That's the sound of me hitting myself over the head because I just realized I could have bought Jacob's present from Amazon.com and maybe actually gotten it. Then again, maybe I couldn't.
I'm just irritable because I have a tracking number for it, but the postal service doesn't recognize the number as anything it should be tracking. Buy.com has a procedure for declaring a shipment lost, but it only applies if the tracking information shows it's been delivered. They also have a reassuring statement about if you can't see tracking information for your package, but that only applies if your shipment just went out today. I have an impressive and persuasive pouty face, complete with trembling lip and big sad stricken eyes, but that only applies if there's someone to look at it. Looks like it's a stalemate.
In other news, I've been reading the interesting, informative and shamelessly oversensationalized book The Boxer Rebellion by Diana Preston. It's truly amazing how everyone in China in 1900 was either sexually lawless, tortured to death, or both. Actually, that's not quite true; there was one English girl who was apparently merely fat. If you tune out the yellow journalism, purple prose, and scarlet letters, though, it's a very good read. The Boxer Rebellion is one of the thousands of significant events of modern history of which I know next to nothing, so it's totally fascinating to me. Some of it really defies belief -- I'm a little stuck on imagining how this would play out today. I'm pretty sure if you had 400 foreign diplomats barricaded inside their own embassies in the capital city of anywhere, and being bombarded by Anywhere's national military right alongside Anywhere's unchecked peasant uprising, Anywhere would get bombed into Nothing pretty fast. I don't even think the U.S. could get away with that one.
In the interest of honesty, I'll also admit that the sensationalizing makes the book easier to follow. There are so many names of missionaries and diplomats and military commanders being thrown around that it's simpler to remember them as "oh, right, the gay one" or "the fat one" or "the one with all the mistresses" than to keep track of the names. It just makes it a little embarrassing to be sitting on BART reading what's allegedly a serious historical book and then realize that the person next to you is looking over your shoulder at a description of the Empress Dowager's favorite sexual position.Posted by dianna at June 2, 2005 11:05 AM