Rain on the roof.

A thunderstorm rolled through around 6 a.m., maybe earlier. Shook the house, woke us all. Alan, who sleeps with a clear conscience every night of his life, drifted back under. Kate, the early riser discombobulated by the time change, got up and went downstairs for some surreptitious television. Me, I opened the Jim Harrison book on the nightstand and read a couple of chapters. It’s a funny one, and I chuckled a lot.

I started thinking what life will be like after tomorrow, and hoped it would be like this morning — a storm followed by the pleasant sound of rain on the window, a good book and less time at the computer. That’s the best I can wish for, you Republican assholes.

Just kidding!

Maybe the mood is catching. The NYT says John McCain is winding up the campaign in a jocular mood, telling Henny Youngman jokes. Henny Youngman jokes, yes. I’m middle-aged, and Henny Youngman was already on the golden-oldie circuit when I was growing up. Everything I know about him I learned from JoodyB’s husband, who spent senior year at Ohio University slumped in a chair in The Post newsroom, telling Henny Youngman jokes: “They’re a real fastidious couple. She’s fast, he’s hideous.” “A man goes to a psychiatrist. The doctor says, ‘You’re crazy.’ The man says, ‘I want a second opinion!’ ‘Okay, you’re ugly too!'”

Which is not to say Henny Youngman isn’t funny. It’s just that this campaign has been so awful all I can think is what the reaction would be if Barack Obama sat on his plane telling Richard Pryor jokes.

One thing I’ll sort of miss: Checking fivethirtyeight every day, and sort of regretting I paid so little attention to statistics, etc., during my formal education. How can a person stay interested in this stuff day after day? Probably by crunching subsets of numbers like the cellphone effect. Fascinating.

Let this be the last (very tall, equal parts amusing/cringe-inducing) word on the election. Although I’m sure it won’t be.

Because there’s this, too:

Don’t let that be the last word.

Let’s talk about cooking today, eh? I made Betty Rosbottom’s cider-roasted chicken last night, along with mashed potatoes and sauteed Swiss chard. For dessert, a crumb-topped apple pie made with Northern Spies. If you don’t think that’s a fine repast, well, then you’re my daughter, who did her usual pick-and-gag over everything but the pie. No, not everything. I would have had to splatter her brains with a shotgun to even get her to consider the chard. What sort of mutant child doesn’t like mashed potatoes, I ask? WHAT SORT OF CHILD?!? Mine.

Of course, you guys can talk about anything you want. And probably will.

Posted at 11:27 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

82 responses to “Rain on the roof.”

  1. Dorothy said on November 3, 2008 at 11:33 am

    My youngest sister still cannot eat mashed potatoes. She used to, but that was before braces. After she got braces, the texture gagged her, reminding her of cotton stuffed in her mouth while the orthodontist worked on her teeth.

    I made apple dumplings after dinner last night using local Ohio apples. They were FINE.

  2. Snarkworth said on November 3, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Good morning! I’ve laid in my supply of champagne and Tums. May need the defibrillator and the Depends, depending on how close things are in Florida.

  3. Deborah said on November 3, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Guess who I saw walking on my way to work this morning. QUEEN LATIFAH!!! Herself. I was walking up Delaware toward Michigan (the corner where the Hancock building is) and there she was in a cool nylon jacket that looked like it had been made from a Japanese flag. The young woman walking behind me went ape shit, immediately called someone and shouted into her cell that she had just seen Queen Latifah. I wonder if she is in town for Obama? Or maybe the Jennifer Hudson family?

  4. Dorothy said on November 3, 2008 at 11:40 am

    She’s probably there for the funeral, Deborah. The funeral is this morning. She and Jennifer co-starred in “The Secret Life of Bees.”

  5. Gasman said on November 3, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Nancy,
    Please don’t be that @#$%ing &**hole !=$%sucker that the old gal was talking about in the video. Hilarious! How?

    I’m smoking two lovely fillets of salmon as we speak. Fish is about my only source of protein that was formerly self propelled. Smoked salmon would get my vote for “best approximation of manna.”

    I’ve got champagne for tomorrow. I figure I’ll either be celebrating or trying to induce a coma. Either way, the champagne will be welcome.

  6. Julie Robinson said on November 3, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Who cares about the chard; the burning question is whether or not you peel your potatoes. As a lazy cook I started leaving the jackets on and found I much preferred the nutty flavor it gives the final product. Opinions on this are divided in the house, but if I’m cooking, they stay on. I also believe you must mash them by hand with an old-style potato masher instead of gluing them up in a mixer or food processor.

  7. Linda said on November 3, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Chard is a fine veggie. It’s nutritious and tasty, and is easier to grow (at least in my yard) than weeds. I didn’t know until a friend sent a recipe that in parts of Europe, they make it into pies with apples:

    http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/8841

  8. mark said on November 3, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    An even more old-fashioned ricer is the best way to go for the spuds, but you have to take the peels off if a ricer is the implement of choice.

  9. coozledad said on November 3, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Regardless of the outcome of the election, I’ll be planting thirty apple trees soon. I’ll try and think of the baths I’ll be taking in hard cider.

