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tuesday, 31 august

overheard: 'two terms for bush? great: one for each of them' -bumper sticker

whoa. where did august go? i suppose it, like june, was eaten up by a week at the beach. brandon: two boring boring accounting books are on their way to laura's place. hope they help. anyway, congrats to julie on starting grad school yesterday. i'm glad to hear it was to your liking. i'm having dinner with my friend devi from oxford tonight. somewhere in dupont. any recommendations? i also need to get my butt in gear finding birthday presents for jack.

my complete lack of interest in political conventions continues. i find them completely and totally boring. oh well. i'm spending today with amanda, getting ready for the first day of her senior year of college tomorrow and maybe eating a burrito for lunch. i'll go bother prof astarita, as well.

i really wish i had something more interesting to say, but i don't. see you in september.

monday, 30 august

overheard: 'i'm ready for death' -joe

aight. i thought today might be my last day at the folger. but then i realized that one of the manuscripts i need to look at still has 27 folios. which will take between 4 and 8 hours depending on the handwriting. so we'll see if i can finish today. i hope i can. it's bobsforth's last day of summer: enjoy it, kiddo. joe took amanda and me to the palm last night for dinner. very nice. glad to have finally been dragged there.

in other news, i loved this editorial from yesterday's washington post. reading the newspapers today, i was struck by the subtle form of propaganda that is crowd estimation. the nyt, wp, guardian &c all reported the new york protests yesterday as numbering in the "hundreds of thousands" or "more than 200,000". the spokane paper, meanwhile, ran the number at "More than 100,000". technically true, it's still a bit misleading. oh, and ps on the spokane paper: BOOOOOOOOO for starting to charge for online access. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. there's a reason i don't read the wall street journal.

ok. last little bit of whining...this article from the christian science monitor on the economics of gay marriage is simultaneously boring and interesting. and it included this little nuggets of joy from a heritage foundation reprobate: 'Over a longer period, gay marriage will lead to fewer marriages of heterosexual couples, more out-of-wedlock births, and increased divorce, argues Matthew Spaulding, an analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "The costs to society are massive." Such trends, he says, have shown up in the Netherlands, where gay marriage has been legal for years. It was recently legalized in Belgium and Canada.' memo to mr spaulding: the rate of marriage and birth is dropping throughout the industrialized world, with no significant difference to be found between countries that offer full legal protections to gay couples and those that refuse such protections. your argument is disinguous, ill-informed, and non-unique. oh, and you're dumb.

sunday, 29 august

overheard: 'you're that confident that you'll go home with a girl?' -brandon's friend rob

provincetown was, in a word, amazing. we stayed in the most beautiful house, which must have been built in the late 18th or early 19th century, but which had been completely renovated in 1999. there was a rooftop deck that made for great outdoor private space, and a little porch off the front with two adirondack chairs which were perfect for reading during the day. the porch was also the cruisiest place i've ever been in my life. an hour reading out there was cruisier than 4 hours at JR's or cobalt. ridiculous.

the beach was nice as well. i'm definitely the tannest i've been in a long long while. it had been a long time since i'd been swimming in salt water. it's kinda gross, after all. i swam parallel to the shore for about 30 minutes, but stopped when i started to worry about getting eaten by a shark. so i walked further down the beach. to where it becomes mostly nude. i'd never been to a nude beach before. it wasn't as bad as i'd imagined it. it wasn't good, of course, but it could have been much worse. other naked run-ins: julie came to spend the night wednesday (hurrah!) and so jimmy rented a boat and we went out in the little bay. after swimming at sand point, we had trouble starting the engine. a man on a yacht a little bit away called over to ask if we needed help. we declined, but five minutes later he got into the kayak tied to his boat and paddled over to help us. lo and behold, he was naked as the day is long. he had such leathery skin that you couldn't tell if he was 30 or 60, but all four of us were concentrating very hard just to keep from laughing, so it seemed less than important how old he was.

other highlights: cute los angeles boys. twelve hour car rides each way. buster throwing up on joe in the car yesterday. a string of 4 nights saying "we're going out tonight," only to fall asleep watching the olympics (as an aside: poor paul hamm, being picked on by the FIG). the bar that shares my name. being profoundly inebriated at said bar and getting hit on by andrew sullivan, whom i didn't recognise at all.

