The 36 hours are up.

We bid on Door No. 2, a perfectly acceptable house that is, as a very serious plus, far less costly than the one we really lusted for. Alas, it was not to be. We crunched the numbers until they lay in a panting heap at our feet, and ended up with: We could do it, but it will take every dime we have. I’ve always tried to make the required things in adult life — job, house, parental responsibilities — fit the more fun parts of adult life — being able to freely curse in one’s office, taking your kid to a bar, and having a house that we own, rather than vice versa.

Thanks for all your support. Until this morning, I thought we could swing it. Then the Realtor called with his best estimate of the annual property taxes on the perfect place; they would be, almost to the penny, precisely what we pay in a year for our principle, interest, taxes and insurance on the house we live in now. Just for the taxes. Urp. That finished it off.

The runner-up is in the same school district. The house is lovely, and looks just like the one I grew up in. It’ll do fine.

And now I’m sick of the whole topic. I think we kissed 24 frogs in two days, and got two princes. I’m sick of the smell of paint and hearing, “It wouldn’t be a bad place, if you redid the kitchen.” Bleah. Offer’s being made as we speak. I’ll keep you posted.

My senator is on NPR as we speak, too. He’s taking the brave, radical stand that the war in Iraq is going badly (although he was an early supporter). He keeps calling the interviewer by name — pronouncing it the way she does, “Mee-shell” — something that always gives me the creeps. It’s so Dale Carnegie, although one of my best friends does it all the time, and for him, I think it’s a memory trick he uses. However, my senator was once brilliantly described by one of his (losing) opponents something like this: “You get the idea if you peeled off his face you’d find wires underneath.” Dead on.

Oh, but it was a good day. I think any day in a week where we get to watch yet another meltdown of a family-values conservative is a good one. I’m speaking, of course, of Bernie Kerik and, to a lesser extent, his ex-girlfriend, Judith Regan.

One of these days, you think, there’ll stop being such a good living in family-values hypocrisy, but not likely soon.

Speaking of which, I liked this Salon piece on the latest O’Reilly crusade, saving Christmas. You’ll have to watch an ad to read it, but it’s worth it:

William Donahue of the arch-conservative Catholic League insisted, “Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It’s not a secret, OK? Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes.”

No wonder he’s always yelling. What a tool. But Salon is correct: It’s like there was a vast right-wing conspiracy memo on the subject. Last month: Alfred Kinsey was a sick, sick pervert. This month: Christmas is being crushed by anal sex-lovin’, Catholic-hatin’ JEWSJEWSJEWS.

More tomorrow.

Posted at 8:28 pm in Uncategorized |

22 responses to “The 36 hours are up.”

  1. Vince said on December 16, 2004 at 8:40 pm

    Ah yes. The ole repeat-your-name-to-suck-up-to-the-interviewer trick.

    A politician I’d never met did that to me a few years ago, frankly with great charisma and aplomb. Touring a disaster zone, he’d come for his photo op.

    I introduced myself, we spoke, he rushed on to shake hands with the newly homeless.

    2 hours later though, we happened to run into him again, by mistake. Rounding the corner he said, “Vince!” How he remembered my name after just one brief meeting, I never knew.

    It showed me he knew the art of one-on-one glad handing like few politicians I’d met.

    Call it sincere. Call it conniving and calculating. You be the judge.

    His name is George Bush.

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  2. Bob said on December 16, 2004 at 10:24 pm

    As an apprentice toolmaker at GE in my late teens, I worked for a foreman who never got my name right. I worked for him for almost a year, and to the end, he always called me “Bill.” Considering how diligently I tried to be a pain in the ass at that age, I’d have thought I’d have made a more lasting impression.

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  3. Maureen said on December 17, 2004 at 1:41 am

    Sounds like you made the right decision. If you don’t absolutely have to, who would want to watch every nickel? It’s just a place to live, after all. Better to have some money to travel, enjoy good food, and help others. Plus, I think that giving yourself some room to develop a new professional path is the most valuable thing you could do right now. Why put unnecessary financial pressure on yourself?

