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    We break bread

    Posted by Sean at 21:06, May 14th, 2008

    Hello, nice gentlemanly Woofie-boys.

    Why are you staring at me with those molten eyes?

    I know you missed me while I was out all afternoon, but you’ll have to wait before you curl up next to me while I read. Right now I’m trying to eat this hot pastrami sandwich. Yes, with all these puddles of gravy. And the french fries. It is as good as it smells, thanks for asking–aren’t you happy for me? Num-num-num….

    Now, come off it. You have the better lives by far in this arrangement. No one keeps a bowl in a special place for me and sends half my weight in kibble raining into it twice a day, like manna from heaven. I have to go out and get my own food.

    Okay, fine, if you’re going to be all technical, I didn’t go out and get it–I was feeling lazy and called the diner and had that nice man with the nice calves deliver it. I know you noticed the calves, too, because when he appeared you started shouting, “Woof!” Well, it came out “Arp!” as always, but I know what you meant. So I didn’t go out with a stone-tipped spear and hunt for my food and stuff, but I worked for it. And I had to get up and buzz him in and pay for it, which at least earned me the calories in the milkshake.

    Must you sharpen your claws on my favorite Diesel jeans? There, that’s better.

    No, for the last time, I can’t share food with you anymore. You know when Mommy took you in the cab to the man in the lab coat with the big, scary needle the other day? Well–

    Don’t you dare growl at me. If Mommy carefully avoided mentioning the big, scary needle so you wouldn’t freak out when she packed you up in the pet carriers, it’s not because I told her to! You didn’t ask whether there would be needles involved, did you? Thought not. (I mean, really! “We’re going to take a very special trip in the cab to see some pretty buildings uptown! Yes, we are! Yes, we are!” You seriously bought that?) So really, can you blame anyone but yourselves for having let your guard down?

    Anyway, when you hear what the vet told Mommy, you may think the shot wasn’t so bad by comparison: he said you’re a porker and need to eat less. Yes, you, Blond Woofie. You don’t think Daddy’s giving you less food at a time this week because he suddenly decided to economize, do you? You don’t want to turn into a dirigiwoofie, do you? The Goodyear Woofie. The Hindenwoofie.

    Fine, that was a little uncalled-for. Sorry. Just trying to drive the point home. It’s for your own good.

    Oh, for Pete’s sake, don’t give me the teary-eyed routine. Most of us don’t get to spend all day every day doing nothing more demanding than snuggling in while someone draws a blanket over our furry, sinewy little bodies and whispers that we’re adorable and should just lie still while he gets us breakfast.

    I am not a liar! I clearly specified “all day every day.” Sheesh. You know, you can keep your eyes and snouts glued to every morsel of pastrami I convey from plate to mouth, but you can’t listen to a thing I say. The last time I snu…never mind. It’s none of your business. You just sit there thinking your coarse, untoward thoughts. I can’t stop you.

    There’s just no reasoning with you two.

    Oh, for the love of…here. A quarter-inch square of pastrami for each of you. And NO MORE. Just the lean part so your Daddy doesn’t yell at me too much. Now stop staring!


    Those jealous dogs / Always on the alert

    Posted by Sean at 20:26, May 12th, 2008

    A few years ago, my buddy gave his wife a pair of chihuahuas as a present. Now that I’m staying with them, they’ve become my companions.

    /disingenuoushuas.jpg

    Don’t they look adorable?

    Of course–in still photographs. In real life, though, they move.

    I call them the Millicujos.

    They open their little jaws and bark at the slightest noise, often for close to a half hour before settling down. Usually, it’s the elderly elevator in our brownstone that sets them off, but sometimes the stimulus appears to originate somewhere around the kitchen skylight–a creak caused by the wind? the piping of a bird? Usually I can’t make it out. No trouble making out their response, though.

    The blond with the limpidly innocent gaze is, you shouldn’t need to be told, the more implacably hostile of the two when the public isn’t around to observe. Not by all that much, though. His darker, younger brother is a willing accomplice.

    J. and his wife have nicknamed them “the Woofies.” This is a courtesy title, about as connected with reality as “Princess Di.” These two wouldn’t be able to produce a butch, baritone, thrillingly menacing “woof!” if they sold their souls to Cerberus. Even “yap!” errs somewhat in the direction of resonance, as far as I’m concerned. My conclusion–borne of repeated and lengthy exposure–is that “arp!” is the best transcription of the noise they make (and make and make and make and make).

