You know I'm going to talk about the Richmond race, and there will be a few other topics, too. But I want to begin with a photo I saw in Pandas Unlimited this morning. Pandas Unlimited is just like it sounds--pictures upon pictures of beautiful pandas being cute accompanied by news and discussion. I usually go there as a "happy place" on the Web. This isn't so happy. Here is Tai Shan at the National Zoo chewing on what he probably thought was a new toy recently. It was actually a water bottle that some thoughtless piece of ass meat either threw into his habitat or dropped into it accidentally without notifying a zookeeper. Being a young bear (almost three years old, still a cub), his first reaction to anything new and different is to put it in his mouth! Luckily, his human friends got the bottle and the cap, which he could so easily have choked on, away from him in time.
I've seen it at other zoos around New York and Orlando, too. It really upsets me. For one thing, if people do it too often, you lose your right to carry a cooler with your own stuff to it into the zoo! The other, more important thing is that these animals are innocents whom we humans have seized responsibility for--arrogated it to ourselves, really. Those of us who view them share in that responsibility. We fancy ourselves animal lovers. No matter how many cooing noises you make, it is not even remotely loving to let that cute panda boy chew on your water bottle or make Riley the baby kangaroo hop amidst chip bags or incorporate your gum wrapper into a Central Park Zoo penguin's nest. (Yes, I've seen that.) So, put your trash in a can! Try filtering your tap water and carrying it in a permanent bottle! Just be considerate, damn it!
Whew. Now that I've gotten my environmental sermon out of my system, I can talk about NASCAR. *smirk* First of all, my heart broke for Denny Hamlin, who was soooo dominant on his hometown track--381 out of 400 laps!--until it really counted. I just want to hug him. I'm sure everyone knows about how that poor horse Eight Belles broke her front ankles and got put down right at the track after her second-place finish. I am certain that many a NASCAR fan at Richmond would have liked to watch something similar happen to the second-place finisher of the Sprint Cup race, Kyle Busch.
I like the Orlando Sentinel blogger's spin on it, that NASCAR could use a good, high-profile rivalry and Kyle versus Junior could provide it. (If you click that link, you can also watch the last few laps of that race.) I think Kyle accidentally put Dale Earnhardt, Jr. into that wall. Members of the Junior Nation, including my wife's best friend, think differently. Even with that two-year winless streak which came so painfully close to getting snapped, he keeps getting voted most popular driver and has several fans who've got his number tattooed on. Speaking of throwing trash where you shouldn't, Junior fans pelted the track with trash. I loved Busch's comment: "If I apologize up and down, even though it may or may not be my fault, it would not make a difference. Dale got wrecked, he should have had a win tonight, quote, unquote. But I'll say it again, it's just unfortunate circumstances for him because he didn't get a win and for me because now I've got to put up with it." Don't worry, I won't try to do armchair psychoanalysis on him like I did on his (erstwhile?) teammate Tony Stewart. That's best left to people who really know how, like Dr. Deb!
I actually literally prayed that Kyle wouldn't win, just because I thought people would go crazy at that track. Boy, did I get my wish. Clint Freakin' Bowyer. Sheesh. L'Ailee and I enjoy winning-driver sex after the race, and we thought that since we love Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, and Juan Pablo Montoya between us, we'd have a chance to finally get some for the first time this season. Since we apparently can't rely on any of them to win for us at the moment, we decided that we could at least get each other to the checkered flag, and hustled our friends out so we could!
What else? I have hay fever, even in NYC. I'm still a Florida girl, and after four years, my mind and body are still adjusting to the concept of "seasons." Kinda ruined both Beltaine on Friday night and the cherry blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Saturday morning for me. L'Ailee was really enjoying the festival--the blossoms and the Japanese cultural exhibits--and all I could say, even with Claritin, was "AAAAAA-CHOO!" L'Ailee went again on Sunday without me. I'm seeing the Roots on Friday night, and I'm sooooo grateful that's not outdoors!
Also, my brother and I got something absolutely wonderful from our great-great-aunt. (Our great-grandmother's sister. She's 88.) Our great-great-grandmother supported the family through Prohibition by making and selling bootleg whiskey and gin. Now we have her recipes! My great-aunt Xeroxed them, so we have them in Grandma's handwriting, too! Unfortunately, our wives have absolutely forbidden us from making them, like the killjoys they are. One day...
I got *lots* of links.
Mildred Loving has died. She was one of the plaintiffs in the Loving v. Virginia case, which invalidated laws against interracial marriage. If there's an Afterworld, I hope she and her husband are embracing in it right now!
Everyone talks about Obama's "radical" connections. It's time to discuss McCain's. *NOT* about John Hagee!
A long, amazing, well-thought-out post on white liberal "colorblind racism".
A real problem with IKEA.
Gynecologists say the darnedest things!
How *not* to complement someone's tattoos. I have a small State of Florida over my heart and my father's racecar number under my left elbow; my wife has 11 little bats flying up her arm to distract from a scar. We related.
Pagan weddings are on the rise.
The South Carolina State Senate has approved the "Non-Christians, Shut Up and Sit Down" Bill.
Finally, a new magazine: Modern Witch