Obvious political differences aside, the cards couldn't be more distinct. MPP's has this old picture on it with the slogan "We're making marijuana prohibition a thing of the past." The Gov's card has a cute picture of Trig. Sitting in a gift-wrapped box. Wearing a tiny Santa suit. Eating a bow. This picture is under the words "With special, child-like faith..." The phrase continues on the inside of the card to read: "May you see the Glory/the Wonder, the Miracle/of this Holy Season./Have a blessed Christmas and New Year./God Bless You."
If you're still looking for a gift for the hockey mom who has (almost) everything, I think a copy of the Establishment Clause would be a perfect present this year.
- I've been warning people about Somali pirates for years. Seriously. Everyone should start listening to me more.
- I'm not normally one to succumb to road rage, but if you have a McCain/Palin sticker and a Ted Stevens sticker on your car and you are driving 15 mph below the speed limit, you're going to hear it from me.
- I don't know much about cars (though I did recently (all by myself) successfully install two new speakers and new fog lights in my car), but I think my snow tires were put on incorrectly and they may come flying off at any moment. The fine mechanics at the Tesoro station on the corner of Gambell (or Ingra) and 4th Ave. assure me they were put on properly. This is just to give notice of who is to blame if my tires should suddenly shoot off whilst I'm driving.
- Dog on duck action. Not consensual. I love the Internet.
- Several times during the past week I have found myself wearing nothing but boxer shorts, wool socks, and a down jacket. I'm not sure why or how that keeps happening.
- First thought: Congratulations, Maia! Second thought: great, there's another book that I won't have time to read.
- I heard Human Nature the other day and I realized that I am old: I remember Michael Jackson when he was black (barely).
- In case you missed it, despite being down 3,000 votes when the polls closed on November 4, Mark Begich ultimately defeated longtime incumbent and convicted felon Ted Stevens in the race for Uncle Ted's Senate seat. Despite initial concerns about low turnout and possible voter fraud, it turns out that Alaskans showed up at the polls in record numbers and aren't as insane as we appeared on election night.
- I keep accidentally listening to the Christian Rock station when I'm driving.
- I came home late the other night and there were two(!) Christian Slater movies on cable at the same time (one of which is just slightly better than the other): Kuffs (the only redeeming quality about this movie is that Milla Jovovich was in it. How does a movie like that even get made?) and Pump Up The Volume (awesome soundtrack. And who didn't want to start a pirate radio station after seeing that?). I watched neither and went to bed. My Own Worst Enemy, admittedly a terrible program, has provided all the Christian Slater I need these days.
- "Almost, but not quite" sums up a lot of what has been going on with me lately.
- I wrote about David Foster Wallace's suicide a few months ago. It was shocking and unexpected. If you are a fan, you should read this article, The Lost Years and Last Days of David Foster Wallace, which lets us into his private world, a world that is much less glamorous than the globetrotting writer lifestyle he seemed to lead. I had no idea; turns out he was severely depressed for a long time. I really appreciated the view of the world DFW could put down on paper. I understood what he was writing and I wished I could see things like that. I thought "this guy really gets it." I'm having trouble processing this. I don't know what to make of the fact that he was so miserable and low, except that I kind of wish I was really fucked up so I could write something brilliant.
- I found a case of Girl Scout cookies hidden in the conference room at my office today. This discovery led to a lengthy discussion with my colleague's 12 year old daughter who was spending the afternoon with us. After giving her a few of the bountious Thin Mints (and promising not to tell her dad because I think they limit her refined sugar intake (smart parenting there)), we talked about our favorite type of Girl Scout cookie: Samoas. They are delicious, but can anyone tell me why they are called Samoas? I spoke with someone who is Samoan about this and she assured me that a donut-shaped vanilla cookie covered with coconut, caramel and chocolate is not a uniquely Samoan creation. Nor was that recipe invented by a Samoan or is it in any way native to the island of Samoa (or American Samoa, for that matter). Quite a mystery, though in some places they have been re-christened "Caramel Delites" which sounds like the name of a dietetic candy old ladies buy at the Dollar Tree.
- Lisa thinks Thin Mints are the best. I complained that Samoas are better because you can eat more of them--mint just doesn't lend itself to repeated consumption, while the Samoa flavors do. Lisa disagrees. She thinks too much coconut is gross. Thus the gauntlet has been thrown: she thinks she can eat more Thin Mints than I can eat Samoas. I will meet this challenge. And it will be recorded and put online.