  10. Linda said on November 3, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    This non-apple one sounds better:

    http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/veggies-and-sides/members/swiss-chard-feta-tart

  11. brian stouder said on November 3, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    I think that “All God’s Children Welcome – Except Nancy Nall” sign has already appeared, at that church in Harlan…

    PS – here is the one nice thing I will say about Sarah Palin: the radio jerks who “pranked” her are LESS the story than the question: how the hell did they get her phone number?

    Pam and I were taken aback by that story this weekend, and it was the first question we had….and the all-male news folks we saw talking about it never asked that question; the story was presented as just a funny prank, hahaha, look how stupid she is.

    Pam tells me that Barbara Walters, on her show “The View”, finally asked THAT question.

    The real story is, the long knives are out (apparently), and some McCain/Palin staffer arranged that ambush. If it had happened to Biden or McCain or Obama, one wonders how “hahaha” the story would have been, and how long it would have taken for anyone to say “How did that phone number end up with those radio clowns?”

  12. LA Mary said on November 3, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    We had vegetarian chili last night. I”ve been on a quest for the perfect smoky chili flavor. We’ve had a couple of good batches of green chili with pork, but last night’s batch had charred plum tomatoes, charred jalapenos, charred red and green bell peppers, and roasted corn kernels. And onions and garlic, of course.
    That and some warm sourdough, crumbles of Monterrey Jack, and some arugula with a little balsamic vinegar made a fine meal that the kids and I all liked. I’m looking forward to the leftover chili.

  13. Kirk said on November 3, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    I was off last week, so I did some cooking, including the first pot of vegetable soup of the season. The highlight came out of the Food section a couple of weeks back: Grilled pork chops with a blueberry-red wine sauce. Dee-lish.

  14. Jeff Borden said on November 3, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    We are laying in a selection of South Side Chicago takeout for dinner tomorrow. Fried chicken and hot sauce from Harold’s Chicken Shack and slow roasted barbecue from Ribs ‘n’ Bibs. Not long ago a trip to Harold’s was a little dicey –the original location has bullet-proof glass between the customer and the vendor– but his birds are so tasty he has some locations now in less hostile `hoods.

    BTW, I drove through Grant Park last night after returning my nephew to the University of Chicago. (We’d had him up to the house for a home-cooked meal.) They were playing with lights and it was palpably cool. . .these bluish beams shooting into the sky against one of the greatest urban backdrops in the world.

    I’m trying to hold down my optimism. Even if the O-man is elected, he walks into a shitstorm on Day One. But we just cannot keep going down this path any more and the John McCain on view during this election is not even a pale copy of the guy who ran in 2000.

    So, you smart people reckon Palin is the standard-bearer in 2012? I tend to think we’re looking at Moneybags Mitt, but with several “moderate” Republicans in danger of losing House and Senate seats, the hard-core rightwingers will be in even stronger control of the national GOP. Maybe not a great scenario for a Mormon candidate.

  15. Jolene said on November 3, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Mary: That chili and the meal it was part of sound heavenly.

  16. Mindy said on November 3, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    I’ll see your kid who won’t eat mashed potatoes and raise you one that refuses mac and cheese. Dear brother-in-law the elder was visiting yesterday with his two boys, and I figured that a dish of homemade M&C with ham would be acceptable to all. Wrong, again! The eleven-year-old made gagging noises and clutched at his throat until his father gently growled at him. Now I understand why my mother-in-law orders pizza for the kids. At least the fourteen-year-old inhaled every calorie put in front of him before asking for more, so the meal wasn’t a total flop.

  17. Scout said on November 3, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    @Jeff Borden – I do not believe Ms Palin will stage a comeback in ’12, no matter how badly the 27% crowd wishes it. I think she is facing a world of hurt when she gets back to Alaska. 2012 is many investigations away at this point!

  18. Jeff Borden said on November 3, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Mindy,

    I can’t stand mac ‘n’ cheese for the same reason my father returned from service in Europe during World War II with a loathing for corned beef hash — too much of it.

    When we were sharing an apartment, we had four guys on limited budgets who pooled money for food. By the end of the money, we were usually down to the really basic starch staples. We ate so much A&P brand mac ‘n’ cheese that the very idea of the dish kills my appetite. I know in my heart that real m&c as prepared by someone like you has nothing in common with that long ago box of paste, but my memories will not be defeated.

  19. Julie Robinson said on November 3, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Mindy, he probably wants the fluorescent orange stuff that comes in a box.

    We had our leftover chili over baked potatoes last night, and of course I ate the skins! I was inspired on Saturday and made fetuccine alfredo and cottage cheese/chives bread as well as crock pot chicken vegetable soup for after church, using leftover grilled chicken. Today I’m not feeling inspired; the daily grind of cooking meal after meal gets to me. It might just be burritos tonight.

  20. Gasman said on November 3, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    As for Palin being the R standard bearer in 2012, I just don’t see it. She has way too many obstacles in front of her.

    1. She is an idiot. Too many people in the party are going to see her lack of intelligence as a HUGE liability for the party. Rivals like Romney, Giuliani, Jindal, et al. are not going to cede the top spot to her and it is pretty clear that she would not make it past a primary battle with any of the above or many other potential challengers.

