Look, a shiny object!

Today’s update is the ADHD Edition. You’ve been warned:

Peppers and eggs — now there’s a breakfast of champions. Cook the peppers first in some EVOO, and you could even call it healthy. (I will brook no slander of eggs. Moderation, peoples.) Halfway through, I remembered I’m supposed to be lunching with JohnC today, and I probably won’t be hungry until 2 p.m. Ah, well. That’s why we have salads.

Saw the trailer for “Cadillac Records” on the Apple site this week. It looks as though it has a 50-50 chance of being tremendous or sucktastic. I winced at the moment where the Rolling Stones show up on the sidewalk outside the Chess offices to tell Muddy Waters they’d named their band after one of his songs. But when Beyoncé sings “At Last” — magic. And Adrien Brody is swiftly becoming one of my favorite actors, mainly due to his marvelous honker. I don’t think I’ve seen an imperfect feature make for such a perfect face since, oh, Barbra Streisand.

Trivia: Barbra Streisand was on the Knight Ridder copy-editing tests, along with Charles Addams, for obvious reasons. Now you know. And yes, I caught them both. (Although, rereading this entry prior to hitting “publish,” I see I misspelled Adrien Brody’s name — twice.)

And while we’re making transitions from tissue-thin connections, here’s Adrien Brody in the titular make of his latest movie. Sigh. Detroit was something while it lasted, wasn’t it?

Which brings us around to the automotive bailout, apparently dead in the water, and probably that’s a good thing. You don’t cure a drug addict by giving him one last binge, and after quite a bit of reading I’ve come around to Micki Maynard’s analysis — bankruptcy is a better way out for General Motors than a bailout. Although this, from Tom Friedman, sounds appealing:

I am as terrified as anyone of the domino effect on industry and workers if G.M. were to collapse. But if we are going to use taxpayer money to rescue Detroit, then it should be done along the lines proposed in The Wall Street Journal on Monday by Paul Ingrassia, a former Detroit bureau chief for that paper.

“In return for any direct government aid,” he wrote, “the board and the management [of G.M.] should go. Shareholders should lose their paltry remaining equity. And a government-appointed receiver — someone hard-nosed and nonpolitical — should have broad power to revamp G.M. with a viable business plan and return it to a private operation as soon as possible. That will mean tearing up existing contracts with unions, dealers and suppliers, closing some operations and selling others and downsizing the company. … Giving G.M. a blank check — which the company and the United Auto Workers union badly want, and which Washington will be tempted to grant — would be an enormous mistake.”

I like the idea of Mr. or Ms. Hard-Nose putting Rick Wagoner and the Board of Bystanders (to use Jalopnik’s amusing phrase) in charge of the office coffee pot while they tear up contracts and fire people. It will be so amusing to mop up the blood in the gutters of my neighborhood. We live in interesting times, don’t we?

Wherever the former GM workers end up after Paul Ingrassia’s plan has them beheaded, the women among them will want to invest in a nice suit. The NYT says so: The return of the interview suit, it proclaimed yesterday. Jezebel got a little knicker-twisted over it, but that’s just because they’re young and products of our casual culture. The interview suit was simply a given for women my age; we called them hire-me suits. For best results, hire-me suits should always be worn with fuck-me pumps — it sends precisely the right message, which you are free to retract as soon as you get the job. In later years, it was always sort of funny-painful to see younger people going through the interview process, as clearly the relaxation of rules had done them no good. One kid came in wearing what had to have been his dad’s suit, it was that big on him. (He may have borrowed it from David Byrne.) They wore neckties and pantyhose as though these items were made of barbed wire, not the trappings of adulthood. Once hired, they retracted their own messages, and started showing up in Teva sandals exposing dirty toenails. Which is fine, I guess, but you should still make the effort for your first impression. It’s common courtesy.

By the way, does anyone know who made the pantsuit Darryl Hannah wears in “Kill Bill, Vol. 2”? I want that for my next suit, along with the blouse and the six-foot-tall coat-hanger body Hannah brings to the party. She can keep the eye patch.

And now I am distracted by a shiny object and must go. But I wish you all a great weekend.

Posted at 10:35 am in Current events, Detroit life, Movies, Popculch |

113 responses to “Look, a shiny object!”

  1. moe99 said on November 14, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Ok, I got left behind as the last post previous, but this is worth sharing. Take the BBC Hollywood quiz. What’s your score? Mine was 7 out of 10.


    Went back and checked and Brian, I had the same experience–I missed the first 3 and got nervous but then finished strong. Wonder how our barkeep will do.

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  2. Jolene said on November 14, 2008 at 11:07 am

    I left my score at the end of the last thread. Got 8 out of 10, so, as I said there, I’m giving myself a cookie.

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 14, 2008 at 11:08 am

    So, re: GM and bankruptcy in the NYT piece — “setting up a potential confrontation with its unions.” What exactly can the unions do if GM’s board has a credible bankruptcy case to make in front of a judge? Do they tackle the counsel before s/he puts the filing on the counter of the court clerk?

    Or is there some clause where GM has to ask permission of the unions to file bankruptcy?

    Anyhow, i got 9 of 10! Missed Clara Bow, but Mary Pickford sure looked like the right pair of lips to be the It Girl.

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  4. coozledad said on November 14, 2008 at 11:22 am

    After I got out of school, I regularly wore a suit and tie, even when I was bartending. The Postal service cured me of that, and now my neck’s too big for most human-scale shirts, anyway. I’ve got a closet full of Edwardian Harris tweed jackets and Yves St. Laurent ties I purchased from Love Saves the Day and Alice Underground, deck coats, Chesterfields and Burberrys from Canal Jean, and a knee length cashmere overcoat I got at the East Durham Goodwill. All useless on the farm. The sheep don’t give a damn about style.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on November 14, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Also, re: Adrien Brody’s face: it’s not just the nose, it’s also the eyebrows. The angle doesn’t look humanly possible, but yes, he makes it all work.

    I think that Boards of Directors should be replaced with a bunch of normal peons who have been balancing their own budgets all along. In our house we don’t buy anything, except the house itself, unless we can pay cash. No car payments, no credit card payments, no big screen TVs bought on credit. It makes sleeping at night much easier than if we were in debt up to our eyeballs. No, I don’t understand derivatives or leveraging or short sales; I’m not that sophisticated. But I understand living within your means, and clearly most CEOs and CFOs don’t.

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  6. brian stouder said on November 14, 2008 at 11:29 am

    coozledad, this sentence –

    After I got out of school, I regularly wore a suit and tie

    immediately reminded me of the movie Father Goose – a great little offbeat comedy/drama with Cary Grant (circa 1966). One of my all-time faves, but I’ve never seen it at the dvd rental place.