- I hate ridiculous TV sales pitches. I'm going to do something about this.
- Several weeks ago (closer to two months now) I got a call from Eloise, a special friend I don't talk to nearly enough. 70 minutes after she called I hung up the phone and I was smiling more than I had in a long while. Talking to Eloise always makes me feel better--even when I'm feeling pretty good to begin with. And she reminds me that I'm sane and it's the rest of the world that's crazy. Thanks, E.
- Early contender for Quote of the Month, from WWTDD (link NSFW): "Because of course Kim Kardashian would pose naked again. What the hell else is she gonna do, clerk for the Supreme Court?"
- "It's a breakfast sandwich--you know, bacon, cheese, eggs. It's not quite as good as McDonald's. It's from Chevron."
- "Don't take this the wrong way, but I don't want your penis anywhere near my vagina."
- "I used to live right by the railroad tracks on Spenard in between two whore houses. It was great."
- "My pee smells like tunafish." 
- "The only people more annoying than Red Sox fans are Sarah Palin supporters."
- Liquor Store Salesman: "We don't take checks anymore."
Surprised Customer: "Why not?"
Liquor Store Salesman: "We were bought by the Canadians."
- "I can't tell--is she cute or have I just been living in Anchorage for too long?"
BONUS MATERIAL: Not Overheard, But Still Witnessed In Anchorage
Seen: A guy showed up for a party at a bowling alley after spending the day hunting moose. He was wearing snow pants and snow boots--not uncommon up here this time of year, but there was snow mixed with moose blood and little bits of moose encrusted on his boots and the cuffs of his pants. The snow then started to melt, leaving moose blood all over the floor around the lanes. I pointed this out to him and he went to the bowling shoe rental counter, grabbed a towel, wiped up the blood, and then put the towel right back on the counter. Ah, Alaska.
Read: I've been reading a lot of Chuck Klosterman lately. I re-read most of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, and I'm in the middle of Chuck Klosterman IV. He's hilarious, and I find his pop culture musings quite insightful. Check him out. Here's a sample:
It's like this: You used to be able to tell the difference between hipsters and homeless people. Now, it's between hipsters and retards. I mean, either that guy in the corner in orange safety pants holding a protest sign and wearing a top hat is mentally disabled or he is the coolest fucking guy you will ever know.
I share Chris Matthews' paraphrased enthusiasm (and like him I am definitely overly sentimental about certain things (my dog, and girls, mainly)), and it is the understatement of this young century to say this is a historic moment, but it is. It represents a sea change in our collective thinking. It says that we are not stupid, that we are not full of hate and fear, that this country has come full circle on slavery, and it shows the hope and promise of this nation: Barack Obama is a nobody--he didn't come from a wealthy, politically-connected family. He is a self-made man, with the kind of pull-yourself-up-from-your-bootstraps background that conservative Republicans usually love. He worked hard and he did it. He is a role model and it's been a long time since we've had a President worthy of being a role model. But more than any of this, his victory restores faith in the notion that we the people can change things and we the people still have the power in this democracy.
 It feels weird, but I like it. And as much as I love me some Bill Clinton, cheeseburgers and diddling the intern do not a role model make (to the youth of America at least. To me he's still a role model for those very reasons.)
President-Elect Obama speaks in a manner that matches my sensory perception. He speaks in coherent complete sentences (which should be a prerequisite for public office) and he talks about the issues in ways I can understand. I know a lot of you feel this way too. You are thinking, "Wow, there is someone in the White House who cares about the things I care about." That is really cool. I hope it lasts, because it probably won't. I'm not going to be an Obama apologist. I know he's not "the messiah or Moses" as Pat Robertson accused me of believing. I know he will make his fair share of mistakes and that he alone will not fix all of our problems. And he will certainly make decisions the we won't all agree with. But I feel extremely comfortable putting him in charge and letting him make those decisions.
 H/T to Jon Stewart for that line, used to explain the disconnect one feels whilst watching Fox News: "I go outside and see that it is sixty degrees and think, 'It's nice out here.' I go inside and turn on Fox News and they say 'It's snowing.' I think, 'That doesn't make sense.' Then everyone around me says 'It's snowing!' even though it isn't. Then I think, "This is really bad." Fox News in a nutshell, people.
