Monthly Archives: May 2012

Motivational Prosecutor

Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, member of the Department of Justice Office of Special Counsels, former federal prosecutor, nemesis of corruption, Roman Catholic, Brooklynite, son of a doorman, husband, father, and practical joke lover, will be stepping down after eleven years as a federal prosecutor.

“Can you see me as a defense lawyer?”

Fitzgerald became infamous for his tenacity in targeting and tackling corrupt business moguls and politicians all across the political spectrum. He is considered the most a-political U.S. attorney ever to serve in Chicago, a city where everything is politically branded.

Fitzgerald’s most notable accomplishments were:

• Prosecuting and convicting Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, for perjury, after he leaked the covert identity of CIA operative, Valerie Plame.

SCOOTER! That man there! Off with his head!

• Investigating Rod Blagojevich’s attempt to sell Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat on Ebay,

Rod, you blowhard

which led to Blagojevich’s arrest and eventual conviction.

• Going after John Gambino of the Gambino crime family for drug trafficking.

“Are you sure it takes 5 minutes to cook my product!?!”

• Prosecuting terrorists Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others in the 1993 WTC basement garage bombing.

Seriously. This guy.

There were cases of bribery, extortion, mail fraud, scandals, rumors, and drugs. Fitzgerald went after bureaucrats, autocrats, politicrats, dixicrats and mallrats. His top secret investigations had code names such as Operation Crooked Code, Operation Site Down, Operation Jolly Roger, Operation Rapid Cheetah Kosovo, Operation Firestorm Thor Hammer, Operation Electric Koolaid Testfire, Operation Snow White and the Eleven Dwarfs, Operation Cool Hair Luke, Operation Tickle Me Enron, and Operation Monster Under the Bush. They’re not supposed to mean anything in particular.

This has nothing to do with anything

Having had such a productive career prosecuting terrorists, drug traffickers, and politicians, Fitzgerald is hanging up his lawyer boots and becoming a volunteer motivational speaker. He says he wants to pass on his tenacity to the next generation of federal prosecutors. Also, the next case he was assigned was going to be really boring, so—time to wrap it up.

Rod Blagojevich Jr. trying to buy his way into Harvard Law. On Craigslist. Ugh…

While still in office, he tried to adopt a cat, but was denied by the ASPCA due to his work habits. He found a friend who lent him a cat in the meantime.

You need to check yourself, boss. Yeah, you.

He also has two kids.

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Preschool Mondays

Preschooler to Preschooler:

“I better start reading and stop watching TV or I’ll never get anywhere in life.”

Mom to Preschooler:

“Make sure the other children wash their hands before they touch you, sweety.”

Mom to Teacher:

“You’ve scheduled two units of naptime and only one unit of free play today. May I ask what you actually do during naptime?”

Teacher to Mom:

“Bobby gets very snarky before naptime.”

Mom to Mom:

“He’s a really nice person, attractive, and genuine, but he’s a CIA spy.”

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Early Bird

Good morning!

Ok.

Can I getcha some coffee?

Yeah.

…Here you are sir.

Great.

Can I getcha anything else?

Nope. I want to order.

Wonderful! We have an Early Bird special if you’re interested.

What?

We have an Early Bird special.

Not interested.

What can I getcha?

I haven’t decided.

Great. I’ll come back in a second.

Great.

…Have you decided, sir?

Yeah.

What can I getcha?

The muffin basket.

Did you want anything from the Early Bird menu?

I’ll just have the muffin basket.

That comes with an assortment of jellies and jams.

Fine.

Would you like grape, raspberry, cherry, strawberry or peach?

Fine.

You have three choices, sir.

Whatever. The first three.

Which three?

The first three you said.

Grape, raspberry, and cherry?

Yeah. Wait. I want strawberry too.

You only have three choices, sir.

Fine. Just bring it out. You’re starting to ruffle my feathers.

I’m sorry, sir. We just run things a bit differently around here.

What?

We’re all birdwatchers.

What?

We’re birders. Bird lovers. Bird enthusiasts.

My mother was a Bird lover.

Very humorous, sir. I appreciate that.

So you just watch birds?

We’ve all studied ornithology.

Where?

Various places. Charlie was at Penn. Rose went to Duke. Vincent is writing a novel called Falconia. Tess wants to be a guide.

Why are the other waiters all watching me like that?

I’m sorry, sir. We’ve never had a customer of your particular type in our restaurant.

Are you kidding me?

No sir.

My type is pretty common.

We are very happy to have you. They’re just curious.