    But if you see it, you should rent it!

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  7. coozledad said on November 14, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Is that the one where he’s monitoring Japanese convoys? I can’t remember the female lead in that picture. Was it Leslie Caron?

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  8. alex said on November 14, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Adrien Brody’s got nothing on Rossy de Palma, a Spanish actress I first saw in an Almodovar film quite a few years ago. She looks like a Picasso painting come to life:


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  9. brian stouder said on November 14, 2008 at 11:45 am

    That’s the one! First time I saw it, I didn’t even realize it was Cary Grant!

    One of the big laughs in the movie that I missed when I was a kiddo is when he is showing Caron (that name sounds right) how to fish with her hands, and he says something like “easy….easy…we don’t want to scare her” and she asks “How do you know it’s a female?” and he retorts “Because she has her mouth open!”

    And the British actor who plays the Commander, whose name won’t come to me, with his tired refrain of “Walllllter” on the radio is just good stuff!

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  10. Catherine said on November 14, 2008 at 11:58 am

    What Julie said about GM’s board. And it’s worthwhile to point out (sorry to beat this dead horse) that there’s a regulatory failure here, too. AFAICT, the government never said, gee, you need to account for the present value of these future payments to worker’s retirement and healthcare. They didn’t affect the quarterly income statements, so all was well. And now, those chickens, they are coming home to roost, but they’re not bringing fresh, healthful eggs.

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  11. coozledad said on November 14, 2008 at 11:58 am

    I like pretty much any film Cary was in, with the exception of Topper. My wife doesn’t care for Bringing up Baby, for the simple reason that the lion fails to chew Katherine Hepburn’s head off.

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  12. Dorothy said on November 14, 2008 at 11:59 am

    I only found out this week (or should I say, I realized this week) that Condoleezza Rice’s name has two z’s in it. Check out how pretty her hair looks in this picture. She looks 10-20 years younger.


    I got 9 out of 10 on the quiz, Moe. The one I messed up was Mary Pickford/Clara Bow. Dang!

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  13. nancy said on November 14, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Condi does look fab with the new hair. I noticed, in her remarks about Obama’s election, she also looked much better, and that was old-hair. I think it’s the relaxation of the piano wires holding her together that does it. She sees the light at the end of the Bush tunnel. Funny how knowing you’re soon going to be out of a bad situation can work better than Botox.

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  14. LA Mary said on November 14, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    I read that Condoleezza’s name was a misreading of Con Dolcezza, a musical term meaning “with sweetness.” That C was read as an E.
    She’s not that old, Dorothy. We were both at University of Denver at the same time, but I DID NOT know her. If I had known she was going to become the secretary of state I would have made an effort so I could drop her name.
    I knew her dad though. He was a dean.

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  15. Jolene said on November 14, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    I noticed that too, Nancy. She looked really happy as she remarked on Obama’s election. The picture of Hillary was not so great, but I saw her answering questions on TV recently as she was on her way to a gala of some sort. She was wearing a very fancy, royal blue dress and looked terrific.

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  16. brian stouder said on November 14, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Dorothy – 9 out of 10?

    I am now genuflecting toward central Ohio

    Always liked Condi Rice, but she seems like a cipher in the few inside-baseball books about recent history that I’ve read. (can’t decide whether she’s more steely-smart or stone-cold infighter. It will be interesting to read whatever book SHE writes, especially with regard to her view of the VP)

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  17. Kirk said on November 14, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    I also was 9 for 10, missing only on Douglas Fairbanks. It pays to watch Turner Classic Movies. Ask me about 21st-century movies, and I’ll be no help at all, though I could spot Angelina Jolie’s freakish helium lips a mile away.

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  18. Dexter said on November 14, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    At least I knew who Farley Granger was. That sure as hell did not look like Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. to me. I watch a lot of TMC and was confident I would ace it…damn me! I missed 4!

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  19. Julie Robinson said on November 14, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Brian, you can get Father Goose at Netflix. Cary Grant was also great in Arsenic & Old Lace–funny and yummy at the same time. It’s on my list of movies to watch when I need to laugh, along with Noises Off.

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  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 14, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Bully! (cue bugle, thunder on the stair treads)

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  21. Dorothy said on November 14, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    I know Condi is not that old, Mary. But her old hairdo never did her any favors. The new one is just darling. If I’m allowed to use that adjective to describe the Secretary of State.

    Brian I took a wild guess only on the question about Keith or Harry. Did I get those names right? And I just got mixed up about Clara Bow. She and Mary look so much alike!

    Insanity runs in my family. In fact, it practically gallops!! (another line from Arsenic)

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  22. Julie Robinson said on November 14, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    I’m not a Brewster! I’m the son of a sea-cook!

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  23. Rana said on November 14, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    They wore neckties and pantyhose as though these items were made of barbed wire, not the trappings of adulthood.

    I have to say, pantyhose are at least one reason why I’m glad that my work happens in academia and at home. I do have an interview suit – a lovely camel number from Pendleton – but I almost always reach for the pants instead of the suit, just so I don’t have to deal with pantyhose. (I’m short-waisted and clumsy, so the damn things are always squashing my rib cage and rarely last two days without snagging when I do wear them.) btw, Tim Gunn says that pantyhose are no longer a requirement for professional women. Go, Tim Gunn!

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  24. Rana said on November 14, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    I got 6/10 on the quiz. I’m not yet 40, so I figure I was doing well recognizing most of the names, if not always the faces.

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  25. MichaelG said on November 14, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Seven here.

    I saw Barbra Streisand close up at the San Francisco airport back in 1969 shortly after I got out of the Army. She was a lot smaller than I would have expected and she was also a very beautiful woman. Far lovelier in person than she ever appeared to be on TV or in the movies.

    Thanks, Mary. I didn’t get to try one of the delis you recommended but I’ll be going down to that area a lot over the next year or so. A friend took me to a very good Lebanese place for lunch. I really enjoyed it. Next week is Riverside/Berdoo. In that neighborhood I guess I’ll look for an In-N-Out.

    My daughter went to a Montessori school in SF for pre-school. We were very happy with it. It was a private school. I had never heard of a public Montessori school before the comment above. She then went to an excellent SFUSD magnet school for a couple of years before we moved to Marin County. My wife had to spend the night in line to get her in. It was worth it.

    I seem to be running a day behind.

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  26. Jolene said on November 14, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    I’ve been noticing too that women aren’t wearing stockings these days. Mostly, I’ve been noticing this on TV because all the women I know wear pants pretty much all the time. As much of a pain as pantyhose are, the idea of going bare-legged would seem to impose quite a high standard for what one’s legs should look like and, perhaps, to be practical only for fairly young women. And what do the stockingless women wear in winter? Thoughts?

