Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The First Word

Last night, while I was playing on the floor with Jonah, he clearly and distinctly said the word "Chicago."

What a little genius! Only twelve months old! I don't know yet whether he was thinking of the city or the musical, though --I didn't even know that he had heard of either one. But I foresee great things. Of course, he's having trouble pronouncing "Pass Christian" because he doesn't know to change the pronunciation of the last syllable. And "Tchoupitoulas" is just a lost cause right now. But I feel confident that he'll be reeling off the place names in no time. Just as soon as he says "Dada" while looking at me instead of the dog.

 11:52 AM

Monday, December 29, 2003

No, I'm not dead.

But it's been a long and involving December, and there's a lot to talk about. Of course, between the holidays and my job (not to mention a peculiar idea I had involving CDs and Christmas music), I haven't had much time to write anything. And I come back to work and walk straight into a firestorm of urgent business, so I don't know how much time I will have to write about any of it.

I know that my fans are disappointed at my absence, but I hope to be back in the groove before too long.

Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

 10:15 AM

Thursday, December 04, 2003

It Just Keeps Getting Better

The story of Bush's Thanksgiving trip to Baghdad just keeps getting better. Yesterday, I posted on the revelation that the White House is furiously backtracking on its claim that a British Airways jet radioed Air Force One. The White House now says that it overheard a radio transmission from the jet to the tower. British Airways flatly denies that any such conversation took place. Period. All a lie to make the story play better on Thanksgiving weekend.

But the new revelation is that the gorgeous, picture-perfect turkey that Bush was photographed serving to the troops was a prop. You remember the photo, right? It was on the cover of every newspaper in America.

A prop.

So the photo would look more impressive.

And that's not even the best part.

Check out this explanation:

"White House officials do not deny that they craft elaborate events to showcase Bush, but they maintain that these events are designed to accurately dramatize his policies and to convey qualities about him that are real.

"'This was effective, because it captured something about the president that people know is true, that he really cares about the soldiers and gets emotional when he sees them,' Mary Matalin, a former administration official, said about the trip to Baghdad. 'You have to figure out how to capture the Bush we know, even if it doesn't come through in a speech situation or a press conference. He regularly rejects anything that is not him.'"

For those of you who skip over quotes when reading, I'll summarize: the White House stages fake events because reality doesn't show the Bush that "people know is true."

(Bonus points to anyone that remembers this quote from Reagan, during his televised speech on Iran-Contra in 1987: "A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.")

Anyway, on another note, I will be posing for photos later today. These photos will show me at home with my family at 5:30 p.m., with an empty briefcase and a cheerful expression on my face. I will be a steadfast, unflappable Fred MacMurray type. It's the me that "people know is true."

But the facts and the evidence tell me its not.

 8:33 AM

Wednesday, December 03, 2003


We have reports from home -- as yet unconfirmed -- that the little guy has taken a step. It's just one step, but it was a full step forward from the unsupported vertical position. We will, of course, keep you posted as events develop.

You know, it has made me notice the act of walking as I stride purposefully around the office this afternoon. I am so excited about the thought of my son's first step, and yet I take a step a million times every day.

And then my mind starts to go through the looking-glass, thinking about how odd it is that someone was so proud of my first step, and wondering when my parents stopped marveling at my locomotion. And then I think about how walking will someday be passe for my son, and wonder when I'll stop noticing.

 4:20 PM
Setting the Record Straight

I would like to categorically deny Adrienne's reports that I had a "rather bracing" picture up on my blog. Or, if there was one, it wasn't my doing. I don't even know how to post pictures on this thing. It's all I can to do hash out the rudimentary HTML that allows me to use italics.

Hey, Adrienne -- out of curiosity, who was it?

 2:47 PM
I had a dream last night that Dubya called me up to congratulate me for something -- I don't remember what -- and that I asked him why his administration lied so much. He was astonished, because (of course) he doesn't read the papers and doesn't know that anyone is telling lies, or obfuscating, or anything like that. Curious that in my dream, Dubya was a genuinely nice guy who was being misled by his handlers, our own Lord Theoden with Grima Wormtongue Cheney whispering in his ear.

Funny that I then discover that the White House boldly embellished the story of Bush's trip to Baghdad airport at Thanksgiving. When I read the account, I was particularly taken with the part of the story about the British Airways pilot. Now the White House is frantically revising the story, but still can't revise it enough to make it technically true in some limited, face-saving manner. The Thanksgiving trip to Baghdad wasn't cool enough, so they had to lie about a fictional encounter with the British Airways plane. Boosted the dramatic tension and what not.

I tell you -- if that sumbitch comes back tonight in another dream, I'm a gonna kick his ass. Unless he brings his usual 8000 bodyguards.

Finally, at long last sir, have you no decency?

 12:29 PM

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

We have to take our epiphanies where we find them, so I'll relate that I have had an epiphany while singing a John Prine song on the way home from work. It's about time that I posted something on my blog anyway.

I've loved the album "Sweet Revenge" ever since I first heard it in college, but I found myself really understanding the song "Dear Abby" for the very first time. It's a simple song, in which the verses are silly letters to Dear Abby. The chorus is her response, which is the same response every time except for the name of her correspondent. For instance, her response to "Bewildered" is:

Bewildered, Bewildered, you have no complaint
You are what you are
And you ain't what you ain't
So listen up, buster, and listen up good --
Stop wishin' for bad luck and knockin' on wood

So there it is. I am what I am, and I ain't what I ain't, and I'm gonna stop wishin' for bad luck and knockin' on wood.


 8:14 PM

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