    2. She has many swords of Damocles dangling over her. She is facing a current ethical probe and she may well face more. She violated state laws by getting the state to foot the bill for her kids’ travel expenses and has ridiculously asserted that they were performing official state duties. She also may have to answer to the IRS about per diem expenses not being declared as taxable income. If she takes another huge hit for ethics violations, or has to fight impeachment, or has criminal charges brought against her for any of the above, stick a fork in her: she is done.

    3. She will have the stigmata of the loser. How many losing V.P. nominees have gone on to be elected president in later elections? Nixon was the last, and his presidency sure gave us reason to rethink that idea. Losing V.P.s tend to be fairly or unfairly, assigned a disproportionate share of the blame for their party’s defeat. Palin is going to be excoriated by the majority of her own party.

    4. Palin is Palin. If through some miraculous divine intervention she manages to overcome all of the above, she is arrogant enough to assume that she doesn’t need to increase her grasp of the issues. Her lack of depth and breadth in any and all issues is astonishing, yet, she is certain that she is ready to be president. If she can’t convince America that she really isn’t as dumb as she seems, she will never have another serious chance at the presidency. She won’t spend the next couple of years getting a master’s degree in political science or meeting with world leaders and crafting opinions on important issues. She will just be Palin.

    However, it should be exceedingly amusing to watch her self destruct.

  21. Jolene said on November 3, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    In today’s WaPo, Peter Beinart argues that Palin is the last standard-bearer of the culture wars. In his view, the ideas that she’s most associated with—that come most naturally to her and that have been the source of her greatest appeal—are dying as motivators of political choice. As a result, she is not likely to find her way back to prominence.

    He offers some interesting historical precedents of national concerns shifting from cultural to economic and closes w/ this statement:

    Although she seems like a fresh face, Sarah Palin actually represents the end of an era. She may be the last culture warrior on a national ticket for a very long time.

    I like the argument and have seen other studies indicating that, on the whole, people under 35 are less motivated by some of the culture war arguments—particularly gay marriage.

  22. Jeff Borden said on November 3, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Scout,

    From your lips to God’s ear. Maybe she’ll self-immolate up there in Alaska. Once those kinds of investigations begin, they grind on and on and on.

    I believe it may be Paul Krugman who is sounding the alarm that the GOP will only get nuttier and fringier because of the likely defeat of moderates this election cycle. Somehow, those deadenders you reference will rationalize away a defeat, laying the blame on the fact that McCain is not a real conservative, Obama used ACORN and untraceable foreign donors to tilt the field, liberal media bias, etc.

  23. Jeff Borden said on November 3, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Okay, say Palin is a dead duck and the culture war issues don’t work. Is there a Republican of any standing today that can stand up and unify the disparate shards of the GOP? All of the candidates played the culture war games in the primary, didn’t they? Well, okay, Rudy G. just went around shrieking 9/11 all the time, but even if he’s not a culture warrior, per se, he’s a nasty, vicious piece of work.

    No wonder the Republicans long for Ronald Reagan. Whatever his many flaws and misguided policies, he presented conservatism as an upbeat, sunny, can do political philosophy. Most of the best-known GOPers specialize in rage, not inspiration.

    I think Beinart is a smart guy, but if the party were to drop the culture wars pretensions –which would mean jettisoning the Evangelicals– what will they replace it with?

  24. Peter said on November 3, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Cmon, don’t play hate on Henny Youngman.

    In my college days, I saw him at amazinggrace in Evanston (boy, talk about bygone eras!) and I went because it was cheap and we were in a heckling mood.

    I would find it hard to believe that Henny had tougher crowds than that one, but within ten minutes the place was roaring with laughter.

    Speaking of comedy, I’ve been reading a lot of articles about how the Honorable Ms. Palin has been a drag on the ticket, and I’m thinking that if McCain had picked somebody safe we’d have a hard time staying awake. Good or bad (mostly bad), it has been an interesting ride, and tomorrow we’ll end this nonsense. I hope.

    I think it’s because of his delivery – hyperspeed Bob Hope. Sure, most jokes are god awful, but you hear one that you think is funny, and he’ll have gone through four or five jokes by the time you stop laughing.

  25. brian stouder said on November 3, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    This is the end for the GOP, until they find their own Obama.

    Don’t write off the cultural issues too quickly; once President Obama rights the ship – or the ship rights itself (regardless, Obama will get the credit) they will come back into vogue.

    As the demographic continues to shift, and America becomes brown, ‘family values’ sales people who are not white will eventually dazzle the shattered fragments of the old GOP, and peel away latter-day Democrats. (But I think that’s 20 years away!)

    Afterall, as much as the political deck gets reshuffled – it’s still the same collection of hopes and fears and ideals and challenges. All that changes is the dealer

  26. John said on November 3, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Nixon (God have mercy on his soul) never lost as a VP candidate (’52 and ’56). He lost in ’60 as the presidential candidate.