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  27. Jeff Borden said on November 14, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Like everyone else, it seems, I did not recognize Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

    On overcompensated executives and boards, I propose a similar solution to what I would like to see applied to the upper echelon of the Bush Administration, to wit, all of these bastards should be required to work night shifts for minimum wage at a Veterans Administration hospital doing the scut work. Aside from humbling these pompous chickenhawks, it would keep them in constant contact with the human results of their perfidy.

    The execs at AIG, Wachovia, GM, et.al. should be required to work in soup kitchens or homeless shelters, since they have contributed so mightily to the economic mess we’re in.

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  28. LA Mary said on November 14, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    I got 9/10. I missed Jack Hawkins.

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  29. beb said on November 14, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    I kind of like the idea of one stipulation to a GM bail-out — the immediate cancellation of the Hummer line.

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  30. Gasman said on November 14, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    LA Mary,
    I’ve been a pro musician for close to 30 years and I’ve never seen a score marked “con dolcezza” to indicate “with sweetness.” The common marking would simply be “dolce,” meaning “sweetly” or “softly.” I even looked up your term in both the Oxford and Harvard music dictionaries and neither of them contain the term. “Con dolcezza” seems more culinary than musical.

    If her name was ostensibly an unintentional variant of the term, musical or not, it certainly was a misreading. I might apply many descriptors to Dr. Rice, however, “with sweetness” would not be among them.

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  31. paddyo' said on November 14, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    8-for-10 here . . . and yes, Fairbanks and Pickford tripped me up, too. That’s kinda embarrassing since I once lived in an old-fashioned little apartment building on the banks of the Truckee River in Reno (think “Day of the Locust” but smaller and not in L.A.) whose owner insisted that Pickford had lived there while getting the 1920 divorce that allowed her to marry her illicit lover . . . one Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

    (Historians have since made clear that Pickford never got the divorce in the Biggest Little City in the World, but hey, that’s entertainment . . . )

    As for GM — and not being a Detroiter, I’m behind the curve in auto industry knowledge — I was astounded in listening to an NPR report on the bailout proposal a couple of days ago that GM management has been in place since 1995 or ’96, I think it was? Wow, that’s, like, several lifetimes in today’s corporate climate, automotive or otherwise.

    What on Earth can those Bozos possibly be clinging to at this point? I’m with Ingrassia. Toss ’em.

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  32. Rana said on November 14, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    And what do the stockingless women wear in winter? Thoughts?


    Or tights. Tights at least are sturdy enough to not run.

    But, yes, there is the possibility that one’s legs are not up to the aesthetics demanded, and many pumps don’t feel so good on bare feet (probably why a lot of little footy socks have been showing up in the stores). This is part of the reason I look forward to fall – I can wear pants and let my legs do as they will.

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  33. Dorothy said on November 14, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    I like to wear tights in the winter!! And you’re right Jolene about the age of women going pantyhose-less. I’ll do it in summer, if my legs are slightly tanned and if the outfit suits the look. But I’m not gonna go bare legged with pale, spider-veiny legs at other times. Believe me, the world doesn’t want to see that. Hell, I don’t want to see that!

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  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 14, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Hey, hey, hey — our veterans deserve better bedpan care than that. Send ’em to the Senate cafeteria to bus tables and peel spuds for those Freedom Fries.

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  35. Catherine said on November 14, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Dorothy: Spray tan. It’s not your father’s orange stuff anymore.

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  36. Catherine said on November 14, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Re going to college with Condi Rice, a friend of mine graduated from Princeton the same year as Michelle Obama. Her take on it is, “How come she grew up and I didn’t?”

    And I’m afraid I’m getting unwillingly sucked into fashion worship of Michelle Obama. Did you see the dress she wore to meet the Bushes on Monday? Ab fab. It turns out there is a website for this worship, where I spent half an hour yesterday that I’m never getting back. Before you click, you were warned:

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  37. LA Mary said on November 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    From people I know who claim to have known her in college, there was nothing very dolce about her then. “Wound up too tightly” is a phrase that springs to mind. She was big on cold war/Russian studies then. She also was a figure skater and played classical piano. I must have crossed paths with her. I was a poli/sci minor and our classes were in the same building as the GSIS (grad school of international studies). I don’t think she and I had much in common other than the alma mater.

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  38. brian stouder said on November 14, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Did you see the dress she wore to meet the Bushes on Monday?

    Clueless male confession: I watched the video of the Obamas meeting the Bushes on the porch at the White House, and as they posed for pictures, I thought there was some bad vibe or negative body language going on. Michelle and Laura stood next to each other and seemed stiff, and then the First Lady seemed to actually straight-arm or shunt the First Lady-elect.

    They ran the video again, and I called Pam to see, and she instantly said “Laura is concerned that their colors clash”.

    I said “Huh? Wha?” – and they ran the video loop again – and THEN I knew what Pam meant!

    Mrs Bush very briefly straightens her (clothed) arm next to Mrs Obama’s dress, and says something (probably “oh – this isn’t a good match!”) and then Mrs Obama is graciously dismissive (probably saying “oh – it’s fine”).

    It was like one of those optical illusions; I would NEVER have understood those pictures the way Pam (or any other fashion conscious person) did – but once it was pointed out to me, it was unmistakeable!

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  39. Catherine said on November 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Yes, Brian, body language known only to other women and Tim Gunn. And the dresses could not have been more clashy. Barbara Bush looked very librarian-ish — don’t get me wrong, I LOVE librarians AND their look — but it just wasn’t her day fashionwise.

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  40. Jeff Borden said on November 14, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    On the Detroit mess:

    In 1974, I got my first new car: a dark-brown Plymouth Satellite coupe with a vinyl roof and a 318 V-8. On delivery, the passenger door had a three-inch wide band of bare metal where the interior pieces did not fit. The mono radio speaker in the dashboard buzzed and vibrated from the moment I drove it off the lot. Within six months, the cable attached to the lever on the heater/AC broke, the first of four times it would snap. Within four years, there was rust on both rear quarter panels. The drivetrain was good, excellent really, but the rest of the car was shite.

    In 1978, I purchased a brand new Honda Accord. Except for five years driving a used Mitsubishi Galant, Honda products are the only cars I’ve owned ever since. As a childless couple, we never had reason to buy a minivan and I hate SUVs, so those categories were left unexplored when I’d scan the offerings of the Big Three. There was never anything in their lineups to tempt me and I’m a pretty big car geek. Sure, the redesigned Mustang and Challenger are sexy cars and prove the Motown guys can still pull off a great design now and then, but in terms of practical yet exciting transportation likely to last more than 10 years and look good doing it, they have squat. Our 1999 Acura TL with almost 100K miles remains a dream to drive: quiet, responsive, solid. We figure to take it to at least 150K miles and think we have a great shot at it.

