March 27, 2005
John in person, sorta.
For Nancy in Berlin, per her teasing about there not being whole photos of me on this here blog. This is the photo from my identification card for doing research at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. in January 2003. I was doing some research for a best-selling non-fiction author (no names, as I don't think he'd appreciate my name-dropping) for my last year in Boston, and I put together a small "research team" (as the author-dude called it) to hit the largest library in the history of the entire human race (ain't America grand?). Unfortunately, they don't actually let you find the books on the shelves yourself. You fill out a nicely bureaucratic form, and then workers bring the books you ordered to your desk. Strange procedures, but it made me feel very important. After all, who else in that room must have been breaking new intellectual ground of some kind? I felt like more than a research assistant. Or at least, like a very special research assistant. I look like a Polish terrorist in that photo, I'm told. I know. And I really am a quarter Polish (shh!), so I can't help but think of that everytime I see it. And I did get some post-9/11 bullshit that day from a security guard because my messenger bag chocked full of photocopies said PETA on it. I was (at the time, not now) a fierce vegan and a moderate member of PETA. And some people consider PETA to be a "domestic terrorist" organization (what a stupid term -- like "reverse racism") because they are supposed to all be nuts and are allegedly associated with the Animal Liberation Front, a sometimes-violent animal rights organization. Once I realized that he was not going to detain me or any such nonsense, I thought it was a little funny that the bunny-huggers (my term, sucka) are watched at the Library of Congress. Or, at the very least, the ones who look like Polish terrorists.