It's parent/teacher conferences today and tomorrow and the kid doesn't have school.
So I slept in an extra hour this morning, sue me.
Sleeping in is not actually a good thing for me. Extra sleep leaves me muzzy headed and dull witted and usually gives me a headache - but you know, it's a matter of principle, damnit, and this morning I was willing to make the sacrifice.
So, anyway, this morning I was scanning my news feeds, like I always do - except an hour later than usual. Hunched over a cup of coffee and wishing to hell I could find a way to quadruple its caffeine content, my blood sounds like sludge pounding through the arteries in my ears and I've got to reread each paragraph one word at a time because nothing is making any sense. I mean, I understand the words, they just don't make any sense together - this is normal for me, not all of my neurons wake up at the same time.
So, it took me a while to notice that something was weird in my Google Alaska-specific newsreader.
See, if you can spot it:
Top Story: Palin spends $150,000 on clothes: blah blah something about campaign funds, outrage, Neiman-Marcus, blah, blah, a designer handbag and her kid (not the preggo one, a different one, apparently she's got a couple), democrats and burst blood vessels, ooh ooh squeak, ooh ooh squawk, and etc. Jimmy crack corn and I don't care.
Actually, in the reader I'm using, this is like the top fifteen articles. Palin, clothes, campaign funds. Got it, ferchristsake lets get to something that doesn't sound like Paris Hilton and Entertainment News Tonight.
Next: Five die when boat sinks off Alaska: the usual stock picture of a Coast Guard rescue helicopter (which I find amusing, since I'm just alert enough to realize it's a picture of an ancient H-3, which the CG hasn't used in like, I dunno, a hundred years or something), which makes me think of my friend Jeff, who's a Warrant in the Coast Guard, which reminds me of the movie The Guardian - which in turn reminds me of Kevin Costner, and then my head really starts to hurt. No mention of how much the Coasties spent on their clothes however.
Next: Something about the property market in Alaska. More about money. Yeah, like I'm going to read about the Alaskan economy with a head full of cotton. Sure. Frankly, I don't need tortured comparisons of how rural Alaskans are losing their shirts while Palin is buying hers at Saks Fifth Avenue - it's not that I don't care, it's just that I don't care before the second pot of coffee. I'm looking for something funny, or something with a lot of pictures.
And I get it, the funny with the pictures.
All the way down in the feed something catches my eye. It's a headline about how a conviction wouldn't actually bar Ted Stevens (R-AK) from the Senate. What's that? And I read it again, sounding each word out and covering one eye - and it still says the same thing. See, if Uncle Teddy wins reelection, something he's likely to do at this point, and is convicted of financial chicanery, well, he could still serve in the Senate unless, and until, that body votes to expel him by two thirds majority. The story mentions that Representative Don Young (R-AK and our only representative) is also under investigation, and that, I dunno, like everybody in Juneau has been convicted of either giving bribes or taking them.
Did you spot the weirdness? Palin's pantsuit, a fishing boat capsizing (of which there's like ten a week here), and the price of houses, a moose on the Glenn Highway, A story about Alaskan winter produce - all come before the fact that damned near our entire state government is either under indictment or facing serious jail time - or is, in fact, already in jail. Google, I think your sort algorithm heuristics are more muzzy headed than I am this morning. Seriously, Google, buy that software a big cup of double-shot capachino with four extra sugars and an espresso brownie.
Then the rest of the weirdness hit me:
Palin spent what? $150 grand on clothes, which she'll eventually donate to charity says she. I mean, shit, a hundred and fifty thousand dollars on clothes? Damn, you people in the lower 48 sure buy some expensive duds, because a $150,000 would buy every working stiff in Alaska a new pair of Carhartt overalls and really, you only need one pair, you just wear 'em until there's nothing but grease and stink left (we have contests, seriously, at the state fair to determine who has the most disgusting Carhartt jacket. I'd like to see Palin wear one of those to a $4000 a plate GOP fund raiser).
Here's the part I find funny, Palin spent $150,000 on new skivvies - and people are outraged. $150,000 that's a shitload of money, right? But, see, here's the thing, Stevens is going to go to jail over $250,000 in bribes - yeah, not even double what Palin spent on shoes.
But wait, $250,000 over seven years, that's $35K a year. $35 thousand? Fuck, I could do that.
Hell, if I'd have known I could buy my own Senator for a piddly $35 thousand things would be very different right now. For starters people would be flying in and out of the Jim Wright Anchorage International Spaceport, and not the Ted Stevens Memorial House of Grease My Palm or whatever they call it right now. I mean, seriously here, $250K isn't enough to get Teddy above the fold on the Google News Reader, and he's going to go to jail over it?
How stupid does he feel right now?
Yeah, that's what I get for sleeping in this morning. Good thing I didn't sleep for two extra hours.