    This is one of the largest problems facing the Big Three. There are generations of folks like me who soured on Ford, GM and Chrysler a very long time ago. How do you win us back when we’ve been so well-served by our Hondas, Toyotas, Subarus, etc.???

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  41. Dorothy said on November 14, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Brian I read something somewhere the other day on the web that said the two ladies were comparing the autumnal shades of their dresses. I believe Laura Bush was the first to comment on their dresses being a good look for fall or something. I thought Laura looked dowdy next to the stunning Mrs. O.

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  42. LA Mary said on November 14, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    I think, deep down, there’s a more interesting, better dressed, less right wingy Laura Bush waiting to be freed from her alky hubby. Or maybe not, but I hope so.

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  43. Catherine said on November 14, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Has anyone read American Wife, Curtis Sittenfeld’s imagining of Laura Bush’s life?

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    When will Detroit make a TARDIS? If they could just master the containment field for a singularity, we’d have no need of gas or oil or JP4.

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  45. Gasman said on November 14, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Totally off topic. The migration of the Sandhill Cranes is in full swing. Our house is directly under the flight path for thousands of these giant birds. They use the Rio Grande to mark their way. They are quite majestic to behold. They alternate between goose-like V formations and lazy circles catching thermals. This usually means a cold snap is coming.

    As they are one of our continents largest of birds, it pays to be careful when you look up.

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  46. LA Mary said on November 14, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Michelle Obama has the advantage of being a tall Capricorn woman, an inherently classy bunch.

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  47. LA Mary said on November 14, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    “The swing of the wool coat, the bracelet length sleeve, the peek of delicate fabric at the hem, the oversized clutch. Mrs. O, you are simply breathtaking.”

    That’s a quote from the Mrs. O website. I have an issue with the bracelet sleeve thing. If you are over say, 5’9″, you’ve had a lifetime of salespersons trying to convince you that some sleeve that is definitely NOT supposed to be bracelet length, is. I have a lot of bracelet sleeved sweaters. Right now I’m looking at that space between my watchband and my sleeve, wishing there was a bracelet there to display. But no, just freckly arm.

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  48. Jolene said on November 14, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    More Michelle fashion-crack: The Post’s gossip column, Reliable Sources, has a link-filled item (Obamarama: Today in Future First Family News) that connects to lots of pictures of Michelle in various outfits, as well as advice from fashion experts and ideas for inaugural gowns. At one link, I saw that sales of the outfit Michelle wore on Jay Leno increased by more than 400 percent after her appearance. How’s that for an economic stimulus?!

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  49. alex said on November 14, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Off topic—

    Just watched Wheel of Fortune while sipping a cocktail and getting ready to nosh on leftovers and couldn’t help but notice that the child of one of the contestants is a girl named Malia. W of F is touring in Hawaii this week.

    So it’s a Hawaiian name, not ghetto, in case anyone else has been pondering it. It mightn’t have occurred to me except that I studied Latin in boarding school and today work at the intersection of Law and Medicine and anything with “mal” in it strikes me as the last thing you’d name a child, especially if you were Ivy-League educated people.

    Back to regular programming. I think it’s Jeopardy at the moment.

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  50. joodyb said on November 14, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    gasman, i’m goin’ out on a limb here and bet con dolezza, being italian, is from an opera score and not in plain musical sight for many of us. which just makes it all the more twee in my highly invisible estimation.

    thanks, rana, until you said pendleton i was thinkin i don’t even have a hire-me suit anymore, but i realize i do. at least a winter one. which is probably good.

    would be willing to barter potential marketing campaign for my new tardis, jttmo.

    There are tons of Malias here in the Twins, i’ve noticed over the years.

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  51. del said on November 14, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    alex, your Hawaii story reminds me of a dinner a few months ago. My 8 yr old daughter was discussing with our 7 yr old neighbor the best places to live. My daughter said, “Florida, because it’s warm.” Neighbor said, “Hawaii, it’s warm too.” Daughter said, “well at least they speak English in Florida.” My wife then explained that they speak English in Hawaii too. Daughter arches her eyebrows and says, “ALOHA?!?. . .”

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  52. Catherine said on November 14, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    I love the bracelet sleeve thing. Sometimes, at 5’6″ but shortwaisted, I buy the petite tops so my wrists can breathe and the waist is in the right place. Mary, it sounds like you are tall enough to pull off a big cuff bracelet. Christmas is coming, and the WSJ says that overstock.com is chock full o’ bargains.

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  53. Deborah said on November 14, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    I’m 5′ 8″ but the bracelet sleeve never appealed to me. I’ve got a few in my closet but they mostly just hang there. They look great on Mrs. O. It’s not the look though, it’s the feel of it for me. I thought Michelle looked absolutely fabulous in her tomato red dress while touring the white house. Mrs. Bush looked quite dowdy in comparison. I loved Jackie Kennedy, as a youngster she was definitely a role model for me.

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  54. Jen said on November 14, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Mmmm. Adrien Brody is very yummy eye-candy, in a very interesting way. As far as eye-candy goes, I like a man with some interesting features. He definitely fits the bill on that! Julie Robinson was right – the eyebrows are part of it, too, not just the nose. And, he’s a pretty darn good actor, too!

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  55. Dorothy said on November 14, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Just yesterday I was telling my oldest sister that I think David Straithairn is sexy. She wasn’t seein’ it, but agreed that he’s a good actor.

    And the bracelet sleeve? That’s bullshit. It means you need a tall girl/woman size with sleeves that are appropriately long enough. I am 5’9″ and rarely have I found coats with the sleeves long enough for me. I compensate with longish gloves like Isotoners in the wintertime.

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  56. Dexter said on November 14, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    Wail…bein’ a Hoosier for the first half of my life , I must comment on HBO’s “Dirty Driving: Thundercars of Indiana”.
    Many thousands of HBO subscribers are going to think we’re the reddest damn people in the nation. Confederate flags on the cars and on sleeves, very southern drawls spoken with many vulgar words in every sentence…this thing is something else.
    It’s about Anderson, Indiana, the people who live there in post-GM Anderson, and the race track, where home-built cars are raced on weekends.
    Where does the extreme southern drawl start, geographically?
    The people in Fort Wayne don’t all talk that way, and Anderson is just a couple hours south.
    I’ll tell ya folks, you watch this docu and you’ll keep saying “OMG just LOOK at those HILLBILLIES!”
    I kept thinking it must really be somewhere like Alabama or at least the Carolinas …nope…that big-ass Anderson water tower keeps confirming that this is Anderson.
    It’s bitingly hard to view some scenes of entire blocks and entire shopping centers and gas stations just abandoned, let alone all the factories that are derelict there…GM has closed the last remaining GM plant and the satellite smaller plants are shuttering one-by-one.
    This is a strange documentary…I feel like writing ‘stay away from this at all costs’, but another part of me says ‘if you want to take a peek into Bush’s America, watch this sad-ass film’.

