News of the World, 28 January 2008

Hillary is getting hoarse (which is as it should be, since self herself is hoarse and why should self be the only one to suffer from such affliction?)

This morning, self was rapt before the TV set (yet another reason why all of self’s recent stories languish, unfinished, on her computer) First, she stayed up late last night watching the SAG Awards (but is thankful she fell asleep just before she could witness Josh Brolin taking all the credit for “No Country For Old Men” and shushing Woody Harrelson as if he were some nagging missus)

Anyhoo, as self was saying, this morning she was rapt before the TV set, listening first to Caroline Kennedy delivering a great introduction to her uncle (Wow, that woman is stunning! When did she get so beautiful?), and then to her Uncle Ted giving his introduction, to Barack.

In the middle of Ted’s speech, phone rang, and it was cousin from Virginia, who’d just been up to New York the day before and wanted to tell self all about the wonderful lunch she’d had at Cendrillon. Then, self had to listen while cuz went into rhapsodies describing everything she had eaten: buko pie, suman smeared with home-made ube jam, lechon kawali.

Self informed cuz she should be watching TV, as it was very exciting to listen to the candidates’ speeches. So, cousin hung up and, from our respective coasts, we both watched the rest of the telecast. At the precise moment that Barack ended his speech, the phone rang and it was cousin again.

Self declared that Barack’s speech was not one of the better ones self had heard him deliver, but even then, cousin declared, it was “pretty good.”

Then self began to be-moan the terrible California weather. “This morning,” self griped, “we even had a hailstorm. I’m not kidding! I went out to the deck and it was covered with icy pellets.”

“It’s freezing here,” cousin said, stoic. “And I’m hoping it gets up to 40.”

Which shut self up immediately.

Then conversation wandered to Alzheimer’s (self still keeping an eye on the TV screen, which now showed Hillary giving her speech), and self inquired if cousin thought Dearest Mum’s mind was slipping. At which idea cousin scoffed mightily: “With her piano playing and her bridge, her mind is so sharp she’ll never get Alzheimer’s.”


Self then told cousin that she had read of a study (probably in The New York Times) that there had been a study conducted on the brains of deceased seniors to see why some seniors’ mental abilities deteriorated so drastically, while others were able to keep “sharp” all the way into their 90s. And, amazingly, these researchers found that there was absolutely no difference between the brains of the seniors with Alzheimers and those who were not thought to have Alzheimer’s. In fact, all the brains showed similar deterioration of mental faculties (Uh-oh, depression alert!), and so the researchers concluded that the “sharp” seniors had simply found ways to cover up or compensate for their mental deficiencies. But they themselves were acutely aware of their mental deterioration.

And cousin declared that she was sure she would get Alzheimer’s. And self said, “No!” with great firmness. And cousin declared that she thought her own dad was “losing it.” And again self said “No!” with great vehemence.

And then talk turned to self’s nasty cough. And cousin declared she had not heard self cough, not even once. And self declared that was because cousin happened to call just five minutes after self had downed four tablespoons of Robitussin and her throat now felt deliciously soothed.

And then when cousin finally rang off, the person delivering his speech on TV was Rudy Giuliani, and even though this man has no chance, self thought he delivered a pretty good speech (which is probably more than can be said for the person who is shortly to deliver the State of the Union address; pray he doesn’t have to utter the word “nuclear”)

Then, self got to listen to more blah-blah-blah about the “McCain Surge.”

And she thought again about how hubby was missing all this, while in Manila. But then perhaps it is self who is crazy, for caring so much. Eight years ago, self was wild over McCain. He spoke at Santa Clara and self was still working her awful administrative job at Stanford and could not leave. But she followed every step of his campaign, until of course reality intruded at some point (as it always does), and then there followed eight years of dormant political hopes.

Four years ago there was a blip, a very slight blip, with Kerry/Edwards, but then the Swift Boat Vets dug in and somehow managed to turn Kerry into a “girly-man,” and self remembered staying up late one night in the guest house at Miami University (where she was teaching a creative writing workshop) and watching with stupefaction as Jon Stewart declared state after state red. “Am I dreaming?” she remembers Jon Stewart saying, and self knew just how he felt.

Anyhoo, this evening self has just come back from Safeway and McWhorter’s (to get more green marking pens so that she can continue grading student papers — sigh), and she flips on the TV and the news now is:

A “rogue spy satellite” is expected to crash to earth some time in the next six weeks, and this object “weighs about four tons and is about the size of a large van.”

Will wonders never cease? Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

2 thoughts on “News of the World, 28 January 2008

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