    I have made the opposite decision from you before and it made me feel very trapped, unable to quit a job that I really needed to leave. Keep your overhead low, and you’ll have the most valuable thing there is – freedom.

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  4. Mindy said on December 17, 2004 at 6:08 am

    You chose the best answer in door number two – standing on a financial gangplank is no way to live. I hope you get the place without too much haggling.

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  5. alex said on December 17, 2004 at 9:22 am

    So glad to see the religious right feeling so hubristic after their election victories. When they start demanding the pogroms and lynchings and genocides they’re really after, perhaps the GOP will finally feel compelled to disavow them.

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  6. juan said on December 17, 2004 at 10:53 am

    “When they start demanding the pogroms and lynchings and genocides they’re really after…”

    No comment. I just wanted this little gem to echo for a moment longer.

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  7. alex said on December 17, 2004 at 11:28 am

    Hey, Juan, it’s no more over-the-top than, say, the “homosexual agenda.” You know, that Chinese communist plot to depopulate the world by recruiting schoolchildren and showing them how much more fun buggery is than missionary sex. And, yes�I heard it described exactly that way by a Southern Baptist minister.

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  8. Mary said on December 17, 2004 at 12:04 pm

    My son Tom likes to fly radio controlled airplanes. There is a local park where it is legal to do this, and there is a “regular” there named Ron. For about a year, every time he saw my son, he said, “Hello, Tim.” He had the name repetition thing too, using “Tim,” over and over in conversations. My usually quiet son got fed up a few months back, and did the same thing to him. “Hi Rin. How’s the family, Rin? Isn’t the weather just great for flying today Rin…”

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  9. juan said on December 17, 2004 at 12:08 pm

    Well, there you go!

    The presence of insane, illogical, and ridiculous rhetoric anywhere in the world justifies more of the same.

    I can’t argue with that logic. Bad behavior is perfectly acceptable as long as it is slightly less reprehensible than some other immediately referenced bad behavior.

    You are a brilliant and insightful logician. I dare not cross wits with you.

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  10. alex said on December 17, 2004 at 1:21 pm

    Now, now, there Juan. Lighten up. I’m sure that when the Great Rapture comes and airlifts all the good churchgoers to Israel or wherever it is they’re going you’ll get your aisle seat in first class.

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  11. deb said on December 17, 2004 at 1:51 pm

    re addressing people by their first names: i used to date a guy whose father was an investment banker and could not remember names to save his life. sonny claimed dad developed a great gift for mumbling something at the point where you’d insert a first name in conversation — “i think you want to go with mutual funds here, mmpphhh” — and somehow convincing the addressee that he was actually saying the person’s her name. i never saw the guy do it, but his son swears he was an absolute genius.

    reminds me of another guy who bid adieu to surly sales clerks by cheerfully mumbling what sounded like “thank you” but was, in fact, “f*#* you.”

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  12. juan said on December 17, 2004 at 3:29 pm

    Alex, when that day comes, I hope that you are sitting in the seat next to me. I’ll save you some peanuts.

    (P.S. Don’t forget that the word “Post” is really etymologically rooted in the Latin for “are you really sure that you want to say that?”)


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  13. monosomy7 said on December 17, 2004 at 8:52 pm


    nuff said.

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  14. brian stouder said on December 17, 2004 at 11:18 pm

    From the (aptly sourced!) Yahoo article –

    “Twenty-two percent favored racial profiling to identify potential terrorist threats.”

    So suppose you’re a TSA person, and you have before you a young middle eastern looking male, traveling alone and with a one-way ticket.

    Do you suppose you might check him over a bit more closely than a woman in her 70’s wearing a sweatshirt that says “World’s Greatest Gramma”, who has a round-trip ticket and who is travelling with her husband?

