|Oh, great: a commission to study Hurricane reponse. I assume that two years from now we’ll discover that Able Danger knew about Katrina in 2000. Hyuk! Yeah, I know. But I thought, well, that’s a line I can use on Hugh’s show – you know, the show that kindly requests I be in a certain place at a certain time so they can, ahem, CALL ME. But it did not happen. Do they ever forget Mark Steyn? Ohhh, no. Heavens no.
Bitter? You have no idea.
Actually, no. Pleased, but for other reasons. Finally It Can Be Told. The paper is undergoing a gigantic redesign, the details of which I can’t divulge, obviously. I think it’s sweet, although I’m sure someone people will hate it. The paper still has some legacy elements from, oh, 1978, so this is a major clearing of the decks. Anyway: one of the items that came afoul of certain, uh, theoretical adjustments to the paper was my column. I was informed of this three months ago, and pitched what I thought was a good idea for a retool of the Backfence. If nothing else I thought this was an excellent time to do what I’ve been wanting to for a long time, and that’s go daily. Why not? Blondie’s daily; the horoscope’s daily; why not run a column every day? It’s not like I don’t have practice. I thought this might have a grievous impact on this site, since it would be hard to figure out what went where. And then as the weeks turned into months and no decisions were made, I began to wonder if this wasn’t a kind way of busting me down to West Metro Sewer Board reporter.
Hence the occasional bursts of despair. I mean, I was looking at The End of The Dream, right in the face. If that was the case I considered bowing out after a while and retreating to a cabin to write detective novels. But no: I will be going six times a week in the new section, and if all goes well this will mean three 15 inch columns and three short-short ones in between. Lesson: if you make the case, repeatedly, over five years, that you would like to do more work for your employer, eventually they will take you up on it.
I’m relieved. And since I felt newly secure again, I went out and got the Nano iPod. Maybe it’s not available on your fancy-schmancy Amazon, but if you walk into a store where you know a few guys, and one of them pulls out the Nano and grins, you might be able to exchange money for one. Right there! On the spot! The phone was ringing constantly at the store, as people begged to have one set aside. In the store people who had no idea that the thing existed got a dropped-jaw look when they saw it, and for good reason. Never mind the honey-I-shrunk-the-classic-iPod form factor; it’s just so sweet. They are going to sell eleventy million of these things. I’ve already loaded mine with Gnat photos and phone numbers and my calendar, and look forward to taking it out several times an hour over the next few months and polishing the metal back. Makes the Mini look like a piece of Samsonite luggage, it does.
Gnat had her first day of kindergarten today.
We waited for the bus – it was late – and the handoff was less painful than I anticipated. I’ve put her on buses before. I anticipate many mornings like this, the two of us standing outside in the drizzle of fall, the bone-cracking cold of winter, the first warm spring morning, waiting, looking up the street, chatting. She clambered up on the bus without looking back, and for that I’m glad; while this is a bittersweet transition for me, it’s all good for her, and I can only applaud and sigh with relief. She had a wonderful day at Kindergarten; loves her teacher, loves the hubbub of the school. I picked her up, amazed at the chaos that attends the end of the day – surely they must lose a few kids each year just due to friction. Then we went home and I grilled hamburgers. Delicious, perfect hamburgers. Then this; then the Screed; then the Fence; now Lost. And I’m done.
But in a few weeks I won’t be done at all: no more the end of the work week on Thursday, because I’ll be Six-Day Jimmy.
All that PLUS the Bleat and the rest. I have to be out of my mind. But to paraphrase Monty Oscar: the only thing worse than writing every day is not writing every day.
Lemme at it.
(new Screed, on local mayoral politics. Limited interest, I’m sure.)