    They’ve grown accustomed to me now, so they’ll sometimes jump up into my lap when I’m trying to type. Mostly, though, they still eye me with deep suspicion. Unless I’ve just cooked something along the savory/buttery/meaty axis, that is. Then I become their new best friend. Their little eyes liquefy, and (I swear) they pout. For those who’ve been wondering why they’re not hearing more about how adjusting to New York has been, a major reason is that I’m too busy defending my breakfast eggs.


    おめでとう!

    Posted by Sean at 10:11, May 10th, 2008

    Happy birthday to Atsushi. (I won’t specify which particular milestone it is.) We’re no longer partners, but he’s a true gentleman and has remained a friend and a real rock in time of need. I’m sorry I’m not there for the celebration, but his love of sweets is well known among our friends, so I’m assuming he’s happily chomping his way out from under a pile of cake as we speak.


    Candy shop

    Posted by Sean at 17:45, May 7th, 2008

    Everyone keeps asking whether the culture shock has set in. The question is delivered with a gleam in the eye and an eagerness in the tone that I can’t quite pin down; I hope my friends aren’t running about thinking, Won’t it be fun when Sean encounters some sassy-rude salesperson and just totally cracks? I make a practice of not cracking, thank you very much. And the adjustments I’ve had to make so far have mostly been pleasant ones.

    I do somewhat miss the Japanese cleanliness fetish. Back offices and kitchens and hospital rooms may be as grimy as they are anywhere else, but rare is the office or shop in Japan that doesn’t work overtime to ensure that no customer has to deal with so much as a dust mote. Grittiness on the street in New York is welcome and invigorating; grittiness in the produce section is less so. I also got my hair cut in New York for the first time in a decade today. It wasn’t a particularly exclusive place, but it wasn’t a dump, either. And yet, there was stray hair everywhere (including stuck inside the lid of the jar from which my cutter guy retrieved a good six cc’s of hair goop and plunked it on my crown before I had the chance to protest. New York moves quickly).

    On the other hand, the City, with its old brick buildings and stone and concrete detailing, has a much more earthy built environment. It feels like a place built by people for people. Tokyo’s steel-and-glass, its tiles, its molded HDP, give it a moon-colony quality that can be a lot of fun; but it can also be draining to navigate through, especially in the rain or snow.

    And of course, New York is noisy. We’re Americans, and we’re boisterous. I grooved to Tokyo’s brittle, reined-in, well-behaved hum, but of course the flip side is that people need to explode, forcefully, when they’re off the chain. You get used to being surrounded by people so drunk as to be near alcohol poisoning: hanging from straps on the train, roly-poly-ing down the sidewalk, tenderly placed face-down over storm grates by friends (who perch jauntily on a nearby curb and chat) so they don’t drown in their own vomit. No one will ever accuse New York of not drinking, but after-work life doesn’t feel like a 180-degree change from the business day.

    People do start drinking here earlier, though. In Tokyo, it’s still kind of a sign that you’re not important if you actually get out of the office at 5:00 or not much after. I’m not going to an office at the moment, of course, but everyone I know is, and I don’t think I’ve gone to an after-work gathering that started after 6:00 in the two weeks I’ve been back.

    Speaking of things that go down the hatch: there’s no point in my repeating in its entirety my rant about American food portions, but sheesh! You know things are cockeyed when even your flippin’ arugula salad is too big to finish. Arugula salad! Who gorges on that?

    Last night a friend asked me to go to the symphony at Carnegie Hall, and it turned out to be a charming confluence of things Philadelphia, Tokyo, and New York. It was the Philadelphia Orchestra doing its annual series, and last night’s piece was Mahler’s Eighth. (The Tokyo tie-in is that the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra is known for its Mahler performances.) Much classical music in Asia is very good, but there’s something nice about sitting in a Western audience, which shouts cheers and goes a bit over the edge when genuinely moved by a performance. The Philadelphia Sound had been put to good use.


