Yes, I changed the graphic; it was something I whipped up yesterday to capitalize on a fleeting meme. (Or a Fleme, as we call it in the blogosphere!) (Please, kill me now.) This week is Rejected Bleat Graphics week – five wonderful days of bleat banners I nixed. <tevye voice> You may ask: what is the difference? I don’t know. </tevye voice>

Interesting day; wife asks ARE YOU DEAD? And I am pleased to hear myself say “no, dear.” Just tired. Just sleeping with a pillow over my head. Downstairs, breakfast, an hour of reading about fonts and kerning (which sounds like some wholesome bygone activity at an ice-cream social, doesn’t it? After the ginger beer was served, the young men and women spent a pleasant hour kerning until all the apples were gone) then packed lunch. We were going to eat at the radio station. See, lunch is noon. Lunch is always noon, for both of us. Today I would be at 1280 doing the Dennis Prager show, and Gnat would be in the green room playing with her computer. That was the plan.

And that’s how it worked. She stayed in the green room and played with another kid (name withheld in case the child was playing hooky from school.) Perfect. The show went fast, as ever – radio time is not like any time you’ve ever experienced, and oddly elastic. When it’s going well it shoots by like caffeinated mercury on a griddle, and when you’re bombing the minutes actually come to a full stop, and you can hear the air brakes hiss to signal that time, and possibly your career, are no longer moving. We also had 9342 guests, which helped. I took my leave; back the car, and off to Gnat’s new school for our first tour. I’m going to keep the particulars scant, for my own reasons. I will tell you this: they had guinea pigs, and b) it took me seven tries to spell guinea correctly, and that’s with spellchecking turned on.

We drove home across the bridge – sorry, no particulars. Right. We drove home across a bridge, past a lot being cleared for the city’s largest residential high-rise, the Carlyle. It’s going to be spectacular, and I look forward to watching it rise, just as I did with this beaut. (Another of equal size and style is rising across the street. This Depression is murder, I tell you.) Of course, not everyone is happy about this new construction, but if they keep people in distant farm-towns from building houses of which Minneapolitans disapprove, then you have to give them some respect. I think.

Home; did the Hewitt show, made dinner, set the entire grill on fire. Big huge dead-Viking bonfire. Now to work.

Update: blasted through the basics of two columns in 90 minutes; hope for a longer Bleat rises.

Update: the Mickey hand puppet is missing. I may have burned it. There was a time when little toddler Gnat kept handing me the thing with the request “You be Mickey.” I couldn’t do the voice. She had a Goofy puppet too: “You be Goofy.” That I could do. Some Dads can do a good Donald; I do a killer Goofy. But Mick? No.

For some reason she thought of the puppet tonight, and turned up the house trying to find it. No luck. So she went to her dress-up bin, put on a hat with a lace veil, and announced: “It’s Detective Natalie.”

I was stunned: where the devil did she learn about detectives? Has she been watching Daddy’s Film Noir series?

“Why are you Detective Natalie?”

“I’m going to find Mickey,” she said.

“You’re on the case,” my wife said.

“Honey, where did you learn about detectives?”

“On Olie.”

Of course. There’s a Rolie Polie Olie about finding some missing cookies; Olie wears a fedora, and it’s shot in sepia. (Or rather run through the Sepia filter, since it’s a computer-generated show.) I always thought that one went over her head, but it’s apparent she has absorbed every single show. Last night she had a paddleball, and as she worked hard to master the thing, she informed me: “I learned from the best.” Very cute.

Anyway, I’m calling her Samantha Spade for the rest of the night. She doesn’t like it, then she’s Phillipa Marlowe.

Back to work; buff & polish, fit & finish, etc.

Okay, I'm done. Had another DNC canvasser the other night. Very young. She read from a piece of paper. She wanted my help to defeat Bush, and said that with only 55 days until the election it was clear that the Republicans would stop at nothing and we are out tonight to (squint, doublecheck word) encourage your support. Then she handed the board for me to sign.

“Why?” I asked.

She stared at me. “Tell me why I should vote for John Kerry,” I said.

“I’m - new at this? And I –“ she looked over her shoulder for the other canvasser. “I had some paper, but I gave it away.”

“Tell me what you believe,” I said. “Tell me what you feel in your head and heart about John Kerry.”

Whereupon she said that the War in Iraq was wrong and was “killing all those innocent soldiers,” and someone the other day said that if we didn’t elect him Bush would have another 9/11, but she didn’t know who said it.

“But tell me why I should vote for John Kerry,” I said. Gently, mind you. With a smile.

“I don’t know,” she said.

I said I would think about it; I thanked her for her time and closed the door.

I mention this not to prove that DONKS ARE ALL IDIOTS because that’s as boring as REPUGS ARE ALL CROOKS or whatever. Yes, everyone on the other side is evil. Noted. I bring this up because it’s the third time the DNC has sent a canvasser to my neighborhood who’s utterly lost as soon as she gets beyond a talking point. Which means nothing, perhaps; it’s a safe district. Send out the newbies to learn on the job. But I kept thinking of the way she phrased the deaths in Iraq: “all those innocent soldiers.” That’s how some see the soldiers in Iraq.

If asked to describe the attributes of a Marine, “innocent” would not be among the first 100 adjectives I’d employ.

Of course, not every Guardsman who signed up expected this; of course, not every soldier is a Pat Tillman. (Side note: those who think we’re living in some incipient Fascist state should note the absence of Tillmanism in the culture today – no songs in his name, no movies played on 2000 screens at the state’s request, no statues, no grade-school drills where the kids are taught to recite his Exploits, no posters of the Fallen Hero in the bus shelters, no mentions in every other speech. Hitler would have gone to town with Pat Tillman. And renamed it Tillmansberg.) But they’re not innocent victims. That puts the people who are fighting on the same level as the people who got blown out the side of the WTC on 9/11. Hapless pawns for whom the only proper emotion is sympathy and pity. Honor, respect, gratitude – would you feel those emotions for someone lost in a cruise-ship disaster, or a bus crash, or an earthquake?

Anyway, she was young. But it was telling nonetheless, I think. And on that obvious and lazy observation, I conclude; back to work. More tomorrow.

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