The First Closet.

Michelle Obama — Shelley O to her fans, like Tom & Lorenzo — wore a bangin’ dress to last night’s state dinner (pix at the link). And, whoa, it was Alexander McQueen?!?!?? I am impressed. I like the way she lopped those sleeves off; a woman who does her weight-room work the way Shelley O does has every right to display the First Guns* at every opportunity. Like Tom and Lorenzo, I’m not wild about the one-shoulder thing, but Alexander McQueen’s aesthetic — or that of his successor, as McQueen checked himself out of the game last year — is all about not doing the expected thing. And she looks amazing. (*Witticism by T&L, in a previous post about Shelley O’s wardrobe.)

I know we went through the whole first-lady-and-her-designer-friends scandal once before, with Nancy Reagan, who admitted to accepting high-end gowns as gifts from her very dear air-kissing pals and not declaring it on her taxes. I assume Mrs. O pays something for her wardrobe, but I honestly don’t know what that might be — the economics of haute couture has never been clear to me. Generally speaking, the more famous the body in the gown, the less it pays, usually zero. One red-carpet photo of an Oscar nominee in a recognizable designer dress translates to hundreds sold at full price to the wives and mistresses of Russian oligarchs, Mexican drug lords and hedge-fund billionaires. But it would look bad, very very bad, if the FLOTUS was working the same deal as Sandra Bullock. What does a custom-altered Alexander McQueen gown even cost? I’ll just throw a wild guess out there: $15,000. If someone knows, chime in.

Which brings us to an interesting thing I found yesterday: The 10 most expensive gifts given to the president in 2009. Diplomacy is a tricky art; when heads of state meet, they are expected to tote some host-and-hostess gifts along, but many of these sound ghastly. Topping this list is, natch, Saudi Arabia:

“Large desert scene on a green veined marble base featuring miniature figurines of gold palm trees and camels; large gold medallion with the Royal seal in a green leather display box; large brass and glass clock by Jaeger-LeCoultre in a green leather display case.”

The Chinese were almost as bad:

“39” x 49′” wooden framed and matted fine silk embroidery depicting a portrait study of the First Family.”

The English and the Italians did better, and the Pope gave a whole gift bag, including a silver keychain. I’ll let you explore for yourself. Gawker mined the list for the cheapest gift, and came up with a $75 bottle of olive oil offered by Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. That’s a great deal more than I ever paid for olive oil in any quantity, so I’ll reserve judgment. But some of the gifts are wonderful, and if I were the president, I’d be tempted to load a few of them into the moving van when I leave, especially the “Orange Batavus ‘Holland on the Hudson’ bicycle with an extra bike seat,” from the Netherlands. The Dutch make wonderful bicycles.

And Silvio Berlusconi is a virtual department store of gifty wonderfulness. Alan will like this one: “Two men’s Belstaff jackets; one women’s Belstaff jacket.” You know who wears Belstaff jackets? George Clooney, that’s who.

Well, spelunk away. It’s an interesting document.

Before I leave, a correction/clarification from yesterday: Syphilis doesn’t cause hair loss, but a pre-antibiotics treatment for it (mercury) does. The merkin allegedly evolved to cover the effects of hair loss, as well as to cover the odd chancre. You can find any number of sources for this sort of thing, but as always, the Straight Dope is a nice one-stop choice.

I never knew anyone who admitted to having syphilis, although there was one fellow in my circle who picked up gonorrhea, from a brief fling with a young widow, who was working out her grief through promiscuity. I hope he learned his lesson, although he never visited a doctor and self-medicated with an antibiotic course smuggled out the back door of a pharmacy where he knew the owner.

What I learned today before breakfast: “A night in the arms of Venus leads to a lifetime on Mercury.” Ahem:

Though no proper studies were done to prove it, mercury may have been an effective, if rather brutal, way of treating syphilis. It was administered in multiple ways, including by mouth and by rubbing it on the skin.

One of the more gruesome methods was fumigation, in which the patient/victim was placed in a closed box with their head sticking out. Mercury was placed in the box and a fire was started under the box which caused the metal to vapourise.

Aren’t you glad you live in the modern age?

Work beckons. More coffee beckons. Thursday — the most sleep-deprived day of my week.

Posted at 9:48 am in Current events |
 

61 responses to “The First Closet.”

  1. Snarkworth said on January 20, 2011 at 10:09 am

    a $75 bottle of olive oil offered by Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. That’s a great deal more than I ever paid for olive oil in any quantity, so I’ll reserve judgment.

    Well, it was Extra 72-Virgin.

  2. nancy said on January 20, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Thanks for finding the joke I was too dull-witted to see.

  3. coozledad said on January 20, 2011 at 10:21 am

    They prescribed mercury for pretty much everything back then. If they weren’t bleeding you, they were flushing your bowels out with calomel (a salt of mecury). Most people who could afford a physician also developed soft teeth and caries from mercury poisoning, when they weren’t suffering from anemia.

  4. Snarkworth said on January 20, 2011 at 10:23 am

    You’re EVOO so welcome, Nance.

  5. Mark P. said on January 20, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Mercury is a poison, but some modern treatments for diseases involve the use of poisons. Chemotherapy, for example. Gold has been used for treatment of arthritis, despite being potentially toxic.

    This is somewhat off topic, but speaking of the odd things people used to ingest or otherwise treat themselves with, did you know that going back hundreds of years ago a popular tooth-whitening mouthwash was urine?

  6. Connie said on January 20, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I remember the bottle of locally pressed olive oil you saw at Eastern Market. Wasn’t that worth $75??

  7. basset said on January 20, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Urine? Their own, or someone else’s?

    And just by coincidence Mrs. B. and I ran across this poster at one of our local parks yesterday:

    http://www.nashville.gov/parks/docs/historic/ftnegley/2011NightWithVenus.pdf

  8. LAMary said on January 20, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Urine was used as a skin softener too. I remember a line in a Ben Johnson play about women pissing on their hands to make them soft. They still use urea in skin lotion.

  9. coozledad said on January 20, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Well old Karl “watersports” Rove ought to be as soft as a newborn’s ass.

  10. Bill said on January 20, 2011 at 11:30 am

    “They still use urea in skin lotion.”

    And in anti-dandruff shampoo.

  11. brian stouder said on January 20, 2011 at 11:40 am

    and in diesel exhaust fluid, but we digress!

  12. alex said on January 20, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I understand that male cat piss is used in perfume.

  13. brian stouder said on January 20, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    “Tommy #1”

  14. CTJohn said on January 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    A number of MLB players believe that urine actually toughens the skin – http://www.slate.com/id/2100652/

    Seeing that I never advanced beyond JV ball, I never had the desire to find out.

  15. MichaelG said on January 20, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I just took a look at Pioneer Woman’s blog as I do every week or so. She has a book out and is giving away five copies. The post had over Twenty Two Thousand comments. 22,000. Holy smoke. It was yesterday’s post. With that kind of circulation or whatever you call it in the blogosphere she must be worth something to somebody. I’d be after her to endorse whatever I was selling.

  16. Suzanne said on January 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    On the mercury front, I remember the fun we had as kids when the thermometer broke and we pushed the little mercury ball around the kitchen table. We also routinely used Mercurochrome or Merthiolate for scrapes and I think both contained traces of mercury. Not to mention, they stung like h*** when applied.

  17. Connie said on January 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I quit reading the comments at Pioneer Woman some time ago. They all say, “sounds great, I can’t wait to make it.” Actually I quit reading the blog as well. But did buy the first book.

  18. LAMary said on January 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    “…Well old Karl “watersports” