For the first time in weeks, I managed to sleep in. The combination of a white-collar work schedule, a (brief, as it turns out) heat wave, and the noise from the air conditioner I bought to get me through the heat wave have made staying in bed (an activity I once excelled at) something of a struggle. Today, though, there was no work, no humidity and nothing to keep me from wasting the morning away in peaceful slumber, dreaming of — actually, I rarely remember my dreams, but I’m sure that whatever I was dreaming of, it was pleasant.

Much more pleasant than what I woke up to. First off, Minnesota’s state government is now (partially) closed for business, thanks to the firm belief by both Democrats and Republicans that the other party will be blamed for the complete mess of a legislative session we’ve all had to suffer through this year. And as if that weren’t enough, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor — quite possibly the most powerful person in America, given the number of important decisions on which she has been the deciding vote — announced her retirement, catching off-guard those who had been (and still are) waiting for Chief Justice Rehnquist to step down. The nomination and confirmation process for her successor promises to be nasty, brutish, and unending.

If you’re one of those people who gets pleasure out of the red/blue shouting matches that have come to pass for political discourse in the U.S., this promises to be a summer of high entertainment. I, however, am on the verge of declaring a total ban on news and politics in my apartment in anticipation of the piss and vinegar that’s going to start getting sprayed all over the place.