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tuesday, 30 august

quoted: i got nothin

on account of any number of significant hurdles: a full day of travel, homelessness waiting for me when i arrive, then a weddin this weekend in dorset followed by...trying to find a place to live.

add to that frustration about my lack of accommodation and you have me taking a little break from updates. check back maybe a week from today? enjoy labor day!

monday, 29 august

quoted: 'i have to read some things by aristotle...and pluto' -unnamed

the parents arrived home safely last night. we went for thai food at what was once linnie's thai, and then was that strange vietnamese place. it was very very good. they redecorated, and it feels much more open. and, like i said, the food was good.

yesterday afternoon i bought a six-pack of widmer hefeweizen and a six pack of mirror pond as a welcome gift for the new spokane JVs. when i went over to their house, though, no one was there. but i haven't drunk their beer. yet. i'll try again tonight.

we won't mention my homelessness in 4 days. at all.

i successfully packed yesterday, as well. very unlike me. but now i know that my mobile phone charger is MIA. where can it be? any ideas should be emailed to me. many thanks.

sunday, 28 august

quoted: 'sometimes the fastest way home is through the mud' -maria, ages ago

i have no good reason for having failed to update in recent days. two thirds of my family abandoned me to go to denver, so i've been holding down the fort all by myself. i haven't burned anything down yet, but there are still ten hours before my parents get home, so i'm not making any promises.

bekah was in town this weekend. hurrah. and i had a great foodie weekend. thursday i went to shenanigans with my grandmother for lunch and then to the elk for dinner with cindy and uncle steve. friday it was moxie for lunch with bekah and her mom. yesterday, breakfast was at the rooster (japanese/american) grill, which sounds weird but was actually very nice. and i topped the weekend off with a trip to the new latah bistro after mass last night with uncle mike and aunt marguerite. it was great. i started with a baby spinach salad with goat cheese and roasted pine nuts and then had a wild mushroom ravioli with a bacon cream sauce. it was delicious, and the perfect amount of food.

i dutifully finished drafting that chapter on wednesday, just as i had hoped, which has freed up my time one, to do preliminary editing (essentially just going through and identifying gaps and what i need to read to fill said gaps) and two, to become a walking ball of stress about where i'll be laying my head come thursday. college is jerking me around now, and it's a stupid bank holiday on stupid monday, so i'm really getting close to being homeless come thursday.

went to see the 40-year-old virgin friday night. it was actually better than i expected, though truly cringeworthy most of the time. spent four hours saturday morning help move the children's museum into its new home in river park square.

so now i think i'll pack and tidy up the house in anticipation of my parents' return. then i'll continue to worry about having a place to live.

wednesday, 24 august

overheard: 'this is totally off my want-to-do jobs list' -becky, of prostitution

i may leave a week from today, but there's a pretty good chance i'll finish the first (very very rough) draft of this chapter today. hurray hurray. i'm sorta in a rush to get out the door, though, so this is where i must say goodbye.

tuesday, 23 august

overheard: 'mom just told becky she has a big vagina. actually, that was me' -amanda

well, becky and bobbo head out for their two day drive to denver this morning. wish them luck. i, meanwhile, will be continuing to work my butt off to finish this crazy chapter. it's now 31 pages, single spaced. so that's encouraging.

i encourage all of you to read this op-ed piece in today's NYTimes about this absolutely absurd debate between evolution and intelligent design. as the author says, "From the scientific perspective, there is no debate. But even the illusion of a debate is a sorry victory for antievolutionists, a public relations victory based, as so many have been in recent years, on ignorance and obfuscation." did you know that 45% of americans believe that the world was created as described in the book of genesis? forty-five percent! that blows my mind. i simply cannot believe that. to quote the column once again, "This isn't a triumph of faith. It's a failure of education." so very true. and so very depressing.

in other news, um, the gaza pullout is complete, apparently. people keep whining about it, for no conceivable reason. and i've resolved to save at least 15% of my salary, if i ever have a salary. now i'm off to the gym.

monday, 22 august

overheard: 'when the phone rings, you answer it' -mom, to dad

things of note:
- i had good dreams last night, but my neck hurt in the morning
- jon jon is the cutest child in history
- today becky found the biggest spider i've ever seen in the house. it's still lurking somewhere.
- i knew two people at the gym today
- i need to go get another part of jack's birthday present
- i'm going to spend the afternoon at the GU law library doing "work"

that is all for now. perhaps there will be a more substantial update tomorrow, when i'll be an only child. hurrah.