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  57. alex said on November 14, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Larry Flint knew just what buttons to push in the south, hence the success of Hustler. I think Baba Wawa is his greatest imitator with respect to the midwest.

    I’m too jaded to be able to experience it exactly as they do, but what a titillating night it must be for the citizens of northeast Indiana. Not only have they just seen the first black president come to pass, horror of horrors, but they’re having to endure a sympathetic documentary about the “pregnant man.”

    You couldn’t write better comedy. There is a God, yes.

    Edit: And on tonight’s local news, What to do if you come across a meth lab in a two-liter Pepsi bottle when you’re walking down the street…

    Think it might be a liberal media conspiracy to make tight-asses keel over with coronaries?

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  58. LA Mary said on November 14, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    Two of my coworkers and I have reached consensus on who on TV is sexy. Anthony Bourdain. I don’t care that he smokes.

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  59. Cosmo Panzini said on November 14, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Dex, your instincts are on the mark re the Thundercars doc. So obviously contrived, you have to wonder who the hell could believe it.

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  60. Catherine said on November 14, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Alan Rickman. Similar nose + eyebrows + talent = sexy.

    And, y’all can throw things and deride me all you want, but isn’t Henry Paulson a little bit sexy? In a totally hateful way, of course.

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  61. Rana said on November 14, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Ooo. Alan Rickman.

    Gasman – I’m actually going on a field trip this weekend to see the cranes – it’s this wonderful thing where some alumnus of the college in town donated money to be used for outdoor education, for anyone in the community, and so the vans, housing and food are free! not to mention the experts going along to tell us what’s what. (Although I don’t have any doubts that I’ll be able to figure out which bird is the crane!)

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  62. Gasman said on November 14, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Nearly all musical direction is in Italian, even in Cyrillic Russian scores. Some French and German composers use their vernacular, but about 90% is in Italian. The directions in the opera scores are no different, it’s the same terminology. For about seven years now, I work part of the year for an opera company. I’ve lived with many opera scores, and trust me, their ain’t no “con delcezza” to be found in any of them. It’s just not a musical term.

    We’ll be going to see the cranes at the tail end (no pun intended) of the Festival of Cranes at Bosque del Apache south of Albuquerque. They are amazing animals, especially in the quantities that you see them during migration time.

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  63. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 14, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Hoosier-wise, the south begins at US 40/Washington St. (for those in Indy), but there are more northerly intrusions of southerness, mainly Kaintuckians who came up during the 30’s to work in them auto plant places — Anderson is certainly one of ’em.

    Kokomo was Klan-ridden in the 20’s, as was Elwood and Marion and Gas City, but that’s northern nasty angry anti-black, anti-catlikker, anti-polack kind of KKK. Southernness is not coterminous with racism, contrary to popular belief, not that they don’t cohabit fairly easily.

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  64. brian stouder said on November 14, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    isn’t Henry Paulson a little bit sexy?

    To me he looks like a cross between Mr Clean’s older brother, and Lex Luther.

    And have you noticed that his neckties all look over-sized? The knot is big, the tie looks XL, the collar of his shirt looks oversized, and then his nose is big… reminds me of the Baldwin character from The Departed that the Prop Mistress quoted a few weeks back; he seems to radiate the idea that he has a large tool at his diposal. (and indeed, with countless billions of dollars at his ready command, he does!)

    As for women, the unique visage of the woman Alex linked to was indeed quite nice. Similarly, back in the day McKenzie Phillips’ (spelling?) individual beauty offset Valerie Bertinelli’s conventional cuteness.

    ‘Course, I always irritate the young ladies hereabouts, when we read a book or see a show that features one of Disney’s evil queens, and I make a remark about how she’s a lot prettier than whichever of their heroic princesses is in the story

    PS – As a life-long Hoosier, I will say that we cannot vouch for anyone south of Muncie (MunTucky), when it comes to Hilljacks

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  65. Jolene said on November 14, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Alan Rickman, indeed. It’s the voice.

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  66. MichaelG said on November 15, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Mary, Tony Bourdain quit smoking six months or so ago.

    Monica Bellucci.

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  67. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 15, 2008 at 8:05 am

    That’d do it.

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  68. Montag said on November 15, 2008 at 8:46 am

    I can tell by the general tenor of this discussion that it will all come down to the following:

    Do we have the guts to watch unemployment climb past 10% in 4 months?

    Do we actually have such absolute faith in Free Market that we think the eventual outcome will be better?

    Are so-called free markets the servants of free men and women, or are they the freely acting gods of slaves?

    There is absolutely no guarantee the future will be made better by these same free maets which have produced the present debacle.
    So what do you have faith in?

    I personally think that if I must be damned, damn me for helping working men and women, no matter how disgusting the management of those companies is.
    That management, after all, has been no more odious, no more repellent, no more stupid than the present government and the banking industry…

    We had better think long and hard of whom is to be the target of wrath, lest it be ourselves.

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  69. Jim said on November 15, 2008 at 10:10 am

    We didn’t call Kendallville “Kendalltucky” for nothing.

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  70. jcburns said on November 15, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Madison County Indiana, home of Anderson, went Obama 53-46%, according to CNN. So they may have their Confederate flags, but they seem to want some change, too. An auto plant closing or two will do that to you.

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  71. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 15, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Re: Bourdain, it turns out his smoking cessation program is named Ottavia Busia, more to the point their daughter, Ariane.

    But i’m happy for them all, regardless; does this also mean he doesn’t eat fermented shark fin or sheep eyeballs anymore, either? If i were going to eat some offal, i’d consider taking up cigars or the stray American Spirit just to take the edge off.

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  72. Danny said on November 15, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Mary, any fires close to you? Hope not.

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  73. Deborah said on November 15, 2008 at 11:37 am


    You must work for the Santa Fe Opera! How cool. We try to go to at least one production every year. What instrument do you play? We are only in NM for one week during opera season and this coming year we are going to Finland instead of NM at that time. We try to go to NM 4 times a year, once in each season. Have never seen the cranes. Hope to someday when we move there.

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  74. brian stouder said on November 15, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    OK -speaking of shiny objects, I have a question – stemming from an article about an “Obama baby boom”


    an excerpt:

    Hope and euphoria, says University of Washington sociologist Pepper Schwartz, are a serious aphrodisiac. And voters under 30 went for Obama by a margin of 2 to 1. When you combine those two elements—randy people of child-bearing age—the likely result is what the online Urban Dictionary has already dubbed “Obama Babies” : children “conceived after Obama was proclaimed President, by way of celebratory sex.

