First of the fall…

The headline for today’s post has been running through my head all weekend, since I heard it in the mix on Old-School Saturday, my favorite radio show in the whole wide etcetera. Remember the rest of the line? …and then she goes back. Bye bye bye bye there. Sly & the Family Stone, taking you all the way back to the summer of 1969. I was 11. Let us speak no more of time’s terrible swift sword. Labor Day has that effect on me.

But it was a wonderful summer, all things considered. I spent the last two weekends reconnecting with old friends, last weekend in Wisconsin and this weekend in Ohio. My old demi-roomie Jeff Borden was invited to a big nuptial throwdown in the state capital, so I brunched with him and his wife Joanna and dinnered with ol’ pals Cindy and Mark. All concerned knew me back in the day, so the whole weekend had the taste of fine old wine, along with plenty of the newer variety.

Jeff reminded me of a Christmas party we had once. It lasted past 3 a.m., and on a weeknight. At one point, Jeff said, “I came out of the bathroom, and of the nine people in my living room, every single one was talking.” Ah, the ’80s. It was a talkative time. It was also a time when you could stay up until 3 or so, rise at 8 and head on in to work without requiring hospitalization afterward or IV fluids beforehand. Time’s terrible swift sword, chapter 2.

But now buckle-down season arrives, and frankly, I’m ready. At some point this week, Kate will go back to school. Tomorrow, I believe, but they don’t want the little darlings to stress too much, so it’s a half day. Schools are required by state law to begin no earlier than the day after Labor Day, but the GP throws in a travel day. I love my little girl so much it makes my teeth ache, but to say I am ready for school to begin again is an understatement so vast it cannot be overstated. (Wha’?)

So how was your weekend? Also, has anyone ever made a cardboard boat in one of those team-building exercises? What’s the secret of a winning cardboard boat? Some readers of this blog want to know, but don’t want to be revealed, because it would reveal that they know the cardboard-boat team-building exercise is coming, and that would be cheating. Which may be Lesson 1 in successful cardboard boating: Whenever possible, cheat.

LA Mary mentioned in the comments yesterday that she watched a “Mad Men” marathon to stay out of the SoCal heat wave this weekend. Back then, they built teams the old-fashioned way — with alcohol. No more. Time’s terrible swift sword, etc.

I forgot to mention the weekend’s capper: John and Sam are planning a last-minute fly-by visit tonight, so I can’t tarry. They’re old friends, too, old enough that when I said, “Sure, come visit, but the dryer’s broken, so I can’t give you clean sheets. That OK with you?” John said, “No problem.” Now those are old friends worth having, I’d say.

So, bloggage:

“The Wire” wrapped production on its fifth and final season. As one of the 1.6 million Americans who watch and love this show, I can only strangle a sob and lift a virtual glass with the other 1.599999. If you’re not watching, go to your library and find a previous season on DVD. Just so we have something to talk about after the last season starts to air. (There’s also a video, if you’re interested, but it reveals nothing about the upcoming season and nothing a dedicated Wire fan doesn’t already know, so be advised.)

I’ll say one thing for the current Bush administration, it sure is giving the world better books than the last one. And it’s so fun to see Karl Rove shanking his fellow travelers, isn’t it?

And just to round out our trio with yet another WashPost link, how about some postcoital Diana remorse? Gush, gush, gush! Funny.

Posted at 8:39 am in Popculch, Same ol' same ol', Television |

22 responses to “First of the fall…”

  1. brian stouder said on September 4, 2007 at 11:32 am

    gush gush gush was excellent!

    A paraphrase of the old Saturday Night line about Generalissimo Francisco Franco kept cropping up in our long-weekend banter (everytime another Dianamania-related commercial came on) – ‘And in other news, Princess Diana is tragically still dead

    (and indeed, the movie about all that is superb)

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  2. Connie said on September 4, 2007 at 11:40 am

    Well Brian, we were actually watching SNL when the Diana accident accident news broke. We thought it was a sketch until they finally broke away permanently to the news desk. We weren’t remembering Franco, we were thinking “Buckwheat is still dead.”

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  3. Joe Kobiela said on September 4, 2007 at 11:47 am

    If you happen upon comedian Tim Wilson’s bit on Bob and Tom about being the King of England, he has a great rant about Diana’s funeral, He talks about Charles taking shots from his brother in law and responding that if it was 200 yrs earlier his brother in laws nuts would be a door knocker on the tower of London.
    Glad to have you back Nancy.

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  4. Cathy D. said on September 4, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    cardboard boat day=sick day

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  5. Danny said on September 4, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Carboard boat day sounds like something you have to endure for 6-sigma training. They are preparing the kids for the disappointment of life as a mid-level manager.

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  6. Danny said on September 4, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Hey, OT, but as Mary can attest, it’s hot out here in So Cal.