sunday, 21 august

overheard: 'please don't ever touch me and say those things at the same time' -katie, to her brother-in-law jeremy

i slept surprisingly well last night, all things considered. it was a very pleasant night. and yesterday was a long day, filled with a double baptsim, brunch, and dinner out before heading to a small get together at katie's older sister's house.

still, yesterday driving from the baptism to my godparents' house for brunch, my brother and i were behind a black truck that ran over a little dog. very upsetting. the black truck didn't stop, leaving bobbo and i the responsibility of pulling over, getting the poor little guy over to the side of the road, and petting him as he died. then we had to find a neighbor who knew who owned him, since he had no tags. it was an awful thing to watch, and i hope i never have to see anything like it again. i have seveely admonished guster not to go out by himself, but he's not always the best listener.

today, i'm continuing to work on my paper (how on earth is it only 10 days until i go back to england?). if i can finish drafting it by thursday or friday, i'll be a happy camper. and then i can go through it and identify the spots that need background research and identify where the books i need are, so that i can get it done as quickly as possible once i'm back at school.

friday, 19 august

happy 55th birthday, dad!!
overheard: 'i'd rather have a cereal sale' -mom, on the prospect of the rest of her kids leaving home in the next two weeks.

so i haven't had much success reading novels since i finished harry potter a month ago. which really isn't very surprising. it happened after the last harry potter, too. i'm not having any trouble plowing through nonfiction. but i've tried to pick up several good books in the past month with no success. gotta get out of this rut. but maybe i'll wait to try again until this chapter is finished.

this chapter, by the bye, is coming along satisfactorily. it won't be done by the time i go back (it's impossible to write a proper chapter when the 400 books one has read are nowhere to be found), but it will be in a completable state. it will also, i think, be the best chapter so far. and it will help me rewrite and restructure my other chapters to make my D.Phil thesis (read PhD dissertation, or as katie calls it: 'one big paper') passable.

speaking of katie, i worked at starbucks with her yesterday. it's always wonderful to see her, even under somber circumstances.

thursday, 18 august

overheard: 'i feel like he'd make grammar jokes i wouldn't understand' -julie marie

thanks to JML for giving me a call last night. it's always great to talk to her. especially about her new dog and her new date. but she definitely stays up to late. and bern: a tattoo?!

i'm lost without the note. i still read the papers and all, but i just can't get excited about it. maybe it's the return of maureen dowd, whose columns all increasingly seem identical to me. maybe it's that i just can't bring myself to get worked up about this unilateral withdrawl from gaza by the israeli government: it seems like the only reasonable course of action, and i don't understand why all these jewish settlers are all surprised, let alone incensed. maybe it's that i think john g roberts will make a fine supreme court justice. maybe it's just that time of year.

i am really worked up about it already being the 18th of august, though. i leave for england in 13 days. i still have no real place to live this year. and i haven't finished this chapter yet. but it will all work out, right?

wednesday, 17 august

overheard: 'you don't have sex with a priest in the next room. even if it's your brother' -you just guess

apparently the note really is on vacation for a bit. sad sad day.

i really don't have that much to say. it's awfully rainy out today. i'm going to stay here to do my work, i think. so, um, yeah. there it is

tuesday, 16 august

overheard: 'bobbo, i could bench press you if you had a bar' -aaron

just a quick update today, as i'm very excited to get myself to the library and work. yes. excited. as some of you may know, my sources give me no end of difficulty in my attempts to tell a coherent story. they'll give hints of what's going on without nearly enough context, and disclosing neither the origins nor the resolution of a situation.

imagine, then, how thrilled i was yesterday afternoon. the repertories of the court of aldermen (essentially the minutes of the london city council) include about ten referrences to a 1570s lawsuit between the city and 'certen places pretending exemption from the said cities liberties'. as i was deciphering the progression of the case, i noted with some regret that the repertories don't give any indication of what decision was reached by the lord chief justices of england in the case.