  27. Jolene said on November 3, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Peter: I agree that tough times are ahead for the nation’s comics. So far, at least, I just haven’t seen anybody do anything w/ Obama as a target of comedy. Think about it: On personal behavior, he’s a square. Married, faithful, good dad. On intelligence, not given to saying W-like dumb stuff. Young and fit, so the old jokes they’ve been laying on McCain won’t work.

    Recently, David Letterman made a funny clip out of editing together segments of various speeches, but that seems a limited approach.

    It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.

  28. moe99 said on November 3, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    I’ve got y’all beat: none of my 3 kids liked peanut butter. Now that’s unamerican my friends.

    I myself hate chicken noodle soup b/c my mom served it 3 out of 5 days when I’d come home for lunch from Spencer Elementary School in Defiance.

  29. Yvette said on November 3, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    @Jeff Borden: My mouth is watering. I’m a Chicago girl, born and bred.

    @ Gasman: Kudos to your usage of Sword of Damocles in this blog. Another reference is in “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” which I watched Halloween night.

    As for tomorrow. We’ll just sit back, watch and learn. I’ll be the newsroom here in OKC. We’ve had seriously huge numbers of early voting, like much of the rest of the country.

  30. John c said on November 3, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    I actually have a mashed potato political anecdote!
    Most of you probably don’t remember Jim Edgar, the straight-arrow Republican Governor of Illinois back in the 90s. He was appearing on the radio and I was sent to cover it. Hosting was the Sun-Times’ own Lynn Sweet, my colleague. And, as Edgar was just back from some sort of heart trouble, she dutifully asked him if things had changed around the Edgar house.
    “Well,” he said, gamely, “I’m exercising more. And we’re trying out some new recipes. It’s hard to get used to mashed potatoes without butter, though.” (chuckle, chuckle.)
    “Butter?!” Sweet asked. “Who puts butter in mashed potatos?!”
    Whereupon she proceed to whip off her recipe for butterless mashed potatoes, reciting it as if it was the way everyone on earth has made them for years!
    Edgar was sort of flummoxed, and he stumbled his way through the conversation. Afterwards, I happened to be on the elevator with him. He stood silently, with a very confused look on his face. Finally I leaned over and said, quietly: “By the way, Governor, everybody uses butter in mashed potatos.”
    His face lit up with a smile.
    “I THOUGHT so!” he said. “Thanks.”
    Can’t say I voted for the guy. But I always liked him after that.

  31. Gasman said on November 3, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    John,
    You are right! I wonder how far back we have to go in history to find a failed V.P. nominee that went on the win the presidency? Are there any examples? It makes my argument against Palin’s chances all the more compelling.

    NPR did a recent story indicating that among young Catholics and Evangelicals, the culture war issues, i.e., abortion and gay marriage were not the decisive wedges as for the older generations. The culture wars are moribund and gasping their last. The Rs are going to have to redefine who they want to demonize and hate, or better yet, jettison the embrace of ignorance and actually come up with something to stand FOR.

  32. Jolene said on November 3, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Re the Republicans, I think they are in for a long period in the wilderness while they figure out what they are about.

    Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, is often touted as an up-and-coming Republican. What I’ve read is that he’s very smart, competent, and conservative. I don’t think he’s charismatic enough to be a counterpoint to Obama, who (taking a big leap of faith here) would be running for re-election as a reasonably successful president.

    Most of this year’s candidates (Giuliani, Thompson, Huckabee) are likely to run again. Possibly Romney, but he is not an especially appealing figure.

    There are a bunch of young Republicans in the House, but they’re not very compelling. If McCain had chosen Tim Pawlenty, he might have had a chance. I’m not sure he would have a chance on his own.

    The conservative remnant will try to argue that they are losing now because they weren’t conservative enough, but they are wrong. I’ve said at least part of this before, so forgive the repetition, but: As measured by political contributions, the Republicans are dramatically less appealing than Democrats to doctors, lawyers, engineers, IT professionals, and investment bankers. Their attraction to black and brown people is close to zero. They are much less attractive to women than Democrats.

    Finding exciting candidates is important, but finding an idea for a candidate to carry is even more important.

  33. Jeff Borden said on November 3, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Okay, I’m going to ask my question again.

    Assuming the GOP drops the culture wars –and I agree with every word written above about how these issues don’t resonate with the young– what issue will they choose to replace it with?

    This is a party that has defined itself by what it fears: Islamic militants and terror; gays and immigrants; feminists and secularists; pointy-headed liberals and educators. So, how do they replace that playbook?

  34. alex said on November 3, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Beats the hell outta me, Jeff.

    I imagine they’ll do like the Dems did and start moving back toward the center. It might take a generation before they actually do, and another generation before anyone recognizes it. Sound familiar? Then they’ll run a “post-coital” candidate much like the Dems are running a “post-racial” one at present and a new generation of social conservatives will finally get its candidate, one with widespread appeal who’s acceptable to all.

  35. Dorothy said on November 3, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    I have an extremely important question and it simply can’t wait any longer: Is Opus dead or just sleeping? Any and all comments/opinions are welcome.

  36. Kirk said on November 3, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    FDR was the losing vice-presidential candidate in 1920. Twelve years later, he was elected president.

