Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Monday, February 05, 2007

On Friday we were driving to a lodge near Mt. Rainier to meet 30 friends and friends-of-friends for a week-end of food, music, drink, skiing, and snow-shoeing, when we decided to call our Congressional representatives to urge them to revoke the President's Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq.

We didn't have a phone book with us, so I called information.

"What city please?"

"Washington, D.C."

"What listing?"

"Congressman Jim McDermott."

"I'm sorry, there's no Congressman Jim McDermott listed in Washington, D.C."


So I asked for Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell, and they weren't listed either, and I explained that all of these numbers were in my phone book, and asked why they didn't have the number; and I spoke with the supervisor and asked the same thing and asked that the charge for my call be eliminated, and the supervisor was apologetic and agreeable but still did not want to do an internet search for the numbers; and so I called my cell phone provider to lodge a complaint, that the Information Service was inadequate if it does not have numbers that are in my phone book, and the Complaint Desk person was apologetic and obsequious but defensive, saying, cheerfully, "I've never had any trouble with our Information Service provider, but I'll make a note of it"; and meanwhile my beloved spouse was urging me to call her sister, who was likely to be home, so she could look up the numbers for us, and then her sister called coincidentally, and while I was talking to my wife's sister on her cell phone, getting the numbers, my brother called me on my cell phone, and my wife answered it; and we got the numbers.

I alerted my Congressional representatives that the cell phone company did not have a record of their office phone numbers. And I urged them to revoke the President's Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq, saying I was gravely concerned about the possibility of the President launching an unprovoked war against Iran, and that Congress should let him know that they would impeach him if he were to. Cantwell's staffer was completely noncommittal (no surprise); McDermott and Murray's staffers didn't want to talk about Iran or impeachment but said that their bosses were backing withdrawal legislation. Which is something. But not enough.

I'm going to call again.

* * * * * * * * *

After momentary vexation with the incompetence of my cell phone carrier's Information subcontractor, the weekend was lovelissimus. We hadn't expected much actual time in the snow, what with parental responsibilities and the kid's limited appetite for snow play, but another parent had a back problem and agreed to watch all five of the 4-to-6-year-olds, and they all had a great time, and we had a great time (my beloved spouse ski-ed, and I snowshoed, a 7-mile roundtrip hike up a hill); and the music was a blast, and the food was terrific. I walked with a group of acquaintances and friends-of-friends, and on the way up I mostly walked by myself and worked on a song, and on the way down we sang camp songs as a group, instigated by two of the people I've known for years (seeing them once or twice a year, sometimes thrice) and whom I hadn't thought of as music hounds, but music hounds they were, and I was happy.

During the Friday night hootenanny, I played a song I hadn't played for years, about a former boss in Chicago who recently turned up in the political blogs playing the jerk in a political squabble with a lefty indy journalist. This guy was a jerk then and now he was a nationally known (on political blogs) jerk, and as I recalled the song I realized I had forgotten (and never recorded) the 2nd verse. I have a vague memory that the 2nd verse was the worst, so I wrote a new one.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Two of my once-a-year guitar pals actually practice and get better year by year. I used to do that. Gotta get back to it. One friend, Ed, wrote some beautiful drony bluesy meditative instrumentals and played them beautifully and asked me to play harmonica, and I was very happy to accompany him.

Jam session with the kids was a blast too.

And dancing to Fela in the kitchen. I'm not a big fan of a lot of hippie rock, but hippies are folkies and folkies dig a lot of other-than-American-or-English music, and this makes me happy.

A restorative weekend. Friends, music, dancing, food, drink -- this is what life is about.
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