A lot has happened in the last week. Here are seven things I have learned during the past seven days:
1. No American can use "it won't make a difference" as an excuse for not voting ever again.
2. A story from my intern: "My friend is dating a few guys who don't quite have jobs. She told them 'I don't want to hear any more excuses about you not being able to find work. If a black man can be elected President, you can find a job.' " Obama's success is bad news for slackers mooching off their girlfriends across the country.
3. All Americans traveling abroad can now take the Canadian flags off their backpacks.
4. Fox News has been trying their best to pervert and distort Obama's victory, but they can't. No one is buying their tired shit anymore. Fuck you, Fox News. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck you.
5. Myster beat me to it, but Alaskans are freaking out and reacting the only way they know how: by buying guns. Lots and lots of guns. And lots and lots of ammo.
6. The Blame Sarah Game is awesome: She didn't know Africa was a continent, didn't know the countries in NAFTA, she was hard to deal with, she's a wacko, she tried to ban Harry Potter, she didn't get along with McCain, the clothes thing, etc., etc. And there's a new one: a local rumor has surfaced regarding (a la Uncle Ted) mystery funding for significant improvements (I heard $1.7 mil worth, but that seems hard to believe, esp. in Wasilla) to the Palin homestead. Is this stuff true or are the Repubs, and especially the McCain Camp, just throwing her under the bus and trying to pin the blame on the Caribou Barbie? True or not, these stories are hilarious, mostly because they are so believable and fit the meme that she was not vetted at all (which I think we can now agree was accurate). But these stories are also really frustrating and disappointing because it is clear that campaign insiders and members of the conservative media had serious doubts about her experience and qualifications, but they did not raise those concerns during the campaign. Instead, they all lied. All of the Republican and Fox News Talking heads lied about her experience, they lied about how much contact McCain and Palin had, they lied about how much they liked her, they lied about what a great choice she was. Pants on fire, all of you.
7. The contrast of this momentous victory with what happened in California is sobering. For all of the Obama excitement, the passage of Proposition 8 shows that we still have a lot of work to do. Prop 8 amends the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry, thus firmly reminding us that there is still one group that it is still okay to discriminate against. Despicable as this is, this discrimination will not last. Every pervasive, accepted, codified form of discrimination that has existed in this country has allen by the wayside. It's only a matter of time before this isn't an issue. But why do we have to wait? Why do we have to go through the motions and discriminate against gay couples for a few more years before we realize the error of our ways? Let's just get rid of it now. And it is important to get rid of it now because of what Prop 8 actually does. Prop 8 is different from all of the other states that have amended their constitutions to ban gay marriage. The difference is that in California gay couples had the right to get married before the amendment passed. The Cali Supreme Court said so. Thus voters didn't just block gay people from achieving a measure of equality with their heterosexual peers, they took away the equal-ness they already achieved. But fret not: lawsuits are underway. From a legal standpoint, this raises really intersting constitutional questions because constitutions usually aren't amended to eliminate fundamental rights. I'm not going to do the research, but I can't think of any examples where liberties have been rescinded by an amendment, and doing so may itself be unconstitutional (I'm talking fundamental rights--prohibition of alcohol, fundamental as drinking may be to many of you, doesn't count). Also, there is a question of whether such an important amendment, one that strips rights away from a good number of people, can and should be left solely in the hands of the voters by way of a ballot initiative. One of the arguments raised in the case is that such an amendment must arise through the state legislature before going to the voters.
At 7:30 Hageland had to close for the night and we had to catch our flight to Anchorage, which was leaving in an hour. So we headed down the street to the Alaska Air terminal. We checked in quickly and then ran to the pizza place next door--which we knew to owned by staunch republicans.
We went in and of course Fox News was playing on the big screen TV. "No celebrating," the guy behind the counter said, "this is a republican restaurant." Then I mumbled something about free speech (the state action doctrine notwithstanding), he smiled shyly, shook his head and said "fine." We determined that we needed to head back to the terminal at 8:00 to go through security and make our plane. That gave us about 15 minutes to watch the visibly morose and depressed Fox News talking heads (I'm looking at you Brit Hume and Charles Krauthammer) attempt to continue to slam the President-Elect: "Well, we still don't really know that much about him...we need to find out more about all of his questionable relationships..." Give it up, d-bags. We're not buying. Time to close up shop.
