Letters to Holly

Thursday, April 13

The Roof Is On Fire

Because tomorrow is Good Friday and the office will be closed, I keep thinking today is Friday. I’m all screwed up.

We did catch the soccer game last night and chatted with Charisma and Keith. They just had a baby (one of the many who now swim in the Parent Pool). The game was fun to watch, but the school lost decisively. We joked about being bad fans, shouting like John McEnroe at the refs, and how Angry Dad would behave. Then we noticed Angry Dad was indeed there. When we left, we said hi to his wife and he ignored us, which is to be expected. I don’t think he has anything personal against Your Sister. He’s just a terrible sports fan.

As we drove to a restaurant to grab dinner, we noticed smoke pouring out of a roof up the road. As we got closer we noticed one of the car-repair garages (a majority of the small businesses in town) had a fire in the back of the garage. It hadn’t started long before we got there. The owners were aware of it and clearing people away. I used Your Sister’s cell phone to call 911, and the operator said they were aware of it and on the way. As we pulled into the restaurant parking lot, the garage roof went up. People there noticed the fire only after we turned to look at it. We walked in to get a table and pointed out the fire to the hostess. This alerted the diners, and almost all got up to watch the fire, which was sizable by now. The hostess snuck a peak, and then started to seat us.

Her: Smoking or nonsmoking.

Us: (looking at fire) Um, non.

The fire was out by the time we left. The wooden roof was gone, leaving a metal shell of the façade. When we got home, we watched “Lost” and a little bit of “Good Eats” and went to bed.

Before I got home, however, Your Sister called me to say she was going to a conference in Columbia in two weeks. This will happen on the day we planned on seeing They Might Be Giants. She won’t make it to the show. I will still be going, and now I wonder how best to find someone who wants her ticket. I might just go uptown and ask various shop owners if they can announce a fake contest where the first person to … I dunno, walk to the counter, gets the ticket. This stinks a little. I was hoping for both of us to go.

Picture of the Day
Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor in the new Superman movie. Not only does this new film refer back to the first two Superman films, but Spacey makes a great replacement for Gene Hackman. I cannot wait for this film.

In the news
In order to scare up movement against Iran, the State Department is saying Iran can make a nuclear bomb in 16 days. But nuclear scientists say that Iran can’t make a nuclear weapon for possibly another ten years. That doesn’t mean Iran can’t buy one. But then any nation could if it could find a desperate enough seller. Condi’s thrown out some tough talk against Iran as it steps up nuclear enrichment. The fear is that a crazed Iranian president (and he does like to say macho things) would nuke Israel. He’s gone on the record as denouncing that country.

But this was the same justification for going into Iraq: Saddam was financially supporting suicide bombings (true, from what I’ve read) and could drop nukes there at will. That was a key push of Powell’s WMD argument. But even if the State Department is right, and even if there is solid evidence Iran pans to build and launch a nuke, the administration has already used up its credibility with accounts of WMDs in Iraq. Just this week, a report announced that the White House touted the discovery of WMD trailers in Iraq while no evidence of their function existed. The White House now says it didn’t intentionally mislead anyone and blames bad intelligence. It’s going to be difficult to go back to the U.N. and assert the same need for action that we used against Iraq. Then again, the Iranian president is such a blowhard that he may be slitting his own throat with aggressive taunting of Western powers.

Today’s moral: The leaders of a handful of countries are throwing out tough talk over who has the right to strike first at the other. Lost in all this are the assertions from the Pentagon and pundits that all the Iraq WMDs are in Syria, a country whose border has seen some skirmishes with our military as we push insurgents out of Iraq. This means, the Iraq war front expands outward on two sides while we still fight in Afghanistan. That’s a lot of ground to cover with an exhausted, under-financed military.

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