Also, because this band covered the great song “The Boxer,” it always makes me think of the amazing short story and subsequent film “The Quiet Man.” One of the best.

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Syria and second place

This is just your daily awesome.

This is just your daily awesome.

Hey citizens. Just wanted to warm the fingers up while I have some lunch before writing a piece on — shockingly — Syria. Charles and I were just chatting about how interesting it is to realize that our leadership in this country had to rely on subterfuge to push the idea that we as a country have simply been too long powerful and a “source of destruction” in the world and must now be taken down a peg. Because progressive thinking presupposes that people are just kind of dumb and don’t realize what’s in their own best interest. “It’s hiding the medicine in the cheese,” Charles said. So insulting. Also, um, I don’t know about anyone else, but I like to win, not be given a trophy for participation (which, to my mind, is pretty much the essence of socialist thinking). And this idea that you can’t be first without being a jerk is just starting to piss me off. There is such a thing as an ethical and moral leader. And does anyone think a thug from Russia has our best interests at heart? Because I’m telling you, at the end of the day, that is what’s at stake here. But you just go ahead and debate whether Ben Affleck will make a good batman and how atheists are the only smart people EVAR. Seriously, do that. Go outside and play. The adults are trying to talk.

On that subject, Media Matters is my favorite. You mention Putin, you love him. Period.

This is from a while ago, but I think her show is getting ready to air, so Twitchy was promoting this Twitter rant from Ace on Meghan McCain and her brilliant musings on the youth and their inability to be responsible enough to have the news. I seriously cried laughing. Also, that kinda-friend I’ve written about? Loved him some Meghan McCain, because that’s the level of intellectual discourse that turned him on I guess (well, that and the bleachy blonde boob thing I think). I’m not trying to be mean and vindictive — just finally feeling objective about it and it was hilarious at the time and I felt mean pointing it out then. But my God, really? I mean, I’m not even sure she takes herself seriously…

“Because they’re just tweeting all the time.” — Kirkegaard, in reply to a letter from Gandhi

Man, it’s gonna get ugly. I admire anyone willing to go up against these domestic character assassins. I mean if you can make Mitt Romney out to be immoral, you’re doing something.

It might be sacrilege to suggest any of this, except the part about bread and butter pickles because, yeah, they’re gross.

I’m a fan of the lady.

1. “Let’s not hash it out and make it firewoman or fireperson. Is a lioness not a lion, motherfucker?
—Case, rollingstone.com, August 30, 2013.

I love that someone does this. Because honestly, this is bringing laughter to people’s worlds. And I really believe we’re supposed to do that in whatever way we can. I guess that sounds kind of dumb but I mean it…

Alright, I have to be all serious and thoughtful and brilliant now. Wish me luck.

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Hey now

I laughed so hard at this this morning. I feel like this a lot, man. Also, I like curse words. I always feel I have to reiterate that...

I laughed so hard at this this morning. I feel like this a lot, man. Also, I like curse words. I always feel I have to reiterate that…

‘Sup? I don’t know about y’all but I’ve been crazy with the busy all day and so am now taking a break from a 30 ish page editing assignment (which I’m fairly certain I’ll be working on well into the weekend) to just have a cup of coffee and some dinner before getting back to it for a few hours, at least until the Braves game, when I’ll go up the street and have a beer. I’ve considered just investing in some kind of cable sports package but I sort of like being required to socialize. Now sure, it’s a sports bar and not a church, so some of the people there are a little creepier than average, but generally it’s a good cast of characters. And they always let me watch my games. So, until something changes (and I’m praying for something to change), it’s the way of things. And, as always, I’ll find the light in it.

Starting to feel better about some of the things in the old personal life. I think I may have become very quick to stop any kind of potentially destructive behavior in its tracks and there are some good and bad elements to that I guess. And they can both be summed up the following way: it ensures a lack of drama. As I said, good and bad. Boring but secure. I’m ready for that and am really not wanting to accept a substitute.

It’s just been a rough couple of years (you can go back to around 2008 in the archives if you want to catch up. If you’re curious…), exacerbated by callous people, selfish and narcissistic acts of cruelty, and genius suggestions from people who think all you need to do is join Match.com to alleviate your search for the finer things. Forgetting for a moment that the quest for the finer things isn’t ALL about finding a good steady roll (if you know what I mean, and I think you do), Match.com is basically Craigslist personals. Um, yeah, no thanks kids. I’ll just keep working it the old fashioned way. And I’m genuinely sorry if I come across as less than willing to negotiate what I consider crap behavior. But the fact is: I am. But you should all know, should you cross my path, if I don’t like you, I’ll never take issue with anything you do. I won’t be able to muster the strength to give a damn. But if I DO like you…well, the opposite applies. For what it’s worth it.

