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Dear Most Precious Reader,

Now that I’ve gone public, outed myself on my site here, will I ever get a date? This is the question I have as I plug my site shamelessly to whomever I make eye contact with or whomever I feel needs to know the moodkill of my writing. Should I not have spoken my mind about the menz I dated, or wanted to date, or did not under any circumstances want to date? Look, dear reader, what I’m trying to ask really is if you will date me. Well?

Yesterday, I went walking with some co-workers. I didn’t have the best shoes but they were tennis shoe slip-ons. I figured it’d be okay since we weren’t running. Wrong. A third of my feet have gargantuan blisters that HURT and dear reader, I was wondering if you could fetch me some Neosporin and bandaids. Well?

With all the sincerity I can muster,
Medicated Lady (aka Loria)

I’m not sure I’ll ever finish reading Descent into Chaos: the United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid, but like his previous book, Taliban, he proves himself immensely knowledgeable about Pakistan’s role in the “Afghanistan problem.” While both Descent and Taliban offer readers a framework for understanding the many strands of the conflict in Afghanistan, Rashid amps up his criticism of the many failures of the Bush administration, the tangled mess of Afghani warlords, and what he perceives to be the “terrorism central,” Pakistan, in his latter work.

Folks, Rashid does not skimp on the details. The book is jam-packed with information. You’ll find that if you are prone to underlining important passages in books that nearly every page will be thoroughly marked up.

If you want commentary on the last 10 years of turmoil in Central Asia, go for Descent into Chaos. If you want a more comprehensive understanding of Central Asia and the making of terrorist states, read Taliban. If you go for both, be sure to space them out and have plenty of trash fiction to read in between Rashid’s books.

My publisher has notified me in writing that I am contractually obligated to say I did a reading (a little ditty called Pub or Perish) on Sunday that corresponded with the Arkansas Literary Festival. Rumor has it I did not perish.

Thank you to the menfolk who made that reading (and writing) possible. Except for the one manfolk for whom I have no affection and who will remain nameless because I’m still pissed. It’s only been 3 or 4 years.

SOB with me

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