    But honestly, isn’t ALL sex, almost by definition, ‘celebratory’??! (or maybe the term ‘celebratory sex’ sounds redundant only to old married guys, eh?)

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  75. Dexter said on November 15, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Well…there was a baby boom nine months after 9-11-01.
    I had to have it explained to me that people cling to each other and have sex after tragic events , too…not just wonderful events. After the airplanes took down the WTC, people reconciled their losses by hopping into the sack.
    I remember that day well, and I sat staring at the TV all day until I had to leave for work at 10 PM…no sleep that day at all.
    If ever there was a term that fits: “different strokes for different folks.”
    Actually, I might not have believed this whole angle , but at the time I was blogging back and forth with a bunch of New Yorkers…they confirmed it, and I just doubt all of them were bullshitting me—I just had a difficult time grasping it.

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  76. LA Mary said on November 15, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    No fires near here, Danny. Sylmar was the closest and that’s a good 15-20 miles away. I’ll be glad when this heat wave is over. The weatherman is saying things will cool down on monday.

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  77. Julie Robinson said on November 15, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Hey Dorothy–I’ve got the same problem with coat sleeves as you, but in addition to gorilla arms I’ve also got man hands (isn’t my hubby lucky?). Isotoner doesn’t make a size big enough, so I usually sew some fabric into the sleeve ends, or even a few rows of crocheted fabric. I’ve been doing this for the last 10 years after a lifetime of cold wrists and I’m just SO pleased with myself.

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  78. Jolene said on November 15, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    The images of the fires in California are really something. Mayor Villaraigosa is on CNN saying that a 500-unit mobile home park has gone up in flames. Horrible.

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  79. Dexter said on November 15, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    darting back and forth with topics on this thread:
    Jeff Borden wrote of his “shite” Plymouth Satellite.
    I also bought my first new car in 1974. I bought a Ford Pinto wagon . As I drove it off the lot , for the first time I noticed the entire steering column was at a prominent angle, maybe 12 degrees to the right. When I test drove it, I didn’t really notice it, but then I did. I drove straight back and demanded to look at another car like mine…sure enough, the other two he had were straight-columned. I told hm I wanted one of the other cars and he could send mine back to be fixed. No dice…he told me there was nothing to be done…it was crooked and it is what it is, more or less.
    My next new car was a 1977 Honda Civic CVCC…advertised at 47 mpg…it got 35 mpg..oh well. That’s a lot better than most cars, 32 model years later.

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  80. Deborah said on November 15, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    My husband called his daughter in Anaheim, CA to say that it was snowing in Chicago (only for about 2 seconds), she responded that it was raining ashes in her neighborhood. A fire is occurring about 15 minutes from where they live. Yikes!

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  81. Gasman said on November 15, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Indeed, I do work for the Santa Fe Opera from time to time. From 2000-2003, I was their Audio Engineer and was at every rehearsal and performance. I guess I’ve been there about 700 times. My instrument is classical guitar and I was in their 2000 off season production of “The Beggar’s Opera” as part of the orchestra. It was an onstage role for the whole production, so the small 8 piece “orchestra” had to be in costume.

    Now, I do mostly educational stuff for the SFO. Today we just wrapped up our “Opera Makes Sense” program for 3-5 year olds and their parents. Great fun. Occasionally I’ve done lectures for them. I also co-teach a class on each season’s SFO productions at the University of New Mexico – Los Alamos.

    As the backstage gig averaged 12-16 hours per day, I doubt if I’ll be doing that again. However, the orchestra and educational gigs are much more fun and I get way more sleep.

    If you move to NM, sign up for my class. We’ve always gotten free tickets to at least on dress rehearsal. Plus, I know where many bodies are buried backstage.

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  82. moe99 said on November 15, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    my first car was a Chevy Chevette in 76 (don’t I win a prize for worst car?). When you turned on the airconditoning you were down to two cylinders. Luckily it only lasted two years for me. I went off to Europe for a year’s worth of school and came back and was car-less in DC for another year and a half. Moved out to Seattle in ’81 in a 69 Plymouth that had a slant six in it. Finally got a VW rabbit after the battery in the Plymouth died one too many times and that lasted for a long, long time. Current car is an Outback wagon, which gets terrible gas mileage but otherwise is a great car.

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  83. brian stouder said on November 15, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Say – another bright shiny bauble –

    Grant and I attended David Baldacci’s lecture Friday evening at IPFW, wherein he held forth on writing books and movie scripts, and his efforts in adult literacy programs, and various other anecdotes and amusing stories, and so on.

    He was an interesting and entertaining speaker – even if one quickly loses count how many times he refers to himself (by name!). No kidding – and nothing wrong with a healthy ego when one has conquered the thin air and reached the mountain top of Best Sellerdom (repeatedly, as he will tell you) -but he must have enunciated his own name at least 40 times in the course of his hour long talk.

    One funny anecdote was about a book signing he was conducting just before Christmas a few years back, where two women approached, and one asked for a unique inscription; she had rebuffed her boyfriend’s proposals of marriage three times in the past year, and she wanted to signal him that she was now ready to marry him. The guy was a huge David Baldacci fan and had read every Baldacci book, and he would love getting Baldacci’s newest title at Christmas….and would he (Baldacci) please write in there that she was now ready to live the rest of her life with him (the boyfriend)?

    So – David Baldacci begins writing in the woman’s book – and the Christmas spirit moves him to write and write and write!! He covers three pages, extolling the timelessness of love and how life moves so quickly, and how one has to sieze the moment, etc etc –

    and then he signs it and the women beam and go happily on their way…..and then he gets to thinking about what he just did.

    And then – he says a prayer to God, something along the lines of “Dear Lord – please don’t let that woman ruin that fellow’s life; Please make sure she’s half as good as I said she was”.

    And then he related how now, at every book signing, he’s about half affraid that a disgruntled man seeking vengence upon him will appear!

    Anyway – David Baldacci’s talk about the life and work of David Baldacci was fun, and Grant especially enjoyed David Baldacci’s anecdotes about the Secret Service and FBI guys that David Baldacci has met, and how he has fired all sorts of weapons (so as to properly describe them in his books).

    After that, it was off to get some ice cream, and call it a night.

    Next up is Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain (in January); the price is still right (free!) – but his 2 hour show necessitates a 7 pm start. I am anticipating a genuine goat-roping for that one, so the young folks and I will make tracks as early as possible (my hope is that Pam will come with us for that one, but we’ll see)

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  84. nancy said on November 15, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Brian, I couldn’t think why David Baldacci’s name rang a bell, and then I remembered:

    Jon Carroll doesn’t like him.

