Remember that cold I thought I had vanquished? Yeah, turns out that was an alternate-facts deal. Woke up Monday with a head full of snot and the usual miseries. Nothing all that bad, but enough I was happy to work from home yesterday. And today.
I threw a bunch of links into an empty post yesterday, so let’s get to them, as the rest of my update would consist only of “used enough tissue to reverse-engineer a tree” and “discovered why you shouldn’t take Sudafed at bedtime.”
The Washington Post does a travel piece on the ol’ hometown:
I have a terrible confession: I never saw Ohio’s capitol. A weekend in Columbus and not even a glimpse of the rotunda. But I have a very good excuse. I was lost in a 32-room bookstore. Well, that’s not entirely true. I was also preoccupied with selecting a writing utensil from a lifestyle store founded by a guy with a beard and an office-supply obsession. And drinking hand-poured coffee from a cafe named after a Belle and Sebastian song. And sizing up turquoise bulldog bookends from a shop in an emerging neighborhood. And watching a diner stuff a skyscraper-tall burger into his mouth. And drinking more coffee, this time made of Fair Trade-certified beans from Guatemala. And I’m not even a coffee person; I drink tea, except when I am in Columbus.
That doesn’t exactly make it sound like Paris, but it’s fair. The thing about Columbus, the thing that never bugged me until I left, is its utter lack of natural features. Its two rivers are muddy brown trenches, there are few if any hills, no lakes to speak of (besides Buckeye, which is manmade and so shallow that if your boat breaks down in the middle you can push it home, like in “The African Queen”). So I guess it’s all about that burger, then, described and pictured later in the piece — “two 12-ounce burger patties — among other delights,” which appear to include both bacon and ham. As Jim Harrison once said, only in the Midwest is overeating seen as something heroic.
We read a lot about Betsy DeVos and school choice recently, but here is how it’s lived out in Detroit, where charter schools open and close like doors in a French farce. Parents whose children are in failing schools slated for possible closure are sent helpful letters detailing which districts will let the kids transfer in – some of them an hour’s drive away. Market efficiency!
This story has already been partially overtaken by events with the firing of Michael Flynn, but I’m posting this passage about Reince Priebus because it may be one case where an exclamation point is actually called for in a new story:
Trump has already consulted friends about his next chief of staff. I’m told that to avoid admitting error, Trump plans a smooth transition from Priebus, perhaps by making him a Cabinet secretary!
I’ve got a few more, but I think I’ll save them for tomorrow, just in case I feel even worse then. Enjoy Tuesday.