Dickie Cronkite
Someone who has more "theme park experience."

God's Country, revisited.
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In God's Country, in town for my cousin's wedding.

Another friggin' wedding. Excuse me for one second, I need to bash my face through the computer monitor.


OK, so anyways the last time I was home, this was where I was at mentally. A few things have changed since then.

Last night my parents found me dazed and confused curbside at LAX. We drove down Sepulveda and whizzed past Manchester, heading to the house in Culver City instead of making a left into Playa Del Rey - my former apartment where TAFKAC now resides...and well, it just hit...

Home. It's great to be home. At the same time, this is all very strange. And not in a good way.

I got about three hours of sleep. When we got in, around 12:30AM (3:30 EST) I found a very discouraging email from my editor at the Seattle Times, regarding the story I filed for them Wednesday afternoon, regarding probably the most important and unsettling story I've covered all year. Ironically, it looks like it's not gonna go to print. I'm beyond pissed - I'm despondent.

A little background: In DC District Court Wednesday, I watched the U.S. gov't throw a bunch of peace activists under the bus while simultaneously bailing out a large Texas-based petroleum wholesaler. Both violated UN sanctions in Iraq. The activists brought $40K in medicine for dying children into the country, trying to raise awareness about the sanctions' effects. The Texas company paid $37 million in illegal surcharges to Saddam Hussein's coffers in order to make a profit.

Guess which group is being sued by the federal government, and which isn't. And that's only the tip of the iceberg - believe me, it gets better. (Or worse, I should say.)

But you won't be reading about it in any newspaper. I was the only reporter there. It happened - I saw it go down like a walk in the park. What's more stunning, in that email my editor deemed it "not-newsworthy" ...even after he already knew exactly what I would be filing and gave me the thumbs-up to write the story. I want to hurt someone.

(And that Houston-based oil company? Their lawyer hung up on me. And no, I wasn't being belligerent.)

So that's why I got three hours of sleep last night, plagued by insomnia, only to wake up, borrow Dickie Sr.'s truck, and head over to Playa Del Rey to claim my surfboard. Yes, as in there.


She looked good. Real good. Amazing, in fact. She even grew her hair long.

It was a difficult visit, and let's just leave it at that.

I got back in the truck, surfboard in tow, and wondered exactly which ancestor I pissed off so badly this week. In the end, I was too tired to even make it to the water.

It's just a lot to deal with, all at once, you know? The sudden, traumatic change. The disillusionment and disappointment, watching something so important fall to the wayside - whether it's a relationship or a story whose backdrop is the death of 500,000 children under the age of five.

Hey, good times!

Well, I suspect things'll pick up from here - Bertha and I will catch some waves Sunday - hell, maybe even tomorrow before the blessed nuptials (gag), and with any luck we'll rediscover that sense of peace ominously left behind in September, if even for just a moment.

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