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  85. brian stouder said on November 15, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Thanks, Nance – that Jon Carroll piece was great!

    And indeed, Baldacci apparently writes the way he speaks…

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  86. Catherine said on November 15, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Moe, I’m afraid it might be a tie. My first car was a ’76 Chevette too. It was powder blue and the list of mechanical problems is lengthy but let’s leave it at this one: By the time I got rid of it (sold is too strong a word), I had to add a quart of oil every other time I filled up the gas tank.

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  87. beb said on November 15, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    I believe I can top Catherine and Moe, since my first car was a Chevy Nova. The first they built with an aluminum engine block. People told me to trade it in before 50,000 miles because that’s when the engine died. Tried it in for a Chevette. Which mind you, I liked.

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  88. Dorothy said on November 15, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    YESSSSSS to Alan Rickman! It is certainly the voice. And who the hell is Henry Paulson?

    Tony Bourdain is okay. But Jon Hamm is officially now on my list of guys-I-wouldn’t-mind-looking-at-for-the-rest-of-my-life.

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  89. brian stouder said on November 15, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    And who the hell is Henry Paulson?

    In the absence of an acting president, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is arguably the most consequentially powerful person in the government of the United States, these days

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  90. Dexter said on November 15, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    randi rhodes (America Left Radio) calls him Stanky Hank:

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  91. Ricardo said on November 16, 2008 at 1:56 am

    The Yorba Linda and Anaheim Hills fires are very close to my house. The wind was blowing the smoke (and embers) pretty much due west instead of at my neighborhood which is southwest of today’s fire. I got some dramatic photos. Last year’s Santiago fires were east of my house and we got all of the smoke and ashes, but no embers. Each year it seems like it is hot, dry, and windy later and later in the year. Usually, by November I have the furnace pilot lit, but not for the last two years.

    The Sylmar fire, Monticeto, YL, AH, Santiago fires, and those big ones a few years ago in San Bernadion county have one thing in common, the homes are built in areas that abut wide open and wild land. The home are built there because of sprawl that pushes further and further out, and because it is desirable and scenic place to put an expensive home. My home is on a city block in a suburban town that doesn’t get so many floods, fires, or earthquake problems. Dull, but I have lower insurance rates. Anaheim Hills was built in the 70’s and they had a lot of problems with poorly compacted earth under the houses causing landslides and foundation cracks, now they get the fires.

    Anaheim is seperated from Anaheim Hills, by my town, Orange. Anaheim proper is a flat, older city, but AH was built very quickly and the developers are long gone. I could never understand why people pay a premium to live in a place with so many problems. The Yorba Linda homes burnt were the furthest ones up in the hills and the newest. For a few hours today there was zero water pressure in the exact places where the houses were burning, and the firefighters just had to let them burn. I’d be plenty angry at that if it were my $2,000,000 house burnt up.

    On a different note, I got a new GMC Canyon pickup this year with a 4 cylinder engine. It has good mileage (22mpg) and plenty of power (190hp) with variable-valve timing. It takes 7 quarts of oil at a change, so some thought went into its design. I drive a lot to my commute and haul stuff at times, so it seemed like the perfect choice. Now, I still have my ’84 Buick Estate and I like driving it. We took it to Las Vegas last Christmas with the big dogs in the back. Then I parked it during the gas price spike, it still had Las Vegas gas in the tank until last week when I finally could afford to put some in the tank. There is still nothing like driving a large Detroit luxury boat, but the quality just wasn’t there in the cars built in the 70s, nor in the little Detroit cars.

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  92. Jolene said on November 16, 2008 at 4:09 am

    Here’s a Robin Givhan piece re the interplay of appearance and accomplishment. The article was prompted by the recent Glamour Women of the Year awards, the event that led Condi to adopt the new hairdo we noticed a few days ago. It’s not Givhan’s absolute best work, but it did make me feel less guilty about the discussion we’ve been having re the fashion choices of famous women—especially Mrs. Obama.

    And, by the way, the new First Couple is being interviewed on 60 Minutes this PM—for the Obama groupies among us.

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  93. alex said on November 16, 2008 at 8:14 am

    But honestly, isn’t ALL sex, almost by definition, ‘celebratory’?

    All unmarried sex. Otherwise it’s obligatory.

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  94. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 16, 2008 at 8:20 am

    Ricardo, may your life stay dull! And slightly damp. . .

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  95. coozledad said on November 16, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Alex: You’ve been talking to my wife again, haven’t you?

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  96. Catherine said on November 16, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Ricardo, stay safe. Typical fall in SoCal, as you said, but it still sucks.

    It is spookily clear and calm in Pasadena, barely a hint of smoke in the air (less than yesterday, even). The organizers cancelled the marathon scheduled for today, more out of concern for fire victims than air quality, it would seem.

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  97. Jolene said on November 16, 2008 at 11:57 am

    The NYT has another “where will the Obama girls go to school” story, which is different from the earlier ones only in that it contains this incredibly sweet sentence, uttered by a schoolkid who met Michelle Obama on one of her visits: I touched her hand and she smelled like cherries.

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  98. Jolene said on November 16, 2008 at 11:57 am

    As you may have seen, both CNN and MSNBC have had specials commemorating (or, at least, reminding us of) the Jonestown massacre, which happened thirty years ago this week.

    Having been reminded of the horribleness that can ensue when charismatic leaders put themselves in charge, I was really struck by this story about an authoritarian, self-indulgent pastor of a Pentecostal church in the NoVa suburbs.

    The situation is not as extreme as the Jonestown case, but it’s got all the standard features of organizations that are overtaken by leaders more interested in power and pleasure than in the well-being of their members: pressure to make large financial contributions, divisions in families when some members raise doubts, decision-making by a central, unaccountable figure, and on and on.

    This is such an old story. I found it a little shocking and also incredibly sad that people would have such a need to belong and to believe that they would surrender their ability to think for themselves and sacrifice their most intimate relationships. Stunning, really.

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  99. Jolene said on November 16, 2008 at 11:58 am

    It appears that there’s been quite a lot of sex in Fayetteville, NC lately, whether celebratory or not isn’t clear, but the results are impressive either way.

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  100. Catherine said on November 16, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Jolene, I’m about 4 links behind, but thanks for the Robin Givhan piece. I do feel less guilty! — and now anytime I want to snark I can just invoke “the semiotics of attire.”

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  101. Jolene said on November 16, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Catherine, did you see the stunning Annie Liebovitz picture at the Mrs. O site? Semiotics, indeed!