    Earthquakes in Japan (Part Infinity)

    Posted by Sean at 14:37, May 7th, 2008

    Earthquakes centered in Tochigi Prefecture a few hours ago: estimated 6.7 M on the modified Richter scale, and a weak 5 on the JMA scale (which measures surface vibrations) in parts of Tochigi and Ibaraki. According to my buddy, they were perceptible in Tokyo. I haven’t seen any reports of damage, but a weak 5, while not as bad as things could be, can cause real problems in craggy, cliffy rural areas with a lot of elderly people. There’s an English translation of the JMA scale here. A weak 5 isn’t strong enough to knock down buildings that are up to code in areas that are prepared for earthquakes, but it’s strong enough to be scary and make it difficult to move.


    New York update: food, clothing, and shelter

    Posted by Sean at 07:29, April 29th, 2008

    There’s a favorite story on my mother’s side of the family: My great-grandmother’s sister came from Poland for a visit in the 1950s, and seeing the variety of goods in a typical neighborhood grocery store, she burst into tears.

    Japan is a first-world country, so it’s certainly not the case that I’ve become unused to variety. But of course, the brands are different, the diet is different, what appeals to people is different, the cumulative effect of surveying the aisles is different. Coming back to New York means readjusting my eye and palate to New York food sources. We were going to order from Fresh Direct, but last night we passed D’Ag’s on the way home, so we stopped in. I’m afraid I kind of embarrassed my friend by giggling at everything, but I couldn’t help myself.

    It wasn’t the type and distribution of products. Even from only coming home twice a year for the last decade, I’m still used to that. It also wasn’t that anything and everything comes in 50-gallon-drum size, which wouldn’t fit through the door of most Tokyo houses. I’m used to that, too. What got me was the evolution in some specific familiar stuff. The most improbable brands have gone upscale.

    Cheer’s curvy new bottles look as if they were inspired by ewers from Pottery Barn; I half expected each one to come with a little basin in matching plastic. For detergent containers, they looked invitingly touchable, almost ergonomic. (And, unsurprisingly, they’re clearly aimed at the lady of the house, with filigree patterns in the background on each label.)

    /bg_prod_original.jpg

    There are formulations for the stuff inside that I hadn’t seen before, too. One is supposedly targeted at dark colors. (The brand concept was developed by “strategy and design teams fully immersed in darkness.” Is that the most fabulous thing ever, or what? And I like the way “Cheer Dark” sounds like Near Dark, the Kathryn Bigelow vampire movie that reunited many of the most memorable cast members from Aliens.)

    I was utterly bewildered by a product called True Fit:

    Nothing can ruin laundry day like finding a favorite shirt has stretched to the point of no return. Help clothes keep their shape with Cheer® 2X Compacted True Fit™.

    Love your clothes. Treat them right.

    Personally, my solution to clothes that could get stretched out of shape is either to take them to a proper cleaner’s or to use a mesh bag in the washing machine, but I love the idea that there’s a detergent out there that’s specifically formulated for them.

    Also, Dietz & Watson? I grew up not far from Philadelphia, and to me, Dietz & Watson means hot dogs and kielbasa. But not anymore. The company introduces itself on its website with this VERY WRONG sentence:

    Welcome to Dietz & Watson, home to the World’s Best Meat Delicacies and Artisan Cheeses.

    Or maybe it’s not so wrong. Dietz & Watson was always a local, family-owned company that emphasized homely production values. It’s just that it used to be assumed that those values appealed to local just-folks types; now, rebranded as “artisanal,” they’ve moved up in the world.

    I love the disdain that drips from every phrase on this page about condiments:

    The World’s Best Meat Delicacies and Artisan Cheese deserve better than that “same old yellow or spicy mustard, horseradish without a kick or sour pickles without a snap”. So we created our Deli Complements™ with just that intention, to complement our meats and cheeses with enhanced flavor profiles to satisfy today’s adult taste expectations.

    Enhanced flavor profiles! For a range that includes something called “Sandwich Spread.” I love it! What next–small-batch Cheez Whiz in earthenware jugs stopped with natural corks? (And psssst! Kudos to your marketing people for choosing the right spelling of complements for this context. Now they just need to tell your webmaster to fix the filename for the image. And guys, this is America: the period goes inside the quotation marks.)

    deliCompliments.jpg

    Also, check out the gigantic sandwiches featured on the “Healthier Lifestyle” page.

    Sorry. The Dietz & Watson thing really amused me.