  37. Catherine said on November 3, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    What I made Saturday night: homemade bruschetta, grilled prosciutto-wrapped chicken skewers with rustic bread and rosemary, blanched and sauteed rapini and spicy red wine-poached pears (from the guests). What my children ate: a few olives, chicken (prosciutto, rosemary and bread carefully removed) and ice cream.

  38. LA Mary said on November 3, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    I forgot to say there were pinto beans in my chili.

    I don’t know about finicky eater kids. My boys basically eat anything and in large quantities. The younger one does not like raw tomatoes, but likes cooked ones. That’s about it.

  39. Catherine said on November 3, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Jeff Borden, you ask a good question. Pulling this completely out of thin air, I’m going to go with: Xenophobia.

  40. moe99 said on November 3, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Dorothy, Opus is, alas, dead.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/entertainment/story/750370.html

  41. Dorothy said on November 3, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    That’s what I thought, but stupid Wikipedia says he’s sleeping.

  42. jcburns said on November 3, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Michelle Obama just emotionally talked to a Las Vegas crowd about the heart attack that took the life of their NV Campaign Director yesterday. Terence Tolbert, who Mayor Bloomberg said was “was one of the most likeable people in the world, he was one of the most hardworking people in the world.”
    Wow. The drama of this election just doesn’t let up.
    Don’t work too hard out there.

  43. alex said on November 3, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    What I served this weekend:

    Tomatillo salsa with serrano peppers, cilantro and lime (served with El Milagro chips, as per somebody’s recommendation here the other day — thanks!); Mashed sweet potatoes with bourbon and walnuts; and a Meijer stuffed pork tenderloin prepared on the grill.

  44. Kirk said on November 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    More attention for our home state:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aBaX9GPSaQ

  45. moe99 said on November 3, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V124QXVawcQ

    BBC finds another Joe the Plumber with a different outlook

  46. brian stouder said on November 3, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Say – good ol’ fivethirtyeight.com currently has the headline over at msnbc.com (“Watch these states on Tuesday night”), linking to this article

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/167186

    Which mentions Indiana in the first paragraph! Yeah yeah yeah – our 6pm poll-closing time helps(!); but still – if Indiana doesn’t go down like Brittney Spears’ panties at a party (ie – in the first hour) for John McCain – then it will be a rare night indeed! And judging by all the robocalls and (just today) door knockers w/clipboards, I do believe the polling.

    The state I’m watching – Pennsylvania. If PA goes for Obama – and especially if it goes quickly – then (almost whatever else happens) it’s all over but the cryin’ for McCain/Palin

  47. brian stouder said on November 3, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    And on a totally different subject, Pam and the young folks and I went out to the Auer Performance Hall at IPFW on Sunday, and caught The Twins and the Monster, put on by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. For an hour before the show, the young folks mingled with various musicians from the string section, which was genuinely good stuff.

    The play consisted of one superb actor in front of the orchestra – and the whole thing was marvelous (it scared Chloe a bit, but she enjoyed it nonetheless)

    http://www.fortwaynephilharmonic.com/event.asp?id=1000000152&ed=11/2/2008&fs=Y

    If you get a chance to catch the show in your town, you should!

  48. Laura said on November 3, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    I just heard that Barack Obama’s grandmother died. How sad.

  49. Laura said on November 3, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    The statement from Obama and his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng:

    “It is with great sadness that we announce that our grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died peacefully after a battle with cancer. She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility. She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances. She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and left this world with the knowledge that her impact on all of us was meaningful and enduring. Our debt to her is beyond measure.

    “Our family wants to thank all of those who sent flowers, cards, well-wishes, and prayers during this difficult time. It brought our grandmother and us great comfort. Our grandmother was a private woman, and we will respect her wish for a small private ceremony to be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a donation to any worthy organization in search of a cure for cancer.”

  50. brian stouder said on November 3, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Well, darn.

    She almost lived to see her grandson – who looks so much like her late husband – win the presidency.

  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 3, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    A week ago i said the race was going to tally with a spread of “4 points, and 334-211 EC” but i’m going 5 points and 342-203 EC now. And rest in peace, Mrs. Dunham. You died knowing you did a fine job helping raise a good husband and father, and maybe even a . . .

  52. Elaine said on November 3, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    I made my first visit to Jungle Jim’s in Cincinnati yesterday. Ohmygoodness! What an awesome place. I’ve never seen so many aisles of international foods.

  53. moe99 said on November 3, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Not to let an opportunity go to waste the GOP has sued Obama for his trip to Hawaii. they have outdone Scrooge:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/03/rnc-hits-obama-for-visit_n_140553.html

  54. JGW said on November 3, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    I’ll add my two cents on the potato peeling. When I worked as cook at a summer camp and I had lots of spuds to deal with I sometimes used an old trick.

    If I needed the kitchen staff, usually foreign guest workers, to prep other stuff, I would “hot peel” the potatos. I have rough hands anyway, and can handle heat, so I’d plunge the finished taters in ice water for 30 seconds, then the peel would slide right off. I’d dip them back in the ice water, wipe them with a clean kitchen towel, and then hold them in room temperature water until they were all peeled.