It was announced that Obama would be speaking at 8 (midnight, eastern)--the exact time we needed to leave. A collective groan arose. Would we be willing to miss our flight and spend the night in Bethel in order to watch the speech? Maybe. He actually started a few minutes before 8 and at 8:15 we started the slow process of pulling ourselves away from the TV. We were back in the terminal by 8:25 and headed to security. Everyone else was on the plane already except us and the guy they wouldn't let on because he had an invalid ID. We got through, went outside, scampered across the icy tarmac, boarded the plane and headed home, happier than any of us had been in a long, long while. (And then we had some drinks on the plane to celebrate.)
I met Mayor Begich for the first time about four years ago. I was coming out of the post office and he was in his truck in the parking lot looking through his mail. I walked over, knocked on the window and introduced myself. Then I complained about the long lines in the post office and half-jokingly asked him if there was anything he could do about it. "I'm sorry," he replied, "That's federal. It's out of my jurisdiction."I talked to him briefly at a campaign rally tonight. I told him that he probably wouldn't remember, but that the first time we met it was at the post office. He interrupted me and said, "Sure, I remember. I was reading my mail and you complained about the long lines inside." I told him what he said about not being able to get involved with federal issues as mayor, but that as a senator I expect him to do something about it. He laughed and then told me about his plans to fix postal issues in general and the specific problems faced by rural Alaskan villages.
Begich is the real deal; he'll do a great job. And so will Ethan Berkowitz, who seeks to unseat Don Young (currently under criminal investigation) who has been Alaska's lone voice in the House of Representatives for god-only-knows how long.
I've been watching a lot of the West Wing recently. I used to watch it and wish that, in stark contrast to President Bush, a man like Jed Bartlett was the President. But now I watch it and realize that it is possible. Barack Obama is not perfect, and as we put him on a higher and higher pedestal I am certain he will inevitably disappoint us in some way. But he will also inspire us and guide us through dangerous and uncertain times. And that is exactly what we need right now. To quote President Bartlett, "This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars." So, game on. Go get 'em, boys. You've got my vote.
Me: I'd like to make a reservation for October 15-16.
Hotel Staff Person: Do you need a room with a refrigerator?
HSP: We only have a room with a refrigerator available on those dates. Will that be a problem?
Me: Will the refrigerator be a problem?
Me: Um, is there an extra charge for the refrigerator?
Me: Is it unusually large or loud?
Me: I think that will be fine (But thinking: Am I missing something here? Is there some problem that could be caused by a refrigerator in the room that I can't foresee? I stress about this for 10 minutes; I can't think of anything.)
1:18 pm: Land in Bethel.
1:48: My room will not be ready for at least 15 minutes. Decide to grab lunch in the attached restaurant (they are adamant that it is just attached, it is not owned by the hotel).
1:57: I order the "gyro sandwich." 
 I know, I know, what was I thinking ordering a gyro in Bethel, Alaska? At the time it made sense: (1) I was tired; (2) I was a little delirious from not having eaten all day; (3) the gyro posed the best protein+vegetable option on the menu; and perhaps most importantly, (4) the restaurant is named Afrim's and the guys working there were all speaking something that sounded vaguely middle eastern. I found this reassuring--I then (perhaps stereotypically) thought the kitchen staff would know a thing or two about how to make a gyro and the (what turned out to be Albanian) dialect made a gyro seem not-so-outlandish all the way out here. In general, the food options in Bethel are pretty bleak. The restaurant choices are Italian, Chinese, or Subway. Inquiring as to why no establishments serve local fare like salmon, berries, goose, moose, caribou, etc., we learn that "Everyone has that stuff at home. When they go out they want to eat something exotic."
2:18: What arrives is not a gyro at all. It is what the menu calls the "Gyro Pizza." This is troubling for several reasons, least of which is the obvious one that it wasn't what I ordered.  But even if I had wanted pizza, I wouldn't have ordered such a bastardization; I'm a (NY thin crust) pizza purist and/or snob. This is a huge problem in Alaska, where the pizza sucks (except for Nino's, which along with Arinell's in the Mission in San Francisco, offers the best NY-style slice west of the Delaware River.) and the "specialty" pizza tries too hard.  Not surprisingly, the Gyro Pizza at Afrim's wasn't very good either. The pizza part was lousy (it's pizza in Bethel, after all) but so was the gyro component: melted feta (not a good idea), a few thin strips of shaved lamb, and 3 cold tomato slices.
To recap, I didn't get what I ordered and what I got was the last thing I would have ordered because it was a dish that I am philosophically opposed to. So, lunch sucked both taste-wise and existentially.
