Sunday, November 30, 2008

Girlfriend Is Better

Hello, my vittles. It's been a while, hasn't it? You shouldn't have stayed up waiting for me. Don't worry, there are more Adventures from Ireland; but honestly, I'm thinking of just posting some of the pictures on Facebook and letting you, the reader, deduce such Adventures as you will. A picture is worth a thousand words, so 50+ should be worth 4-5 more blog posts. Right?

I'm writing from my parents' house right now. Michigan. Today was a perfect day. I spent the morning editing some of my Ireland pictures on the computer, and when I looked outside our yard had been transformed into a Winter Wonderland. So we spent the rest of the day drinking wine and decorating the Christmas tree. Did you have a nice Thanksgiving? Seriously, I don't care.

Parents' home is nice, but Home Is Better. Here are some things I'm missing about my apartment in St Paul:

* My own bed (foam mattress = Space Age technology)
* The Complete 1-7 Seasons of The West Wing on DVD
* Doing the dishes whenever I damn well feel like it (or rather, NOT doing the dishes UNTIL I damn well feel like it)
* Completing all my errands by 11:00 am
* Porn - sweet, glorious porn
* People who get "The Office" references

There's probably some other stuff. I'll let you know when I get there.

This has nothing to do with anything:

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Adventures in Ireland: The Land of Rainbows

They (yes, the omniscient "they") call Ireland The Emerald Isle, and truly 'tis. But perhaps a more fitting label would be The Land of Rainbows. Never in my life have I seen so many rainbows, either in quality or sheer volume; and I suspect I never will again. I was so struck by them, I started to write a poem. They hath moved me to poetry! Here's a snippet:

I think that I shall never see
A poem as the rainbows I saw in Ireland.

Yes, the arc of the rainbow is long, but it bends towards Ireland.

On the western side of the island country, where the weather alternates between rain and sun every fifteen minutes, one is bombarded with rainbow after rainbow: full and clear and spectacular rainbows. They burst out of the sea when you stand by the cliffs and fill the fields like the St Louis Arch when you drive across the western countryside; you can drive under them; you can see rainbows on top of rainbows; sometimes they're so close you swear that if you ran fast enough you could reach out and touch them. If you like rainbows, and you like beer, then you should go to Ireland, because they've got 'em both.

The bad news is, not once did I see a pot of gold at the end of any of them. I'm starting to think that's just a myth perpetrated by the pro-rainbow lobby.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

To Win Would Be An Awfully Big Adventure

And so it begins. Are you ready for it? We've changed things, forever. There's no going back.

Last night we all bore witness; we watched as the final realization of America's promise blossomed as it never has before. We watched as inspiration persevered over prejudice and discovered it knows no color or creed, but is bound only by the vision of eloquence.

History has taught us that so often our darkest hours redouble as our finest, or else give birth to them. And there are great challenges ahead that face us: two wars against terrorism, an economy in crisis, and a nation divided even as our moral authority erodes. These challenges are great, but they are neither unprecedented nor insurmountable, so long as we are armed with hope in our hearts and carry American fellowship in our arsenal; their remedies will be long, but they cannot eclipse this moment. They are challenges that will be here tomorrow. Today we have earned ourselves the one small pleasure of a moment's respite, to savor that which was won, not in one night, not in one year, but through the persistent struggles of history.

Now let's just hope he doesn't fuck it up.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Voing Rites

I just came back from voting. Every first Tuesday in November I wake up early and perform my duty as a U.S. citizen: I bear arms. Then I go vote. I was initially going to vote for Barack Obama, but after seeing how incredibly stiff and awkward and utterly unfunny John McCain and Sarah Palin were last night on SNL I decided to change my vote. My favorite part was when Sarah Palin said after two whole months - TWO WHOLE MONTHS! - of 20-hour days campaigning she was ready for a break. In no particular order:

1. Sweetheart, Barack has been campaigning like 10 times longer than that.
2. Bush's precedent notwithstanding, how many hours a day did you think you'd be working when you became vice-prez?
3. It doesn't sound like Sarah Palin expects to have a new job tomorrow if she's already talking about a break.

