Well, you could have this weekend and return it to the manufacturer, eh? The giant snowstorm was followed by a big freeze — this is not news to a large number of you, I know — and everywhere was suffering. The dog is irritable, torn between his instinctual need to visit the outdoors regularly and its utter suckitude. My poor car looks like it has leprosy, but it’s too cold to wash it and besides, it’s only going to snow again tomorrow and probably the next day, too. I deprived a local mall of my business and went to one farther away, because the former is one of those Potemkin Village lifestyle-center malls, and if there’s one thing I don’t want to do on a day with single-digit temperatures and a howling wind, it’s walk outdoors between stores.
I went to Somerset instead. Every luxury store under the sun, plus a few you haven’t heard of. None had anything I wanted. Everything seemed cheap and stupid. The upside: Cheap and stupid is now 30 percent off. Even Barney’s was having a sale. You could buy a pair of ugly shoes for $325, marked down from $545. I really can’t wait for Christmas to be over. Nothing like double-digit unemployment (barely; Michigan’s now at 9.4 percent, but expected to go much higher, and I suspect that makes us No. 1) and the promise of an even worse future to extract all the fun out of spending your money.
But enough about me.
Some good bloggage today: Every so often I go Googling for Tim Goeglein (who really should work for Google, don’t you think? He could answer his phone, “Google, Goeglein.”), to see if he’s left a breadcrumb trail. The new Washington will be a hostile place for conservatives other than Rick Warren, but you should never underestimate the ability of people to land on their feet, change and/or find a seat somewhere on the Wingnut Welfare gravy train. So far, nothing’s turned up, until this, a WashPost story from earlier this month, about a lunchtime gathering at a D.C. Buca di Beppo. Deal Hudson, founder and former publisher of Crisis magazine, was host of a big table in the Pope Room, and the idea was to read Christmas poetry aloud to the group. That’s it. Sort of charming when you think about it.
Tim’s not in the story, only in the photo (and only the top of his head, at that). But just to show you what a big tent the right wing is and remains, note that lineup in the picture: born-again virgin Dawn Eden; nice Lutheran Tim (hands folded prayerfully?); and Hudson, the host. (The other two guys are Googleable, but ciphers — to me, anyway.) Eden is known for having rejected what she calls a “‘Sex and the City’ lifestyle” for orthodox Catholicism, celibacy, anti-abortion activism and a book contract (“The Thrill of the Chaste”). Hudson became ex-publisher of Crisis after a story surfaced about a drunken sexual encounter with a teenage college student that led to harassment charges against him, i.e., unchaste behavior. And among the magazines Goeglein plundered in his strange career as a writer was Crisis.
We are all sinners, and the balm of literature is soothing to all. Remember that.
Thinking of the Wingnut propaganda chorus reminds me that Alicublog is still on the job keeping tabs on them all, and has a fine roundup post on Christmas Week at the National Review. Sample:
“Why does an obsessive Nazi-hunter like Simon Wiesenthal get positive press,” (Mark Goldblatt) asks, “while an obssessive Communist-hunter like Joe McCarthy is vilified?” Maybe because Wiesenthal hunted actual Nazis, while McCarthy was happy to tar citizens ranging from Owen Lattimore to Adlai Stevenson.
Finally, although it isn’t technically Holiday Photos Week yet, I’m kicking things off with a couple of contributions from our webmaster, J.C. Burns, who is way ahead of me on the digitizing-old-photos chore. He sent two along, pegged to my comment about Tri-X film, but since one includes me and another features a famous mystery guest, let’s get it started. First, here are three of J.C.’s women friends, c. 1979-80ish, in the courtyard of his salad-days garden apartment in Atlanta. The woman on the left is Verneda I-forget-her-last-name, the one on the right is Deb Warlaumont-now-Mulvey, my BFF then and now (posts here as deb, always lower-case), and in the middle is a woman who really should have rethought that scarf. And her hair. And the shoes (Dr. Scholl’s!). And certainly the glasses, although that was the fashion at the time.
It looks like I was consulting my checkbook while about to descend concrete stairs in wooden sandals. Which explains why I frequently sported bruises in those days.
The other is today’s Comment Thread Mystery, and if I had something to give as a prize I would, but alas. Below is another picture of Deb, along with a college classmate of ours. Same general era. He is, today, a journalist of national reputation (his official bio calls him “renowned,” but I think that’s pushing it), who makes frequent appearances on TV. This puzzle may favor the men in our audience, but that’s the only clue I’m giving you. Once his identity is correctly identified, I’ll post a contemporary photo in an update, so we can all laugh over the difference. Who is our mystery man? (And please: Those who knew him then, or know because they read all the comments here, sit this one out, please? This means you, MarkH. The underlying joke of this photo is the physical change.)
Everyone have a great start to a short week. And try to stay warm.
UPDATE: Jeff TMMO wins, but I think he had help. I just don’t see how you could recognize “renowned NFL reporter Peter King” based on the jaw alone. Not when the hair is such a distraction, anyway. (It looks like a wig, doesn’t it?) I guess it’s all that practice at looking at the soul within, because this is what he extrapolated from: