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Last weekend I went to Chicago for various parties and events. It was a great time — I ate good food, went dancing, listened to music, saw a good movie and most importantly I was able to spend time with pretty much all my people that I miss so much. However, I also contracted some sort of Hipster Malaria whilst at Pitchfork and I’ve been sick for most of the week. So sick, in fact, that I stayed home from work and have been holed up in my house for days.

This has given me a lot of time to catch on up my summer cable television programming. I’ve been watching almost non-stop episodes of Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic channel and Dirty Jobs on Discovery. I can’t get enough. I’ve even tried using Cesar’s dog psychology on Magellan (it doesn’t seem to work on cats, especially when they are sleeping) and I’ve developed a mighty crush on the host of Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe. Those who know me might be surprised by this, since I generally don’t care for the muscly, brawny, “I can lift that for ya” types. Nor do I necessarily go for poop-jokes – a major staple on a show about grody jobs.  But then in one episode he started singing (he used to be with the Baltimore Opera Company) and making up silly songs and I was sorta hooked. Plus I have great admiration for people who can walk into a weird situation with complete strangers, have to work with them ALL DAY, and be gracious and friendly and funny and productive. It’s a brand of social ability that I have yet to conquer and I’m sort of in awe of it.

Also it makes me grateful that I don’t have to wear waders for my living. Though I did enjoy wearing them for wading out into the blood-colored fountains to light torches during Fright Fest…but I think that is a very specialized, narrow area of wader-acceptance.

I don’t mean to alarm you, but I think I might have magical powers. First, I was thinking about a particular episode of Gilmore Girls — the one where Lane dyes her hair. I was trying to remember what color — and then that episode came on! (It was purple, BTW. Her hair, not the show).  A few hours later I was thinking about the episode of Sex and the City where Aiden and Carrie get into a huge fight in front of that fountain, all “If you don’t want to marry me now, you never will”, and then she tip-toes into where he is sleeping — I always though the way she tip-toes in is so weird looking — and then that episode came on too! THEN I started thinking about Bob Fosse (as one tends to do) and  Kiss Me Kate came on TV! Eerie.  I’m telling you, if you have never seen it, it is totally worth it just to see Fosse’s dance duet in “From This Moment On”. Plus the delightful Cole Porter-ness. And while you are there you can witness the tiny teensiosity of itty bitty Kathryn Grayson and the amazing voice of Howard Keel. You know what, rent it.  Really, it’s great.

But my point is this: I have this magical ability and now I need to figure out how to use it for good (saving puppies’ lives, making me money) instead of evil (watching TV all evening).  So let me know if there is anything you are hankering to see on TV and I’ll hook you up. Only $25 a show.

Happy 4th to all! I hope that wherever you are you are enjoying the day with good food and relaxing times. I wasn’t in town last summer for the holiday so all the patriotism here is a nice surprise. Last night a neighboring town held their fireworks and I sat outside with a handful of stranger-neighbors and watched what we could over the trees. And in just the last 10 minutes I passed a pick-up truck with a person-sized Statue of Liberty tied to the front bumper, as well as what I think was a turf war over prime parade viewing spots near campus, complete with wild gesticulating. Ah, summer. I am skipping the parade in favor of a nap, but plan to enjoy a lovely barbecue and hopefully up-close  fireworks later in the day.  I really relish these kinds of holidays because for about 10 years I had jobs that required me to work on the 4th.  So enjoy the day, whatever your plans!

ALSO, special birthday wishes to my darling sister! Firecracker, firecracker, boom boom boom!