I had a surprisingly busy day at work today. When I wondered aloud why everyone suddenly needed to get temporary accounts and online course websites NOW, I was reminded that the full batch of autumn-quarter students were to land tomorrow. Ah, I see. Good thing I’m leaving for Lille on Friday.
I made a half-hearted attempt at grocery shopping on the way home, stopping at the Monoprix near my work. I’m going away for the weekend anyway, and I’d rather make use of the farmer’s markets that are in my neighborhood, but I needed something to eat tonight, as well as some of basic staples. When I get back next week, one of my goals is to discover the markets in my neighborhood. Actually, I still haven’t gone for a good exploratory walk of my area…
I found some really lovely oyster mushrooms at Monoprix, so I decided I would do a simple poelée (a French version of a pan-fry: on lower heat, with butter, and usually finished with parsley and garlic), and then a sort of ratatouille-style vegetable ragout. I discovered that the burners on my gas stove burn REALLY hot, even on the lowest setting, so I found that the onions were browning and almost burning by the time I had prepared the other vegetables. It seems like I’ll need to peel and chop everything before I actually start cooking. Anyway, dinner was still pretty tasty (especially those mushrooms!), and I managed to eat far too much bread. I think I’m no longer allowed to bring bread home with me. Or, rather, I need to make peace with the fact that French bread won’t last the night in my place, so I need to buy it much less often. None of this le pain quotidien for my fat ass, thank you.
Aside from finally catching up on my blogging, I got very little else done today, because I turned on CNN International and was transfixed by the intricate political drama of McCain becoming all hysterical and suspending his campaign to “help” on the Wall Street bailout bill, despite the fact that he sits on none of the financial committees, and the chairs of those committees (especially the sharp-tongued sister, Barney Frank) explicitly said that his presence would only complicate matters. McCain also said that he wanted to cancel or postpone the debate coming up on Friday, so that he could “concentrate” on being the Savior of the Financial Crisis, rather than The Guy Who Thought the Economy’s Fundamentals Were Strong a Week Ago. Or The Guy Who’s Campaign Manager Turns Out To Serve On The Board For Fanny Mae. Or The Guy Currently Being Eclipsed By His Running Mate, “Churchy Spice.”
Anyway, Obama actually had the brass balls to say, “The debate is still on, asshole. With or without you.” Apparently, the plan now is that they’ll shift to a Town Hall format or an interview with Jim Lehrer if McCain doesn’t show. Some people suggested that he send his VP running mate, Sarah Palin to substitute for him, but anybody who has seen her give an interview would understand why that’s a horrible idea for McCain. Oh, and by coincidence the postponement of this Friday’s debate might require cancelling the only Vice Presidential debate…conveniently freeing Palin from ever having to come face-to-face with Joe Biden. That would really disappointment, as I had already bought popcorn in anticipation for that circus event.
Anyway, since the all-important Meeting With The Lame-Duck President was taking place while it was night over here, I had CNN on with endless talking-head coverage, and meanwhile I spent hours reading the comment threads on MetaFilter about the same thing. As you can imagine, people had a LOT to say online about this turn of events. From the sounds of things after the meeting, there had been a plan already worked out by the House and Senate on both sides BEFORE McCain showed up, and then at the meeting where McCain and Obama were present, the House Republicans suddenly decided that they had a whole new set of demands which pretty much torpedoed the meeting. Since the House Republican representative had been in a private meeting with McCain just beforehand, the speculation by critics is that the House Republicans deliberately forced the larger meeting to fail to create an opening for McCain to look like the saving hero, since the plan on the table had been agreed to well before he landed in Washington. Either way, it made for some amusing political drama. And it would be more amusing if the American and global economies weren’t at risk. And I don’t even want to imagine how the Canadian economy will do if the US collapses. Ugh.
So, after an late-night episode of As The Presidential Candidates Turn, I hit the sack.