Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NASA bombed the moon and Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize

October 9th 4pm

Jetlag doesn’t begin to cover it. I slept from 10pm to 12pm – 14 hours total – after not having slept for around 30 hours, thanks in large part to a Spanish woman on the plane yelling to her friends behind me every time I was about to fall asleep. Vaca Gorda.

I have every excuse to not want to move today. My throat is a little scratchy and my nose a little sniffly thanks to the sudden change in weather. I give in to sleep. I dream that I wake up at 5pm to hear Miranda coming in from work, but I wake at noon and force myself to deal with the plumbing. See, the most traumatic part of travel is figuring out the bathrooms of other countries. In England, older sinks have two faucets, one on either side. One faucet spews boiling hot water, the other pours ice cold water. Either causes instant injury. There are two solutions to this problem: 1) catch the cold water in your hands and carry it to the hot water, thereby only burning the tips of your fingers; or 2) wash your hands very quickly with the hot water spout before it has time to heat up all the way.

Oddly enough, the shower combines the hot and cold taps to make fairly hot water – and why this technology has not been applied to sinks, I’ll never know. The other thing that baffles me about the hot and cold taps is that the spigots are very close to the edge of the sink so only part of one hand can fit under the water flow at a time. Just – why?

I come back downstairs after my shower feeling so much better about the state of the world. It’s only when I’m in the middle of dealing with foreign bathrooms that I start thinking travel is stupid and England (or wherever I happen to be) is a deeply flawed country.

Then Xander comes up to me and says “NASA bombed the moon and Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize.”

“What?” I say, thinking that this is a bizarre manifestation of British humor. Surely he’s being funny. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when the British are joking since they do it with straight faces.

“No – it’s real.” He says. “Go to the New York Times.”

So I go to the New York Times website and there it is. Front and center. Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize.

I’m sputtering things like “FOR WHAT?!” “You do realize that he hasn’t actually DONE anything. All he has done is talk to a lot of people in a lot of places – which is what Democrats DO – and the only action he has taken is to ban clove cigarettes.” I think I’m shouting at this point.

Usually, I don’t get political. It’s too risky with my friends. They’re almost all liberal, and loudly so. As a conservative in California, I half live in fear of being found out. I maintain a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for political affiliation. But at this news, Ugh. I lost it.

Even PrObamas are shocked by his getting the Peace Prize. Xander wonders how the President’s PR people are going to handle this. Is he going to say “thanks” and run with it? Is he going to give it back, acknowledging that he hasn’t done anything to deserve it? Or is he going to say something like “thank you, I hope I can live up to this”? That last one is my bet. I mean, he has to own that he hasn’t done anything but talk when it comes to promoting peace (yes, my liberal friends, I know you think talking is doing something – but it really isn’t). He has gone to summits, traveled, and flown on the wings of his own charisma and the fact that he is the successor of a vehemently disliked President.

I leave America for one day, and all Hell breaks loose.

Oh, and we bombed the moon apparently. Looking for traces of water. As they say here: Brilliant.

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