but now we're back in dc. i think i'll be finishing up my work at the folger tomorrow or tuesday. today, i'm going to go distract amanda from whatever she's supposed to be doing with the new freshmen. that should be fun. and maybe it some chipotle. and get my copy of emma back from rca5.

friday, 20 august

overread: 'however elaborate, grandiose, and monmumentally tasteless Vegas becomes, it is never going to be anything as astonishingly and monumentally tasteless as the people who come to visit it. for starters, it's the sheer size of them. these are the fattest people on the planet. vast, lardy, adipose flesh, ladled into sweatpants and sport shirts; grotesquely ripe girls add cartoon plastic breasts asa moment of firm bas-relief between their gobble-gobble triple chins and the rollying savanna of their stomachs.' -vanity fair

i'm not sure i have any insight beyond that offered above. it will suffice to say that i have never harbored any desire to go to vegas.

i think, after today, i'll only need two more days at the folger to finish my work in DC. which is pretty exciting. in the meanwhile, though, i'm going up to provincetown tomorrow for a week. so no updates. sorry. i'll be reading and napping on the beach. yes, i may even get a sun tan. no, that doesn't mean i like the sun.

the new york times website keeps ruining the olympics.

thursday, 19 august

happy 54th birthday, dod!
overheard: 'the olive crown just suits some men better than others' -bob costas

and it certainly suits mr hamm just fine, if you ask me. rosemary's time for dinner last night: tres bien. can't wait for jack to get here. then we watched the 'lympics. stupid new york times homepage keeps giving away the ending, though. oh well. this article in yesterday's seattle times is very interesting. you know the sluggish job report numbers released last week? only 32,000 jobs instead of the 200,000 the government was hoping for? well, over one-third of those new jobs were in washington state. i KNOW. and, still, if you'll look at these poll numbers from yesterday, bush is still trailing in my good ol' home state by 8 points. hurrah.

more library today. dinner with rob tonight. maybe dinner with kemp tomorrow? we'll see. badlands anyone?

wednesday, 18 august

overheard: 'i'm gay. i'm rich. i'm white. don't rock the boat' -pat

so, a long long time ago (like almost 8 months) there was an article in the spokesman-review about how spokane is the cheesiest city in the united states: we, on average, consume 10.4 pounds of cheese per person per year, as compared to the national average of 7. very impressive, right? and largely due to my own family. when i arrived home at the end of june, opening the fridge, without moving anything, i could see 13 different types of cheese. that's the type of homecoming i like. but moving on. there is an article in today's guardian about cheese consumption in europe, and i must say the french have us spokanites beat, hands down. the french consume 24.1 kg (53.14 lb) of cheese per person per year. HOLY CRAP!

i'm waiting for the a/c repairman to come to joe's condo today. we'll see how that works out. then back to the library. i'm now 33% through my time in DC, and 66% through the manuscripts i need to look at. so i'll have to find some other way to occupy myself. don't worry, ther'es always more work to be done.

tuesday, 17 august

overheard: 'is fan vag, then?' -franny

well, the olympics were more than i even could have hoped. and john and pat made good viewing partners. kate, too, when she wasn't making fun of us for drooling on the sofas. what else is going on? i haven't been getting enough sleep. with joe back today, though, maybe i can start to do so. i tried to go visit rob yesterday at gtown, but sadly he continued MIA. so i went to mass at holy trinity and walked back to dupont, where i ate some chipotle. i'm hungry now. i think i may go to lunch. i know i had something of interest to tell y'all, but it may just have to wait for tomorrow. i got to hold letters written by both sir walter raleigh and protector somerset today. i know you're jealous.

monday, 16 august

overheard: 'i just bit him till he said something' -rob

heck, almost to single digits. here i find myself, back at the folger. i think i'm addicted to history. cuz i don't want to like being here, but i do. i like playing with old paper. but you know what i like even more? you guessed it: watching men's gymnastics. YUM. but i'm getting ahead of myself. first i have to sit in the library, eat some chipotle, and call mr court to see if he wants to join me in the boys in spandex watching. and boy join i mean let me use his TV.