 I should have known something was up when after I said "gyro sandwich" the waiter asked if I wanted the S, M, L, or XL. "What's the difference?" I confusedly asked. "Small is 12 inches, medium is 16, large is 18, and xl is 20." Thinking, "those are enormous sandwiches," and "I didn't see any sandwich sizes on the menu," I ordered the small. Retrospectively, after the pizza arrived, I realized the server's question was re: pizza diameter and then it made perfect sense. I blame my confusion on being tired and delirious from hunger, as explained in n.1, supra.
 To wit: the Moose's Tooth, a favorite among my friends. Let's look at a few things on the Moose's Tooth menu: Blackened Halibut Pizza, Chicken Cordon Bleu Pizza, Shrimp Fiesta Pizza, Chicken Rockefeller Pizza, Chipotle Steak Pizza, Barbecue Chicken Pizza, Taco Pizza (these all sound like they came out of Kramer's Make-Your-Own-Pie Pizzaria). This isn't to say these creations don't taste good, Butch and Hank swear by the Avalanche (pepperoni, bbq chicken, bacon, red onion, parsley, cheddar, mozz., provolone) and the blackened halibut is actually quite tasty, but they are not pizzas. They are another food item, some sort of open-faced slice of sandwich with melted cheese and should be defined as such.
3:21: 15 degrees outside (0 w/wind chill).
3:39: Meeting (inside, thank g-d).
4:04: Go to supermarket  to buy water ($4/liter).
 Bethel's lone supermarket, the AC Value Center, provides the rare opportunity to buy a jug of mayonnaise and a snowmachine without having to go to two stores:
Also interesting about the AC: for a reason that no one can explain, the credit card swipe machines at each check out line are in English and French.
4:11: Walk out of the AC; step over passed-out guy sitting slumped over directly outside of exit door.
4:14: Gust of wind blows me off of the ice-covered
4:28: Back at hotel (approx. 60 degrees in my room)
4:37: Front desk clerk's (hereinafter "FDC") response to my query re: wireless internet problems: "Yeah, sometimes it doesn't work." FDC's interest in fixing said wireless network: none.
4:42 : Some guy walks by the front desk and FDC as FDC is busy checking people in and shouts (in a chuckling manner) "first name vagina, last name hole" towards FDC as if he were checking in under that name and as if he and FDC shared an inside joke that involved making up (un)funny names and pretending to check in as such. This inside joke may have been one-sided, as FDC does not respond as one who shared and enjoyed an inside joke would. In fact, FDC pretends not to hear him at all (and actually looks a little worried). The guy who did the shouting just looks embarrassed.
4:57: I can actually hear the cable box grinding as I press the channel-up button, one channel at a time, from channel 3 to channel 65 (MSNBC; I heart Keith Olberman) to watch the debate because the 6 and 5 buttons on the remote control do not work.
5:04: Joe the Plumber? Really?
[Note: The author is aware that the Joe the Plumber (who, it turns out, may not be a plumber) thing has been beaten to death by now, but is including these comments, written contemporaneously with the debate, regardless.]
5:06: Why does Joe the Plumber need a tax break to buy his own business? If it's his business, doesn't he already own it?
5:07: 50% of the small business taxes are paid by small business owners. Uh, John?
5:08: McCain is just stumbling through this. Rahm Emanuel nailed it: "John McCain continues to come off with a negative edge. He looks like the guy in your neighborhood, in the slippers, in the bathrobe, picking up the newspaper, yelling at the kids on the front lawn. And he can't get away from that." So did Chris Rock: "John McCain is so old he used to own Sidney Poitier." Now that I think about it, maybe McCain is the right guy to steer the ship through this economic meltdown: HE WAS ALIVE DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION.
5:10: John, please stop saying "countries that don't like us very much." It's starting to grate on me.
5:13: McCain's rant against big gov't rings hollow: he's been in the senate for-eva, and has been a part of the administration that has overseen this "largest expansion of government in history." Seems like since he would have had a hand in this expansion since he was in the Senate for the past 8 years, no?
5:14: "I know how to cut defense spending." Why haven't you then? How are you going to do it?
5:15: Apparently, ACORN is destroying the fabric of democracy.
