There comes a time, when one is burning the candle at both ends, when it’s wise to snuff out one end, at least. I’m wondering if it’s entirely healthy to be checking the iPhone for updates on how Obama did at Notre Dame when your only child is trying on swimsuits at Macy’s. Decided the president, and the world, could get along without me for the afternoon.
This was in Ann Arbor, by the way. We went over to deliver Saturday’s sleepover guest back home, and stayed to check out the fairy doors. We found two; here’s one:
Here’s a Flickr page compiled by someone with more time, initiative and enthusiasm for the Ann Arbor-ness of the whole fairy-door concept, something I can’t quite explain. Fortunately, others already have.
What’s so Ann Arbor about fairy doors? You’d have to be there, but let me put it this way: One of the places we found one was a bookstore called Crazy Wisdom, your basic alt-lifestyles depot, up to and including the upstairs tearoom for the monthly witches’ meeting. Their fairy door was in the astrology section, which in this place was a little like classic literature.
I love Ann Arbor. These are my peeps.
After checking out of the news cycle I tried very hard not to pay attention to Barry at the Dome, but it was impossible. My quick verdict: Meh, although what he said was probably all he could say, and it seemed to go over pretty well. If it had been my commencement, I’d have felt badly used — is there any other issue where everything that can be said, has been said? But some people made it the elephant in the room, and it had to be acknowledged. Dialogue? Good luck with that. The very reason this issue is still around is that some people think “dialogue” consists of saying one thing over and over, maybe changing the wording slightly, but giving not an inch. Entering this debate is like being slowly strangled to death.
I gave up my hopes for a compromise on reproductive-health issues when the so-called conscience clauses went on the table. In this day and age, I can scarcely imagine there’s a health-care worker out there “forced” to participate in abortions against their will, but I can bet there are a lot of pushy, nosy, pious little jerks behind pharmacy counters who can’t fill a prescription for birth-control pills without running to confession afterward, and to the extent this person’s “conscience” had to be protected — well, that’s where I leave the discussion table.
I’m a hard-liner now, and I learned it from example.
I see Randall Terry is a Catholic now. Talk about a fish the Pope should have thrown back in the rancid pond that spawned him. I covered the Fort Wayne Operation Rescue arrest-a-thon, back in the day, and I believe Terry was either there or bestowing his support from afar, like Burt Reynolds in “Citizen Ruth.” When H-hour came, I watched a woman crawl under the belly of a police horse to take her place on the welcome mat of the clinic they’d chosen to blockade. Now I’m going to see a person lose a hand, I thought, in the fraught few seconds it took a very nimble horse to pick his way through that mess of humanity without hurting anyone. These were some very bad people.
One of the local leaders, as I recall, had infertility issues in his marriage. He, too, thought birth-control should be illegal. Proud to be an American!
I have a dentist appointment in 20 minutes, so I best floss ‘n’ go. One bit of bloggage you will enjoy, from the Wall Street Journal: Why you should never ever ever ruin Scotch whiskey with ice, a position I can back 100 percent, and have ever since a nice lady waylaid me in the duty-free mall at Heathrow and poured me a little sample shot of 12-year-old Macallan, neat. It was as sweet as candy, as complex as a Russian novel. I haven’t taken ice, or water, in Scotch since. And I still drink Macallan. That was some effective marketing.
ADDED: Didn’t I once call myself journalism’s canary in a coal mine? Ahem:
For decades, successful newspaper reporters and editors have looked forward to university fellowships as a chance to take a mid-career sabbatical and recharge their batteries. But the crop of fellows set to enter this year’s most prestigious programs, whose names are just now being announced, shows how much that pattern is changing. …“People are afraid that if they leave, at a time when newspapers are laying people off, their jobs won’t be waiting when they come back — and they’re right to think that,” said Charles R. Eisendrath, director of the Knight-Wallace Fellows at Michigan.
Yes, I’d say they are. Still, I wouldn’t have traded that year in Ann Arbor for all the job security in the world. It was, in every good way, a life-changing experience.