7/04/2006

how to celebrate the fourth of july

Other than blogging, of course! So much to write about, where to start?

After much fun with good barbecue this weekend, I was thinking what more fitting way to celebrate such a patriotic holiday as treating our leaders to the things they feel are "medically necessary in a humane and compassionate manner". Heck, the manufacturer says they're comfortable, safe, and don't cause injury, so, well, they must be. You see, we want our leaders to get all their nutrients; Cheney and Rummy look especially in need of some lifestyle assistance. So, we line up President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary Rumsfeld, Justice Roberts, General Myers, and others who propogate the wreckless immorality in our prisons, and just as the band strikes up for the finale in the fireworks display, we force-feed them through Texas-sized plastic tubes shoved oh so daintily up their nasal cavities. Of course, due to budget constraints, there's only one tube available. As the President's the born-again one, he'll get the feeding tube last, so he can really know what it's like to follow Hebrews Chapter 13, "...remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured."

Ok, while they suffer "dumping syndrome" - nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, and shortness of breath - for the 3 hours the procedure, give or take, will last, what's next? Ah, Cardinals baseball! I made it to my first baseball game at the ridiculous waste of money otherwise known as the new Busch Stadium. It was my reward for working a ridiculous number of hours the last couple weeks. Good times. They had lost 8 straight, so it's funny to see fans of the first place team seem anxious, upset, and even angry. They booed the Cardinals a couple times. And people left before the end of the game. And this for a team that, let me repeat, was in first place in their division! I was most upset with St. Louis people and my respect will take some time to fully recover. But the ending helped a lot. Those that stayed figured out what to do with seat cushion night. Sure, you can sit on them. But what are seat cushions, really? They're pieces of foam wrapped in plastic. And light objects with a plastic surface area, when banged together, are thundersticks! Seat cushion night may never happen again, but that was playoff energy. Ah, good times. Nothing like winning in the bottom of the 9th to a raucus crowd armed with lots of projectiles.

[How ya doin' there, Georgie?]

So that was a while ago, but there hasn't been time for writing. Why you ask? Well, you, that's because work has been crazy. Among other things, one funder decided to change a contract and another one didn't get funding they were hoping for in the next year. So, lots of extra budgets and moving things around and "one more scenario..." and confused and angry staff and setting off alarms and sore necks and more goodness I'm sure that I've forgotten.

[Yeah Rummy, I bet you're glad we funded buying all these restraint chairs instead of funding programs that provide employment, training, and emergency assistance to veterans. It's not like those people did anything for our country, anyway. Having trouble settling into civilian life? Eh, just re-up; who cares if you're 39 or have damaged vision or carry deep psychological wounds. But ways of inflicting non-lethal pain on foreigners; that's a good investment for the nation!]

Saturday was good. Got to see some Liberty friends. All except the one I haven't seen in forever because she's been in Europe. Nope, her plane decided to stay in Chicago for a while. Good going Sarah.

[General Myers, you're probably enjoying this, watching all these civilians get what they deserve. But you wouldn't command uniformed personnel to do anything to anyone that couldn't be done humanely to you, right?]

Sunday was family stuff, just as the Fourth of July is supposed to be. Almost scary, actually, all this time in St. Louis, the American family get together around the pool, the grill, and vacation photos really does exist! Ooh, and don't forget the strawberry shortcake and two kinds of lemonade.

[Don't worry Cheney, we haven't forgotten about you. What's that? You think you're bleeding and developing lesions? Oh, that's supposed to happen. Good job Johnnie, you might want to press a little more forcefully on his chin if he starts trying to move again.]

Speaking of moving, drove past an incredibly moving sight while in Liberty, if being moved to embarrassment counts. Liberty is a Baptist town, and our mega-church for Baptists, Pleasant Valley (no, not this Pleasant Valley, with the running count of people entering hell as you surf their website) decided to put up some American flags. Now, this makes sense; Liberty is an all-American town in the heartland, and it's the Fourth of July weekend. Need I repeat the name of my town? At any rate, it wasn't the fact that they put up a couple American flags around the parking lot. It's that they literally surrounded the parking lot with flags. Then after building their fence, they decided to fill much of the grassy land between the parking lot and the road with what can best be described as gobs and gobs of flags. It was absolutely amazing; at once incredibly familiar and yet also showing that I have been successful at getting away enough from Liberty to be appalled as much as anything else by the scale of the effort. Is that fear? If we only have a hundred flags, the terrorists might think they've won! I don't know why; it is just as possible that each flag had a very specific meaning, perhaps a loved one lost or something like that. What I took away from it, in addition to the fun that is the Fourth of July as one gets closer to rural America, is that I've been able to put myself in a different enough position to at least notice something like that and have mixed emotions about it.

[Do you have emotions, Chief Justice? Nah, none of those, no ideas, no agendas; you're just a good-looking doll with the all-American family, right? Ah, so what if you want the President to be able to torture people at will. He's an American, elected by other Americans (well, you know, in theory, kind of like our capitalist system...), so surely anything he does can't be bad.]

And what is the all-American holiday without the all-American hero? Superman is back, in all 157 minutes of glory!

Oh, sorry, I forgot the memo; whenever someone refers to Superman, they are supposed to say Superman returns.

With exclamation points!! Superman Returns!!

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