This has been a really exhausting week for me, and of course, I can't really talk about why, because I can't really blog about work. Really. ;-) But my trip to DC to meet up with members of the Pandas Unlimited group and celebrate panda boy Tai Shan's fourth birthday next week is off. I have earned more time off than I ever had at my disposal, but can't use a second of it until late October, for Samhain in Florida. Oh, well. Things could be worse, lots worse. L'Ailee and I ended up snuggled on the couch earlier tonight, just crashed together with a couple of the cats. Eventually, we got up, and she took to the bed, and I took to the computer.
So I'm going to talk about random stuff again.
* What in the name of hell is going on with these Republican governors?!?! First Mark Sanford in South Carolina, now Sarah Palin from Alaska! I still can't believe her resignation. The Associated Press article I link to makes it sound like Palin's going to concentrate on running for president for 2012, but I honestly can't believe that. For one thing, her action is incredibly, stupidly impulsive. Not even ultra-conservative Christian Republicans want that...right? Obama, Clinton, and McCain all kept their jobs as senators while they ran for president. Palin herself kept her job as governor of Alaska while she ran for vice president. Her term ends in 2010, plenty of time to make that run, even by today's standards. No, something's definitely up, and we'll find out what it is in a matter of days. I don't like that I'm practically slavering over it, but here I am anyway.
* L'Ailee wasn't too tired to be funny: "Maybe she will go away with that governor in South Carolina."
* I misdialed, and learned today that the ring tone she programmed into her cell phone for me is "She's Country", by Jason Aldean. I'm not so sure the song fits me--I'm not *that* country, and with all the states mentioned, there isn't a single line about Florida in it at all--but she blushed all the way up to her scalp when she saw my reaction. For the record, my ringtone for her is an older techno song, "Atom Bomb" by Fluke.
* She really blushed when I told her about this news story. It seems that a woman was a screamer, and a group of concerned teenagers decided to go and save her from her boyfriend. Years ago, L'Ailee set me off in a tiny Manhattan apartment with paper-thin walls. The next morning, neighbors stopped us in the halls, high-fived her, and said, "So *you're* the girl from Florida!" to me. Totally embarrassing. But at least nobody got hurt!
* This weekend, the Statue of Liberty's crown re-opens for visitors for the first time since 9/11. Awesome timing, and I'm glad to see it. We thought about going, but so did a whoooooolllle lot of other people. We decided that we can go up to the crown on another weekend. We're definitely doing it before summer's out, anyway.
* India decriminalized gay sex! I am amazed and delighted. I think that love and sex are basic human rights, so any progress in that direction anywhere is a good thing to me. Also, in Hungary, same-sex civil unions are now legal. Hungarian LGBs have some work to do--they can neither take their partner's name nor adopt children. But a step is a step. Besides, my great-grandmother was from Hungary, so I can't help being a bit pleased just because of that.
* A feminist blogger whom I'd encountered, and liked, earlier this week said that sports are like "soap operas for men." Well, sometimes they're for women who get depressed by the news and don't enjoy the gory details of Kate and Jon Gosselin's divorce, too. L'Ailee convinced me that I needed to pay attention to the NHL trades this summer "so that you are not surprised when you see new people on your team." Oh, like the way I pay attention to NASCAR business dealings in winter! Makes sense. I'm pretty much happy with how the Pittsburgh Penguins did. I'm not happy that we lost Rob Scuderi, but I'm fine with Hal Gill going, despite his famous "long reach." I am really glad that the Penguins retained Ruslan Fedotenko, who works brilliantly with Evgeni Malkin.
And I am thrilled that they have Bill Guerin for another year! There are good game-related reasons why he needed to stay, but I had quite a few impure thoughts about Guerin during the Stanley Cup playoffs. He's stocky and not exactly classically handsome, as has been pointed out to me, but I have always rather liked that. He's a really tough and physical player. Plus my 35-year-old eyes can picture what's under his uniform without any icky cougary aftertaste, unlike so many of his teammates. I found myself wondering why I didn't notice him last winter, when he was with the New York Islanders, but, well, he was with the Isles. Being on Sidney Crosby's line can heighten almost any player's doability as well as his statistics. Why, poor sad Marian Hossa probably saw some action in that position a couple seasons back!
* Speaking of which, Hossa, a bane to Penguins and Detroit Red Wings fans alike, is now going to the Chicago Blackhawks, with a shocking 12-year contract. L'Ailee and I chorused, "He's Chicago's problem now!" Pens and Wings fans who aren't married to each other have probably done that, too.
* I'm still in love, or something, with Tony Stewart. Once again, qualifying was rained out, so once again, he is on the pole because he leads in points. I really don't understand why whoever schedules these things doesn't think to check yearly weather patterns for an area, but I've got no problem with Stewart on pole. The Daytona races are always my favorites, too, probably because I was raised around the Superspeedway there. I was really happy to learn this week that he has a development driver, and she's a woman named Jessica Zemken. He has also been a mentor to Chrissy Wallace, who sometimes races in the truck series. As a former little girl with NASCAR dreams, I love seeing that my very favorite driver will help women out without making a big screaming deal about how "inclusive" or whatever he's being. Speaking of which, he asked Danica Patrick to participate in his Prelude to the Dream race, which is on his Eldora Speedway (a small dirt track in Ohio) and attracts racing royalty. That could just be good business, since she's so well-known. But if integrating a boy's club is good business, that's fine with me.
* Happy Independence Day to my fellow and sister Americans! Happy July Fourth to everyone else! I really love this holiday. No gifts, no baking, no drama. Just bomb pops and fireworks and a race and, most importantly, a day intended to celebrate revolution and freedom. A look at the news reveals just what powerful ideas our Founding Parents had, even if they weren't perfectly implemented and we still have to fight to get things right. For me, the great thing is that we *can* fight with the expectation that something good might come of it. I also consider the weekend of the Fourth rather than the Summer Solstice to be my celebration of summer. So hopefully Sunday we'll go to the beach, and even if we don't, we'll find something to celebrate anyway. If nothing else, I guess we can thank North Korea for the sparklers.
* My paternal grandfather used to tell me that some things are too serious *not* to joke about. It's advice that serves me well, but is sometimes hard to live by.