1. Anna is reading “Death of a Salesman” for her high school literature class. She hates this book almost as much as her dad did 25 years ago. In fact, she wishes the salesman could have died in the first act, and saved her the trouble of reading the rest of the play.
As a tragedy, it ranks right up there with “Death of a Telemarketer Who Calls You at Mealtime”, “Death of an Internet Spammer”, or perhaps “Death of an African Dictator.”
(I must add that if this had been an actual salesman, and not a fictional one invented by a leftist playwright who does not have enough talent to be on a reading list with Hamlet, that Anna would have compassion for the poor guy.)
We have told her that if she reads Anna Karenina, she will be cheering for the train.
2. Christopher has reached some sort of developmental milestone. Today I played a chess game with him, and as usual I started by taking my queen off the board. Until today I have always beat him, but today he managed a draw. To quote Vinnie, the speed-chess dude in “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” “he’s using pieces to attack in combination.” His brain is just working a little differently these days. I would take him to the local chess club, but it would keep him up past his bedtime, and he doesn’t exactly know how to be quiet for long enough to play a game. Also he is small enough so that when he plays on a full size board at a table, it is a struggle to reach all of the pieces.
3. However, he has now officially outgrown his toddler clothing, and now wears pants that don’t have room for pull-ups. He is 7, so it is about time. He can’t get away with looking like a 4-year-old any more.
4. Here is a political observation, from Pennsylvania, the land where the political advertising will never end (at least until April 22, when we have our long overdue primary.)
John McCain just wants to be my president, for either 4 or 8 years. (I am guessing that if he wins he will serve one term and not run for re-election.) He is right about some things, and wrong about others, but there is a certain built-in modesty about what he thinks he can accomplish.
Meanwhile, Clinton and Obama both want to be my savior. At least that is the style of their appeal. If you join their side, it is like joining some great crusade for the forces of good. If you don’t, you are part of the forces of darkness.
Even if I agreed much more with the Democrats on policy, the Messiah-complex stuff would really turn me off.