Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August Happiness -- Tuesday 14

PUPPY! My downstairs neighbors have an enormous yellow lab named Jaffa. Whenever we meet, I rub his head and coo "puppy" to him while he sniffs my purse, my laptop case, etc. I had come to feel that, in our relationship, I was actually peripheral, simply a vehicle for feline smells from upstairs or exotic city smells from the el. This morning, I was leaving for work as Jaffa and his owner were returning from their morning walk. From a full block away, he recognized me and pulled at the leash! There's nothing like being greeted a dog who knows you and is happy to see you. It was a lovely way to start my day.

Goodbye and Good Riddance, Turd Blossom

"Turd Blossom" is GWB's nickname for his good friend and close adviser, Karl Rove. (Apparently "Turd Blossom" is Texan for a lotus that grows in the mud.) Until his resignation and the accompanying sea of ink, I had no idea that's what our Commander in Chief called him. I also had no idea of his illustrious Chicago connection. From today's Tribune:

"As a 19-year-old working in Illinois, Rove used an assumed name to gain access to the headquarters of Democratic state treasurer candidate Alan Dixon. He made off with campaign stationery, which he used to print 1,000 fliers promising 'free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing' at Dixon's Chicago office. The fliers were given to homeless people on Lower Wacker Drive. Years later, Rove expressed regret for the 'youthful prank.'" Ah, the enthusiasm and boisterous nature of youth! Only a curmudgeon wouldn't see the humor in a joke at the expense of the unfortunates who live in cardboard boxes on Lower Wacker.

Turd Blossom continued down this regrettable path, though. In 1986 there was a bugging incident. In 1992, Bush 41 fired Rove for alleged leaks. Then, of course, there's the leaking and the dirty tricks and the illegal firings that Turd Blossom (allegedly) committed on behalf of this President.

Karl Rove is the best example I can think of for why politics must become more secular. As I look over his sorry resume, it makes my blood boil that this lowest-common-denominator manipulator felt comfortable telling me that my positions on security, reproductive rights and gay marriage are either not "Christian" or not "patriotic."

I don't care if Congress "gets" him. I really don't. I just hope that, for the good of the country he served so poorly, he disappears from the public eye.

Zzzzz …

There's a kid (age 22, tops) sound asleep in our now-deserted reception area. I believe he works in our mailroom, but he's not our mail carrier so he doesn't belong on this floor at all. He's curled up in a ball in one of the oversized leather chairs, impervious to the PING! of the elevator or the CLICK! of the door whenever anyone enters.

At first I was annoyed. He is soooo going to get caught, and undoubtedly reprimanded. Perhaps even fired, if this has happened before. It's unprofessional and stupid and not exactly the image a Michigan Avenue ad agency likes to project.

Then I got sad. How unprepared for the world is this kid? Hasn't it occurred to him -- hasn't anyone explained to him -- that the reason why the reception area is now deserted is that WE HAD LAY OFFS, and could again? Hasn't it occurred to him -- hasn't anyone explained to him -- no one else here just picks a big chair and dozes off? How many times is he going to be stalled in his progress, or worse, how many jobs is he going to lose, before he figures this stuff out?

I'm not being superior here. I'm no slouch at sloughing off during work (as evidenced by this very entry, being posted on company time). But I know when/how to do it! And besides, our positions are different. I'm expected to work evenings and weekends at a moment's notice, he's expected to be out of here at 5:00 PM.

I'm tempted to go out there, sit down in the chair beside his, put my feet up and explain the facts of life. If he's not feeling well, he should tell his boss. There are places he could lay down. If he's just bored, he should either ask for something else to do or (if he's in a sloughing off mood) go to the 39th floor, where the vending machines and TV are. But he should most emphatically NOT be sleeping in the reception area!

But he has no idea who I am and, if he's not ready to listen, he won't hear it. He'd either be embarrassed or, worse, angry at me for waking him, dismissing me as a dumb old fart. Still, shouldn't someone prepare him to make his successful, autonomous way through the world? Isn't that what parents and teachers are for?

It really is sad.