    This weekend I was online reading a local news story about possible rolling blackouts and looking at the user comments. Stuff like:

    “Hey, if your power goes out, thank a hippie. They’re the ones who protested so that no new power plants could be built in CA in the last 30 years.”

    or Counterpoint
    “No you right-wing idiot. Thank a Republican who was for deregulation of the power industry.”

    Well, we can assume that these two losers had power this weekend.

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  7. brian stouder said on September 4, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Hey, maybe Michigan is finally competing with Indiana as the dumbest state in the middle part of America!

    LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Tuesday signed a bill moving Michigan’s presidential primaries to Jan. 15, even though all the Democratic candidates have said they won’t campaign in the state because the move breaks national party rules. By moving ahead of Feb. 5, Michigan Democrats risk losing all their national convention delegates, while state Republicans risk losing half. But Granholm said the earlier date will put greater emphasis on issues affecting manufacturing, health care and alternative fuels.


    Michigan’s law comes after Wyoming Republicans decided to jump their caucuses to Jan. 5 and South Carolina Republicans moved their primary to Jan. 19. More moves are expected in the coming weeks as Iowa and New Hampshire – and possibly Nevada and even South Carolina – reconsider their dates to maintain their early status. Iowa caucuses had been scheduled for Jan. 14 and New Hampshire’s primary was tentatively set for Jan. 22. Nevada is scheduled to vote on Jan. 19.

    My advice is – don’t tangle with New Hampshire! Aside from that, Michigan’s February date was still way ahead of Indiana’s May primary; they could have positioned themselves as ‘last chance for credibility’ state, instead of ‘get the bandwagon rolling’ state….and instead they risk becoming even MORE irrelevant than Indiana’s ‘huh? wha?’ state status.


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  8. LA mary said on September 4, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    It was 98 at 9 pm last night. 111 at 1 pm on Sunday. My cats were panting like dogs. The dogs were wallowing in the kiddie pool I’ve set up for them. I was trying to stir up some excitement for a car washing/waterfight session, but no one had enough energy for even that. We did walk sloooowly to Jamba Juice after dark, which was very nice, mostly. While I was waiting for our order, the manager went off duty. As soon as she was out the door, the kids working there turned the music up to full window rattling volume, making it necessary to scream your order. The music was the rap/hip hop crap about bitches and their anatomy and what the perfomer likes to do them. People with children left. The staff didn’t care.

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  9. MichaelG said on September 4, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    Wow, Mary. we had 5-6 days of triple digits but it never got past 105. Plus, it cooled down yesterday so we’re looking at our normal mid nineties for the next week or so. Hope yours improves soon.

    Nance, what do you think about poor Michigan? They got punted clear out of the top 25 after Saturday’s disgrace.

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  10. Connie said on September 4, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    Hey MichaelG, don’t ask Nancy, she’s an Ohio State fan, she’s probably delighted. The real Michigan fans are in great despair. I’ve been a Michigan fan since birth – my Dad was a Michigan grad student at the time. Notre Dame kind of got kicked as well.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on September 4, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    My big sis has two degrees from Michigan State, so she was plenty happy.

    After helping my mom with the flood all week, I came home to six visiting family members, though only three stayed at our house. Despite exhaustion, or maybe because of it, it was a great time. Kinda like Nancy with the broken dryer–I just couldn’t muster the energy to care if things were clean and focused on enjoying the company, which was sparkling.

    Can’t we let Princess Di rest in peace? Apparently not, since I too have a story. I had just been admitted to the hospital with a massive blood infection, and in the middle of having more IVs stuck in, forcing down horse capsules of potassium, having ice packed around me to lower my temp, a nurse said Diana had been in an accident, and later that she had died. It was just part of a surreal experience, since the other woman in the room alternately yanked out her IVs, lit up, demanded more drugs, and, at one point, whipped out some scissors and came over to stab me. Next time, a private room.

    My doc warned me it would take six weeks to recover and forbade me from working, cleaning, shopping, so I watched a lot of TV, and it was all Diana, all the time. Still haven’t figured it all out, except it was part soap opera and part schadenfreude.

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  12. deb said on September 4, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    an ohio state fan? har. nance, did you do a spit-take on that one?

    p.s. a shoutout from cheesehead land to fellow clumps native john and his lovely wife, sam…

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  13. Connie said on September 4, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Julie, I have a BA from Michigan State, and a Masters from Michigan so I can root either way. As I’ve said before I’m from a family where we always root against whichever team plays Ohio State. And Indiana. And Notre Dame.

