Organs for sale.

It’s been a taxing day. Cold, blowy, and the family room is still a mess, so I’m living more in the bedroom and it seems to be a sign of age that I hate having my routine messed up.

Two quick pieces of bloggage to get you going:

It’s worth a WP click to check out their imaginatively presented graphic-novel version of the Mueller report. Offer it to your MAGA friends, if you have any: “Here. I know you struggle with reading, so maybe this will make it easier.” If nothing else, it’s imaginatively presented.

And here’s the mayor of Baltimore today:

In a recent televised news conference and interview, Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said he’s concerned about a white van “snatching” young girls to sell their organs. But Baltimore Police say they have no reports of any such incidents.

Young’s source, according to an interview with WBAL, is social media.

“We’re getting reports of somebody in a white van trying to snatch up young girls for human trafficking and for selling body parts, I’m told. So we have to be careful because there’s so much evil going on, not just in the city of Baltimore, but around the country,” he said. “It’s all over Facebook.”

Police spokesman Matt Jablow said the department is “aware of the posts on social media, but we do not have any reports of actual incidents.”

Why do I even come to work in the morning, if this is the way a big-city mayor gets his information? I ask you.

Posted at 8:39 pm in Current events | 61 Comments
 

Baptism in blood.

One of my birthday gifts was a mandoline slicer, so I can make perfect Potatoes Anna and apple tarts and the like. I christened mine in the traditional way — with blood. I was slicing peppers for some grilled sausages when I gouged a chunk out of my thumb Friday evening.

I’m fine now. It stings a little to hit the space bar, but at least I got the bleeding stopped. Direct pressure isn’t as effective on a flesh gouge as it would be on a simple slice. I feared I wouldn’t be able to swim tomorrow, as the mere touch of water on it had me howling yesterday, but thanks to the magic of time and healing, I could actually wash it with soap and water today. Yay, cellular repair.

It was that kind of a weekend. The painting continued, and is done now — Alan just stepped out to buy window blinds and switch plates. The room looks a million times better, and when we finally get the tree up, it’ll look a million times better, too. I even got some Black Friday weekend shopping done, online and otherwise.

We had a nice Thanksgiving. I did, anyway; Alan didn’t even get any turkey, as his part of the newsroom order-in came with “a piece of shitty dried-out pork loin,” he said. “They’d already run out of turkey.” Poor guy. Well, Christmas is coming. I got to experience my friend’s family, who are all Trumpers, including one gay man. I mainly stayed out of the discussion, but eavesdropped from the next room. Their calculus was simple: Is my life OK? Yes? Then the president must be doing a good job. Amazing. I wish it could be that simple for me. It must be like…like being a dog, maybe. Am I comfortable? Is this a good time to nap? Do I want to scratch behind my ear? Then I will do so!

Oh well. I have a new family room to wipe the paint drips from and return to functional use. Maybe I’ll rearrange the furniture, just to get that new-house feeling again.

You can see I’m running out of anything to say. On to the bloggage.

Marijuana became fully legal for adults in Michigan today. First buyers, a fair number of Hoosiers and Buckeyes. Sorry you guys can’t be as cool as us.

What is a failson? Let the Daily Beast explain:

He is an upper- (or upper-middle) class incompetent who is protected by familial wealth from the consequences of his actions.

… One is not born a failson. Nor does one simply inherit the status of failson. No—failson status is earned through a display of equal parts incompetence, stupidity, and arrogance. And until his book, no person in America—or maybe even the world, so bursting at the seams with louche heirs and dissolute royals with no throne to sit their pampered arses on—illustrated all the facets of a failson better than (Donald Trump) Junior.

A fun read.

So, let’s take on the full week ahead with optimism and gratitude. And all 10 fingers.

Posted at 6:37 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 50 Comments
 

You can’t have nice things, sorry.

A momentary lull in the gentle shower that is my Thanksgiving. Alan, who has to work in a few hours, is spackling downstairs. I’ve made a sweet potato pie and make-ahead mashed potatoes for my friends’ feast in about three hours. I worked a little, now I’m writing a little.

This story caught my eye today.

Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland, was spending Thanksgiving eve at the Dubliner, a popular Irish bar in Washington D.C. Pretty sure I went there with my friend Adrianne when we had a girls’ weekend in D.C. It’s where Barack Obama would be photographed drinking a pint of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day. And on Thanksgiving eve, it’s an unofficial all-class reunion for Gonzaga grads.