i know, of course, that they didn't rule in favour of london, but only because nothing changed. then it struck me that lansdowne manuscript 155 at the british library includes a late 1570s survey of the government of whitefriars and blackfriars. i found my notes for that manuscript, and sure enough...it seems to be related to the case. so the lansdowne manuscripts were, back in the day, the papers of william cecil, lord burghley, who happened also to be a member of the privy council. so i check my notes on the acts of the privy council, and sure enough...there are notes on the beginning and the end of this lawsuit.

in conclusion: i'm a nerd, but i'm an excited nerd. hurrah!

monday, 15 august

overheard: dad: weren't you quoted in the newspaper for teaching masturbation?
unnamed aunt: i was advocating it.

yes yes. four days of neglecting to update. the thing was, i went to seattle for my cousin angela's wedding. which was great fun. we also went to a mariners' game on friday night, which would have been more fun if they didn't stink at that game. but oh well. i still got to spend an evening with 23 relatives and a great view of the seattle skyline. and we all know how much i like a good skyline.

i was mighty hung over yesterday, and i'll tell you why. the wedding saturday was very very early (11 am). before the wedding, we had brunch at my aunt and uncle's house, and afterwards (maybe about 12.30) the reception began at the waterfront grill, which offered amazing food and way too much beer for my own good. plus, with the amazing weather saturday, the view out to puget sound and the olympic mountains was downright fabulous. post-reception there were two afterparties, one at the bride's parents' house and another at an irish pub. then it was off on a bar crawl with some spokane friends who were in town for the weekend. 13 hours of drinking later, i passed out at the hotel. thus the hangover.

i've really gotta get to the gym and start working. more tomorrow?

ps - anyone notice that it's democrat week in seattle? (what week isn't?) from the note's 'week ahead' today:

  • Also on Tuesday, the Washington State Democratic Party will hold their 12th annual Warren G. Magnuson with special guest Senator John Edwards in Seattle, WA.
  • John Edwards will also join Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) to headline the kickoff event for the Progressive Legislative Action Network gathering, Seattle, WA.
  • The National Conference of State Legislatures Annual Meeting and Exhibition gets underway on Tuesday in Seattle, WA.
  • John Kerry addresses the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee in Seattle, WA on Friday.

    wednesday, 10 august

    overheard: 'practically perfect people never permit sentiment to muddle their thinking.' -mary poppins

    just a short update today. as you know, i've never been really freaked out by supreme court nominee john g roberts. he's catholic, after all, and not a crazy catholic like mel gibson, claire short or pat buchannan. i get that he's conservative, but he still seems like a reasonable man and a responsible jurist. nevertheless, i was relieved to read about his concerns about the behaviour of the congress in the terry schiavo case.

    in happier news, i downloaded everyone's favourite romanian dance hit, 'dragostea din tei'. and y'all should go watch the japanese flash video for it, which is hilarious enough for those of us who don't speak japanese, but is apparently even better if you do. reminds me a bit of the infamous yatta.

    tuesday, 9 august

    overheard: 'i don't mind if they're having sex in the driveway. if there's alcohol there, i expect him to leave' -mama, on the party robert went to last night.

    well, jack made it back to london safely yesterday. that's good news. and i made it up to the gym in 95 degree heat. which was no small feat. thanks to julie for offereing answers to sunday's questions. any others are welcome. we're specifically still curious about the walmart/nytimes overlap. any answers can be emailed via the link to the right. thanks in advance.

    oh. julie also recommends this website, leading me to wonder whether she saw said wall thing when she was in israel in june.

    i must say that i think this op-ed piece by irshad manji in today's NYTimes is absolutely brilliant. my favorite part: 'Neither the watery word "tolerance" nor the slippery phrase "mutual respect" will cut it as a guiding value. Why tolerate violent bigotry? Where's the "mutual" in that version of mutual respect? Amin Maalouf, a French-Arab novelist, nailed this point when he wrote that "traditions deserve respect only insofar as they are respectable - that is, exactly insofar as they themselves respect the fundamental rights of men and women."' i think ms manji is generally an amazing human being, and i'm very jealous of my friend henry for having had the opportunity to sit down with her.

    e j dionne's WaPo column, which focuses on bush's poll number, should be read hand-in-hand with the op-chart in the NYTimes. mr dionne includes the standard caveat about the dangers of underestimating the president's political resilience. but i'm beginning more and more to think such resilience is the combined result of the president's stubborness, karl rove's mud-wallowing, and (mostly) the complete and total apathy of the american people. icky.

