succumbing to peer pressure

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Books Completed: Zodiac, by Neal Stephenson. Thoroughly satisfying.
Books Started: State of Fear, by Michael Crichton (yay library books!).

mmmm....brain candy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Are you fucking kidding me?!

I don't know why I even bother to get my hopes up that maybe, just maybe, this time there will be some sort of negative result to this administration's actions. Well, negative for them. The negative results for us just keep pouring in.

Congress appeared ready to launch an investigation into the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program last week, but an all-out White House lobbying campaign has dramatically slowed the effort and may kill it, key Republican and Democratic sources said yesterday.
In an interview yesterday, Snowe [R-Maine] said, "I'm not sure it's going to be essential or necessary" to conduct an inquiry "if we can address the legislative standpoint" that would provide oversight of the surveillance program. "We're learning a lot and we're going to learn more," she said.
"The administration has obviously gotten the message that they need to be more forthcoming," Snowe said.

At least my boy Rockefeller (D-WV) is still pissed (he's drafted a motion calling for an inquiry into the whole mess):

Sources close to Rockefeller say he is frustrated by what he sees as heavy-handed White House efforts to dissuade Republicans from supporting his measure. They noted that Cheney conducted a Republicans-only meeting on intelligence matters in the Capitol yesterday.

Senate intelligence committee member Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) said in an interview that he supports the NSA program and would oppose a congressional investigation. He said he is drafting legislation that would "specifically authorize this program" by excluding it from the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which established a secret court to consider government requests for wiretap warrants in anti-terrorist investigations.

So, just to re-cap, the NSA, under the direction of the Bush administration and with the A.G. claiming it's legal, potentially violated the Constitution, and it's not even worth looking into?! As long as they're mildly inconvenienced by dragging a few key players up to the hill for an empty gesture hearing and legislation is passed to make it retroactively legal, everything is ok? And a good PR campaign is more effective than, oh I don't know, researching the facts, maybe spending some time and energy thinking about the legal, constitutional, and social issues at hand? Wow, I am so glad that's been made clear because silly me was still doddering around with this illusion of the power of the Constitution and the law of the land and the responsibilities of elected officials. Motherfuckers! I don't want to be this cynical about my country, but when you have this sort of homegrown fascism, what's the point of patriotic pride?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

It's hardly like springtime in Cleveland,

but it has been colder than usual around here, and it finally warmed up a bit today, so I decided to treat myself to a jog outside. It's been months since I last ventured off a treadmill, and my joints are pretty intolerant of concrete, so I gave myself permission to only make it about halfway through my usual route in Lullwater. Well, miraculously I not only made it to the end of my route, but significantly farther than ever before! I'm not sure I can describe how great it felt - blue sky, grassy smells...maybe I have been a bit S.A.D. lately...

Also, I finally sucked it up and asked Mom and Dad for some money. I'm going to come up a bit short (again) this month, and if I keep bleeding off my savings I'm going to seriously freak out. Fortunately, my more frugal ways of late have paid off, so I only had to hit them up for a small amount...of course, this is all emotionally wrapped up in the fact that Brad borrowed a non-trivial amount of cash around Thanksgiving, and provided somewhat vague reasons for the shortfall, so the parents are still moderately freaking out about that...I tried to provide as many details as possible about where my money went, in hopes that transparency would both calm them down and head off a financial advice lecture...hopefully my advisor can put me on her grant next month and then ends will meet once again, without parental assistance.

Monday, February 13, 2006

I almost forgot!

Books completed: White Teeth, by Zadie Smith
Not bad, but I think by the time I jumped on the Zadie Smith bandwagon I'd heard a little too much about how brilliant she is. The novel is good, the story is interesting, the imagery is enjoyable...but given that I was able to stay away for days at a time without really missing it, not the most entertainment ever.

Books started: Zodiac, by Neal Stephenson
Total brain candy, and awesome. And Stephenson may just provide a more accurate glimpse into the male psyche than Hornby, if that's possible:

"We're getting into this shit now where you expect me to follow you around. To keep track of where you are, pick up the phone and call you, do the social organizing, set up our dates. And then, when we're together, you give me this gruff shit."
"I do?"
"Yeah. You make me come onto you, and then you pretend you don't want it. I had to put up with that once or twice on the Canada trip and I'm never going to do it again. No way. You want something from me, call me up - you've got my fucking number - and ask for it."
After that, my eyes didn't blink for about half an hour. It reminded me a whole lot of being popped by that smart cop when Bart and I were having our boys' night out. You go around thinking you're cool, a veritable shadow in the night, and then you find out that someone's got your number.
I programmed the alarm to go off in ten days. When it did, I'd give her a call.

After driving Dad's car all the way back from Tallahassee, slipping into my old subaru for a run to the store was surprisingly nice. Sure, Dad's car is way, way nicer (my girl is 8.5 years old, just shy of 80,000 miles, has squeaky breaks, scratches on all four bumper corners from street parking in Cleveland, and is starting to rust in a few places on the hood, but she's all mine). And after as many quality hours as we've spent, just the two of us, my baby feels like a perfectly broken in pair of jeans.

So the last of the 'older' cousins got married this weekend. Which means, gulp, I'm next! Not really, as, thank goodness, my family isn't really like that. But Janet did it up right, with a short and sweet ceremony (even if the priest's homily did seem a bit creepy to me) and a rocking reception. She even spared us the tossing of the bouquet, instead just handing it off to a little flower girl who was more excited than any of the rest of us would have been were we made to take part in that particular ritual.

In other news, I got picked up at the grocery store the other night. The whole thing was completely surreal, and straight out of some cheesy movie. Ah well, at least this time it wasn't an employee.