So there’s O’Malley, and in walks another ‘Zag, Ken Cuccinelli, current acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Then this happened – a “shame-invoking tirade” by O’Malley, aimed at Cuccinelli. The DHS secretary turned on his heel and left. O’Malley later explained:

When he saw Cuccinelli, he unloaded his frustration at the Trump administration’s separation of migrant children from their parents and detention of immigrants in chain-link enclosures at the southern U.S. border.

“We all let him know how we felt about him putting refugee immigrant kids in cages — certainly not what we were taught by the Jesuits at Gonzaga,” O’Malley texted.

In another text, he called Cuccinelli “the son of immigrant grandparents who cages children for a fascist president.”

I haven’t checked the usual suspects on Twitter yet, but I imagine the hand-wringing has started already. Where is civility, etc. When did we become so alienated from one another? And so on.

Three years ago, I might have…not agreed, but acknowledged the point. You’re not going to convert Ken Cuccinelli by yelling at him in a bar. Although I notice something, now that it’s happened a few times: The Trump people never stand their ground and argue. They do what Cuccinelli did. They run.

Don’t make too much of that. It’s easier to attack than to defend your position. And sometimes the opening salvo comes from management, like when Sarah Sanders was asked to leave that restaurant a while back. But it’s noticeable, just the same. Bars are made for arguing, and a crowded Irish pub would be an ideal place to do so with a fellow ‘Zag alum. Why didn’t he stay and defend the policy he is, after all, carrying out voluntarily?

Guys, I’m gonna go with “because it’s indefensible, and they know it.” And I’m also going to call O’Malley one of the good guys. When the history of this era is written, he’ll be able to say, “I objected to one person in a position to do something,” which is more than most of us will ever get the chance to do. Why should these people be comfortable in public, if the public despises them? If he wants a pat on the back, Cuccinelli could go to Mar-a-Lago with the boss. Make small talk with Barron in his tuxedo. Or he could go to Trump country; I’m sure they’d love him in Alabama. But if he wants to hang in his college town, with his college crowd, there will be music to face.

Terrible people who expect to be treated like decent people remind me of Kelsey Grammer. My friend Lance Mannion has written a couple times about the irony of Grammer, an actor whose entire career would be impossible, if not for the liberalism he claims to despise:

Grammer doesn’t live as if he believes in his own political views. It’s not just that he travels in circles where gay people and their spouses aren’t just tolerated but welcomed without a second thought. He clearly isn’t homophobic himself. And it doesn’t stop there.

Grammer doesn’t live anything like a Republican-approved lifestyle. He lives the life of the sort of big city liberal Republicans affect to despise. And as far as I know he’s quite happy with that life and has no plans to change it. He’s not about to move to any place Republicans regard as part of the “real America.” He’s not leaving Hollywood or New York for Topeka, Biloxi, or Wasilla. He’s not about to give up acting to start an oil company, become a hedge fund manager, or a cattle rancher. I don’t know if he goes to church and I don’t care, but it’s pretty hard to imagine him in the front pew at St Patrick’s, although it isn’t hard to imagine him leading the choir at the nearest Baptist mega-church—but that’s Frasier I’m seeing bouncing around in a purple robe and singing it joyfully. Grammer himself? Religion doesn’t seem to be something he’s given much thought lately, an odd thing for a Republican these days.

Now, I don’t believe that any Republican should have to go live in Topeka, Biloxi, Wasilla, or anywhere else on Sarah Palin’s short list of places that count as the real America. But I do believe that happy and contented East and West Coast elitists like Grammer—and conservative members of the punditocracy in Washington—should stop talking as if they believe that the lives lived in places like Topeka, Biloxi, and Wasilla are more “authentically” American than lives lived in Brooklyn, Brookline, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, or San Antonio and that the people in the one set of places are more American than the people living in the other.

And it’s probably too much to ask, but could they acknowledge that the lives they live in the most decadent parts of decadent Blue America have been made possible for them by liberalism?

Yes, it’s too much to ask. Lance wrote that in 2010. At the time I agreed with him 100 percent. Now I think maybe Grammer should move to Wasilla. Why should he enjoy the blandishments of Broadway, of Hollywood, of the artistic life he so enjoys, if he doesn’t recognize how they got there?

So anyway. Enough whining. Happy Thanksgiving to all. Here’s an inspiring story about a double amputee making his way back from a devastating injury. It’s not depressing at all.