    monday, 8 august

    overheard: 'there aren't enough funerals in the world' -one of the million what not to wear episodes i watched yesterday.

    i did, however, miss the trashy, guilty pleasure of footballers' wives. ah, well. allison D came over for dinner again, and brought a lovely selection of beers. really, the rest of the day was rather boring. i can't even recall what i did. oh. i wrote a couple transition paragraphs for my chapter. after the gym today, i'll continue to work on that bad boy. i cleaned my room a little. and that's about it.

    something i forgot to mention yesterday. twice on sunday, i was asked whether i played football. on separate occasions by different people. does that mean i look fat?

    sunday, 7 august

    overheard: 'do gay bars have ladies' restrooms?' -bo

    inspired by my younger brother's spirit of inquiry, i present to you the questions i have asked in the past day or so (some are easier to answer than others, i suppose):

    almost 1.7 million copies of the new york times are sold each sunday. walmart has 1.6 million "associates" (read "serfs"). to what extent to those two populations overlap? what about the overlap between regular walmart customers and NYTimes readers?

    where was the london real world house?

    at what point does the situation in subsaharan africa cross the line from "famine" to "just not self-sufficient in the production of food"? is that line more easily crossed in the modern era of air-lifted poptarts?

    what sort of sick irony was evolution (and/or god) entertaining by making 20ish year olds so darn hot? i know its largely cultural, but i don't think three in a thousand would make good parents.

    on a related note, why do people not like getting older? is it really that bad? it seems like if one works it right, it can come with a lot of wisdom and a lot of dignity.

    does being a huge nerd make me seem slightly charming or slightly sad?

    can i go to royal ascot next year? what about henley and wimbledon? england is so wonderful in the summer.

    how has the dollar been faring in the international currency market since china decided to stop fixing the yuan to it?

    okay. that was fun. i could update you on my life, but i think not. let's do this again sometime. mwah. mwah.

    saturday, 6 august

    overheard: 'bad culture=dead babies' -brian to the rhodes listserv

    there's a debate raging right now on the rhodes list about whether all cultures are equally valid. or valuable. but it's also kinda about whether western democracies should boot out assylum seekers who proceed to call for terrorism against western democracy.

    but enough on serious topics. last night i watched a show on TLC about lottery winners. one guy was particularly heinous. he seemed to think that having a lot of money meant he had to fill his way-too-big house with expensive ugly sh*t. it was really bad. his dining room table was this hideoud, colourful sculpture of dolphins springing forth, with jets of water. on their noses they were holding the huge glass tabletop. with pride he said, "this table cost more than my previous house". shudder.

    this morning, meanwhile, i took katie to the airport a bit before six. my mom came to wake me up at 5.30, to which i think i responded to her, "sharp pointy sticks". whatever that means. so katie has left, anyway. won't see her until christmas. sad day. coming back down the sunset hill, however, downtown was draped in a light fog. it was very pretty. i love fog. especially summer fog.

    got back from dropping katie off at about 6.30. then to the gym and now i've already made some brownies. so now i just have to scrounge up some breakfast. i'm staaaaahving.

    friday, 5 august

    overheard: 'there's an omosessuale village?' -mambo italiano which was both adorable and occasionally heartbreaking.

    so apparently bob novak is completely nuts. no surprise there. this roberts gay rights case thing seems to be coming to a boil. as the note points out, it's above the fold on the front page of the new york times today (although the washington times--aka the GOP daily--buries it in the 11th paragraph of a story on rehnquist's health. yeah.

    short update today because i'v got work to do. more later on my fear of failure.

    thursday, 4 august

    overheard: i gots nothin

    so i've only been awake for a quarter of an hour, but already today is shaping up to be pretty darn good. for one thing, i woke up before 8 am. that's always a good sign. it's in the mid 60s right now, and i didn't wake up to the sound of a truck backing up. this all makes me happy.

    even more importantly, i won't be homeless for the first few weeks after i get back to oxford. i got an email from the secretary to the tutor for graduates today saying she'd do her best to find me a room for a few weeks starting september first. during those few weeks, i'll be able to track down an actual place to live. hurrah.

