The big dry.

You’d think, with the heaps of frozen water in the yard, that moisture wouldn’t be a problem for a Michigan family on a day like today, but you’d think wrong. Winter is perverse that way. I’ve identified a large part of my physical misery as a lack of moisture, and am working to rectify it. If you’ve never awakened at 5 a.m. with parched nasal passages swollen shut and a mouth that feels like a cat peed in it, well, you’ve never lived in your average heated house in winter. There’s no furnace-linked humidifier in the world that can keep up with it, so you have to supplement — with vaporizers, saline nasal spray, industrial-grade moisturizers and other foofraw, trying to find some sort of equilibrium. It sucks. What sucks even more is knowing that by July, I’ll be bitching about the humidity along with everyone else.

Is there a place on earth where naked primates can live in comfort year-round? I read somewhere that some Caribbean island suspended daily weather forecasting because it was the same every single day except when a hurricane was in the neighborhood — highs in the low 70s, winds steady out of the west at 10-15 knots, slight chance of late-afternoon showers. Maybe that’s the place.

You want to see what winter can do to a girl? Watch the trailer for New in Town. Cold weather appears to have frozen Renee Zellweger’s face to the point she can only move her mean little mouth! (And it’s her skin that looks worst of all, at least in the trailer. When a movie can’t make Renee Zellweger look pretty, it’s time to investigate the straight-to-video option.)

OK, enough. It’s not so bad out there. We’re predicted to break the 20-degree mark today, woohoo. And a white winter is always a better than a brown one, so I’ll take it.

For the sake of relativity, Jeff TMMO posted a link in comments to the webcam at the South Pole. It’s -19 in what is, after all, high summer down there. No one will be joining the 300 Club today.

OK, then. Let’s talk fresh starts. Does anyone else find it ironic that Detroit’s ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, convicted felon, local disgrace and all-around shitheel, apparently has a job prospect after he’s sprung from the slam in a few days? With actual law-abiding working people falling like dead soldiers every day, you’d think the guy might have to spend some time swearing at Craigslist with all the rest of us, but no. The good news: It’s in Texas. A few more immigrants like him, and the Lone Star state will be the new Florida.

A little bit of bloggage today:

Watch the first clip. Are all pageant dads nancyboys? Is there some way to grow girl babies in wombtanks rather than make innocent women marry these guys?

You thought this blog had the stupidest comment about John Updike yesterday? Not even close.

Not much for you today, I know, and I apologize. But it’s off to Costco for me — we’re out of beer and wine. That’s a must-rectify situation in our house. So maybe later, eh?

Posted at 9:50 am in Current events, Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |

26 responses to “The big dry.”

  1. whitebeard said on January 29, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Maybe I can start the comments (if I can type faster) with the last paragraph in the New York Times about bonuses on Wall Street despite all the red ink “A poll of 900 financial industry employees released on Wednesday by, a job search Web site, found that while nearly eight out of 10 got bonuses, 46 percent thought they deserved more.”
    Sure, they deserve more, like tarring and feathering and being ridden out of town on the rails without the benefit of a cozy commuter train keeping them warm on these below freezing days.

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  2. mark said on January 29, 2009 at 10:23 am

    I just got the weather report for Eugene Oregon! You can, too. It’s only a click away on the nn.c sidebar ads.

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to treat those ads as a very low cost price of admission for all of the entertainment offered here? Or an experiment in how much we might be able to help out a friend. Speaking just for myself, I’d enjoy reading a post from our host about how much she is enjoying her new 5 series bmw courtesy of her wildly lucrative blog.

    Or, make it a tribute to how much you all hate bush, republicans, conservatives, me, etc. Invest a couple seconds in the sidebar ads for each ad hominem attack. We can measure the level of your disgust by it’s ability to bestow material goods on Nancy. Do you hate Rush enough to prove it by clicking your way to a new set of All-Clad cookware for nancy? (i’m an All-Clad snob; Calphalon is for whiny liberals who don’t know quality).

    As for me? Time to see if the weather has changed in Eugene.

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  3. mark said on January 29, 2009 at 10:28 am

    So now I’m wondering if I can get the sidebar ads to change to cookware by using All-Clad and Calphalon in my comments.