They’re flocking in the window staring at me.

I’ll shoo them away and be right back with your food.

…Here you are sir. We have a muffin plate for you with grape, raspberry, and strawberry jams.

Wait. I ordered the basket.

I’m sorry?

The basket. I didn’t order the plate. I ordered the basket.

Let me take this back and get you the basket.

No, you know what, I’ve had enough. Take this plate out of here. Leave the muffin. Leave the jams. Leave the flower. And get those waiters out of my sight.

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Nebulous

The air was transparent this morning at low tide. The fog lifted early, and across the water I could see Berkeley. I sat on a bench near the dock of the bay, whistling Otis, savoring the cool breeze and the strong sun. California sun makes us dance, and we need that.

My eyes wandered over to a spot on the dock, where a small figure stood leaning against a flagpole. I forgot my glasses at the Youth Hostile (Ref. “Hostiles”) this morning, so I had to squint at the figure for a while to see that it was a boy. Or a horse-jockey. He wore white pants, riding boots, and a checkered shirt. Then I thought it was probably a boy dressed in a horse-jockey costume, because we don’t allow horses here. The boy-jockey stood very still, gazing out at the ships rolling in. I let my gaze follow his gaze, then back to him. What did he see that made him stand so still? He moved very little, if at all. In fact, it occurred to me he was frozen, or pretending to be a statue. Where were his parents? What an odd child. At least he was wearing clothes.

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2421/4047175741_4013113658_z.jpg

Then this occurred to me: It wasn’t a horse-jockey or a boy-jockey or a boy at all. It was an actual statue—I’m sure. But who put a statue on the bank like that and why a statue of a boy-horse-jockey? Boy or not-a-boy, sometimes what you see just isn’t what you think you see.

Ur so…ur face is so…I don’t know, but I love it.

And don’t stare. I know it’s mesmerizing, but try to look away.

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Nepotism

He’s not in yet. Have a seat.

Not in yet—it’s 11:30am on a Tuesday.

Yes, he hasn’t arrived.

I understand, but it’s 11:30am on a Tuesday.

Yes, I am aware.

Is he taking a sick day?

Never. He played tennis this morning, and he’s on his way here now.

Has he ever been late to work?

Once or twice.

I don’t even have a job and I’m already at work.

Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do until he arrives.

I understand, but aren’t you aware of my concern?

I am aware of your concern.

I’m sure you are, but is he?

Is he what?

Is he aware of my specific needs?

I will brief him on the situation when he arrives.

How can you be so sure he’s going to arrive?

He’s my father. He will be here promptly.

Your father doesn’t seem very prompt.

My father is a very responsible citizen.

I trust you, not your father.

Look, trust or not, I got you this interview, so don’t backtalk me, James.

I’m sorry. I’m nervous. Are you sure he can find me a job?

James, relax. We love you. Dad wants to help you. Have a seat.

Ok. It’s fine. I’m not that worried. Excuse me for a second.

James—

What?

James—stop it. I know you’re texting Mom. You know how she gets. Don’t ruin this.

I’m not ruining anything. Why is the whole world against me all of a sudden?

Hold on, James—that’s him.

Who?

Shut up for a second—yes, sir. Yes, I will sir. Thank you, sir.

What did he say?

He said the company is all yours. I told you he would take your needs into consideration.

Great. Thanks, Sis.

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Neglect

I woke up one morning, and the internet was a week older. The websites I patronize had shiny brand new features, new posts, new videos, new news. My eyes hurt from inside out, and my head throbbed. How did I miss all this stuff happening on the internet? How did I get so dehydrated? My eyes were drier than usual. Was I asleep for a week? What kept me asleep so long? I was tired. I tried to rewind and remember, but I felt like I had come out of a coma.

I scratched my head. Small grains of sand flew onto the floor. Something drifted through the darkness. A submarine on wheels. The Nautilus! A giant octopus with flame-spitting tentacles. A pirate ship. A pink elephant. In the distance, London Bridge wheeled the other way. People in glowing costumes scurried to and fro like LED ants. A big black scorpion towered overheard—it’s erect stinger rocking up and down. And a crowd had gathered around a thirty foot Trojan Horse.

The horse began to move forward and disappeared in a cloud of smoke. A pack of wild bicycles rode by, with creaky wheels and squeaky toys and furry-animal frames, reminding me of a children’s book I read sometimes.