    Now it’s fingers crossed time for America and I’m hoping that I don’t have to call the election board re: any of the crap I heard in the primary, but I’m expecting mayhem tomorrow no matter the outcome.

    My personal polling place pet peeve – older people who think the power cord IS a stylus for a punchcard ballot. They were continually being unplugged, which means re-boot, re-vote, and do it again in 30 minutes for the next technology impaired voter.

    I’m bringing duct tape for the power adapters, but a determined Septugenarian can beat duct tape.

  55. Jolene said on November 3, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Let me repost the Ta-Nehisi Coates piece re Obama’s grandmother. It’s a lovely piece of writing. I especially liked the idea that his grandparents “made the decision to lover their daughter, no matter what, and to love their grandson, no matter what.” Given the circumstances, it wouldn’t have been all that remarkable if they had done otherwise, but their decision made all the difference to him.

  56. Dwight said on November 3, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    “That’s the best I can wish for, you Republican assholes.”

    Well, I guess that is certainly a step up from the “wishful thinking” of an exploding White House, huh Nance?

    If only Nancy’s little Clubhouse of Haters could enjoy the same fate.

    JUST KIDDING! Ha ha! Isn’t that fuuuunny? Isn’t hate fuuuuuny? Sure it is! Ha ha ha!

  57. caliban said on November 3, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Jeremiah Sullivan Black (1810–83) QUOTATION:How shall we avert the dire calamities with which we are threatened? The answer comes from the graves of our fathers: By the frequent election of new men. Other help or hope for the salvation of free government there is none under heaven. If history does not teach this, we have read it all wrong.

    Jeremiah Black was, like, Buchanan’s BFF. Until the Insane Clown SecState of the FLA stole 2000, historians had Buchanan as bad as idt gets. Then Ken Diebold Blackwell disappeared voters like Pinochet with Raygun’s blessing and Kissinger’s surrogate muscle, and the deal was sealed. Roll around inyourgrave James, but you were just liy-liverd, not a rook nor conational subborner.

    I‘m programmed by years of puer abuse by the Sisters of Saint Joseph at St. Hugo of the Hills in the suburb so old school rich it looks down of the Grosses, but Sister Chitister shoulda been a Jesuit. In the Catholic Church, no matter what a handful of whack Bishops say, we believe Christianity is bound up in the ideas of Great Commandments, and God wasn’t so worried about Number 1. People that hold power noware the progeny of bastards that figured murdering Jesuit organizers and raping Maryknoll nuns was an excersie in American power.

    I understood the potential of American politics when I met Bobby Kennedy, I think in Cobo Arena, in 1968. I understood the power of crushing an idea, and an idea, when Bobby got shot and I went to Chicago.

    Barack is funny on the Cheney delight Eminence gris from Nixon to the present.. Why hasn’t the MSM vetted those connections Terriss? One bomb from being rid of that obnoxious court. Here’s the deal: these bastards come rom the AEI. They morphed into the

    I’ve been trying for weeks, months to point out to family and friends, Republicans and Democrats, that the McSame meme (there’s no way to express how vile I find the term meme) is lame. Code for fucking the country up in a hand basket?
    Well, for sure. But gutdomn, it’s so much more.

    People need to understand that there’s been an assault on the Constitution. It’s one thing for Grover to talk about strangling government, it’s another for a nitwit to say he just invalidates everything Congress says.

    If you’re somehow undecided, please read that previous link. If you think that your America should wage peremptory war, or that the President by theft twice in a row is somehow imperial. How did it get to a point that Americans believe in

    If we believe in imperial presidency, we choose between Babar Bus and Lady MacBeth.

    assault on the Constitution.

    Honest to God. If you don’t think these assholes threaten your security, go to sleep, you’re already coopted.

    It isn’t Calibans Island. These assholes want to kill your ass, or at least make you subservient.

  58. Gasman said on November 3, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Just when you think that the Rs have reached the absolute bottom of the muck, they manage to sink even lower. To sue Obama over his trip to Hawaii on the very day his grandmother dies is beyond despicable. They are bottom feeders and are beneath contempt. I hope they receive the opprobrium they deserve on this one. Why should I be swayed to vote for any Republican given their behavior?

  59. Jenny Pessereau said on November 3, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    On that picky eaters subject: my midwestern mother still can’t believe my kids think baked beans are disgusting. That’s what I get for marrying a frenchman. He does, however, like peanut butter and seems to be bringing one of the kids over to that side of the sandwich fence. If he could only stomach root beer, I’d stop worrying about the possibility of him being repatriated and not by choice…

    Nancy, did you really go to OU? When? I was in the Journalism school in the early 80’s.

  60. nancy said on November 3, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Graduated in ’78, so I missed you by a bit.

  61. LA Mary said on November 3, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Baked beans were not a favorite of mine for a lot of years. We were served Campbells baked beans at least three times a weeks when I was a kid and I hated them. I like my home made ones now, and I like Trader Joes organic baked beans. They aren’t sickly sweet.

