Friday, September 29, 2006

You have no civil liberties if you're dead

Or, apparently, if George Bush unilaterally decides that you have "supported hostilities against the United States." Wonder what that means. I guess only he knows. (Oh and folks? Read the bill. It applies to U.S. citizens, and not just U.S. citizens abroad, as if that would make it any better.)

I am so angry today. I had a long, angry post written, but instead I shall defer to the Onion, which had this whole thing figured out in December, 2002.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's that time of year again

Banned Books Week, kids.

I come from the kind of family where, had any book been banned or restricted by my school, both of my parents would probably have rushed to purchase it for me simply to poke a finger in the eye of the censors. Trying to conjure up the image of either of my parents writing a missive to the school board demanding the removal of any books sends me into fits of irrepressible giggles.

Both of my parents are book freaks, and they passed it on to me. My mother has shelves upon shelves of history-related books. When I stay at her place, I know I always have access to various historical biographies to read in the bathtub. (This time it was George Washington.)

Bloggerdad has a whole room full of books on this or that topic. During my youth, it was a ritual to go to dinner and browse a bookstore after. He was, on the whole, unmoved by any request that he purchase me consumer goods to satisfy a whim, but he never (and I really mean never) turned down a request that he buy me a book.

So naturally, neither of them ever presumed to restrict my reading materials, certainly past the age of 10. There's only one thing that comes close. When I was 17 or so, I grabbed the book "The Writer's Art" by James Kilpatrick and waved it at my Dad, which was shorthand for "how 'bout you spring for this here book?" He glanced at it and said, weakly, "Kilpatrick? Kilpatrick?"

But he bought it anyway. It's downstairs right now.

In that spirit, I'm going to go right now to buy Trailhead Kid a banned book. I think I'll go with "And Tango Makes Three."

I'm back

I have returned from Indiana. I'm lucky I was able to fit into a commercial airline seat, and that my sister didn't have to roll me home. Indiana, you see, is where I go to eat the midwestern comfort food that eludes me most of the time. Only Full Moon knows how many fried biscuits coated with apple butter that I stuffed into the gaping maw that was my mouth on Sunday afternoon. (And she won't tell because I know lots of stuff about her, too.)

Problem is, I did admit to a number of people how much of my mother's spaghetti pie I ate. And my nine-year-old nephew watched in horror as I finished off my birthday cake on Sunday morning. The 1.5 mile hike I took in Brown County State Park on Sunday afternoon only began to make amends for my gluttonous behavior last week.

But I'm back in the land of fresh fish, apples and hazelnuts, not to mention mountains. And it's fall, and the weather is glorious, so I'll be putting on my hiking shoes soon.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Trailhead Kid has a birthday

Holy cow, he's four freakin' years old. The baby boy who covered his bits with his hands so the ultrasound tech couldn't tell what we were having, this little dude who landed in my life and complicated everything, this baby who had visited 26 states before his second birthday, is now a little boy. I don't know quite what to do with that, but I imagine it's a little easier than what has befallen my parents. They've just had their youngest turn 36.

He's getting a bike this evening. It's red. Mr. T and I stood, mouths agape, staring at it last night.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Yes, I Am Evil (or, Where did the Last Hour Go?)

You've been warned. You will, without doubt, be addicted quickly.


Post your best times in the comments.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Goodbye, Ann Richards

Former Texas Governor Ann Richards died tonight of esophageal cancer.


In remembrance, I'd like to bring you some of my favorite Ann Richards quotes:

“Poor George [Bush], he can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”

"Oh, I would probably have raised more hell." (When asked what she would have done differently had she known she'd have only one term as governor.)

"I have always had the feeling I could do anything and my dad told me I could. I was in college before I found out he might be wrong. "

“I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back.”

On how to be a good Republican: "1. You have to believe that the nation's current 8-year prosperity was due to the work of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, but yesterday's gasoline prices are all Clinton's fault. 2. You have to believe that those privileged from birth achieve success all on their own. 3. You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.”

“Let me tell you, sisters, seeing dried egg on a plate in the morning is a lot dirtier than anything I've had to deal with in politics.”

We're poorer without her.

A good day

This morning I will really set about getting my black bear footage off the camera and onto youtube. It's pretty neat, so I'll hop to it. But meanwhile, here's some Montana porn:

I let Mr. T tool around in my kayak, after I'd paddled about half the length of Lake McDonald.

TK up at Logan Pass looking like a little Jawa.

The bear, when he was still far away. He didn't stay that far away!

TK in McDonald Creek, out of his cloak. It's a lot warmer down there.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Commence Polack jokes

You scored as Poland. Your army is Poland's army. Your tenacity will form a concept in the history of your nation and you're also ready to continue fighting even if your country is occupied by the enemy. Other nations that are included in this category are Greece, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands.





Soviet Union


France, Free French and the Resistance


British and the Commonwealth




United States






In which World War 2 army you should have fought?
created with

Idiocy of the day

Is it just me, or would this break Steve Irwin's heart?

Oh, the irony. The little bit of intelligence and emotion we have on the rest of the animal world sometimes reveals the indifference of nature as the peak of rationality.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Then and now

Fine, everyone else is posting on it, so I'd probably be remiss not to do so myself.

