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Meg's Blog

Spinning Beach Ball of Death

I always know summer is truly here when the Spinning Beach Ball of Death puts in an appearance.

In case you don't know, the Spinning Beach Ball of Death is not a pool toy. It is an icon Mac users recognize as the universal symbol for Your Computer Now Hates You.

For some reason, my Mac PowerBook ALWAYS goes insane in the summer. Last summer, admittedly, it was because I dropped it. But this summer, all I was doing was trying to write a book, and BAM! DEE-NIED!

And okay, there may have been some TaB spilled on the keyboard once A LONG TIME AGO.

And yes, I did wonder where those sugar ants were coming from.

But ants don't drink TaB. It's DIET. Unlike humans, ants know better than to consume things with NO CALORIES.

So currently my laptop is in the Mac Hospital, its hard drive being repaired (hopefully). If you've emailed me lately and you haven't heard back, the reason why is that I don't have your email address because it's on my hard drive, which is currently being vacuumed free of ants, or whatever they are doing to it over at the Mac Hospital.

But my computer is not the only place the Spinning Beach Ball of Death has put in an appearance lately. There is a great big Spinning Beach Ball of Death hanging over the Middle East right now, in case you hadn't noticed.

This Spinning Beach Ball of Death should be of great concern to all of us. It is actually a good example of what can happen when you allow Haters to come into your town and start their own Hate Club. Sure, it might seem like the neighborly thing to do…until YOUR town ends up getting bombed, even though YOU personally didn't do anything!

I thought Anthony Bourdain, author of KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL and my other secret crush (besides Warren) put it best when he described what's happening in Beirut right now thusly for Page Six (he is trapped in Beirut, by the way—or was the last time I Google News'd him—filming a segment for his show ANTHONY BOURDAIN: NO RESERVATIONS for the Travel Channel):

“They're bombing right now in southern Beirut. I can hear the explosions. The thing is, the people here are really, really nice and totally embarrassed by Hezbollah and horrified by the bombings.”

After spending Monday and Tuesday eating his way through Beirut and befriending locals, Bourdain and his crew partied at local nightclubs into the wee hours. “This is a party town,” he explained. “Everyone in this city is [bleeping] gorgeous. It's like L.A. It's a totally international, sophisticated city. Everyone speaks English and throws dollars around.”

Bourdain – who once consumed the raw, still-beating heart of a snake on camera, and who's traveled to the likes of Cambodia and North Vietnam in search of exotic eats – seemed mostly unfazed by the bombings, even though it was his first time in a war zone.

But many Lebanese who fear Israeli reprisals will get worse were streaming out of Beirut yesterday. “The roads to Damascus are packed with every Lebanese with a Rolodex,” said Bourdain, who is the chef-at-large at Park Avenue South bistro Les Halles. “They're all heading toward Damascus.”

Lebanon is one of the hottest summer vacation spots for Saudis, Emiratis, Kuwaitis and others, as well as for the huge Lebanese community in the Gulf. Lebanese tourism has enjoyed a spike in recent years, as many Gulf Arabs stopped vacationing in the United States after the 9/11 attacks.

I am not saying that celebrity chefs are necessarily the best news commentators. But hearing the situation described by him that way made what's going on in Lebanon a lot clearer to me. Because, let's face it, the crisis in the Middle East really is one giant Spinning Beach Ball of Death to many of us:

We know it's not good. We just don't know why it's happening.

Too bad there's no way we can wrap the Middle East all up and send it to the Mac Hospital to get the Spinning Beach Ball of Death out of there for good.

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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