Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

it’s hot as fuck outside

the Black Keys

To be an American soldier today is to serve a people who find nothing amiss in the prospect of armed conflict without end. Once begun, wars continue, persisting regardless of whether they receive public support. President Obama’s insistence to the contrary notwithstanding, this nation is not even remotely “at” war. In explaining his decision to change commanders without changing course in Afghanistan, the president offered this rhetorical flourish: “Americans don’t flinch in the face of difficult truths.” In fact, when it comes to war, the American people avert their eyes from difficult truths. Largely unaffected by events in Afghanistan and Iraq and preoccupied with problems much closer to home, they have demonstrated a fine ability to tune out war. Soldiers (and their families) are left holding the bag.

— Andrew J. Bacevich
Sunday, June 27, 2010


it’s not really for sale

here’s another attempt to sell the doll house. this one has more pizazz.

I am a runner

I’m in Virginia. I am at dad’s house.
Aarti lands in … fourteen hours. I am still up.
it took me twelve hours to get here. something near 700 miles. I am getting too used to these kind of drives. I didn’t even look at a map. it’s like a muscle memory, like a golf swing or a pitching motion. 
during my drive out, I ate a tunafish sandwich at a truckstop in Ohio. stories that begin with a sentence like that usually end with “food poisioning. the end.” but oh no: didn’t get sick, and it was just about all I needed. that and a bunch of grapes. I laid off the tunes (well, not entirely), kept the window down. cruised, man.
so now I’m back here, again, in the DC metro area. this time for a long time. job is eleven, twelve days out. I’m anxious. I want it get going. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I’m gonna have my own office. and someone in my department who works under me. not directly, you know, but under my position. holy shit.
this weekend, starting tomorrow, I’m unloading the truck, picking Aarti up, driving to Charlottesville, loading another truck, driving back up to DC … and then, who knows? I live out here now. I live in DC. I don’t visit anymore. I live here.
I need to find a running route. I need to deposit some checks. I think I need to find a drug store. I need to make sure my ass is at the international terminal on time. I need to email Mar. I need to find a breakfast place, where I can dissect the paper and guzzle coffee on Saturday mornings. right now, I need to go to goddamn sleep.  
so put the word out. it’s on.

well heyy, look at that.


“I find nothing interesting about the Mexican.”
— the dumbest thing I heard all day today. said by a relative, no less.

there’s a lot of people in my mom’s house right now. my brother, my niece, my aunt, two cousins, mom. grandma. me. we’re all kind of on top of one another, and I am a little-bit ready to go. on Wednesday I made it official and accepted that job with Council for a Strong America. I am moving to Washington. I am hyped.  
pros and cons about DC. let’s stop fucking around, let’s talk it out.

. monuments
. the Smithsonian
. cherry blossoms
. multiple nearby airports
. public transportation
. Aarti lives there
. this record store I know in Arlington/Dupont/Georgetown
. a MLB baseball team that sucks and has a fickle fan base, which makes tickets cheap
. the Washington Post
. Mt Pleasant
. Capitol Hill
. Marion Barry

. the federal government
. democrats
. republicans
. people who work for politicians (except Smith, he’s alright)
. the Washington Redskins
. the Georgetown University men’s basketball team
. northern Virginia
. traffic
. mobs of tourists
. $5 for a beer
. Maryland
. Marylanders who drive cars
. Marion Barry

something to think about, anyway.
tomorrow we’re all going out for some dysfunctional family fun at a minor-league ballpark in one of the most grinding ghettos in the United States. the Railcats are hiring. I’d be all over this is I weren’t about to be employed again. or I’d tip it over to my friend Dave Weinberg. I don’t know; I think this would be perfect for him. I should do that.

story of the year right here:

Gary Brooks Faulkner, an American citizen who told police he was searching for Osama Bin Laden, has been arrested in northwest Pakistan armed with a gun, a sword, and Christian literature.


I had a dream last night.

I was at church choir rehearsal. I used to sing in the choir occasionally in high school at our family’s church. oh man, our family’s church … now there’s a barrel of monkeys I will refrain from delving into.
the longtime choir director has no formal training, I believe, beyond her years of singing on Sundays. her direction drove me nuts when I was also in a couple of high school choirs (the lamest of high-school extracurriculars), because I could see  she was just waving her arms around however she saw fit. that approach wouldn’t be so bad — if it works, it works — but the choir sucks. and they’ll suck tomorrow morning during service. they always get A’s for effort, but not much else.
anyway, I was at church choir practice (which I’ve never attended outside of dreamland) and Nadine the director was doing bumps of cocaine during rehearsal. choir practice drug use!
I found this funny. what a strange place for coke. I laughed, but Nadine didn’t see the humor in it. she channelled some Queen Latifah indignancy and began berating me for being off key. she had gone on the offensive on me, had flipped the script. I was taken aback.
I’m off key? I thought. but you just snorted a bunch of cocaine!

and here’s where I woke up to my alarm.

Iowa, like its denziens, is very straightforward

Iowa was terrible.

it was all like that above, at breakneck speed. in the back country, the roads are dangerous and terrifying.

no, no. no. it wasn’t. Iowa is actually very nice. it is exactly as you remembered it. it is wide, and incredibly flat in some places, and still full of rolling hills. and the skies are huge. it’s pastoral. it’s rural. it naturally has the sleepiest city of 200,000 that I’ve been through in a while. it is Iowa.

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‘true grit’ is a great title that will never be usurped

last night Grandma and I drank tea, ate donuts and watched “True Grit” while mom painted an old bathroom cabinet pink. she’s gonna make it into a doll house that my niece can screw around with when she arrives later this week.
no one watches John Wayne movies anymore. I don’t bemoan that. but have you ever seen “True Grit?” it’s at the stage in his career where Wayne … it’s hard to characterize John Wayne in “True Grit.” Rooster Cogburn is the character from which all other violent, hilarious, redneck hillbilly lawmen of the Old West descend; this character is the archetype. and Wayne won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance.
oh, and the Coen brothers are directing a remake starring Jeff Bridges, due out later this year. bonus.

alright. enough screwing around. let’s drive to Iowa.

surprise road trip

I was gonna take the train tomorrow night from South Bend to DC in order to have a second sit-down interview with this nonprofit I’ve been trying to get hired on at.
but the woman whom I was to have met with is bailing on me. bailing! she’s in Iowa, and she’s staying an extra day because now she has landed a meeting with Tom Harkin. so I got bumped for Tom Harkin.
so. because I don’t want to fly to DC next week, I am driving, tomorrow afternoon, to Des Moines. I am going to attend one of the nonprofit’s press conferences at the Des Moines police department on Thursday morning. and then I’ll have my interview, and then I’ll drive back in the afternoon. six-hour one-way trip, man. and Iowa is pretty bland, if I remember correctly.