    *******

    It’s been rainy for the last few days, and one of the things I always notice about being back from Tokyo is how much better New York looks in the rain. The grey weather can still be depressing, but there’s something about the presence of organic-feeling brick surfaces sprinkled through the built environment that makes it feel less off-putting. The relentless onslaught of steel/glass/concrete/tile in Tokyo can really drag you down. And sidewalks in the City are so wide that you can actually navigate down them with an open umbrella without maiming anyone.


    帰国

    Posted by Sean at 04:49, April 23rd, 2008

    Thanks to everyone who wished me a good trip. The flight was uneventful, and here I am in New York.

    Jet lag. Luckily for me, Atsushi’s going-away present was two sets of DVDs–the first and last series of「古畑任三郎」, the Japanese detective show modeled on Columbo that we used to watch together. I’m through six episodes already!

    [Added on 29 April: Since I was talking about product design in the next post, I might mention that 「古畑任三郎」has some of the coolest titles I’ve ever seen. The Japanese are known for their sleek design, but to a degree that’s because what we see in the West is selected by other Western visitors, who bring back the most striking artifacts. Lots of graphic and industrial design in Japan is as clunky and unprepossessing as it is anywhere else. That’s especially true where words are concerned. Print media, web pages, and movie credits often have cutesy visual themes and are crammed with text. For a culture so renowned for maximizing the impact of spare design, Japan goes in for the clutter an awful lot.

    Fuji TV doesn’t seem to have streaming video of the opening credit sequence up on its page, which is a shame because the music is pretty cool, too. You can still can get a sense of the way it flows by clicking on some of the links:

    furuhata.gif

    If you click around on the site, actually, you may see what I mean by clutter. Even if you can read the Japanese, the page is hard to navigate.]

    Speaking of jet lag, a word to American Airlines: When your flight is landing at JFK at 6 p.m., it’s flat-out cruel to keep the cabin lights off and serve breakfast an hour before beginning descent. I mean, seriously? As if my sense of time weren’t already screwed up enough.


    Eeeeeven told the golden daaaaaffodilllll

    Posted by Sean at 23:06, April 16th, 2008

    Eric doesn’t like being labeled, and not for the usual tiresome I’m-too-free-spirited-to-be-defined reasons:

    While I can say what I think about most things, experience shows that adopting any label invites conformity to it. (Especially criticism from those who claim it.)

    Once you say what you are, some a**hole will come along and say that you’re not, because he is.

    Similarly, once you say what you aren’t, some a**hole will come along and say that you are, because he isn’t.

    It’s convenient that (small-l) “libertarian” suits me fine, because it tends not to set people off. I like “classical liberal,” but (today’s left) liberals often seem to think you’re trying to dress up as one of them while being a closet fascist. (“Yeah, you’re a liberal in the sense that, like, Mill would have meant it,” someone sneered at me once.) And while my positions on many issues align with what we now consider “conservatism,” I’m not fundamentally a conservative. (Well, I am when some gross guy is hitting on me. Then I identify myself as a “conservative” in a clear, forceful tone and mention that I’m a registered Republican. You movement conservatives don’t mind the fib, do you? It’s to the end of preventing casual homosexual intercourse, after all. And I really am a registered Republican.)

    The only problem with calling yourself a libertarian–besides, as Eric alludes to, being invited by supposed fellow travelers to engage in poker-faced debates over the most inane hypothetical situations imaginable–is that a lot of people don’t understand that it doesn’t mean “libertine” or “anarchist.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to explain that no, I don’t think all governing bodies should be dissolved so we can frolic naked in meadows all day and subsist on game and wild berries. In general, though, even those who conclude I’m just a closet right-winger seem to give me a fair hearing without rancor.

    *******

    My buddy grabbed my arm the other night and asked whether I’d seen Julie Burchill’s inevitable column about the new Madonna album yet. He summarized it as “If I spent four hours a day at the gym, I’d look better than that bitch!” Not too far wide of the mark:

    Madonna is everywhere, reigning over the just and the unjust, friend and foe alike; loving her or hating her is as futile as loving or hating the rain, wind or snow – it’ll happen anyway.