i've decided i'm sick of not being able to donate blood. i'm blood type O-negative. i'm hiv-negative, and i may be gay, but i'm in a monogamous relationship. plus, i've been reviewing that CDC statistics, and, really, the prohibition on MsM blood donors is a farce. there are more straight black people as there are gay white people with HIV/AIDS. and, no, my point isn't that african americans shouldn't be allowed to give blood.

my weekend in philadelphia was fantastic. it's always a joy to see brandon and laura, who i am now totally convinced is nicest, most sincere person i've ever met. which is to say i can't wait for them to get married. and have kids. i hope i don't cry at the wedding. but i will.

thursday, 12 august

overheard: 'the green line is the new red line' -chris

today is baby steps to an update. i'm experiencing deep, stinging shame with myself for not having made it through all the manuscripts i ordered up at the folger yesterday. so i'm trying to not play online so much today. but we all know my work ethic. whoops. joe's mom's surgery was delayed until monday, so who knows if i'll ever see him again. but tomorrow is philly. hurrah. hope the weather holds. or not, and then we can just sit around drinking, eating cheese steaks and watching the olympics.

i thought i had something interesting to say today. guess not. ian and i had a heart-to-heart last night about what i want to do when i grow up, among other things. and jack got to ride an elephant. matt right now is the luckiest guy i can think of.

wednesday, 11 august

overheard: 'he knows what i want him to know' -brian

i'm not entirely sure what i woke up wanting to write about today. had chinese food with joe yesterday. he flew to florida today, so 706 will be boring for me until i leave for philly on friday. had a drink with JP (gtown, not chch) last night, and then hung out with brian. not a bad day. rca5 is mia, though, which is no good. where are you, rob?

oh, here's some news...i expected a huge uproar in the spokane paper in reaction to the whole gay marriage thang from last week. especially after the spokesman-review ran a pro-gay marriage editorial last thursday. can it be that people are already desensitized to the horrors of two men or two women vowing to live their lives committed to one another?! perhaps, but then today i realized that i'd managed to overlook a single letter to the editor from monday's paper. go ahead. click on the link. read it. i'm not entirely sure, you see, what this nutbar is writing about. i would suppose it's the topic of the day, but the complete lack of coherent thought makes it tough to tell. her use of conjunctions--both coordinating and subordinating--is particularly perplexing. and lesbians getting HIV?! i pray to god this woman's claim of 'nursing instincts' does not imply that she's actually a nurse. because if she is, she really needs to lose her job.

tuesday, 10 august

overheard: 'i have a six shooter in my pocket' -jeremy

i'm reading a rather old (ca. late 1980s) book right now entitled a history of modern japan, the work of an oxford japanologist by the name of richard storry. the book interests me for a variety of reasons. firstly, my knowledge of japanese history--of whatever period--is sorely lacking. i should also point out that most of my choices are made from a place of scarcity about getting laid. the hope is that my dated, slightly jingoistic (as much for britain as for japan) knowledge of the land of the rising sun will impress jack enough that he'll sleep with me. or something. but there's more: i'm reading about the russo-japanese war of 1904-5 right now. all these metro weekly cover boys say that if they could change one thing in history it would be 9/11. big surprise, right? but reading about the diplomatic efforts to avoid war in january and february of 1904, i'm led to think that maybe, just maybe, i would prefer to change russia's dismissal of the japanese proposals for manchuria and korea. who knows what could have happened...no weakening of czarism over the course of the war? no russian focus in the balkans in the decade 1905-14? no great war? no communist revolution in russia? no post-wwi bitterness in germany? no rise of hitler? who knows, really? a butterfly flaps its wings...

but what really struck me in reading about said russo-japanese war was the difference that world war one made in the collective view of war. how naive they all seem, with their face-to-face battles and their conventional artillery.

also, i got a haircut. my hair is now very very short. just the way i like it. and, walking buster this morning, a bird pooped on me.

monday, 9 august

overheard: 'i usually lift boys' -dempsey's, long ago

okay. we're back to folger days. i have a bus pass and everything. ain't life grand? yesterday was rather boring: crate & barrel, and a nap while joe went golfing. went to john's for dinner again, along with rob and ryan, whose father used to be erin's boss in milwaukee. small world. and i don't know how to spell.