Let’s finish with some pictures. Food pix, but today is a food holiday, so there. First, the aforementioned pie. I wish I hadn’t tested it with the knife; if I’d trusted my gut, that surface would be perfect:

And just for the hell of it, today’s breakfast, because I’m experimenting with Portrait mode on the iPhone:

Yum yum eat ’em up. Back on the weekend.

Posted at 1:01 pm in Current events | 43 Comments
 

Dreaming of the northern lights.

I had the house looking pretty damn good, although we’re not hosting Thanksgiving this year; Kate is staying in California until Christmas and Alan has to work, so I’m going stag (doe?) to a friend’s. I dusted, vacuumed, straightened and plumped all the pillows, so of course today Alan said it was a good day to start painting the family room and now that is what he is doing.

Sigh.

As for me, I spoke to Kate earlier. She locked her bike somewhere on Venice Boulevard yesterday and came out to find it missing both wheels. They’re special sizes, so it may well be easier for her to just get a new bike than try to track down replacements. That someone or many someones likely saw this happening in broad daylight and did nothing to stop it only underlines the essential pitilessness of the adult world for this new member of it.

Ah well. In another month she’ll be home, then probably staying home until mid-February, when the album she recorded for her senior thesis is released, and the band starts on first a U.S. tour (including SXSW!) and later, on to Europe. I keep pointing out she’s doing just fine and not to get so stressed, but then, my bike wasn’t stripped of its wheels, either.

A peaceful weekend, other than the cleaning. Ran into a good friend at the Eastern Market, and we went for coffee. He told me about the book he’s writing. It’s gonna be great, especially if he takes all my editing suggestions. Seriously, he’s a great writer and has a deep understanding of his subject (Detroit) and knows it better than almost anyone. I can’t wait to read it. And he inspired me to get back to work on something I’m writing. Not a book, but a longer essay/column I’ve been picking at for a while. Stay tuned.

Man, night comes on quickly these days, and we haven’t even seen the worst of it yet. Every so often I daydream about spending some unspecified future winter in Reykjavik, just renting an apartment from Halloween through the end of February and settling in for the hygge. I think I could do it, once I got used to it: Swim in the morning, soak in the hot tub, then tank up on coffee and wait for a couple hours of dim sunlight before it sinks again and the long night commences. There would be sandwiches. There would be pickles. There would be lots of reading and DuoLingo and meandering writing like this. The aurora borealis overhead so often it becomes routine. I think it’d be pretty great.

But this is just fantasy. Because of course we live in a hellscape, where the president intercedes to pardon/restore the rank of a war criminal. Where so-called moderate Republicans are silenced in the GOP of m-f’ing Wyoming, for god’s sake. Where a former Fox News exec tries to drum up followers for his allegedly “center-right” political news aggregator by employing Macedonian teenagers to whip up the proles and other media illiterates, on both sides (for once!).

Want something beautiful to read instead? It’s 7,000 words, so it’ll take a while. It took me one bus ride home, last Friday, but it stayed with me all weekend: “The Jungle Prince of Delhi,” by Ellen Barry in the NYT. I hope to one day write a sentence like this:

The door swung open, and before me stood a man in tiger-print pajamas.

Until then, I write here. Ah well. Have a great week ahead, all.

Posted at 5:33 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 79 Comments
 

Raise your right hand, Ambassador.

It’s going on 8 p.m. as I write this, and the hearings are still going strong in Washington. Nunes is still a barking twit. It seems important to tell you this.

And I’m sorry, but even if you believe all the dire stories about a tuned-out public and the needle not moving at all, blah blah blah, I can’t really believe this isn’t making a difference. I mean, even laying aside my personal beliefs in this case, I see one Trumper after another tripping over his own feet. Surely this isn’t playing well in the suburbs. Surely this is making a difference with people who have two or more brain cells to rub together. I have to have more faith in my countrymen, because otherwise I will have to sell everything I own and wander the world for the rest of my life, never returning to this brain-damaged country.

Wednesdays seem to come earlier in the week than ever, which may be a function of the quickening pace of the end of the year, or just my own approaching end of the road. When you’re 12, a week lasts five years. Then you have kids and they grow up in 20 minutes.

What’s going on in your world this week? Returning to the above mega-topic, i.e., the Disgrace of This Administration, I see DUI Steph stepped in it again, claiming the outgoing Obama staffers seeded the White House with nastygrams and “Obama books.” A stupid lie that was more or less immediately debunked.