5:18: Talking about Palin: Wait wait wait wait wait. Alaska's gas line (always described as the $40 Billion Gas Line) is going to relieve all of our nation's energy problems? Really? The deal to build it hasn't even been finalized. Also re: the GILF, just being against corruption doesn't qualify you to be Vice President (especially when a state gov't investigation just revealed that you abused your power and tried to get your ex-brother-in-law fired). She understands special needs families? Right, because all special needs families have the resources that the Palins do. Her husband is tough? Is that a qualification for the OEOB or the White House? Am I missing something?
5:22: I think I'm going to vote for Barack Obama.
7:17-11:32: I teach FDC how to use Outlook; I attempt to fix the hotel's Internet problems (can't); My TV turns off on its own twice; The door to my room doesn't lock; Loud banging/crashing and screaming coming from the room next door; FDC promises to investigate.
7:48 am: Back at Afrim's for breakfast. I order very clearly and specifically. My table is 10 feet from the guy sitting at the check-out counter (the same guy who screwed up my order yesterday). He is staring intently at the computer screen in front of him which is resting on a stereo speaker that is BLASTING (BLASTING!) "Have you ever really loved a woman" by Bryan Adams, which sucks on its own, sounds terrible this loud, and this version playing so loudly on this early Bethel morning may in fact, incredibly, be some sort of a remix. First the gyro pizza incident, now this. I'm really staring to hate this guy. At the table next to me, two teenagers are hunched over a laptop watching a video of sometihing. Directly overhead is a flat screen TV with the volume also too high for what is on the screen: an infomercial for a chin-up bar. I just want some coffee.
7:54: Another Bryan Adams tune. Is this his greatest hits album?
8:05: Are you F-ing kidding me? Now Michael Bolton is playing. Please kill me.
8:20: Mariah Carey can't live if living is w/o you. What is this? The worst mix ever? More people have entered the restauarant. I can't believe how loud the music still is.
9:30 - 4:45: Depositions
4:52: C.C. and I are standing next to each other, facing opposite directions. I'm looking around the conference room for my glasses. She is taking her glasses on and off, looking at and through them and saying "My prescription seems really strange all of a sudden..." She was wearing my glasses, having picked them up by mistake. But what is really funny is that she hadn't been wearing glasses all day--she left them in her car back in Anchorage.
6:30: Dinner w/C.C.
6:44: I caution her against ordering the "chicken paramesian" [sic] based on my rule that one should never order an entree that is misspelled.
7:18: In a cab to the airport. Cab pulls over to the side of the road. Another cab pulls up behind us. That cab's passenger gets out and gets into ours. Weird.
7:38: Flight delayed. Anecdote re: AK Airlines terminal in Bethel. There isn't a singular airport in Bethel. Rather, each airline has their own freestanding terminal along the same road. AK Air is by far the largest carrier in the region making its terminal seem, to the casual observer at least, as if it were the local airport, as it were. Notwithstanding the fact that it is a matter of good hygenine, there is an inordinate amount of social pressure to wash your hands after using the restroom at the AK Airlines terminal in Bethel. As you can see in the picture below, the sinks for the mens' and womens' restrooms are publicly visible in a small vestibule outside the restrooms and right off the large room that serves as the waiting area/baggage claim/check-in counter.
9:40: We're thirty minutes outside of Anchorage and the dude sitting next to me just ordered 2 Miller Lites. Wow.
9:40 - 10:12: He drinks them. Me = impressed, and a little scared.
10:16: Land in Anchorage.
10:18: Text msg. from Viv: at bar. come meet us.
10:42: Scrape ice off of the inside of my car windows.
11:40: Talking with Viv and Pete in the parking lot behind the Pioneer Bar. A girl wanders over and asks if anyone has a cigarette. She seems a little freaked out. Viv asks is she is okay. "Yeah, but I was worried that I was going to almost get kidnapped again."
11:58: Walking to my car. There is a guy on the street way overdressed, and not doing it well at all , yelling into his cell phone: "Dude! Where are you?. . . .Where are you?. . . .Did you get trapped in the vortex?. . . .Vortex. . . .Vortex. . . .V-O-R-T-E-X. . . .Vortex! You know, like a hole."
 Why do some people look so much worse when they get dressed up? The gentleman tonight looked oddly out of place standing on the street outside of a dive bar wearing black slacks and a white dinner jacket. That the suit was somewhat ill-fitting didn't help, and his accoutrements also worked to quickly lower his look from classy to cheesy: there was no need for the exposed necklace(s), red scarf, and long cape-like jacket.
