I’m attending yet another work conference this week (for those of you keeping score, that’s three in six weeks), so this week’s postings will be desultory.
The Queen: Wow, the kitties love that poultry-flavored hairball medicine I bought.
Me: You’re kidding.
The Queen: Seriously. They hated the last kind, but I just gave them this new stuff and they were, like, purring with happiness. Now they’re all excited and running around the house like a bunch of wild Indians.
Me: Ahem! We do not say “running around like a bunch of wild Indians” any more. These days the correct phrase is “running around like a bunch of wild Native Americans”.
The Queen: Whoops, that’s what I meant to say.
Me: Anyhow, they love the hairball medicine, huh?
The Queen: The Native Americans? Yes, they’re crazy for it.
Me: Hah! Amazing fact — the Native Americans were renowned for using every part of the hairball medicine, leaving nothing to waste.
It may not surprise you to discover that we have conversations like this all the time.
In response to reporters asking if Operation Iraqi Freedom might last months, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer today condemned the media for assuming that an invasion of Iraq was a foregone conclusion. "I think it's premature to ask how long a war will last before the President has even decided whether to attack [Iraq]," Fleischer said, reiterating comments made by Bush on Wednesday. "The United States is still pursuing every diplomatic channel available in the hopes of averting a war." Fleischer cited recents meetings between US military forces and the Republican Guard in and around Basra as proof that the US was "earnestly engaging the regime in the hopes of finding a peaceful solution to the crisis". He also pointed out that, as recently as March 19th, the United States sent a number of envoys into Saddam's bunker in an effort to interact with the Iraqi leader directly. "The President will make a decision regarding a possible invasion only if our current campaign of aggressive peace negotiations fail," Fleischer stated. "War is our last resort."
Basic: “So astonishingly awful it becomes a sort of kinky pleasure; just when you think Travolta has fallen to the bottom of the barrel, he pulls out a shovel and dons his miner’s helmet to see what lies beneath.” — Robert Wilonsky, DALLAS OBSERVER
Dreamcatcher: “As five or six bad movies squished together, it almost seems like a bargain. ” — A.O. Scott, NEW YORK TIMES
Boat Trip: “There are bad movies, and there’s Boat Trip, a puerile comedy so appalling and unfunny it’s like contracting the Norwalk virus at sea.” — Marrit Ingman, AUSTIN CHRONICLE
Head of State: “The film opens with a statement that Hillary Clinton, Bob Dole and Al Sharpton are not in the movie. Also not in the movie: laughs. ” — Chris Hewitt, PORTLAND OREGONIAN
The Core: “Built from an alloy of absurdium and stupidium.” — Joe Morgenstern, WALL STREET JOURNAL
After work yesterday, riding the elevator down with a co-worker:
Me: How’s it goin’?
Co-worker: Ugh! It sucks to sit in the office and see how beautiful it is outside. All that sunlight streaming in, it makes it hard to work. I just want to look out the window all day, you know? [Pause] Oh, wait! You don’t have a window in your office, I forgot. You’re lucky you don’t have to suffer through that.
I live a charmed life.
Shortly after arriving in Bolivia as a Peace Corps Trainee, I was sent to the site of Tim, a Volunteer who had been in-country for a number of years. He worked in the most rural area imaginable, with no water or electricity, and in the midst of people who lived as they had for hundreds of years.
Tim took me on a hike through a nearby river valley to visit the local communities and get a taste of traditional Bolivian life. It was during this trip that I took this photo. Here is an excerpt from my journal:
“We soon parted company with our four Bolivian guides. When we asked them where they were going, they said they might just hang out in the valley for a day or two before returning home — y’know, for kicks.
“We, meanwhile, started walking upstream on our way home. About half an hour into our return hike — just at the moment when I was looking around at the lush vegetation, marveling at the extreme geography, and thinking ‘we must be miles from the nearest human being’ — we encountered a band of strolling minstrels. Really. I mean, there we were, nowhere near anywhere, and around the corner come eight slightly inebriated guys with flutes and guitars who, upon spotting us, immediately launched into some traditional campesino ditties for our benefit.
They played a couple of songs, and Tim chatted with them before they lurched off downstream. Apparently they lived in a small community about five miles away and were headed for another village approximately six hours down the valley. That had (don’t ask me how) caught wind of a big party brewing in Other Community, so had grabbed their instruments and coca leaves and set off to revel. No food or water, mind you — they left on their journey armed with only coca leaves and flutes. I was beginning to like this country.”
Hey, just a quick straw vote: who here is in favor of me shutting the hell up about politics for a while and getting back to the defective yeti basics (i.e., screeds about how comic books have sucked since they cancelled Power Pack, photos of my cats, and humorous observations about yogurt). Come on, let’s see a show of hands. One. Two. Three. You in the back too? Yes? Okay, four. Five. Six. Seven. Okay, it looks like seven. Which, if I’m not mistaken, is my entire readership.
Today: White House Says Coalition Includes Nations From Every Continent On The Globe
Tomorrow: Antarctican Forces Complain About Heat, Sand
Today: Us Seizes Iraqi Assets
Tomorrow: More Money Found For Tax Cuts, Bush Says
Today: France Seeks Big Role in Post-War Iraq
Tomorrow: Little Red Hen Announces Plan To Eat Whole Loaf By Self
Today: Halliburton Subsidiary Wins Iraqi Oil Contract
Tomorrow: Halliburton Subsidiary Declared Winner Of NCAA Tournament
Tomorrow: War In Iraq Ends
Day After Tomorrow: Thousands Of Graphic Designers Laid Off By CNN, MSNBC, FOX