b Papa Dog's Blog: Hair Cut, Dinner, Star Trek, Debate, Mothra. The Usual.

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Hair Cut, Dinner, Star Trek, Debate, Mothra. The Usual.

Mama Dog cut my hair in the back yard yesterday because it’s cheaper than paying someone to do it and, let’s face it, by now Baby Dog probably has almost as much awareness of her personal appearance as I do of mine. As soon as she stops soiling herself and spitting food on her clothes, she’ll have me beat. I thought it was a really good haircut because when it was done, I felt like I had a lot less hair on my head than when it started. As for what it looks like, I’ll have to remember to check a mirror sometime soon. Mama Dog compares it to Meryl Streep’s do in the concentration camp part of Sophie’s Choice, so hey, I guess she’s saying I look like a movie star, right?

Last night we went out to McTalian for supper and I learned – Mama Dog already knew this – that the days of Baby Dog happily sleeping through every outing are over. The restaurant’s pretty close to our house, so the drive wasn’t long enough to conk her out. We got seated on the patio at a table right at the edge of the sidewalk – the distant outposts, I guess, where baby cries would disturb fewer diners. We wheeled her over – carseat in stroller – close but not too close to the heated pole and put a blanket over the top of the carseat to shield her from the glare of the outdoor lights. She was happy right up until our orders had been taken, but then she commenced to crank and wail. I guess we should be thankful that she held back long enough that the waiter was able to hear what we wanted to eat. I grabbed the carseat and carried her up Lawton a bit then back and around to College. We popped in at Pendragon to see if they had a copy of Silver Screen by Maureen Howard, which I’d recently read about in a months-old issue of the Chronicle - they didn’t. By the time I got back to the restaurant, Baby Dog was drowsing and my salad still hadn’t arrived. She fussed a bit more, so I took her out again. I was barely half a block away when she was sound asleep. We got her settled again, and she slumbered peacefully through salad (Spinach, crispy bacon, grilled red onions, roma tomatoes, ricotta salata, peppered walnuts – I picked the tomatoes out), entrees (pollo griglia for Mama Dog, ravioli di zucca for me), and the panna cotta that Mama Dog had for dolci. Baby Dog didn’t wake again until we were home and continuing my ongoing campaign to familiarise Mama Dog with my crucial adolescent iconography. The episode was Balance of Terror, which is really one of the good ones, but Mama Dog made me heave a heavy sigh by pronouncing it “kind of boring.” It’s overly concerned with “male” issues, I suppose, things like duty, military strategy, and the kinship of well-suited adversaries. Also, Baby Dog was awake and being cute, so the argument could be made that Mama Dog wasn’t actually watching the show at all.

I finally did watch the rest of the debate, and have to agree with the punditry consensus that Governor Bush acquitted himself less abominably this time out and that Kerry missed many giant opportunities. William Saleton’s summary on Slate was pretty good. One thing I haven’t seen commented about much was Bush’s really weird response to the question about Supreme Court appointments. He declined to say specifically who might appoint to the Court, yammered a bit about how he’d want to appoint people who interpret the law according to a strict reading of the Constitution (translation: according to the religious prejudices of the wacky Christian right) and not according to their personal opinions (translation: according to even a casual glance at the Constitution). Then he cited the Dred Scott decision as an example of something he was against. Now, I’m not sure if even Bush knew what he was getting at here, but it kind of looked as though he was taking the courageous stand of asserting that he would never appoint any of the Justices who were in the majority in the most shameful decision in the Supreme Court’s history. Given that they’ve all been dead for more than a hundred years, that doesn’t strike me as too risky a promise. Maybe he’s become conscious enough of criticism of his poor track record for keeping promises that he wanted to make one he knew for sure he could stick to.

And lastly – Mothra’s off to jail. At dinner last night, I made a minor and obvious witticism about her fashioning a shank from a Loofah sponge. What made it funny was, I started talking about the damage the shank would do on the way out on account of its roughness, and Mama Dog stared blankly. After a minute, we figured out that I’d actually meant to say “pumice stone,” but somehow muddle up the two girlie products in my head. We decided in retrospect that the Loofah shank, being more absurd, was actually funnier.

Addendum: A little further rummaging through the "Internets" (as Bush referred to "them" the other night) turned up this nice summary of the Dred Scott bit from David Talbot in Salon: “Did he really answer the question about his criteria for picking a future Supreme Court justice, after stumbling around aimlessly for awhile, by suddenly latching onto the 1857 Dred Scott decision, that reaffirmed the institution of slavery, as an example of something he’s against? This will come as an enormous relief to all runaway slaves currently on the loose in America – although he might have risked alienating the Trent Lott wing of the party with his bold stand.”


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