    If Madonna didn’t devote her life to harassing us, what would she do with herself all day? Remember, this is a woman with so much time on her hands that she can spend four hours a day working out. I know I’m fat, but I have to say that if I spent four hours a day working out, I’d want to look a damn sight hotter than Madonna does; those vile veiny hands, that sad stringy neck – yuck!

    Madonna has the sort of body that tends toward the plump/luscious side; you can see it in her early videos. Endomorphs like that who diet and exercise themselves into having no body fat often end up with skin that has a weird stretched look.

    The rest of the column is the exact same thing Burchill writes whenever a Madonna record comes out, and it’s as funny (and bawdy) as usual.

    *******

    Surprise! Hillary Clinton once said something nasty behind closed doors about white, working-class Southerners (via Ann Althouse):

    In January 1995, as the Clintons were licking their wounds from the 1994 congressional elections, a debate emerged at a retreat at Camp David. Should the administration make overtures to working class white southerners who had all but forsaken the Democratic Party? The then-first lady took a less than inclusive approach.

    “Screw ’em,” she told her husband. “You don’t owe them a thing, Bill. They’re doing nothing for you; you don’t have to do anything for them.”

    And since some things never change, Clinton’s spokesman responds with contempt when asked about the authenticity of the quotation:

    A spokesperson for Clinton said the quote was taken out of context and did not reflect her true political philosophy. “This quote differs from the recollection of others who were in the room at the time this comment was allegedly made,” said Jay Carson. “To be clear, that’s not how she felt then and it’s not how she feels now, and the proof is in how she has lived her life, the work she has done and the policies she has pushed and pursued over the last 35 years.”

    Asked to produce a witness who would say that Clinton had been misquoted, Carson wrote: “So, you’ve got two guys we’ve barely heard of remembering a verbatim quote from 13 years ago?… Sounds totally and completely reliable.”

    Remember the Clinton administration, when we were subjected to that kind of smear-and-spin routine almost daily when something or other threatened to blow up in the happy couple’s faces? We could be mere months from going back to it!

    Eric also noticed this story. (He didn’t say much about it, but, then, he had to go to New Jersey, so he had plenty of pain to contend with already.)

    *******

    I don’t think this post has enough parentheses.


    Pack it and move it

    Posted by Sean at 08:21, April 13th, 2008

    Does anyone out there know where my evening shirt is?

    Well, what good are you?

    I thought I always kept it inside the dinner jacket on the same hanger, but unless it’s invisible, it’s not there. I hope I didn’t leave it in Atsushi’s closet when I moved out.

    *******

    How is it possible for one man to have so many vases? If there were ever any doubt that I’m gay, it’s been dispelled by the four boxes of decorative housewares I’ve just packed. Mind you, they don’t include anything you could eat off or store something in.

    *******

    It’s time for me to break a pair of sunglasses. Or maybe lose them. I can feel it. The weather keeps going from sunny to cloudy, so you need them sometimes and then not others. They end up in a pocket or dangling by one slender arm from my bag. I seem to have a thing for dropping them in cabs or putting them down on tables and putting something heavy on them. I school myself resolutely to keep them in their little crush-proof cases, but it never works.

    *******

    I’m not entirely sure why, but I have The Descent in the DVD player, and I’m finding it oddly comforting to have it playing while I’m packing. Given the increasing claustrophic-cave-like-ness of my apartment, you’d think it would make me afraid of confronting a throat-biting humanoid in the bathroom or something, but I actually find it rather cozy. And I used to be of those people who were completely unable to handle horror movies. (When I was growing up, all the talk of demons waiting to getcha we got in church affected my over-active imagination a good deal.)

    BTW, if you like suspense and have a strong stomach, The Descent is a great little movie. It’s bloody and seriously scary at times, but you don’t leave it feeling cynically worked over. It’s thoughtful and raises interesting questions without being pretentious, and the cave scenes are very persuasive even though they were all shot on a soundstage. I love hypertrophied old Hollywood glamour-orgy productions as much as the next gay man, but there’s a lot to be said for a movie made by people who relied on ingenuity, skill, and conviction rather than piles of money.


    Abandoned luncheonette

    Posted by Sean at 02:34, April 12th, 2008

    [Added later: Or maybe I should have gone with “Your Imagination” as a title. “Love, Need, and Want You”? Maybe “When Will I See You Again”? “If You Don’t Know Me by Now”? “Hate on Me”?]