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  4. Randy said on January 29, 2009 at 10:28 am

    The Renee Zellweger movie was shot here in Winnipeg last winter, in the middle of a solid month long minus 30 deep freeze. Apparently Minnesota (the movie’s setting) did not provide sufficiently cold weather.

    Harry Connick is in it too, and he was interviewed by our local film critic, months after the production wrapped. When Harry learned where the guy was from, he said “you live there? Why do live there?” Normally a comment like that would expose the inferiority complex, and throw our town into a table-thumping furor, with people boycotting the film and all of his records, but Harry has enough charisma to slide it by.

    I still don’t have an answer for his question. Not complaining though.

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  5. Dexter said on January 29, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I have a friend in Eugene, he’s been there 35 years, left Rochester, NY and a good job at Kodak; he left in a used VW Beetle packed with his clothes and his stereo and a beautiful new girlfriend , heading for Eugene because the girlfriend had heard “people really love bluegrass music there…” and so, where else to go? He used his army-training to land a job as a hospital technician and only returned to Rochester for obligatory funerals.
    I believe the secret to comfortable winters is tied into the Pacific Ocean, vaguely. I spent a winter in the “Mediterranean climate” of the Monterey Bay area of Cal, and while January was very pleasant, February was very rainy, but spring and summer were delightful, and as a young man I was convinced I would live my life there, near the Pacific, but just one economic recession sent me scurrying back to Indiana, so it was.
    I cannot imagine how I would deal with the news my house would be without power until mid-February. This is what some people in Kentucky & Tennessee are facing.

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  6. alex said on January 29, 2009 at 11:05 am

    mark, the only sidebar ad I’ve seen today — and this is multiple times — is the one that says What’s Your Real Age? I have no idea wtf they’re peddling and no desire to find out.

    Here, let’s see if this helps: Calphalon, Calphalon, Calphalon. And I’ll throw in some La Creuset for good measure.

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  7. LA Mary said on January 29, 2009 at 11:06 am

    The pageant dad is remarkable. I was fixated on him yesterday for a good part of the afternoon. As a recruiter, I have some time on my hands in a business that’s laying people off. Luckily I am the “superuser” of the software HR uses, so I am busy taking care of software issues, but not too busy to skip pageant dads.
    Here in LA, you can wake up with dried out nasal passages all year round. In the winter it’s because you have the heat on at night, and in the summer it’s because there is no humidity. Except last summer, but that was an anomaly. I go through lots of saline spray and I buy my Aveeno at Costco in bulk.
    That Pacific cooling thing mentioned above only works if you don’t have any mountains between you and the ocean.

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  8. moe99 said on January 29, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Don’t forget that on the Pacific NW coast, you also have to get used to the grey and rain 24/7 for about 6 months. It can be quite wearying to the soul. And we’re getting many more freezes and snow than we used to.

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  9. brian stouder said on January 29, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Here is a story from Fort Wayne that brought tears to my lovely wife’s eyes – so she forwarded it to me (where it had the same effect).

    Like any worthwhile journalism, it is partly wonderful, but mostly terrible

    As y’all say, here’s the “lede”

    Rhonda Berger won’t talk about the phone call, other than to say, “I was on the phone with her the whole time.”

    followed by this news

    The call came early Friday from her daughter, who was trapped in a bathroom – smoke and gas attacking her lungs. Berger’s daughter was with her two roommates as the Willows of Coventry apartment around them burned so intensely the floor began to fail.

    And still – there IS a wonderful nugget within the story

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  10. mark said on January 29, 2009 at 11:17 am


    If that’s the only option you’ve got, your not clicking enough. Hugh Downs just offered me the secret to cleansing my arteries.

    Criticism of the house democrat democrat spending program is spreading. In the last 12 hours I’ve heard it trashed pretty thoroughly by Lou Dobbs, Jack welch, Kudlow and Cramer and even Chris Matthews. All had the same gripe- only 30 billion for roads, bridges and electric grid, 300 billion to expand existing social programs.

    I’ll do a three click penance for the last paragraph.

    brian- that was a nice story. I admire mom for not sharing the details.

    Edit: alex, most of the really wonderful, clickable ads appear on the home page (scroll down). By the time I move to the comments, the ads largely disappear. Perhaps poor product placement is all that stands between nancy and immense wealth?