Couric Why, in your view, is Roe v. Wade a bad decision?Aside from the fact that her constitutional analysis contradicts itself and she can't name any Supreme Court cases, her answers don't make any sense. SNL was even able to use HER EXACT WORDS to skewer her. Unbelievable. Also unbelievable: she "reads all the newspapers." I doubt she has read any of this.
Sarah Palin: I think it should be a states' issue not a federal government-mandated, mandating yes or no on such an important issue. I'm, in that sense, a federalist, where I believe that states should have more say in the laws of their lands and individual areas. Now, foundationally, also, though, it's no secret that I'm pro-life that I believe in a culture of life is very important for this country. Personally that's what I would like to see, um, further embraced by America.
Couric: Do you think there's an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution?
Palin: I do. Yeah, I do.
Couric: The cornerstone of Roe v. Wade.
Palin: I do. And I believe that individual states can best handle what the people within the different constituencies in the 50 states would like to see their will ushered in an issue like that.
Couric: What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?
Palin: Well, let's see. There's, of course in the great history of America there have been rulings, that's never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but …
Couric: Can you think of any?
Palin: Well, I could think of … any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But, you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a vice president, if I'm so privileged to serve, wouldn't be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today.
Just got back from: Kwigillingok
Tomorrow headed to: Tuntutuliak
Traveling in: Very small planes
Been up since: 5 AM
Reading: Consider The Lobster
Listening to: The Submarines; Frightened Rabbit; Legal Lad's Quick and Dirty Tips for a More Lawful Life Podcasts
Reason why my cab driver failed the written motorcycle test yesterday: The book the Bethel DMV gave him to study from was from 1992.
 But not quite to the extent that this guy does: "[S]he really is kinda hot. Basically, I want to have sex with her on my Barack Obama sheets while my wife reads aloud from the Constitution. (My wife is cool with this if I promise to "first wipe off Palin's tranny makeup." I married well.)" Indeed he did.
Karl Rove touts Sarah Palin's experience as the mayor of a town of 9,000 after previously deriding potential Dem VP choice Tim Kaine's lack of experience (specifically citing his time as the mayor of Richmond, VA (pop 200,000)). Bill O'Riley says Bristol's pregnancy is private matter and we shouldn't judge. But when Jamie Lynn Spears announced her own teen pregnancy, who did Bill O. blame? The parents; He called them "pinheads." Dick Morris complains about sexist treatment of Sarah, but has repeatedly made sexist comments about Hillary. Just watch:
Somehow, I'm on former Lieutenant Governor of Alaska Loren Leman's  e-mail list.  I received a message this morning titled "Remembering Sarah" from his personal e-mail account (somewhat surprisingly, he's a gmail man). Here is the text (emphasis added):
Since the announcement last Friday that Senator John McCain has chosen Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate, the interest in and attacks on her and her family have been relentless. This continues, even after her major address on Wednesday evening.
Perhaps I am in a unique position to somewhat understand what she is going through. I am a veteran of six campaign cycles--all tough. Sarah Palin and I competed for the same office in 2002 in a spirited campaign. Although I didn't vote for her that year, she earned my respect. Out of those experiences what I believe was so important was our agreement to maintain our friendship, even though competing. We did so and remain friends today.
Any campaign is tough--especially one for Vice President of the United States. Sarah Palin's personal and family challenges are immense. I have concluded we should be spending less time talking about her--and more time praying for her. Please join Carolyn and me in praying for Governor Palin that God will give her wisdom and courage to stand strong--and be a good example to our country.
former Lieutenant Governor, Alaska
How much time do you think he spent analyzing the situation before reaching that conclusion? What qualifies him as an authority on when talking should stop and praying should commence? These are the questions I want answers to. But much like Sarah's speech last night, (more on that later) Loren's message was light on facts and heavy on playing to sympathies. Until I hear some good reasons from him, I'm going to continue to talk about her and not pray. To that end, for those of you still curious about Sarah's home town Wasilla, check out my friend Alex's video essay on Slate.
 He always freaked me out. Mainly because of his giant head, but also the fact that all he cared about during his term as lite gov was creating faith-based initiatives (FBCI), otherwise known as "ways to use public money to support religious groups."
 I think I know how. As part of my job requires making sure that the State of Alaska does not violate the Establishment Clause, I paid close attention to the State's FBCI plan that Leman spearheaded and I signed up for the e-newsletter. Methinks Mr. Leman appropriated that e-mail list upon leaving office. I think that calls for a special investigation as well.