Friday, November 11, 2005

No work=a good day

I'm in my jam-jams drinking coffee and pondering a day of whatever I feel like doing (which isn't much) because I don't have to work today! Hooray for Veteran's Day!*

My mother called this morning at 7:30 to wish me happy birthday. I said "Thanks, but you know it's really tomorrow, right?" She said "Oh yeah, that's right. I just always think of it as Veteran's Day because your father had that day off work and he kept standing around looking at me like 'Well, aren't you going to go into labor?' " So I learned a new little piece of family folklore: My father had really wanted me to be born on Veteran's Day. Solid evidence that I began my career of disappointing my parents before birth.

*Interesting note about this link: On the right side of the page there is (or was--I don't know how often it changes) a poll that asks "Which of the United States' post-Vietnam military conflicts do you consider the most justified?" It just made me chuckle because implicit in the question is the notion that, well, none of them were really all that justifiable, now were they? But c'mon, surely one or two of them had a shred of justification behind them, right? Help us out here ... which ones?

Of the choices, the one that really blew my mind when it happened was Grenada. I was in college at the time, and the morning after the invasion I dragged my sleepy ass out of bed just in time to wander to my 9 a.m. "History of American Cities" class. The professor walked in and before he could start the lecture some guy raised his hand and said "Can we talk a bit about the US invasion of Grenada?" Most of the rest of the class were sleepyheads like me who hadn't had their daily dose of mass media yet, and we all said "What? Invasion? Grenada?" almost in unison. I was thinking "Grenada, Grenada ... do I know where this place is?" I have since been to Grenada, which is a very lovely place. If you ever go, ask someone to show you the public telephone Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf allegedly used to phone in an airstrike request. the story they tell there is that the Army had no means of communication with the Air Force directly, and so Schwartzkopf had to use a pay phone (a la Dr. Strangelove) to request air support, and the response he got was "What? Invasion? Grenada?" because the whole operation had been so secret. I have no idea if this story is true or if the folks in Grenada just think it's a fun thing to tell tourists.


georg said...

hey, it's still your birthday for another 59 minutes so i'm not late when i say: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


andrew said...

happy belated birthday!

Why did that stupid poll not have "None of them"? And who are the 20% of people who thought the attack on Iraq was most justified?