Nada today, or very little. I have to be out of the house with the child for most of the night, as my wife is hosting this rotating Bunco thing that might possibly be an excuse for some sort of goddess-worship ceremony. No man has ever seen the Bunco rituals, you know. It’s like Freemasonry, with white wine. Have I picked up the slack for my wife to help her prepare for this hen-fest? Did I do the shopping, clean the house, buy all the hooch? I did. And for this I am repaid with banishment.

It’s the afternoon right now; normally I’d be at work, since the tot-minder picks up Gnat from school and takes her home while I go to the office, clean out my mailbox, assure my employers that I still draw breath, etc. I called her to make sure we were on schedule; I do this every week, as though I somehow expect she will leave town without calling me. Well, she called me back from Milwaukee. She’d left town, without telling me. Totally forgot.

I don’t mind. I get to pick up Gnat from her last day at school, which is one of those milestones that come and go so damnably fast. She brought cards for her teachers. Handed them out one by one. Big hugs, big smiles; a great little moment, very touching. Or so I think; I was watching it through a viewfinder. (All the parents - I’d say “the other moms” since they were all female, but that does suggest I am in fact a mom) were taking pictures as well. Hail digital photography: now instead of one or two blurry faded photos in a scrapbook, people have 3 dozen shots chronologically stored in a computer’s hard drive. Which dies.

Listening to a radio host discuss this column by Fritz Hollings. What caused the war with Iraq? Simple! Charles Krauthammer used his super-powerful Jew Beams to cloud the minds of hapless pliable goyim. Then Bush realized he could win reelection by getting that overwhelming number of Jewish voters.

I know this sounds naive, but I still expect better from Senators. Better writing, better thinking. But I am coming to believe that the Senate is one of the biggest dunce-clubs around.

Here come the anti-Semitic calls. First one from a Republican who’s agreeing with a Democrat for the first time in his life! We were attacked in Somalia, says the first caller, because of our relationship to Israel. And the Bali bombing was because Australia supports Israel.

Man, did 9/11 overturn a large rock.

Later: So what did we do all night? I imagine a meeting of the consultants who came up with the original concept for Chuck E. Cheeses.

Gentlemen, I believe we have it down. We will stuff the rooms with banal games that provide less than 30 seconds of entertainment for a token, meaning that the kids will leap from one machine to the other like nits on a hotplate. We have chosen as our mascot a particularly odious form of rodent based directly on Mortimer, the annoying mouse who not only courted Minnie, but showed Minnie to be somewhat of a roundheels: she’s impressed by the guy. We will have a scary anamatronic Chuck E. at each locale. And I do not mean the rapper. We will have Tvs playing the Chuck E. Cheese show, in which a wide variety of post-childhood generational archetypes are ridiculed, interspersed with skits featuring obvious Muppet knockoffs. Are we missing anything that would make it all an experience parents are loathe to repeat?

(coughs, murmurs)

"Uh – sir? Johnson here."

Yes, Jackson. What?

"Uh – we make the pizza an inedible simulacrum of the worst pizza ever served to sentient beings?

Exactly! Bravo, son. Bravo!"

Re yesterday’s remarks on architecture – and you don’t know how much it pains me NOT to like new trends in architecture. I adore architecture. I wanted to be an architect. But via Brian, a Gehry building I hadn’t seem.

Suess meets Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase.”

He also links to Gehry’s Weisman Center (via Keith & Fred: hi guys!) which I have come to loathe as well. It’s not that the building doesn’t have its merits; it does. But it occupies not just a magnificent site on the Mississippi, it shoves a big Roman Candle up the classical style of the surrounding structures. It’s right by the great Mall, an incomparable array of neoclassical buildings with additions from the 30s, 50s, and 70s, all working in the same genre. It’s architectural narcissism.

While I was in Chuck E’s, I wasn’t able to hear Hugh Hewitt make fun of my dog.

Okay, I warned him. I really did. You can say all you want about me, because I can call in and fire back. But my dog cannot. I had threatened the nuclear option a few months ago, when he was calling Jasper names; now he returns to this calumny before he takes a ten day vacation.

Well. If I deployed the nuclear option now, it would be forgotten by the time he got back.

So I will wait. This will be good. I might never be on his show again. For the honor of my dog, though, it an easy burden to bear.

Have a good weekend; see you Monday. (Oh – and the Fence is back this week, if you missed it.)

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