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  102. del said on November 16, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Off topic to upthread. I owned a ’74 Plymouth Satellite too; ran great for years, even when turned off. Remember run on engines? A mechanic told me to “open it up” on the highway to burn off the carbon build up in the cylinders. The car only reached a top speed of 88 miles an hour, but it worked. And the thing never died — I eventually just gave it away.

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  103. Suzi said on November 16, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Hey Gasman, Indiana has some wonderful crane watching sites during their fall migration. The Jasper Pulaski State Fish & Wildlife Area site:
    has info about bird counts and best spotting sites within the park. It’s a long drive from Ft Wayne — about 4 hours if I remember correctly, but an amazing experience if you appreciate wildlife.
    We’ve seen small groups of these big guys in Upper Michigan in late summer over the last few years — seem to be doing well in this part of the country.

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  104. LA Mary said on November 16, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Catherine, is it still not smoky there? It was terrible here last night. We closed all the windows and turned on the AC for the filtering benefits.
    What Ricardo said is true. The inhabited areas that burn are the ones most recently developed and built next to hilly, undeveloped areas. My coworkers from Santa Clarita and therabouts have lots of square feet of house, swimming pools and all that stuff, but they also have had to evacuate twice this year. Give my my funky city neighborhood anytime.

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  105. Catherine said on November 16, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Mary, it is getting very smoky now. We are running AC too, and getting that oddly golden light. Think opening credits of The Rockford Files. I’m trying not to think of the ash falling in my yard as little burned pieces of people’s mobile homes.

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  106. Ricardo said on November 16, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Or think of the album cover from Tim Buckley’s “Greetings From LA”, photo taken from around 1971. It is a giant post card with a narrative about smog on the inside. I actually knew someone that moved to Pasadena in the 1970s that lived on Foothill Blvd for 9 months before he found out why it was called Foothill Blvd. When we finally get some rain, all the soil washes away because there is no vegetation to hold it in.

    The OC fire moved along Chino Hills over to Diamond Bar and Carbon Canyon, a place I really like. They are holding the fire at the 57 fwy for now. If it jumps over, then it is on to Rowland Heights and La Habra Heights to Whittier and Turnbull Canyon. That would not be good.

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  107. Rana said on November 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Hey Gasman, Indiana has some wonderful crane watching sites during their fall migration. The Jasper Pulaski State Fish & Wildlife Area site:
    has info about bird counts and best spotting sites within the park. It’s a long drive from Ft Wayne — about 4 hours if I remember correctly, but an amazing experience if you appreciate wildlife.

    This is the very place we went! I can attest to it being an amazing experience – by the time the sun set, there were around 10,000 cranes clustered in the marshy area below the observation tower. There was also a single whooping crane in the middle – astonishing – and the air was full of birds and their trilling, burbling calls. Definitely worth the drive!

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  108. Dexter said on November 16, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Ricardo…how bad did Chino Hills get it? My wife’s cousin who visits us every year lives there and he ain’t answering his phone…
    LA Times online has some great photos and great coverage of the fires…their map basically shows our cousin’s address under a big red roaring flame.
    Yesterday they had livestreaming KTLA news.
    I also have a couple friends in Canoga Park … the maps seem to show they are safe.

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  109. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 16, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    88 miles an hour? That’s some serious . . . ahem.

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  110. Dexter said on November 16, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Fastest car I ever owned was a 1967 Dodge two door sedan.
    I bought it when it was 16 years old for a temporary go-to-work car in 1983. It had the 383 motor with a bore of 4.03 and stroke of 3.75. It was easy to tune up.
    Once I had it going 118 mph and I had lots of throttle space left, but I backed off. I was going to try to top my fastest speed ever, 124 mph in a 1959 Buick that belonged to my buddy’s dad. So when I was driving, 118 is my personal high.
    Now I drive like my dad did when he was in his fifties…I haven’t hit 65 mph since I was on a freeway two weeks ago.
    A few days ago we were discussing coyotes . Yes, I saw coyotes during my 3-decades long commute through very rural roads. I also saw probably a thousand deer, rabbits by the score, raccoons, many pheasants, woodchucks, at times a loose cow or horse, opossums, chickens , geese, ducks, one time I almost clobbered a loose sheep, I ran over a large blue racer snake as it was slinking across a road–thump thump!–but I never saw a pig wandering about a roadway.

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  111. caliban said on November 17, 2008 at 1:50 am

    Fastest car you ever owned? Fastest car I ever drove and how fast I drove it. Z-28, and about 140 mph on Woodward Avenue. Ever owned? Maxda 626 pn the way out the Mass Pike to be in time for my daughter to make it to the world on time. You can’t drive faster than that. There’s a story, too, but all I was thinking was blowing it out and I couldn’t get a ticket.

    I think Warren Zevon was thinking about Tim Buckley, Ricardo. I had to call somebody long-distance. I said join me in LA.

    Maybe James Garner was just Maverick. Smart, handsome and the long con. Seems to resonate. Once Sam Adams and the bomb-wielders were done, it took tall tales, buffalo guns and Fenders. It’s an MC5 song.

    But Gibsons were always better guitars.

    Dexter. I’ve seen pigs on the highway. I think coyotes might make up for that. Some sort of natural herding device, and they might eat laggards. Or the coyotes will get them. Or the rednecks surely will. The problem on the roads is the armadillo. They don’t move very fast, so they’re possum on the half-shell. Aphrodisiac for coyotes.

    If predator species return, homo sapiens has to root for the wolves, not the bears. Bears don’t give a shit, but supposedly you can make yourself look big and make a lot of noise.

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  112. brian stouder said on November 17, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Fastest car you ever owned?

    Chocolate brown 1971 Olds Cutlass Supreme 2-door, with a lovely ‘his/hers’ Hurst-Olds transmission (you could put it in D, or else shift it over into a parallel slot, and go from 1st to 2nd to 3rd to 4th, with no clutch).

    I once got that car up over 96 mph, and then she started to shimmy, in a pretty terrifying way! – so I eeeeeased up on her.

    Had that car for 6 weeks, until the afternoon that a guy on Calhoun Street turned left right in front of me, as I was taking a girl home from South Side (he was trying to get into the McDonalds that is no longer there, east of Southgate). I was going 35 mph, and smashed into his new Ford Granada. Turned out he was an insurance salesman!

    Everyone was OK – but Julie never went for another ride with me, and that was the end of the ’71 Cutlass

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  113. caliban said on November 17, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    How is it great to baIl out AIG but GM ia nthem. And Ford says we don’t want you’re money. You can be all Sarah all the time.

    You can’t be that fucking stupid. I am a moron and this is my wige. She is frsting a cake with paper knife.

    So, she isn;t a despicable bitch? She bagged fidelity. It’s OK to lie your ass off.

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