There was loud music in every direction. Everything was booming everywhere. I sat there on my bed, hugging my knees, wondering why I couldn’t remember anything else. But this wasn’t even my bed. Or even a bed. I was actually sitting in the front seat of my car on the way back from Burning Man and had just picked up a Wi-Fi signal outside Reno, NV. In retrospect, I think I was so shocked and nostalgic for all the stuff I had missed on the internet that week and was beginning to feel traumatic stress symptoms; viz. amnesia, flashbacks, and dissociation. There’s no internet at Burning Man, so you should seriously consider that when you buy your $1,500 ticket next year. And try to avoid scalpers, I guess.

Use your head.

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What Google Thinks I’m Thinking

I’m so frustrated. This one single time, I went on a bodybuilding forum-website that Google sent me to when I asked it a question about bodybuilding. The problem arose when I tried to go on facebook the next day or later that day (ten minutes later). When I typed “f” into the address bar, “forum.bodybuilding.com” came up. Usually, I type “f” into the address bar and it autocompletes “facebook.com” so I just hit the “return” key. I’ve got the “type-f-hit-return” motion timed perfectly, because I go on fb like 50 times a day. I never add fb to my bookmarks bar. I’m worried I’ll go on fb too much if I do that.

So now, bodybuildingforum pops up every time I try to go on fb. I know. Frustrating. But that’s only the beginning. Google is following me every step of the way, picking up the trail I leave from bodybuildingforum. And now, Google thinks I’m obsessed with bodybuilding so they’ve arranged all these disgusting bodybuilder-demographic ads on every website I go to. It’s horrible. All these bodies flexing at me. Men in bikinis.

So frustrating.

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Sophisticated Flamboyance

Sometimes I do my writing in coffee shops, which you might think is pretentious. Nope. It’s not—compared to this guy:

Also, not compared to the two people I saw today banging away on their Underwoods. Typewriters. Loud—bang-bang-banging, typewriters. Ping! Typewriters are so pretentious. You’re sitting there banging away on your typewriter like you just watched “Finding Forrester” and were so moved by the scene when the long-lost-genius-author tells the young destitute-but-prodigious-youth to “Punch the keys for Godsake!” and the “You’re the man now, dog!” line that made you want to be that mannow, dog

Those two typewriting twits were a spectacle, and they knew it. But actually, they didn’t really know it. They seemed completely oblivious, which was weird because I can’t imagine typing on a typewriter in a public place and not feel like I’m being watched—except at Burning Man.

Students in the library used to complain about my “typing too loudly.” If you’re going to call writing on a laptop, “typing,” you should call writing on a typewriter, “hammering” or “battering” or “destroying.” It really does ruin the atmosphere. I would love to have seen their reactions had I written my “Anthropology of Violence” paper on an old Underwood.

With or without a shirt.

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Eggshells

Heyyy! What’s up, Drew!

Dude. Don’t…

What?

We’ve talked about this.

What’s up?

No names.

Oh my god. I’m sorry, dude. I forgot.

Why would you forget, seriously…

I’m sorry. I slipped. So where are you?

Dude. Are you serious?

Of course I am! Oh wait. My bad. Yeah. Ok.

You think this is a joke? This is my life, man.

I know. I just get flustered.

Why don’t you call me back.

What? When?

When you’ve settled down.

I’m settled. I’m settled.

Get a handle on yourself.

I’m handled. I’m cool. What’s the plan?

Obviously, we’re not discussing the plan over the phone.

Obviously! Ok, but when should we meet up?

I don’t know. Not here. Not the park. The streets are sketch—can’t afford the risk.

We could grab dinner.

Yeah, dinner sounds great. What are you thinking?

I’m thinking Italian, some place nice.

Famiglia?

Yes! I love their Bruschetta!

Ok, let’s meet at 8 for drinks, while we wait for a table.

Perfect.

Meet me at the usual spot so we can walk in together. And don’t dress like you do.

I won’t.

Tuck in your shirt and comb your hair.

I will.

Don’t forget.

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China Dissident Arrives

China dissident arrives in LA

China dissident arrives in New York

China dissident arrives in Miami

China dissident arrives in Aspen

China dissident arrives in San Francisco

China dissident arrives in Portland

China dissident arrives in SE Portland

China dissident arrives in Dallas

China dissident arrives in Austen

China dissident arrives in New Orleans

China dissident arrives in Atlanta

China dissident arrives in Orlando

China dissident arrives in Miami

China dissident arrives in Key West

China dissident arrives in Miami

China dissident arrives in New York

China dissident arrives in DC

China dissident arrives in Langley

China dissident arrives

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