Dear Mr. President,
Everything is going wrong today. I overslept and missed an important guest speaker in my morning class. I wasted way too much time reading internet news. I got a massive headache. A shoplifter at work got away and made me feel weak, slow and clumsy in the process (but at least got rid of my headache.) I'm an unacceptable level of upset about a boy, I'm terrible with money and I'm not even being a particularly good sister or daughter these days. I feel like an unqualified failure at just about every aspect of my life. So I can't write about tax-cut negotiations or human rights abuses or the death of the American Dream today. I'll probably be all over this by tomorrow, but tonight I have to write about positive things.
On the local level, the city of Seattle won National Novel Writing Month for the 4th year in a row. By 8 million words. (Not that I'm rubbing it in, or anything, LA.) Seattle continues to shine as a literary center for emerging writers, and while I did not participate this year (writing to you keeps me busy enough) I'm proud of my friends who did. Many approach November with more than a little disdain for the competition, which is won by every one who reaches 50,000 words by Nov. 30th, but I think that anything that combines charitable donations (Seattle alone donated $10K to youth writing causes) with a sense of community for the often solitary experience of novel writing ought to be applauded. Many great novels are born in these thirty days each year, and even those that will never see publication or fame or fortune will at least have the sense of such a tremendous accomplishment.
Nationally, NASA had me thinking they were going to announce the existence of extraterrestrial life, but I suppose an arsenic-based life form is pretty cool, too.
Finally, while this may seem a bit mean-spirited of me to count as a positive thing, Nigeria is pursuing a case against Dick Cheney for bribes paid to Nigerian officials by Halliburton. I don't imagine for a second that Cheney will actually ever see the inside of a courtroom, let alone be brought to justice, but still it's nice to see that sometimes that bad ones get theirs, too.
I'm in a better mood already. On a related note, a man walking two giant English Mastiffs just walked by the coffeeshop window, and I need to go pet them. The only thing that makes me happier than a city full of badass writers, an entirely new form of life, and a justice system (any justice system) with the courage to stand up to Dick Cheney is giant puppies. I hope you aren't also feeling like an abject failure tonight, but if you are, you should probably just play with Bo for a while. Trust me, it helps.