Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Monday, June 25, 2007

THE KC SPENT MOST of the past five days house-hunting, and now I'm officially obsessed with -- appropriately -- kitchen cabinets. Are they 36 inches or 42? Cherry, oak, or some indeterminate white material? Are the countertops granite, "granite," or something tacky that we'll want to replace right away?

I'm even looking at faucets with new interest, and regretting having thrown away all those Restoration Hardware catalogs last week.

It's amazing how differently people live. Some of the houses we saw were very messy (I took pictures in one and later couldn't make out whether the floors were wood or carpet because there was so much stuff on them). Some were very neat and organized. And then there was the one that had been perfectly "staged" -- right down to coffee in a mug on a desk and water in the bathtub (which was kind of gross, really -- who wants to see someone else's bath water?).

One thing's for sure: Walking through other people's houses is a great way to clarify what is and isn't your style. No to the Pepto-pink nursery and the pumpkin-colored master bath; yes to the dove-grey dining room.

No house yet, but we did make some progress.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I'VE GOT COURT TV on in the background, and Mike Nifong is testifying in the hearing on his alleged ethical violations. Wholly apart from the substance of his testimony, I must say that he comes across well on the stand, i.e. he doesn't sound like the utter jackass he almost certainly is.

KC Johnson continues to cover the hearing.
THE NEW YORK TIMES on Bork v. Bork:

There are many versions of the cliché that “a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged,” and Robert Bork has just given rise to another. A tort plaintiff, it turns out, is a critic of tort lawsuits who has slipped and fallen at the Yale Club.
In other law-related news: a new Legal Eagle Wedding Watch.
I HADN'T TRIED a new recipe in a while (actually, I hadn't made a real dinner in a while), so last night I tested this roasted-vegetable lasagna from the May issue of Gourmet.

It was a hit, and fairly easy (prep time was about an hour). A few notes:

1.) I'd maybe use 1.5 peppers instead of two. Mine weren't unusually large, but they sort of overwhelmed the eggplant and zucchini.

2.) Skim milk instead of whole worked fine.

3.) I pressed the garlic instead of mincing it.

4.) My oven did not get the vegetables anywhere close to "brown and tender" after 20 minutes. I finally had to turn it up to the broiler setting and do one pan at a time (about two minutes for each).

5.) I doubt it's necessary to soak the no-boil lasagna noodles, but I did.

6.) It only makes four servings, so double it and use a 9 x 13 pan if you're cooking for a larger crowd or want more leftovers.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

ALABAMA = IRAN. In one way.
KC JOHNSON is live-blogging the Mike Nifong hearings before the North Carolina State Bar.
POOR PEOPLE hang their pictures high on the wall. Rich people don't eat casseroles. The secrets of America's class system, revealed.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

EVEN SOME OF THE rabid Objectivists I interned with at various places were willing to concede that, in terms of pure literary merit, Ayn Rand may not have been, um, the greatest writer ever. (And these were some of the same people who wore lots of bluish-green because that was Rand's favorite color.)

I've been falling asleep to Atlas Shrugged for the past few nights, so the sheer awfulness of Rand's prose is something I've been meditating on. I present you:

Top Ten Overused Words in the Writing of Ayn Rand

awareness
planes
exist
motion
understanding
code
swift
acceptance
angular
sum

Read Whittaker Chambers' famous review of Atlas Shrugged here ("Its shrillness is without reprieve. Its dogmatism is without appeal.").
CONSERVATIVES SQUABBLE over immigration -- using some pretty harsh words.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

JOHN PODHORETZ is a Rudy fan:

I am a Giuliani supporter because I think he stands the best chance of defeating Hillary in the general election. I have long thought this was the case, owing to a very close study (in part because it was my job to make a close study) of his stewardship of New York City during the mayoralty. That mayoralty was — I cannot say this often enough — the antithesis of the kind of "liberal Republicanism" that so many of his critics on the Right so easily accuse him of representing.

Giuliani spent years and fought 30 lawsuits and the horrified cluckings of the New York Times and the New York Civil Liberties Union trying to save family neighborhoods from the blight of porn shops (which are often mob fronts as well as porn distributors). He was successful. In my estimation, that was the most powerful and successful family-friendly, socially conservative act of governance I've ever seen — and it was undertaken and continued in the teeth of ferocious resistance that would have cowed almost any other politician in America.

To me, that is a pretty serious qualification for anyone who wants effective conservative governance, much of it aimed in a socially conservative direction. I agree that this may not be enough comfort for anyone for whom the term "social conservative" is merely a synonym for being pro-life.
I have not picked a candidate, but I agree with Bradford Plumer, who calls Tom Tancredo "the biggest d-bag of the night" in Tuesday's debate for his suggestion that we abolish St. Patrick's Day.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

WHO KNEW Brian Williams -- yes, the NBC anchor -- was such a funny guy?
Movie Quote of the Day:
"My theory on Feds is that they're like mushrooms: Feed 'em shit and keep 'em in the dark."
~ The Departed

Song of the Day:
Jeff Buckley, "Hallelujah"

Happy Birthday:
Kenny G
Bill Moyers
Mark Wahlberg

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I DON'T THINK many people care that Rudy Guiliani may have used his position to obtain a bunch of Yankees memorabilia.

He's a true fan. He loves the Yankees. People understand that. He didn't accept these things to enrich himself or his political party financially. I'm not defending him on legal grounds -- it may technically violated some ethics rules; I don't know. But as a PR matter it's very different from, say, auctioning off presidential pardons.
WATCHING the GOP debate on CNN, and loving Mike Huckabee: "I'm from a little town called Hope. You've probably heard of it. Please give us one more chance."

Friday, June 01, 2007

I'M BACK from the aforementioned international jaunt. Can you tell where I was?

In other mystery picture news, thanks to all of you who wrote to tell me that this Counting Crows fan is Willy Garson, who plays Carrie Bradshaw's friend Stanford Blatch on Sex and the City. I'm not a SATC watcher, so I would never have gotten it.

Let's see, what else is going on? The KC is about to begin house-hunting! This is all very exciting and quite daunting, as we've never done the whole mortgage thing before. We visit the bank this weekend to find out how much we can borrow -- I have a feeling the answer will be "way more than we should."

For those of you who care about lawyers and/or weddings, my recent Legal Eagle Wedding Watch columns are here, here, and here.
THE GEESE grew up while we were away -- and got really scary!

Who knew geese had teeth?
(The National Geographic-quality photo was taken by my sister.)