To give the girl credit, though: She’s probably never seen a book in her life, and just assumed that the ones left behind must have been “Obama books,” whatever that is.

Meanwhile, I got a message from a distant acquaintance, informing me that the “classical school” movement has set up shop in my old Indiana neighborhood, and one of its administrators, also an editor for the Federalist, is living on my very own ex-street. Here’s one of her recent columns, Stop Turning Your Yard Into a Hellscape for Halloween:

Within a few blocks of my house are yards full of severed heads, decomposing corpses, positively demonic-looking witches, goblins, and ghouls, and moldy skeletons coming out of the ground (some even shake!).

One entire nearby neighborhood decorated all of its streetlights with hanging severed heads that have blood running out of the eyes. Some people have fog machines and motion detectors that emit noises from Hell every time a mom walks by with her preschooler and baby, or kids of all ages go past on their way to school.

What is wrong with these people?

This upsets her children, she writes: “Only fools make light of evil. Hell isn’t a joke.” OK, fine. I wonder what her position might be on my personal pet peeve from when I had a young child: The anti-abortion protesters who would show up on “procedure day” at the local clinic in Fort Wayne, which happened to be across the street from the library. We spent a lot of time at the library in those days, and I believe procedure day was also Storytime Day, so I had to carry a 3- or 4-year-old past their poster-size blowups of fetal body parts. After the first time, I learned how to park to avoid most of it, but sometimes it was unavoidable. My guess is, that would be A Difficult Truth We Must Not Shrink From, or some such.

Well, if I know my old neighborhood — and I may not, anymore — she’s an anomaly.

OK, time to hit the showers and get ready for the day. Gordon Sondland, up next.

Posted at 8:36 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 99 Comments
 

Video on demand.

I went to a meeting on Tuesday. One of the women there had just had a birthday, and a friend had gifted her with “a Cameo by that guy from the Fyre Festival documentary,” Andy someone. We all watched this thing, a roughly 30-second video in which Fyre Festival Guy called her by her name, specifically mentioned the big milestone (40) and her two kids, then threw in a Fyre Festival joke to wrap it all up.

“What is this…Cameo?” I asked, and got the usual answer: It’s an app.

Boy, is it. It’s an app (and a website) with dozens of photographs on it, along with prices, of individuals ranging from basically unknown to mid-level-oh-that-guy celebrities. For the price quoted, you can hire them to record a brief personalized video. A birthday greeting, congratulations, whatever. I haven’t dived all the way into the site; I assume all this has to be a mutual agreement thing. You can’t put any old words into…Charlie Sheen’s mouth. But that you can get Charlie Sheen at all is kinda amazing, when you think about it.

I got lost, scrolling through the possibilities. Stormy Daniels, $250. Gilbert Gottfried, $150. Tom Arnold, $100. OMG Tomi Lahren, $70!!! (Like anyone would pay that. Even Heidi Montag and Andy Dick fetch more than that.) It’s hilarious, proof that even the nominally famous are not immune from money-grubbing for a few $20s. Sooner or later, this shit will bring on the revolution, and I welcome it. Before it does, though, I’d love to get Stormy to record a birthday greeting for my boss. I’ll even write the script.

So, today. The hearings. I had a lot to do, which meant I could only pay attention here and there. I tried to keep it on in the background, but once Nunes started talking, I simply couldn’t keep my wits about me. I swear, the last three years have taken 10 off my own life. This can’t be good for me. So I muted it and checked in via Twitter from time to time.

My takeaway is that this is going to be bad for the Republicans, but only in the long run, and not as bad as it should be. Anyone stupid enough to put their faith in this moron are unlikely to be moved.

By the way, the snow that fell the other day? It overperformed. We were supposed to get five inches, but it ended up being closer to eight. Because the autumn leaf pickup was only about half over, much of the equipment that would normally clear it away was still fitted with leaf-collecting stuff, not snowplows, and some streets remain kinda rutted because they were only salted, not plowed. Then there was this phenomenon:

Leaves falling on top of snow. It’s unlikely to melt for at least another week, too.