    This, afterall, is “profiling” – and it bothers me not one scintilla.

    “And 29 percent thought undercover agents should infiltrate Muslim civic and volunteer organizations to keep tabs on their activities and fund-raising.”

    Is this benighted thinking? Why should charity organizations have unfettered and free reign? At minimum, their tax-exempt status qualifies any not-for-profit org for an occasional “once over”. And in the case of organizations that tend toward the occasional violent act, why should we have an FBI if not to “keep tabs on their activities”. Think of Operation Rescue, or any of the various crack-pot domestic causes and sects….let alone good ol’ Hammas, or the now quaint IRA.

    “Cornell student researchers questioned 715 people in the nationwide telephone poll conducted this fall. The margin of error was 3.6 percentage points”

    715 people? And the United States has approximately 300,000,000 inhabitants?

    I suppose when you made the rather smug assertion that this (ridiculous) article equals “nuff said”, the magical sentence in their that really sqealed your tires was

    “The survey conducted by Cornell University also found that Republicans and people who described themselves as highly religious were more apt to support curtailing Muslims’ civil liberties than Democrats or people who are less religious”


    Just to be argumentative, it is tempting to point out that the Democrats’ beaux idol, Franklin Roosevelt, summarily rounded up and incarcerated tens of thousands of American citizens, to his eternal discredit; that is, if the game is to decide which party can best be described as more racist than the other!

    But we digress….truly, enough said on this silly subject is too much, already

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  15. Eric Zorn said on December 18, 2004 at 6:36 pm

    Heh. When Michelle Norris was a metro reporter here at the Chicago Tribune, she was “Mih-SHELL.” Only when she went high-hat network radio on us did she become “MEE-shell.” And, Nancy, when you become a superstar, I’ll wager you start saying your name “nah-ehn-CEE.”

    Call me eh-RIQUE.

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  16. ashley said on December 18, 2004 at 7:04 pm

    I met this guy once at a party that was the fiance of an old friend. She dumped one of my best friends to hook up with this guy, who was a lawyer.

    At the party, she introduced me to the guy: “Hi Ashley, this is Frederic”.

    “Hi. Mind if I call you Dick?”

    “Well, my name’s Frederic.”

    “OK. Mind if I call you Dick?”

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  17. Joseph Hertzlinger said on December 18, 2004 at 8:35 pm

    William Donahue did NOT get the memo. This year’s memo says that Jews are Zionist neocons who have to be defended … at least in Israel.

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  18. Eric Zorn said on December 19, 2004 at 11:05 am

    Heh. When Michelle Norris was a metro reporter here at the Chicago Tribune, she was “Mih-SHELL.” Only when she went high-hat network radio on us did she become “MEE-shell.” And, Nancy, when you become a superstar, I’ll wager you start saying your name “nah-ehn-CEE.”

    Call me eh-RIQUE.

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  19. monosomy7 said on December 19, 2004 at 6:11 pm

    Oh Brian, I must have hit a nerve with you. If the shoe fits.

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  20. brian stouder said on December 19, 2004 at 8:46 pm

    “I must have hit a nerve with you.

    If the shoe fits.”

    Well, you hit my optic nerve, as I read the silly article you linked to.

    So, in the spirit of the game, here’s one for you –

    “’nuff said”

    for that matter:

    If the shoe fits.

    Birds of a feather.

    A watched pot never.

    The check is in the.

    That dog doesn’t.

    A stitch in time.

    Why buy the cow when.

    There was a man from Nantucket.

    (fragments of pithy sayings IS kind of fun…!)

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  21. juan said on December 20, 2004 at 10:52 am


    So you insulted a man just because he had the audacity to date someone you don’t respect? And you are proud of this?

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  22. ashley said on December 20, 2004 at 8:30 pm


    There’s a whole lot of backstory involved that I don’t intend to share.

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