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My dad loves Joe Biden. I mean, loooooooooooves him for reasons I've never been entirely clear on. Certainly in 2004, my dad was grousing because Biden wasn't running for president.

So I see that Biden has thrown his hat into the ring, and my first thought was, "Okay, well, Dad will be happy about that." Then I thought, "Why does he like Biden so much? What, is he from Scranton or something?"

Sure enough, Biden is originally from Scranton. Ha! My officemate didn't quite appreciate why I was laughing so hard, so I had to email the eeee! and call my brother, who both appreciated the bit of trivia.

And I must confess that I can't fast-forward through the opening credits of The Office, and I'm not even from Scranton. I sometimes get excited about the little details, like the University of Scranton banner on someone's desk (my dad's alma mater!), or Dwight having tons of fireworks in his car (the amount of fireworks that people -- including my relatives -- set off for 4th of July in Scranton is really insane).

I don't even like Scranton, and I have this bizarre attachment to it, so maybe it's not so weird that my dad is still a civic booster, nearly 35 years after moving away.
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I've started The Boleyn Inheritance, by Philippa Gregory, and it's so much fun. The narration switches between Jane Boleyn (George Boleyn's widow), Anne of Cleves, and Katherine Howard, and Gregory captures all three voices so well. Katherine Howard's chapters are especially hilarious:

Except -- and this is such a tragedy that I really don't know how to bear it -- although I am of an age to go to court, and as a Howard girl my natural place should bein the queen's chambers, there is no queen! It is a disaster for me. There is no queen at all. Queen Jane died after having her baby, which seems to me to be just laziness really, and so there are no places at court for maids-in-waiting. This is so terribly unlucky for me; I think no girl has ever been as unlucky as I have been: to have my fourteenth birthday in London, just as the queen has to go and die, and the whole court droop into mourning for years.

Ha! Those chapters must have been a blast to write.

In other news, apparently there are a bunch of missing cats in a small town near my parents. And doesn't this letter to the editor imply that the writer knows what has happened to the cats? That's really creepy.

March 2013



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