    I have a lot of affection for my home state of Pennsylvania. I grew up outside Allentown; my parents had the same house from the time they got married until I’d finished college. Then they moved four miles down the road, where they still are. My father was a plant worker for Bethlehem Steel while I was growing up, so there were a fair share of layoffs and lean years during the ’80s.

    Even though Barack Obama has been trounced already for his remarks about Pennsylvania, let me just add a bit. (Note to Tom Maguire about that headline, though: John Mellencamp is from Indiana. Keep your troglodyte-populated states straight! Then, too, I should be grateful he didn’t quote “Allentown” by Illybay Oeljay, which I have something of a hangup about.) This is where the audio is, apparently, and the key paragraphs are these:

    You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

    And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

    I’m not sure it’s possible to do justice to how retarded that is–and I say that as an overeducated, corporate, atheist, homosexual urbanite who’s spent the last dozen years in Tokyo and is now happily returning to New York.

    The anti-trade part I do agree with. I’ve had (mild) arguments with my father over protectionism for the steel industry, which simply gives the shaft to American workers and their families further down the supply chain.

    The rest is ridiculous.

    As far as guns go, my father wasn’t big on hunting, but my uncles and cousins went regularly, and I don’t think they were taking out their job-related frustrations on the deer. Sport hunting is just one of those practices that the working class has in common with the aristocracy, and there are plenty of counties in the northern part of PA that are ideal for it.

    Furthermore, most rural areas are by definition somewhat less densely populated than Hyde Park, Chicago. My mother has two handguns and takes shooting lessons because my father works nights quite a bit. If someone broke into the house, she’d have to fend for herself until the township police arrived. That’s been a fact of life since long before manufacturing jobs started leaving.

    I also think it highly likely that commonwealth history has something to do with attitudes toward guns. In Pennsylvania, at least in eastern Pennsylvania, you spend your childhood taking field trips to Valley Forge and Gettysburg. In the borough where I grew up, there’s a preserved cabin, now nearly three hundred years old, called the Shelter House, where visiting schoolkids are lectured by their elders about the fragile existence of the first settlers as they carved out new lives in unknown territory. The idea that life can be harsh and that you may have to defend yourself violently is not alien to anyone who stays awake through state history classes.

    By the way, you noticed that my hometown is called Emmaus, right? My parents now live in Old Zionsville. The second-largest city in the Lehigh Valley is Bethlehem. There’s a Bethel in Berks County. Down toward Lancaster there’s a town called Smyrna. There’s also this little hamlet in Pennsylvania called Philadelphia–have you heard of it?–the name of which is Greek for “city of brotherly love” and is a place mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

    That’s, you know, in the Bible. Seekers of religious freedom were numerous among Pennsylvania settlers. William Penn was a Quaker whose beliefs had riled his father and the king. In Pennsylvania Dutch country, we’re famous for having Amish communities. Lots of old Moravian and Lutheran churches, too. A combination of religious fervor and tolerance is movingly woven into Pennsylvania history from day one, and people in small towns have been going to church regularly since long before the decline of the rust belt economy. The insinuation that people just kind of started turning to religion to give them a sense of shallow comfort when the layoffs started is deeply offensive. I rejected the theology I’d been brought up with years ago as an accurate explanation for the origins of the universe, but it’s just plain low to take cheap shots against the faithful.

    Things like “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment” are so vague it’s hard to know what to make of them, but I will say that people tend to associate with those who are like them in New York and San Fracisco as much as they do in Reading. And the small towns have been diversifying, slowly but surely. It takes time for people to get used to one another, and everyone has prejudices that have to be discarded in the face of experience. That’s hardly some sort of distinguishing characteristic of Pennsylvania.

    Eric doesn’t have anything up about this yet, but when he does, it’s sure to be fabulous. In the interim, on a related topic, he’s posted about Mayor Michael Nutter in Philadelphia, who’s had the effrontery to compare himself to the Founding Fathers in signing gun control laws:

    “Almost 232 years ago, a group of concerned Americans took matters in their own hands and did what they needed to do by declaring that the time had come for a change,” Nutter said as he signed the bills in front of a table of confiscated weapons outside the police evidence room in City Hall.

    Jeff at Alphecca has also posted.

    Added on 19 April: Eric has posted.