with a two day delay, i'd like to ask whether anyone saw the NYT articles friday and saturday on hiv and race. really disturbing. first off, look at the number of 2001 deaths per 100,000 people aged 25 to 44 in various demographics...
white women: 1.9
white men: 8.3
black women: 26.0
black men: 53.5
as if that's not shocking enough, in 2002 the CDC estimated that african americans, who make up 12% of our national population, accounted for 54% of new HIV infections. clearly, something is wrong. both in terms of prevention and treatment. and it seems to be ignored, passively at best, by mainstream aids organisations. unacceptable.

sunday, 8 august

overheard: 'i love fire.' -joe

what a lovely day i had yesterday. admittedly, i didn't get to spend it at the folger, like i'd planned to do. but i enjoyed myself nonetheless. joe and i took buster to rock creek and tried our hardest to tire him out. afterwards, we watched capturing the friedmans, which was ridiculously depressing and made me infinitely grateful for the family i've been blessed with.

the highlight of the day, though, was driving out to rappahannock with joe and rob and david and lisa to check out a country house that joe is thinking about buying. it was really pretty beautiful. comfortable size. in the final stages of a complete remodel. beautiful view of the mountains. easy to get to, but still far away. near the best restaurant in the region. what's not to love?

saturday, 7 august

overheard: 'you're my hero' -brian

as you probably guessed, yesterday was a hangover day. went kinda buck wild on the going out thing thursday night. it was fun. john was there. ian left too early, but got a good night's sleep, so i can't complain. this all set the stage for a post dog-walking nap, which ended up lasting from about 9 am to 1 pm, when jack called from india and woke me up. after some breakfast and some lunch, i wandered down to the smithsonian, where i saw a collection of chinese statues of buddha. one of them had the most wonderful smile that i'd ever seen. i tried to find a picture online, but failed. after the statues, i talked to my mom on the phone for a bit and headed back to dupont circle. there, i had the good fortune of running into ian, so we did some errands together.

thursday, i forgot to mention the great news from my home state. you can (and really should) read the judge's decision here. very eloquent. very thorough. exactly what needs to be said to gay marriage opponents shooting from their hips. i simply don't understand opposition to gay marriage. for one thing, it really doesn't effect straight people at all. is it just our puritanical heritage which puts people's panties in a twist to control the lives of others? also, as a heads-up to any crazy conservatives who bother to read this: gay marriage is inevitable, no matter what the national review says. a few states--MA, VT, WA, CA, NY, perhaps--will begin the trickle. but the flood will follow. it's like economics. young, gay, intelligent people (e.g. me) have the freedom to live and work where we please. many of us will choose to live in states that protect us and our families. so will many young, nongay, intelligent people...they, believe it or not, support gay marriage and tend to frown on discrimination. tax dollars--both from these young intelligent people themselves, and from the companies that will hire them--will flow to the states where gay marriage exists. soon other states, noting the brain drain, the econonics, and the lack of social meltdown in the wake of gay marriage, will move to protect their own residents. and so the patchwork of gay marriage will spread. eventually, utah and alabama will cave. and i still won't move there. but this i can say: i personally have no interest in living in a jurisdiction which refuses to offer my family the legal protections offered to straight couples. so i hope washington stays on the ball, because i'd love to settle there.

today, i failed once again in my effort to go to the folger. monday, i tell you. i even have my bus pass for next week. but not my ticket to philly. maybe i'll do that now.

thursday, 5 august

overheard: 'his is thinner and shorter than yours.' -david, to joe, at the dinner table last night.

joe's birthday was a rousing success, i thought. went to the diner for the first time. ian doesn't like it. i didn't think it was so awful. saw savvas there. hadn't thought about that kid in years. ok. perhaps year. since i became his friendster. met ian's boyfriend david. seems like a nice guy. joe has a thing against architects, though.

only a month. i'd wish it away quickly, but i have a frightening amount of work to do between now and then. today i'm taking a break from the library to hang around joe's house and wait for his new dishwasher to be installed. then hopefully going with brian, jeremy, joe, ian and rob to cobalt. perhaps we can get john to come too. i hear he's in town. it would be good to see him.

the saddest news i have to share today is that i finished middlemarch last night. after about the first 200 pages, i loved every page more than the one before it. what an amazing novel. i was sceptical about dorothea at first, but she won me over like she winse everyone over. just one question, though. it's about casaubon's will. if the codicil required her to forfeit her inheritance on being married to ladislaw, what became of the estate? mostly, i'm hoping that sue will come to my aid, but really, anyone is welcome to answer. property lawyers? maybe i'll ask matt or dave.

