I went to the big Obama rally at the U of M the other day, and got to stand very close to The President as he gave a most excellent speech (yes, I'm an unapologetic liberal... we can still be friends, right?). But the highlight as far as I was concerned was Al Franken. Anyone who thinks he's just a stupid comic has never listened to him; he's an amazing historian, orator and general policy wonk, which is unsurprising when you consider, among other things, that he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Harvard. But he's also damn funny, and really got the crowd going. Also, I enjoyed the hoisting of the happy baby.
A word of warning to would-be clowns: If you dress like this, expect to be feared and despised. I went to a party where I knew hardly anyone, and people openly recoiled from me, and not in a funny way. Close friends left me out of conversations because they couldn't stand to look at me. I knew what I was getting into, but still it kind of sucked. Today people sent me pics and congratulations on an awesome getup; yeah, right, where were you last night when I needed you! Note: I shaved my head for real...
You, of course have seen this. And you laughed and laughed while I walked around with a blank stare similar to this guy's expression in the shoe store, oblivious to the fun you were all having. I hate you!
Maybe I've been watching too much Mad Men (btw, I fall squarely in the camp of the 4th season finale being kickass), but I've become more aware lately of the advertising of smart-sounding platitudes. Shit like "leveraging cloud-based solutions through utilization of network resources" instead of "googling it." I eschew obfuscation!
As seen at Curran's, an Irish family restaurant near my house. I was standing in line with about ten other people waiting to be seated, and I was the one dork laughing like an idiot (and then, of course, taking a picture of this work of genius). It reads:
Just a few lines to let you know that I am still alive. I am writing this slowly because I know that you can't read fast. You won't know the house when you come home; we've moved.
About your father. He has got a lovely new job. He has 500 men under him. He cuts grass at the cemetery. Your sister Mary had a baby this morning. I haven't found out yet whether it's a boy or a girl, so I don't know if you're an aunt or an uncle.
I went to the doctor's on Thursday and your father came with me. The doctor put a small tube in my mouth and told me not to talk for 10 minutes. Your father offered to buy it from him.
Your uncle Patrick drowned last week in a vat of Irish whiskey at the Dublin brewery. Some of his workmates tried to save him but he fought them off bravely. They cremated him and it took 3 days to put the fire out.
It only rained twice this week, first for 3 days then for 4 days. We had a letter from the undertaker. He said if the last payment on your grandmother's plot wasn't paid in 7 days, up she comes.
Your Loving Mother
P.S. I was going to send you 5 pounds but I already sealed the envelope.
So, I bought a Kindle awhile back, and I like it much more than I thought I would. I've loaded more than twenty books onto it, yet it's half the size of the paperback I'm currently reading. Btw, this one, The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay, is excellent, but it's not available as a Kindle book for some reason. It's gotten to the point where I sort of dislike reading anything on paper (it's unwieldy and the type is too small) or laptop (the electronic glow is both tiring and jangling); I only want to read stuff on my damn Kindle! I also bought the fancy cover with built-in book light (shown here sticking out but not lit), which works great. This is the ultimate reading-in-bed device.
Am I getting one this year? I don't know; I am partial to a well-carved pumpkin (I once made one with the Minnesota Twins logo, which killed the better part of a day), but every time I see a pile like this it makes me alternately excited and tired. All that sawing and pulp, and then the big seed decision, to roast or not to roast when I don't even really care for them after eating about three. It's one thing when you've got a clamoring kid, but mine's fifteen and would, I'm sure, rather go out and smash them with a baseball bat.
This tree is on the east shore of Lake Harriett, near the rose garden. I went up close to see what the deal was; there's an envelope full of colored slips onto which you're supposed to write a wish and tie it to a branch. As I was reading some of the wishes a lady near me snarled "It's always something around here..." Yeesh. I wish a bird would poop on her head.