  62. Julie Robinson said on November 3, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Jenny–a friend of ours married a wonderful guy from Germany and they lived there for a few years. Her parents bought her a case of peanut butter as a wedding gift, because at that time it couldn’t be bought there. What a piece of culture shock that was, but it was followed by learning that German kids didn’t need to take pb&j sandwiches in their lunch sacks, since they all went home for a couple of hours midday!

  63. Jenny Pessereau said on November 3, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Julie: …and just over the border, French kids were being served three course meals in the cafeteria – which, incidentally, Philippe says, they were required to eat, down to the last petit pois. It’s no wonder their kids have a more varied palette than ours.

  64. coozledad said on November 3, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    I wish I had the stomach to talk about some of the more asinine Republicans I spoke to at the polls, but it’s a waste of time. There were also some very well mannered people and we just laughed off our differences.
    There’s just something about people who crave authority, believe that women should be subservient to the will of men, and blacks to the will of whites, see no irony in the willful destruction of postpartum life as well as the fetishizing of torture, advocated for a senseless war, and destroyed the economy, continuing to insist that they alone know what’s best; that they are vessels of the will of God. It’s a kind of obscene baseness that deserves no sympathy or credit, unless more data begins to suggest it’s a degenerative disease on the order of Huntington’s chorea.

    Update: I just heard that Jimmy Carl Black is no longer “getting more pussy than Frank Zappa”.

  65. joodyb said on November 3, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    sat night menu: Milwaukee was in the house, so it was fresh from the fish store giant blue prawns on the grill, along with mahi mahi tacos with mango-avocado-strawberry–x-x-x salsa, red cabbage and panela cheese. and lots of white wine on the patio under a sliver of a moon around the Mr.’s new firepit, which made his weekend — no Henny Youngman jokes.
    A local watering hole is featuring a drink tomorrow night called the Screaming Red Elephant.

  66. Hooiser said on November 3, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Kids don’t like peanut butter; try cashew butter or almond butter, yummy.

  67. Suzi said on November 3, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Buttermilk – that’s what makes great smashed potatoes, and a little parmigiano and some minced chives. And they have to be smashed by hand.

    It was warm enough to grill tonight – some chicken marinated in fruity salsa, garlic and teriyaki sauce. Bob grilled and I drank some wine while we listened to a great horned owl hooting in the park across the street.

    I still think Sarah P. is going to end up on Fox TV, and the Rep Party is going to split and reform, the social conservatives will run their own candidates next time — Pence/Palin, Palin/Pence?

    I do believe Mrs. Dunham is going to be looking out for her grandson from the other side, God bless her soul.

  68. Jolene said on November 3, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    The GP lady who wouldn’t give candy to children of Obama supporters was tonight’s “Worst Person in the World”. Interestingly, Olbermann named the deed, but didn’t name her or identify her as an Obama opponent. I was surprised, as I often find the way his criticism to be about 10 degrees outside the realm of what seems reasonable, but that was a decent thing to do.

  69. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 3, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Hoosier — try Nutella.

    Suzi, hadn’t you heard? Sarah Palin’s gonna be the white Oprah!

  70. Joe K said on November 3, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Less than 8hr’s till the poll’s open. It has been a interesting campaign here on NN.com, I’ll be voting mostly Republican, but I offer you this, no matter who wins on Tue, this is still the greatest country on earth and I am proud to call myself a American. I’ll challenge everyone here that no matter who is the president elect, we treat the office with the respect that it deserves. If Obama wins I will be the first to congratulate him and wish him well. How many of you will do the same if McCain wins?
    Pilot Joe

  71. caliban said on November 3, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Memorable campaign ads? Sure. Llibby Dole wins the Suxxxxxxby Cambliss award for despicable piecefe of shit. If you make a Presbyterian elder Sunday School Teacher out to e an atheist, you ought to put a forrk in her so she can’t say <I.she comes from a Christiaan faith that doesn’t direct her to bear false witness. Saxvy is running ads saying his opponent favors child molesters.

    This has gotten to a sorry state. If a Democratic points out out inconsistencies, that matches bogus claims about patriotism or belief in God. Saxby Chambliss morphed Max Cleland into Osama. Saxby was the draft dodger. John Kerry was a reluctant war hero. W fot high and protected the OClub.

    One is true. The other’s wild slander. Are Americans this stupid? Not without voter fraud and outright vote theft. But the Republican Party specializes in both. Look into Kerry’s work regarding MIAs and how McCain latched on Facts are, Kerry ran the BCCCI investigations and exposed Republican thugs. These PNAC assholes hate Kerry more than anybody on earth. He exposed the Raygun ventriloquists for the state terrorists they were. He also exhibited exactly how to shut down terrorists,

    If Barack says McOldfart would perpetuate Cheney’s W ventriloquist act, that’s as negative as claiming Obama’s some sort of foreigner that threatens America with ingrained Socialist and Islamist beliefs? Rignt? So much for the fair and balanced WaPo. One’s true, one’s esperate, ungrounded character assassination.

    How the fuck is that both sides go negative? 84 cases of vote fraud identified since 1998. Several hundred thousand voters disenfranchised illegally by Republican operatives in the same time and space. Vote suppression in volusia and Broward counties in 2003 is legendary. These assholes think it’s funny.

