Habemus Papam Franciscum!Slap'em!
Well, I had intended a thorough update on a variety of topics, not the least of which were ...
(1) A few initial thoughts on the new Pope Francis* from Down South American Way and my idea that he may not be as horrible as I anticipated (though it looks -- as Chris Matthews noted -- he will be "socially conservative" (i.e., anti-gay, anti-anything not 19th Century "traditional") and economically "progressive." If true, this would be the opposite of the vapid and vague libertarianism that defines so much of America today. Interesting in its own right. But this commentary will have to wait for the time being.
He is Francis the First ("Francis I") -- named for St. Francis of Assisi -- but apparently you are not supposed to use the "I" unless and until there is a "II", although Kristof pointed out that Pope John Paul I in his incredibly short-lived papacy was called "JPI" right from the get go.
(2) Commenting on my weight as of tonight -- following an excellent gym night (after two days of not going) that included a two-part 5-mile / 700+ calorie run, weight-lifting, and a nice swim -- that is now a tad under 159 pounds or basically 25 pounds down from my heaviest. And add in a few more pounds representing new muscle mass, and it' might be closer to 28 pounds, which is essentially half the weight I gained from late 2004 through mid 2012. And I havedone it in just under 9 months.
After the gym, I got dinner at Bua and brought it over to Larry's Lounge where I (unexpectedly) met both Gary and Kristof and ate before coming home.
(3) Noting that my "step-grandmother*" (whom I had not seen in 20 years, she of the South Baltimore / Brooklyn / Bristol Avenue "tribe") passed away at age 89 on March 8th. My mom and Ray went to the funeral but few others did.
(4) Discussing the amazing story of bartender Scott Prouty and how it may have changed the course of a U.S. presidential election and thus history, and contrasting him and his story to another bartender. Oh, and how great it was a bartender that got this Mormom teetotaler. Prouty was interviewed on The Ed Show on Wednesday (March 13th) and announced to the world who he was. Ironically, and sadly, The Ed Show is ending in its present form as of March 14th (with Ed Schultz moving to MSNBC on the weekend).
"Like, oh my Gahwd! So, like, I had just finished bartending and I was, like, counting my purse and talking to this hot guy about haute couture by Louis Vuitton and Louis Féraud when, like, I see this old guy walk in wearing, like, blue Chino pants, a glencheck wool blazer over a green shirt, and Kenneth Cole Reaction shoes, and we look at each other, and I'm like, 'GUUURRLLL, you've got to be kidding me!'"
(5) Matters American kooky political ...
(5a) Sen. Dianne Feinstein's powerful comeback at a Senate hearing today against asshole Sen. Ted Cruz (R - Texas-Sized Asshole). The name "Ted Cruz" is a Cuban Spanish slang for "Arrogant Asshole." (I realize fully that Cruz's behavior gets lots of Texans all tingly all over but in the end that kind of assholery only gets you so far.)
Updated 8:22PM 3/15/2013: Here is a link to what I'm talking about (and watch Rachel Maddow's take on it).
(5b) And on the topic of the never-ending jet spray of American right-wing bizarro world lunacy, the ongoing CPAC event in D.C. -- a sort of GOP freakshow that actually has a fair amount in common with the old Young Pioneer Organization of the Soviet Union. And how well any of them could survive in their inverted Marxist libertarian utopia of all makers and no takers. Right.
(5c) The usual Bizarro World GOP laws including this (SB2687)** one by the Mississippi state legislature (the "anti-Bloomberg law") to take a brave stand to ensure that the state not only remains the obesity capital of the planet forever but that it soon become the diabetes capital as well because that's its idea of fighting Obama and Socialism. The state legislature also banned fruits and vegetables from anyone's diet.
**I think this is the one that passed rather than HR1182, although they look basically identical.
Above: A member of the Mississippi state legislature enjoys enjoys a healthy snack along the Mississippi River. On a personal note, I'm just so glad that I'm in the same country as Mississippi and the Old Confederacy. It's just so worth it.
But it's really late and I'm tired and sore and need to go to bed. I will try to post my Friday night musical interlude later this day.