A’ight — moving right along…

Hey, the DAWGS have their home opener against (Grrr….) South Carolina tomorrow. Again, I think a crew will be down at Public in DuPont if you get super bored. We have fun. Even when we lose. True story.

Possibly the funniest thing I’ve read in months.

But there were no commercials for Kaboom.

It was just a dirty little secret, like massage parlors and the back room at a pawnbroker’s.

That’s why you never heard of it.

But Kaboom kids know. Kaboom kids understand.

One really excellent thing about cutting ties with a know-it-all liberal who was hopelessly shackled to bullsh*t is that I no longer have to think too hard about what kind of nonsense Krugman spits out. I’ve got no one using “pages” of email defending with all the big, important words what is basically breaking down as indefensible. I mean come on man. You can’t go from varying greatly to clear ground rules. Unless you think we’re all illiterate and don’t understand the definition of words. Which, let’s face it, he probably does.

With the ACA, however, insurers operate under clear ground rules, with clearly defined grades of plan and discrimination banned. The result, suddenly, is that we have real market competition.

Hell yeah. Curvy ladies unite! I like her little belly roll. I have one myself. Fist bump you gorgeous size 14 you. Here’s another pic of her.

What a fatty boombalatty, amiright fellas?

What a fatty boombalatty, amiright fellas?

Dear Lord, please don’t let this become my new favorite treat because avocados aren’t always in season and I hate to cry in the produce aisle.

Good, good, dare I say, excellent stuff here. Friends.

I’m kinda proud of this one.

Okay, another song from the way back. It always seems to apply no matter where I am in my life. Strange.

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Stopped into my church ’round lunch time today for a quiet little chat with the Big Guy. I’ve got some things on my mind that I’m not sure I can handle without a little guidance and direction from the still, small voice. And my church is directly across from one of my places of business so it was an easy little visit (which is possibly not exactly how it should be. But I’m thankful nonetheless.) Anyway, I discovered a new mosaic:

It comes to you when you need it.

It comes to you when you need it.

I hadn’t seen this one before. And, given where my head’s been at, I think synchronicity has finally decided to visit me again. Man. I’ve missed it. It wasn’t long ago that someone tried everything in his power to make me feel stupid and misguided and naive for believing in anything that looked like it required faith. That’s some evil stuff man, to try to turn someone’s faith that all things work toward cohesion and against chaos into something pathetic and dark and laughable, simply because you can’t find anything worth believing in besides your own selfish and narcissistic needs. And I’m not even being harsh there. Those are just facts. And that’s one thing the Big Guy and I had to discuss: the enhancement of my ability to recognize that kind of thing earlier and have the strength to get rid of it. My Pops told me yesterday that my powers of discernment are good but that I “don’t act on them.” It’s just hard to do it when people insist they are a better people than their behavior would indicate and “they would never” blah blah blah. I like for people to feel good and trusted. It makes me happy. So, I’m working on being harder in the interest of self-preservation. And I don’t really like it. Hence a lunchtime visit to church.

Anyway, I have other writing to do over the next several days, hence a check-in today. There’s just a lot of stuff going on in the world isn’t there?

Really NPR? I’m pretty sure everyone can relate to playing a game on their phone during a boring meeting but also pretty sure not many can relate to that boring meeting being one where they discuss GOING TO F*CKING WAR. Come on man. Seriously. It might be kind of important that he pay attention. Just this once.

Welcome back Jon. Although I think there’s not enough attention being paid to those who think intervening is the right course of action. I’m reserving my own opinion because I have to, but I don’t think acting like those who advocate intervention are somehow crazy or evil really does much to further the debate in a healthy way. There are reasonable arguments for going in, as there are reasonable arguments for staying out. Syria truly has become a fascinating departure from partisanship.

I bet this is good.

Aw dang. I’m crying. Seriously, there is nothing like a good dog. Nothing like it in the world.

Speaking of good DAWGs, I hope we up our intensity level.

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Rhymes with

Reason #412 my cousin is fun to hang with: she requests I do pirouettes and piques on the semi-crowded metro platform. And I comply.