Let's focus on that last one a little bit more. Honestly, I urge you to watch the clip. 'Twas a beautiful moment: Sarah Palin, bereft, robbed, denied of any of the folksy charm some claimed she once possessed. I've said when I look in John McCain's eyes I can see he's a tragic figure. When I looked Sarah Palin's eyes last night, I could see she knew: she was beaten; she knew she was a loser.

Since Sarah Palin in this presidential election seemed to look down on Barack Obama, let me explain to her what being Barack Obama is like. I guess it's sort of like being Sarah Palin, except that you actually win national elections.

Election Day always holds special significance for me, because it was on Election Day in 2004 that I stated my first blog. Back then I suggested they replace the ubiquitous "I Voted" stickers with the sexier, more hype "Kiss Me, I Voted."

Monday, November 03, 2008

Adventures in Ireland: God I Fucking Love Business Class

God I fucking love Business Class. Have you ever flown it? Then you are missing out. You know when people say something is like discovering there's no Santa? This was like discovering there IS a Santa. Free booze, movies on demand (although when a guy finds himself watching Mamma Mia we maybe should be questioning their selection), LAZ-E-Boy recliners, bathrooms reserved for "security reasons," and did I mention the free alcohol?

There's a cruel irony when flying Business Class, because you're trapped between the desire to sleep, thereby taking full advantage of Business Class's greatest asset (the fully reclining chair), and staying awake to savor each glorious second in full, unadulerated consciousness. Bon appetit.

There was only one thing hindering my full enjoyment. Looking around the cabin I could see a few couples smooching by the windows, and I couldn't help but think how much more this experience would be enhanced if it could be shared with D.G. Holding the hand of the woman you love whilst reclining in aviation style, it must be hard for an individual not to muse to himself, "My God, I am so completely and utterly The Shit."

But seriously, you guys: God I fucking love Business Class.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Circle Yes If You Like Me

This post is not about Ireland. What ever happened to the love letter? Do people write them anymore? I'm not talking about a smoochy email. I'm talking about something you would see in a Ken Burns documentary, with a moving soundtrack and hearty voice actor. I'm talking about the type of letter in which the author wields words of imagery like a scalpel:

My dearest Zelda,

The merest warmth of your breath is to me as a raging fire to a man who has wasted his life wandering through Artic winters, so greatly do I yearn for you; the cruel pleasure of my desire is a double-edge sword that cuts me ever deeper with each day we two are further apart. How I wish to make my heart an open book to you, so that with each new word you might that much better understand the fullest nature of my affections (the word itself offers few too letters for an emotion so immense) and my fundamental hope for its happy return. As a dog must hunt and a bird needs must sing, so too was I constructed for the overwhelming and singular purpose of wanting you; it is God’s work we weave.

Yours In Every Manner,

A friend of mine once sent a girl a poem that asserted, "Your eyes are shooting stars in a galaxy of stationary objects." Win.

In the Olden Days men were schooled in the poetry of prose and "the ways of courtship." Did you know King George III sailed his bride up the river Thames to music that was specially composed? Some would label that an opulent waste of resouces. Others call it romance.

Nowadays men only account for 20 percent of readers. WTF? I ask you. W. T. F. You can't wield the weapons if you don't know the arsenal.

I think the real reason for the decline of the love letter is technology. When I was in middle school there was a young girl with whom I would "correspond." She would send me these loose-leaf pages in her own flowing script. I would type mine out and print them off. I typed them because I have the handwriting of a five-year-old and a letter is only effective if the recipient can read it. But I realized there's a certain romance lost in receiving a typed letter--more akin to getting your third notice of delinquent payment than a promise of affection and fidelity.

If you plan on writing a love letter, may I suggest starting a blog for the particular purpose? Look at this blog. Wouldn't you want to receive some glowing words with that lighthouse in the upper left? It's like stationary. What if I wrote it in this cutesy font? I started a test blog wth that purpose, and I don't want to brag, but I think I swept MYSELF off my feet.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Prodigal Son Returns

Hello, my friends. It is I! I have at last returned from m two-week sojourn across the wilds of Ireland and the streets of London-town. Lots of fun stuff happened in the Old Country and I imagine I'll be writing about some of it. But right now I've been awake for almost 24 hours straight and I imagine I'll be awake for a couple more. So this is where I bid you adieu. Until we meet again, good friends.