Thursday, July 31, 2008

Some Things Change, Everything Stays The Same

Some thoughts and impressions from the last few days:
  • We all like to play amateur psychoanalyst, so check out this Encyclopedia Brown-like mystery I had on my flight back from Boca to DC. I'm sitting next to a woman who is a total mess and insists on dominating both armrests so I'm forced to lean into the aisle and routinely have my elbows smacked by the drink cart. She's staring ponderously at a book of word searches. Only word searches. Not only that, but she's having serious trouble. She's gotten fewer than 10% of the words in the puzzle she's on, and she's just staring at the page. But, under the puzzle book (and I use the word "puzzle" lightly), she has a copy of Dreams From My Father. So here's the question: Is she stupid and reading Obama's book to prove he's a Muslim? Is she stupid and holding his book to look smart? Is she one of the very rare stupid Obama fans? For a good portion of the flight, I'm just leaning over to avoid her alligator-skin arms and glancing over to solve the mystery. What would you think? And then, it all comes together. As we prepare to land at National, she looks through her purse and, in doing so, pulls out a Canadian passport. Aha! Since we know that foreigners covet Obama's leadership, she turns out to be just a stupid Canadian. I never would have guessed that solution, but of course they look so much like us.
  • When I was 25, South Florida looked so cool. Huge extravagance, beaches, lots of fine Wings stores in which to get 99-cent scoops of Hershey's (no relation) ice cream. Now that I'm a little older, the damn place is a nightmare. Everything is too big and gaudy, the people drive like maniacs, too many New Yorkers with no Magnolia Bakery or roasted chestnut vendor in sight. I don't feel too comfortable down there anymore, but Dolemite or Don "Magic" Juan might.
  • It's weird to see a bio for yourself, even if you begrudgingly wrote it.
  • I was afraid that I had missed out, in my two days with nothing but quick glances at the New York Times between meetings (read: drinking and trips to the beach and driving range), on things from the race. But no, everything seems to be the same. There's one candidate who doesn't support the troops, no matter what he says; who has said he's a new kind of politician, but goes against it to attack his opponent, falsely; who is so befuddled on what he stands for that he is lying about past statements and has given upon trying to show why he's better rather than why his opponent is worse; who gets preferential media coverage. Man, am I glad I'm for the other guy.

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