    They blew their horns, and the walls came down.

    I don’t think they’re laughing anymore. An idiot on FOX? That’s where you end up if you’re a Republican with a dead intern. When you claim too be a political party, and you plumb unspeakable depths, and you fester in the American Enterprise Insitute and pop a boil with the PNAC, Jack Bauer needs to torure your ass.

    Somebody’s supposed to say highjacking the Constituion is bullshit.

  72. LAMary said on November 3, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    In The Netherlands you can buy peanut butter, but there it’s peanut cheese: Pindakaas. They think of it as being savory and find the idea of combining it with jam pretty revolting. Of course with all the Indonesians in the Netherlands, it gets used as an ingredient in satays more than anything else.

  73. Gasman said on November 3, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Joe K,
    If the improbable happens and McCain wins, the folks here on NN.c will be praying for John McCain’s good health like nobody else on earth. Believe me, I would keep President McCain’s well being foremost in my mind for four years running. I would be in a state of constant intercessory prayer on President McCain’s behalf.

  74. beb said on November 3, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Not long ago a trip to Harold’s was a little dicey –the original location has bullet-proof glass between the customer and the vendor

    Bullet-proof is so much a part of Detroit decor that I feel disoriented in restaurants where the cashier is not walled off from the victims — I mean, customers.

    Nancy, is this a competition on most finicky eater, because I’d like to enter my daughter if it is.

    Speaking of the long knives being out for Sarah Palin, that appears to be Milt Rommey. The Milt somehow things that if he can knee cap Palin now he will get the evangelico vote for sure next time. Talk about delusional thinking. the Theocons didn’t like Milt this time and I can’t see them likening him any more four years from now.

    Who’s the GOP candidate fpr 2012 — Jeb Bush. He’s smarter than “W” and four year will about long enough for people to forget how horrendous the Bush dynasty has been for America.

  75. Gasman said on November 3, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    In an earlier thread I mentioned that I was rereading Orwell’s “1984” and I am struck by how eerily it captured the tone of the Republican Party of 2008. For example:

    “…he realized how easy it was to present an appearance of orthodoxy while having no grasp whatever of what orthodoxy meant. In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality [and of basic human decency] because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. [or not!] They simply swallowed everything….”

    Bracketed bits by moi, the rest from Orwell. The Rs are the party of indecency, the party of restricted franchise, the party of disinformation and lies, the party of racism, the party of petty meanness, and the party that whole heartedly, willfully embraces ignorance. This is why this party needs to lose and by enormous margins. Maybe then they will bring the Republican brand out of the muck and back toward something that respectable people won’t run away from. The big R stands for “REPELLANT” and will continue to do so unless there is real change within its ranks.

  76. Dexter said on November 4, 2008 at 12:36 am

    DIXVILLE NOTCH, New Hampshire (CNN) — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama emerged victorious in the first election returns of the 2008 presidential race, winning 15 of 21 votes cast in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.

  77. Dexter said on November 4, 2008 at 12:49 am

    …the only mashed potatoes that are any good without butter are covered in greasy gravy.
    The best mashed potatoes are garlic mashed made w/ butter.
    INGREDIENTS

    * 8 medium red potatoes, quartered
    * 3 cloves garlic, peeled
    * 2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine
    * 1/2 cup fat-free milk, warmed
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Place potatoes and garlic in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender. Drain well. Add the butter, milk and salt; mash. Stir in Parmesan.

  78. Catherine said on November 4, 2008 at 12:56 am

    IMHO, the reason the Dutch find it revolting to combine peanut butter and jam is that it IS revolting.

    Possibly my children come by their phood phobias naturally.

  79. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 4, 2008 at 5:38 am

    Roast the garlic first for best effect; use evoo instead of butter and you’ve got a little bit of healthfulness going on even with the rich taste.

    Off to vote! See y’all through the long evening.

  80. Connie said on November 4, 2008 at 6:29 am

    Jeff tmmo, I was just going to say the same thing about roasting the garlic. If roasted garlic is going in the potatoes I leave the skins on. Otherwise I peel.

    The true secret to good mashed potatoes is lots of salt in the water. Really. A tablespoon or two. And don’t throw out the potato water when they’re done. That’s what makes great gravy.

    So many of my “basic” cooking methods came from a Dutch grandma. All that salt may not be so healthy, but at least I am not putting “speck” (bacon grease) in my dishes.

  81. LA Mary said on November 4, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Connie, Speck is the EVOO of old Dutch ladies. My grandmother served kale with speck, potatoes with speck, day old bread with speck.
    She made it to her eighties, maintaining her hard core Calvinist dispostion to the very end. My sister in law was a nurse in the nursing home my grandmother spent her last year in. A nursing home run by the Dutch Reformed Church. My grandmother was commonly found on her knees scrubbing the floor, muttering, “you call this clean?” She used to wash her hair with Fels Naptha soap, that yellow stuff.

  82. basset said on November 4, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    “EVOO”?

    and if you’re putting butter and cheese in the potatoes, why bother with fat-free milk?