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  14. brian stouder said on September 5, 2007 at 8:22 am

    A non-sequitur – as summer ends, Mattel announced their third major toy recall in the past month…and we just went to Back-to-school night, and one wonders just how calculated the timing of these continuing massive recalls are

    an excerpt –

    Mattel Inc., in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, announced late Tuesday that it is recalling more than 700,000 Chinese-made toys that have excessive amounts of lead paint. The recall covers 675,000 units of various Barbie accessory toys that were manufactured between Sept. 30, 2006, and Aug. 20, 2007.

    notice that end-date? August 20???!! Those toys shouldn’t even have reached US ports of entry yet. One wonders if the US government should simply bar them from the market place (insert anti-Bush rant here, and I will nod in silent agreement)

    And then we reach (what I believe to be) the key sentence

    With more than 80 percent of toys sold worldwide made in China, toy sellers are nervous that shoppers will shy away from their products in this year’s critical holiday season.

    …and I thought this detail was funny, in an ‘isn’t that odd?’ sort of way

    The recalled toys in the Barbie accessory line included a Barbie Dream Puppy House, which had lead paint on the dog; a Barbie Dream Kitty Condo playset, which had lead paint on the cat; and a Barbie table and chairs kitchen playset, which had lead paint on the dog and dinner plates.

    What is it with making the pretend-family’s pet toxic?

    And in a final non-sequitur, Pam just called to say she found that our cat died. The kitty was only 8 years old – and I confess this news has me off my pins at the moment….and now we are discussing how to present the news to the young folks when they get back from school…

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  15. MichaelG said on September 5, 2007 at 8:36 am

    I grew up in a suburb of Chicago. Every Friday during the season the nuns would make us pray for Notre Dame. I’ve rooted for them to lose ever since. I went to the Univ of Illinois. Even attended the Rose Bowl in 1964 when they whipped the Huskies. The Illini football program has been the dumper for a long time.

    Speaking of football towns, I’m off to Berkeley right now. I’ve got a little radiation survey project in a building there.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on September 5, 2007 at 8:39 am

    Brian, my sympathies to you. I think you handle it just the same as any other beloved family member. You cry, you pray, you encourage talking about all the memories, good and bad. And you keep on talking about it as long as needed. Maybe you do something special in memoriam–create a memory book, make a donation to a shelter. Best wishes to you.

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  17. alex said on September 5, 2007 at 8:48 am

    Very therapeutic for my brother’s kids was our family’s own memorial service. The whole family got together to memorialize two dogs — my parents’ dog and my brother’s dog, which were both elderly and died within a short time of one another. We took the ashes of both dogs and scattered them in the field where they used to run.

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  18. brian stouder said on September 5, 2007 at 9:00 am

    Thanks for the guidance, Julie and Alex. Pam is gathering a few photos that feature Sadie; she and I will meet for lunch and make a little plan.

    We take it as a Good Thing that this event happened today, as opposed to the weekend, or during summer vacation, when Grant or Shelby might have had to deal with more information than they really would want to….but then again, I suppose we all deal with what we have to

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  19. Connie said on September 5, 2007 at 10:19 am

    I don’t know if I would call it lucky, but with my last dog and current dog, I’ve always had some warning of bad things to come. Our old man Shih Tzu is suffering from congestion heart failure and getting pills twice a day. When the kid left to go back to Butler a few weeks ago I reminded her that she needs to remember that every time she says good-bye to Dusty might be the last time. She didn’t take it well.

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  20. brian stouder said on September 5, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Well Connie – you just reminded me of another non-sequitur; a wonderful book by Barbara Butler Davis, wherein she compiles the Civil War-era letters between the Butler family in Indianapolis, and Scott Butler at war in Tennessee.

    Ovid Butler founded Butler University, and was running it at the time; but Elizabeth Anne (aka ‘mom’) comes across as the tough cookie!

    I recommend it if you haven’t read it; it’s a pretty quick little book, which offers a consistently interesting view of the homefront (even if the ‘home’ is an exceptionally nice one!)

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  21. Halloween Jack said on September 5, 2007 at 10:43 am

    Nancy: Seeing the byline “Anne Applebaum” pretty much told me what to expect, and my expectations weren’t disappointed, or more precisely were disappointed in the usual way.

    Joe Kobiela: That’s a pretty good line, although given the amount of trouble that Althorp’s twig and berries have gotten him in, Chuck may have left them intact anyway.

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  22. Dorothy said on September 5, 2007 at 11:35 am

    I’m sorry about your kitty, Brian. I had to leave my Augie in the care of my son last Sunday in Columbus, heading to my new job in Mount Vernon. I cried and carried on as if he was dead, I swear. It’s bugging the hell out of me that we can’t have him with us. He must feel so abandoned.

    Anywho, Diana died on my 40th birthday. Now I’ll have to be reminded of it on every birthday for the rest of my life. I’m glad I had not television or internet last week on the 10th anniversary of her passing. I had enough on my mind anyway to think about that.

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