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  11. nancy said on January 29, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Yeesh, that story was wrenching, Brian. Honestly, I don’t know if I’d like to have a cell-phone conversation with my daughter as she was losing consciousness for the last time, although I suppose, given the alternative, maybe I would.

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  12. harrison said on January 29, 2009 at 11:30 am


    here’s a link to a detroit story you might like. as of 11:30 a.m. today, i thought you might’ve cited it, but you hadn’t.

    please click here.

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  13. Dexter said on January 29, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Sad story, indeed, Brian. This gives me a chance to promote organ donor cards. I carry mine in a billfold window , on top of my driver’s license, so anyone opening my wallet sees it first, right on top. I have been carrying an organ donor card for decades, and I urge all to do likewise, if you have been procrastinating.

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  14. alex said on January 29, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Well, I’m concerned that if I click ads I’ll start receiving e-spam. Besides, I haven’t said anything about what sore losers the Republicans are and therefore have no need to do pennance.

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  15. Dexter said on January 29, 2009 at 11:37 am

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  16. mark said on January 29, 2009 at 11:45 am


    Clicking away hasn’t brought me any e-spam. Of course, if your fear of a little e-spam is enough to stand in the way of helping a friend, who desperately needs a humidifier, well, I suppose I understand. You probably support federal click-subsidy programs so long as you don’t have to dirty your in-box.

    Do you sneak into movie theaters too?

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  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 29, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    And don’t forget to tell your relatives — the reality is, if you have a card and a notarized letter folded into your wallet, but a spouse/parent/relative of almost any sort says in the ER “i don’t want them to cut up my kin,” it won’t happen.

    Wrenching story, but thanks for the nugget, Brian.

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  18. Adrianne said on January 29, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Renee’s new flick, “New in Town,” got zero – that’s not a typo – zero stars from the reviewer we use in the entertainment section. Our entertainment editor predicts that much like “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” Renee’s movie is review-proof for her fans. As he says: “It’s every Renee Zellweger movie ever made – she’s a fish out of water in some backwater town, she meets Harry Connick Jr., they hate each other at first, but then love blossoms.” Can’t wait to avoid this turkey!

    And Nance: Stock up on the adult beverages. It’s the only way to make it through the winter.

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  19. Catherine said on January 29, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    My google ads are still back on the hats. Calphalon, Calphalon, Calphalon. Cuisinart. Kitchen Aid.

    Not gonna click through to the phone call story. Focusing on the pageant parents. Remarkable is the word for it.

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  20. Colleen said on January 29, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Yeah, that organ donor story was something.

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  21. LA Mary said on January 29, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Mark, I think you should take Hugh Down’s advice. Everyone who knows him talks about how clean his arteries are.

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  22. LA Mary said on January 29, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Henckels, All Clad, Le Creuset, Staub.

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  23. mark said on January 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    I’ve heard that about hugh. I’m afraid his advice may have something to do with my colon, which is a click too far.

    I see the Turbo tax ad is back on the sidebar, taking up all the usual four spots. I assume they pay 4 times as much for the big ad. Doesn’t it follow that nancy should get credit for 4 clicks each time I (or you) visit Turbo tax?

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  24. Deborah said on January 29, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I didn’t mention this yesterday because everyone’s sick of hearing about layoffs. My company did the deed yesterday, the day after the rumors said they would. Unfortunately they let about 20% of the employees go and I wasn’t one of the unlucky ones. I was surprised that almost all of the layoffs were young, lower paid people, not the more experienced, higher paid ones I was expecting to get the ax. So I’m still there for awhile.
    All-clad, All-clad, All-clad, All-clad.

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  25. Catherine said on January 29, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Deborah, good that you escaped, bad that they let so many go. I hope you had wine and brownies to share, or better yet resume help and good leads. It helps mitigate the survivor’s guilt.

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  26. joodyb said on January 29, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    sigh of relief for you at least, Deborah. i know how you feel. there was a disturbance in the force tues with word of plans to merge two desks (the last raft of on-call agate clerks to be cut loose). allows us lucky survivors to stash acorns for another 3-6 months. there was that hastily called 530 meeting, though, and the adrenalin flowed for the rest of the shift.

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