Reason #412 my cousin is fun to hang with: she requests I do pirouettes and piques on the semi-crowded metro platform. And I comply.

So, I’m thinking I need to hang a sign around my neck that says: “Spoiled, arrogant, entitled boys — I am not your type. Move along.” On a related note, the neighbor keeps asking to hang out and — while I don’t know if those descriptors apply to him because I don’t know him at all really — I know he’s a very politically liberal environmental activist. He “lives and breathes” the environmental activism stuff he tells me. So I’m just doing the math. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh but I think it’s time I started listening to my instincts and experience and just call em like I see em. And I’m tired of being hated for really stupid reasons. That silly sorta-friend of mine I’ve written about, also very liberal, and every ridiculous, illogical, irrational, in-the-tank talking point was ABSOLUTE TRUTH to him, facts be damned. And when I disagreed, I was stupid and racist and hateful and blah blah blah *vomit*. It was the worst kind of puerility and parroting of “group-think” to be accepted that I’ve ever seen, and that includes watching the girls go through Rush Week in college. I can’t do that anymore. I won’t do that anymore. Oh, also, he’s gotten a little (forgive the 50s expression) fresh with me, coming in for the hug with no indication from me that I want him to touch me. I’m no prude but if I don’t give you the signal, then don’t break my dance space, we clear? So yeah, mainly I’m just tired of feeling like who I am is some kind of problem, so I’m pretty sure I won’t be signing up to do that again.

On a related note, I had the opportunity to talk to a guy friend of mine recently about this same thing. There was a girl we used to pal around with and she did a lot of trash-talking about yours truly, primarily nasty little opinions based not on anything I actually did, but just on her own feelings about who I was. Gossipy, rude, anything-to-get-attention kind of stuff (related: If I ever put someone down in front of people simply to elevate myself, shoot me in the face with a bazooka because I will have ceased to become anything useful to the world). If you’ve ever known the alpha female type who must be the center of all male attention, you know what I mean. In any event, I only became aware really recently how pervasive the thread of nastiness she spun was when someone indicated to me that she liked me, no matter what everyone else said. Christ. I mean, if I had ever actually intentionally done anything to harm any of these people I could maybe see that kind of attitude. But no, they were listening to a very loud opinion, based on nothing but the insecurity of someone that, now she’s gone, it would appear they didn’t much care for anyway. So, in an effort to remove any bitterness about it from my mouth, I talked to my friend about why he never stood up for me, never said anything, when he knew me and knew all the vitriol was uncalled for. It wasn’t a totally satisfying conversation, but it was a start.

But it is why I have zero patience for that kind of behavior, and the behavior of (generally men) who sanction it. Either find your strength and disregard bitchiness when you see it, or go be with someone who’s cool with that kind of thing. Because I’m not.

Whew! Vent-tastic!

Hey ya’ll, I finally made it on a little sailboat. Lovely, lovely few hours. Thanks Dave.


Pops had an interesting thing to say about the Georgia game and, as it turns out, our current approach to Syria. That’s how Pops rolls: everything is a microcosm of everything else. Basically, he thinks Georgia is actually the better team but that we “didn’t match the level of Clemson’s intensity.” He says the same thing applies to how our current administration understands world events, particularly what’s happening in Syria. “We do not understand our enemy and we do not match the level of their intensity.” He also thinks we’ll end up cutting a deal with Russia. So there’s that.

There’s a Dominican place in my neighborhood that is, hands down, the best food I’ve had in DC. Total hole-in-the wall joint (Athens people, think Peaches). Highly recommended. And because I’m a frequent flyer, they give me the big box portion for $5. The little things, y’all.

I almost fell off my chair laughing when I saw this. (h/t Fiona)

This is an excellent piece. Howe gets at the heart of something that is very true: making tough decisions requires courage and strength and the ability to negotiate the negative consequences that necessarily follow having to make a choice. But doing it without empathy makes you a monster. Of course, that’s a succinct way of saying it…

Finally, Greg Gutfeld goes the opposite direction (not that I think he’s not empathetic, because I don’t think that at all), just that he doesn’t bother too much with the nicey-nicey. And we need that, too. (And, David Frum, this is why you shouldn’t be an unprovoked jerk to anyone, ever, if you can help it. You may find yourself being called out in front of the world. Like that girl I used to know…)

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