Five years ago this morning I woke up, flipped on the radio and heard what had happened. As I got into the shower, I looked at Mr. T and said, "You ever heard of Osama bin Laden? You have now." This had to be him.

I went to work, where nothing was going on except lawyers wandering the hallways aimlessly, stopping in to one office or another to exchange blank stares or short words. The courts closed that morning, and the federal building in town closed as well. I remember worrying about Wasteland, who was working in a federal government office at the time, Mr. T's brother, who's always traveling to NYC, and all my law school classmates who'd gone to work in New York City.

Two senior partners took me and another associate to lunch; lines that were normally rigidly maintained broke down briefly.

How do I feel today? Well, I could go on for days about that if the disgust wouldn't well up in my throat, requiring a detour to the bathroom. So I'll let these people say it for me.

The people who did this accomplished what they set out to do, I'm afraid. Not just the killing of so many innocents, but the mangling of a people, of hope, of a system of governance that had sustained for so long and through so many other terrible trials. And it's still too early to tell whether we'll survive it.

So you can see why I'd rather post about black bears and houses tucked away in the north woods, where the deer visit the corral at sunset and the night is sweetly silent.

September Wildlife Report

3 black bears
6 wild turkeys (birds, not bottles)
1 frog
2 grouse
2 ground squirrels
1 bighorn sheep
1 hummingbird
1 pack rat
innumerable white-tail deer, including one 8-point buck

Not bad. That'll happen when you visit Glacier in early September.

I'm here for the week until Saturday, then TK and I are off on our annual trek to the midwest for my continuing legal ed seminar, and family-and-friend time.

Friday, September 08, 2006

My 36th birthday: bears, snotty grass and smart-ass husbands

Mr. T's birthday isn't until September 20, which gives him 13 days every year to crow about how he's married to an older woman. Blah, blah, blah, now shut the fuck up.

Actual conversation this morning at the La Quinta Inn in Kalispell, Montana:

Mr. T: It's 7:30! We have one day left in Glacier. Let's get up!

Me: Mpffffmf.

Mr. T (leaning in closer): You know, I've noticed something since I've been married to an older woman. You don't seem to have the energy you used to.

Me: Or it could just be that you're a succubus and are draining it all away from me.

We old bitches still have the comebacks handy, even when we're half asleep.

Yesterday was nice, though the schedule was altered a bit by a dog. We originally planned to leave for Glacier Wednesday afternoon, and spend my entire birthday there. But on Wednesday morning, Lovable Mutt began to cough, wheeze, bleed from the nose and otherwise appear to be in respiratory distress. We were concerned enough to call the only vet in town, who did not have an appointment available until 9:00 am on my birthday. So we pushed back our plans, and decided to leave right after the vet and come back Friday evening.

Then, very early Thursday morning, Lovable Mutt began to raise a major ruckus, wheezing and sneezing and pawing madly at her nose. I got up to check on her. Lo and behold, she had about an inch-long piece of grass hanging out her left nostril. Because there was no other choice, I grabbed it and yanked out what turned out to be a seven-inch long piece of grass. She sneezed once more, shook her head a little and went immediately back to sleep.

Well, no wonder.

So. My first act after turning 36 was pulling a piece of snotty grass out of my dog's nose. No doubt this bodes well for the year.

On the other hand, late yesterday afternoon we spent 20 minutes watching a black bear cram his gullet full of berries in Glacier National Park. As soon as we figure out how to get the footage from the digital video camera, I'll youtube it here for you.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I think y'all might be in some trouble, George

Conversation between three old men in cowboy hats overheard in a cafe in a small northwestern Montana town. The cowboys are watching one of Bush's security speeches.

Old cowboy #1: George Bush. We need a Democrat.

Old cowboy #2: He was one of the nicest men we'd ever had in office.

Old cowboy #3 (incredulous): George W. Bush? You kiddin' me?

Old cowboy #2: Oh, George W? I thought you were talkin' about his father. Hell, no.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Crikey. He was a beautiful creature.

Apparently Steve Irwin has been killed off the coast of Australia. I distinctly remember watching one of his specials in the summer of 1997 -- I think it was Ten Most Dangerous Snakes or some such thing -- and thinking "this guy is insane, but he's gonna be huge." Mr. T, with all his phobia of crocs and reptiles, watched Steve Irwin with a sort of horrified but admiring fascination. (He even dressed up as Irwin for one of our annual Halloween costume parties one year.)

Irwin is one of those guys who, crazy as he seems while he's waxing eloquent over the crocodile he's standing next to, make the world a better place just by knowing he's in it. So wildly passionate about animals and conservation, you just knew progress was being made, and people were being educated.

I hope this isn't true. Australian authorities have been unable to confirm it so far.

Update: CNN is reporting that the Queensland Police Services is confirming Irwin's death.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Goodbye cruel world, I'm going to Montana

As soon as my jet-lagged husband wakes up. Well, actually, tomorrow morning.

TK and I went to the zoo yesterday.

Hello little meerkat!

And here's what TK acted like most of the day:

You certainly couldn't expect me to resist an elephant's ass, could you?