    on to politics. i think wonkette is brilliant as always. even more brilliant is the op-ed piece by jim wallis in today's new york times. he hits the nail square on the head. i was chatting with a republican (I KNOW!) the other evening, telling him how icky karl rove is, and how any sensible human being would be turned off by rove's ruthless pursuit of politics over principles. he claimed that it's just the way the game is played, and that sincce both parties do it, it's not so bad. now, i think that's both hogswash and not good enough. i mean, maybe the democrats would do so if they had anyone as good/soulless as rove. but they don't. and it's really not what they need.

    yeah, it would have helped the democrats last november if kerry could have articulated even the simplest policy initiatives (or opinions, for that matter). but you know what would have helped them more? a distinct vision of where america should be headed, and a principled approach to steering our country there. you can try your hardest to market a product that doesn't exist, but you're gonna run into trouble. and that's why jim wallis rocks.

    it's also why the democratic leadership conferrence needs to roll over and play dead. or die. one or the other. i was telling that republican (I KNOW!) that. well, actually i was telling him that i find the DLC about as tiresome as the second amendment. i'm sure they both matter to certain people, but i honestly can't be bothered to care about either of them. they're extraneous to my political reality.

    one last thing. anyone see this story in today's LA times? i mean, i'm not saying it's the best news ever, but it's better than no news on this front, eh?

    wednesday, 3 august

    overheard: 'he must be from the north side' -becky, to me, watching a dirtbike rider attack the mounds of eart on the torn up street in front of our house

    i've started to specialise in travel nightmares. normally they're about showing up late for the airport, or showing up at the wrong airport. i've never had a safety-related travel nightmare, just planning nightmares. last night i had a new one: after i put most of my stuff in storage in oxford, i was in such a rush to get to heathrow that i forgot to do any further packing. halfway across the atlantic, i realised that i'd left all my clothing and all my luggage in my room.

    i woke up and looked in my closet, of course.

    did i mention that yesterday i tried to get a haircut, only to fail? well, i did. so i went searching for a gift for jack, which i also failed to do. but i'm thinking perhaps my gift idea may be easier to procure in london. what's not? anyway, i ended up in the gap, where i found a shirt that i had liked earlier in the summer, but which i had thought was a bit steep at $54. lo and behold, it was marked down to $6.97! so i bought it. with cash! and life was good.

    allison D came over for dinner and judging last night. great fun. we watched a (very very old) british what not to wear followed by brand new you. tonight is the premier of trailer fabulous on MTV at 10pm. you know i'll be watching.

    tuesday, 2 august

    congrats to my cousin michelle on the birth of her 2nd child, carter!
    overheard: 'it's just bobbo in a chicken head' -emmy, when we tried to scare the pee out of her

    gym today was rather disappointing. my attention span there was abnormally short. perhaps it was the lack of fitties. probably.

    the party last night was great, thanks in large part to uncle mike going outside to ask the construction workers if they could finish up early on account of said party, which they very considerately did. jeff's cooking was wonderful. robert is now in trouble for taking the two remaining chicken avocado wraps to work with him. boo. but happy birthday to aunt marguerite and uncle steve.

    those who know me well will be aware of my deep distrust for the city of boise (and, indeed, the entire state of idaho). in the interest of full disclosure i should mention of never been there. i've seen pictures, though, and heard countless times what a "livable" city it is. but i've seen pictures. it looks like spokane only dried out. and, as i realised today, there are no jesuits in boise. does that seem odd to anyone else? there are apparently seven high schools in boise, sx public and one diocesan catholic. but no jesuits. seems fishy to me. and not at all livable.

    speaking of the society of jesus, my aunt told me an adorable story yesterday: a young boy tell his mother "i want to be a jesuit when i grow up," to which she responded, "i'm afraid you can't do both." ha. haha.

    monday, 1 august

    overheard: 'i've eaten watermelons bigger than that [baby]' -beckers

    ok. i'm trying to wrap my mind around its being august now. having some trouble, though. i bought some jeans yesterday. ran into some random acquaintances at the rack. told them how much i liked shopping in spokane. they looked at me like i was mad. but as i told them, where else can a medium-sized person find nice things on sale at really cheap prices? in spokane, no one knows the difference between diesel and quicksilver jeans. and that makes my life better.

    sounds like julie and oliver are having a good go of it. she's taking him on the T today. sounds like an adventure. i hope photos were taken.

    i've got two birthday parties today: brunch for my uncle steve and then a party at our house this evening for my godmother. hurrah. i'm not very hungry, though. maybe i will be once we get to the restaurant.

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