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Obama Girl and Pat Boone

Last night Arianna Huffington had a shindig [does anyone use that word anymore? Or is that a hopelessly middle-aged term?] at her swank [ditto] pad [!!] in Georgetown. Most of the parties I go to are Arianna parties. I told her she's just a short walk from Jack's Boats and should spend the summer kayaking or canoing under the Key Bridge. People like it when you tell them what to do, I've always found. Especially when it involves paddling in broiling heat on urban rivers.

Here's the headline: Obama Girl was there. And Pat Boone! I didn't actually see Pat Boone but Harold Meyerson said he was on hand, in white pants and white shoes. Which raised the inevitable question: Obama Girl....Pat Boone....Who's the third name???

"Annette Funicello," Meyerson suggested.

That worked for me. (Though it really should be more triangulated: "Niels Bohr"..."The Sultan of Brunei"..."Max Headroom"..."Harold Meyerson.")

Lots of real-blogger types there -- Rick Klein, Garance Franke-Ruta -- and Matt Cooper and Mandy Grunwald. Also some folks from Firedoglake, and, and the HuffPo, including Rachel Sklar, who Howie profiled the other day, and who was shepherding Obama Girl. Sklar explains the entire Obama Girl phenomenon on her blog. [Note transparent attempts to increase Google rankings by repeated references to Obama Girl and Rachel Sklar.] [Up to my old tricks.]

(Several people asked me what my "beat" is, or what I "write about." This always proves awkward. The "aboutness problem," we call it. But now I can give an honest answer: Parties.)

I spent most the night telling everyone about the history of the canal that runs right by Arianna's apartment. At a party like that, everyone wants to know about canals, and other forms of 19th century transportation. And I could be the person with the canal information, the canal lore, the statistics on the length of the canal (184.5 miles), the dates of construction (1828-1850), the most common cargo (coal), the year it went bankrupt (1889), and so on. I bet you anything I knew more about canals than anyone in the joint. I was Canal Boy!!

Trust me, I wasn't just sizzling -- I was on fire.

[Editor's note: *I* can do Joel one better, having been to a party at Arianna's swank (I use the term advisedly) mansion (that one is accurate) in L.A., where I used to live. As I recall, the purpose of the party was to introduce some now-forgotten blogger or website, perhaps both. I do remember, however, that a) it took me half an hour to get myself a beer and my wife a glass of wine, which is about 29 minutes too long; and b) the valet was very impressed with my 1992 Toyota Corolla and was careful to return it to me with all its rust spots intact. I did not talk about canals with anyone.]


Somewhere along the line Arianna managed to write a refutation of the Bill Kristol article that ran the other day in Outlook and got 4 million comments on our site.

FYI, Outlook has asked David Corn to write a response to run on the Post's website, and it should be posted later today. Should be interesting.


From the war games story today in The Post:

'A senior administration official closely involved in Iraq policy imagines a vast internecine slaughter as Iraq descends into chaos but cautions that it is impossible to know the outcome. "We've got to be very modest about our predictive capabilities," the official said.'

Ya think?

[Beware of PITGOATS.]


I'm in training for the beach. Going this Friday for the weekend. It's a brief beach hang, and thus there's time pressure. I must relax quickly and efficiently, with vim and gusto. I've been tense lately and out of sorts, and if I'm going to kick back hugely at the beach and relax with aplomb and panache, I need to get in the beach groove NOW so that I can hit the ground running on Friday and be instantly chilled. It's hard, it's brutal, but this kind of pre-beach training regimen can't be avoided if you take your relaxation seriously.

The key requirement is to condition the mind to avoid any sense of responsibility, guilt, shame or associated unbeachish thoughts. One has to purge oneself of the awareness that there's a broader world out there beyond one's own immediate solipsistic existence. Explaining this to my editor may prove difficult. No, today's not a vacation day, just an incredible simulation.

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 17, 2007; 11:20 AM ET
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