One more link? Sure: A serious book-critic’s review of the Anonymous book:

More often in “A Warning,” actions are not taken; they are almost taken. In a particularly dire circumstance, several top officials consider resigning together, a “midnight self-massacre” that would draw attention to Trump’s mismanagement. “The move was deemed too risky because it would shake public confidence,” Anonymous explains. At any moment, the author writes, there are at least a handful of top aides “on the brink” of quitting. (The brink is a popular hangout for Trump officials.) Anonymous also wonders if Trump’s response to the Charlottesville protests in 2017, when the president drew a moral equivalence between white nationalists and those opposing them, would have been the time for such a gesture. “Maybe that was a lost moment, when a rush to the exits would have meant something.”

It’s like “Profiles in Thinking About Courage.”

Good one. OK, must run. Time to pull in the latchstring and think about Thursday.

Posted at 5:04 am in Current events, Popculch | 61 Comments
 

Who’s that girl?

I have about 20 minutes this morning, so let’s get moving. More Morocco, anyone? :::cocks ear to room, hears silence::: OK, then!

Storage lockers at the port, Essaouira:

This was basically a composition exercise. That one, or this one?

Can’t decide. I’m leaning toward the first.

We’ve been back for two weeks, and I suppose we’re fully re-integrated now. Last night I watched the last thing that dropped on Netflix in our absence — “El Camino,” the Breaking Bad movie. I liked it. I thought it struck the right balance between playful fan-pleasing, a rewarding extended encore for Aaron Paul and just being an OK movie. I’m thinking, again, how much I love Vince Gilligan’s work, and want to see more of it, but I guess “Better Call Saul” is still months away. Sigh.

As the credits were rolling, my phone beeped: The Anonymous book dropped, and oh my stars and garters, it turns out the president is a venal, greedy, petulant (add 1,000 more unflattering adjectives) bastard. WHO KNEW?!?

And I’m putting my bet, today, on Kellyanne Conway as the author. Someone make a case for someone else, but something about the dad-running-around-with-no-pants stuff sounded like it came out of a female brain.

My heart has hardened against every one of the adults in the room. John Kelly, just recently, lamented that if he were still in charge, the president wouldn’t be facing impeachment:

“I said, whatever you do — and we were still in the process of trying to find someone to take my place — I said whatever you do, don’t hire a ‘yes man,’ someone who won’t tell you the truth — don’t do that. Because if you do, I believe you will be impeached,” Kelly said Saturday at the newspaper’s political conference in Sea Island, Ga.

Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general who was chief of staff from July 2017 to January 2019, said he told the president he needed someone to keep him within the bounds of his authority to avoid impeachment. Kelly said he believed the president wouldn’t be facing an impeachment inquiry had he stayed in the job, a thinly veiled shot at Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff who replaced Kelly.

“It pains me to see what’s going on,” Kelly said, according to the newspaper.

It pains him. Poor baby. In other words, if he were still in charge, everything would be unfolding more or less exactly the way it has for the last four years, which he presumably is OK with. So fuck that guy. Fuck all the guys, plus the gals, and save a special one for Kellyanne Conway, grifter queen extraordinaire.

When this is all over, I do look forward to Stephanie Grisham’s next drunk-driving arrest.

Twenty minutes is nearly up. Gotta hit the showers, maybe slurp up some more coffee. Have a good weekend, all.

Posted at 8:26 am in Current events | 52 Comments
 

What just happened?

Now that. Was an election.

Like many of you, I’ve been watching the results come in for the last 12 hours or so, marveling. There’s Kentucky, but there’s also my little home suburb here. The most overtly conservative candidates for city council, one an incumbent, finished last and next-to-last in a five-way race for three seats. (Which is to say, neither one will be raising their right hand at the next meeting.) That’s Grosse Pointe Woods, reliably red. In G.P. Park, which has been trending blue for some time, there’s now a progressive majority on their council, with two conservative incumbents sent packing. G.P. City elected a progressive mayor (a woman, no less) and an actual progressive lefty gained a seat on the G.P. Farms city council.

All of this would have been unthinkable just four years ago. Everything is changing.

One of the losing candidates in the Woods was a young man who ran a campaign right out of the 2004 playbook. He promoted his degree in public administration from Liberty University. He used “family” in his campaign tagline. He said he works in federal law enforcement, but when I asked him directly which branch, he refused to answer, pleading the Hatch Act. OK, then! Moving on!

Local elections are the ones where I have almost always crossed party lines, and ours are nonpartisan. Competence in running a small city — or in our city-manager system, overseeing the running of a small city — can be found across the political spectrum. But when you blow all those dog whistles, I am outta there. And the Hatch Act? Please. As a friend of mine commented when I told her this, “If they haven’t thrown Kellyanne Conway in prison yet, I think he’s safe.”