wednesday, 4 august

happy birthday, joe!
overheard: 'he's a liar, though, so he's probably in new jersey.' -ian

well, my first evening here reminded me what dc is all about: sitting outside at 9 pm, not moving but still sweating. a lovely feeling. ian and i caught up on gtown gossip last night. very satisfying. this guy tim from our class at georgetown walked by, but he was my only known entity sighting...not like in february, when jack was convinced i knew everyone in this city.

today i'm waitng for joe's new dishwasher to be delivered, then i'm going back to the library to do some more work. they raised the price of a one-way metro ticket to $1.35! outrage! scandal! when i was your age, son, it was $1.10. alright, having already eaten and typed this up, i think it's time for me to go take a shower and get ready. why did i only bring one pair of shorts?! am i insane? time to go to the gap, i think.

can we pause for a moment and wonder at the audacity of the bush administration in issuing the most recent terror alret. memo to you guys: the alerts will become meaningless, as tools of either fear or protection, if they are consistently vague or misleading with regard to specifics. specifics include both location and timeframe. got it? ok. class dismissed.

tuesday, 3 august

overheard: 'it's so hard to swallow' -rachel, who's scandalous

wonder of wonders: there's free wifi at the folger. perhaps i don't mistrust them so much after all. this will make it much easier to keep updated while in dc. i've noticed, though, that there's no easy way to get from joe's condo to the folger...is there some conspiracy to keep the gays away from shakespeare? think about that, will you?

a huge dust storm delayed my departure from spokane by several hours last night. AMAZING. so much dust. and wind. pretty cool. on my sea-iad flight, the man sitting next to me gave me his pillow, so i slept the whole way. there was a minor fiasco getting on the bus into town from dulles, but i made it, and now i'm getting ready to work. by which i mean organizing manuscript references.

mmmmm...chipotle. and thanks to a special someone for calling me last night and lifting my mood.

monday, 2 august

overheard: 'he's tall, but really nice' -katie, who always seems to be saying things like that

let the countdown begin. i have a million errands to run today. and i'm going to be in trouble for leaving my room a mess when i head to DC tonight. but some things just happen that way. i'm going to lunch with my gramma at 12.30. i'm starving to death right now. i spoke to the accountant about my taxes and i need to go to the bank and get a new cell phone. not at the bank, though.

two run ins with the cops last night: first, a barbecue at my cousin kevin's house. i love my family. even the republicans. funny, eh? but i don't think i'd talked to kevin for so long in my entire life. it was really nice. and playing with his kids was so much fun. uncle steve, who turned 62 yesterday, kept dunking niko in the kiddy pool. great fun. later, as i was driving home (at a reasonable speed and stone cold sober) from dropping katie off at her house, i go pulled over on 29th. apparently one of the nissan's tail lights was out. but the officer was very nice. he said his best friend had gone to regis, and that he knew kevin. so no ticket for me. still got my adreniline pumping though

ok, off to dc! i don't know when i'll be able to update next. hopefully by wednesday. don't hold your breath, though.

sunday, 1 august

happy 62nd, uncle steve!
happy 59th, aunt marguerite!
overheard: 'it will come faster if it sits on its head' -jean

lake chelan is always pretty. i think the trip would have gone better, though, if a HUGE forest fire hadn't been threatening to burn down aaron's cabin. i've been angsty since i got back. there's a ton to do between now and when i leave for dc tomorrow evening. speaking of which: i don't know when i'll start having internet access there, so i'll try to update asap. same thing goes for email, though i'll try very hard to check that every day no matter what.

i had a dream last night that the spokane club installed one of those endless pools. brandon and i were playing in it. brandon and i are never responsible. but it's fun to play in a pool that has a current. or it was in my dream.

had dinner with aunt mary beth and uncle dave last night at milford's. very good sea bass. and tonight we're celebrating aunt marguerite and uncle steve's birthdays at kevin and kira's house. so that will be fun. but i really need to get to the gym, so that i can get started on packing. so that i can clean my room. so that i can go to dc tomorrow.


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