Monthly Archives: August 2008

Stop it.

Pundits.  Stop using this verb.  “To vet.”  As in, “he must be vetted thoroughly”; “the press has yet to vet him on this matter”; and so on.  I don’t think I’d heard this verb more than once a decade prior to 2008, when I’ve heard it maybe a hundred times.  This qualifies it as a Hyper-Trendy Verb, which is also classified as Something You Shouldn’t Use.

What about examine, investigate, check, or scrutinize?  Are those somehow obsolete?

However, if using “to vet” keeps you from saying horrid things like “we interfaced with the Tokyo people” or “the train will platform at 9 pm” or “the groom was gifted with a bottle of scotch,” well, then go ahead.  Verbs are so wonderful, though; please don’t mutilate them!


I know, I’m terrible/wonderful.

Terrible, because I don’t update.  Wonderful, for you, because you get a relief from being harassed about reading my writing.  Nobody likes to be made subject to self-congratulation!  But alas, your brief respite is quite over.

I’m at the PDX airport, staring out the window at the last distant ridge I’ll see until Christmas.  Speaking of Portland, would you like to know how God punishes His children when they complain to much about the weather He divinely permits?  By specially arranging for your supposed “relief vacation” site to experience a freak heat-wave and actually climb to about 10 degrees higher than the city you just left.  So watch it.  The thing is to shut up and learn something from your discomfort.  Since I haven’t learned that trick yet, the discomfort is rising.

And sue me (Suomi?) for incorrigibility if you will, but I’m thinking Finland for my next break.  Anyone?  While we still have polar ice caps?  :p  (Yes, I forced a bilingual pun into this paragraph.  Yes, I am a massive dork).

If anyone out there is not so riddled with ennui as to be still following the election, what do you think?  I’m starting to have trouble distinguishing between the two candidates, which honestly makes choosing less consequential AND less exciting at the same time.  It made sense for Barack and Hillary to have the same substance with different accidents … but Barack and John?  Weird.  Guys, the American public might actaully respond to a little distinctiveness, a little opinion.  To me, these candidates are like a guy trying to make his date pick her own surprise Valentine’s day venue.  Somehow he thinks the deferentiality will make her happy, but in fact it’s stupid, tactless, and spineless.  Cowboy up and pick the damn restaurant!

Overall, it just reinforces something that I’ve been realizing lately, to my surprise and horror: Bush’s ratings may be free-falling into the Abyss, but his doctrine is going to be the rule for a long time to come.  I want to cite the popularity of John McCain, whose chanting “bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran” to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann” should be proof enough that his foreign policy is at least as bad as that of the Bush Administration.  And then the absolute spinelessness of the Democrats in Congress, whose proceedings begin to resemble a BDSM encounter without a safe-word.

Activist courts a menace?  They may be our only hope on the human rights plane.  Boumidene is pretty much the only good human rights news I’ve heard in the last seven years.

Now, in better news, I’m about to begin teaching orientation tomorrow.  Not that orientation is, per se, very exciting.  But teaching rather is, I think.  So yes.  Any of you who are teachers and have tips, send them my way!

Okay, it’s just about time to board the plane … time to be squished into 11-inch seats for the next five hours!