So, a good day for Dems and non-Trumps of all stripes. Someone at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has to be sweating right now.

I was also interested in what happened in Fort Wayne, which I see Alex covered in the comments on the last thread. You may not have seen this column by the publisher of the morning Journal Gazette, though, an open letter to a council candidate who eked out a tight win:

Your large postcard featured you gripping a baseball bat and included, in capital letters, the phrase: “BEAT THE MEDIA.” There were four references to The Journal Gazette, the only media identified by name.

So yeah, invoking newsroom violence in a tight-knit business community? Sure, that’s just fine. More:

During the election cycle, the editorial board does make recommendations in local races. It is always our intent to inform and share our insights based on both our news-side coverage of the candidates, our observations and research, and our interviews with them.

This year, you did not respond to multiple requests to meet with our editorial board before the May primary election and, again, before the general election. You also did not respond to calls from a news reporter preparing an election preview story. All were opportunities we provided you to identify the issues you considered most important and to explain to our readers, many of whom are avid voters, your plans for addressing those issues.

Don’t show up for your endorsement interview, don’t return reporter calls, then send a mailer like that. These people are simply awful.

Health care is a winning issue. I think that’s the takeaway.

What happened in your neck of the woods?

Posted at 9:57 am in Current events | 26 Comments
 

A quickie, and a snapshot.

I set a goal to clean the entire house yesterday and pretty much accomplished it, but it sapped my energy at blogging time and so, no Sunday-night blog.

But fearing that interest in the last thread may be flagging, here’s a new one. Some things to consider:

E. Jean Carroll is suing the president. For defamation.

Can you imagine, in some not-so-distant past, hearing that the First Lady of the United States would be visiting your child’s school, and that announcement causing a flipout/meltdown? Of course, this is no ordinary FLOTUS, either.

One more Morocco picture. We were walking around the port in Essaouira, I was trying to frame this gull, and said, “Hey, gull, look over here,” and it did. Just then, one of its colleagues flew through the frame as the shutter fell. Like I said: Hard to take a bad picture over there.

Posted at 12:33 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 40 Comments
 

Here, kitty.

If you all will indulge me a little longer, another photo post from Morocco. Today’s subject: Cats.

Feral cats are common in Morocco, and elsewhere; I recommend a charming documentary about the cats of Istanbul, called “Kedi.” (Kitty, get it?) It’s not exactly the same in the Moroccan cities we visited, but similar — cats are everywhere, entirely wild, not entirely pleasant to consider what their lives are like.

They’re skinny, dirty, some with mange or eye problems. No one pets them, although some soft-hearted souls might feed them from time to time. One rubbed on my shins at a shop, but most kept their distance. We saw more in Fez than in Marrakesh (I theorize most had been run over by scooters). The Essaouira cats proliferated by the dock and port, where they competed with the gulls for fish guts.

If you’re a cat lover, you’ll get lots of pictures. But don’t try to touch them; they’re not that kind of cat.

But like cats everywhere, they were excellent photo subjects:

They were silhouetted in every alley in the medina, it seemed:

I saw this one early, on the way back from the patisserie. He was breakfasting on a fish head:

Lots and lots of kittens:

They walk in and out of the businesses, most of which are open-air in some way or another. So you’d turn around and see something like this:

I really was hoping you’d order the shrimp, lady. We were sitting on the roof level of a cafe, and he was a little higher. He watched us for a while, then disappeared.

At our last place, in Essaouira, our host told us to close the door to the riad balcony at night, because otherwise they’d come into the apartment. He told a story about a woman who was staying there alone, and called in a panic her first night. “Someone’s trying to get in the door,” she whispered, frantically, and he ran over, only to find the front door locked. He let himself in and flew up the stairs, where she pointed to the balcony door: “No, there!” It was a cat.

Sure enough, that night, the balcony door rattled with something that sounded exactly like a paw, knocking, along with the usual plaintive meowing. No dice, kitty, but I fed fish leavings to a couple in the port the next day.

Maybe it was this one; this was in the alley outside our riad:

This place is so picturesque it’s ridic. I’m not even a very good photographer, either. It’s just hard to take a bad picture in Morocco.

And what happened on this side of the Atlantic? Just the president’s allies attacking a Purple Heart recipient because he speaks a second language. Just another day in the greatest and richest country on earth.

Here’s to Wednesday.

Posted at 8:41 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 48 Comments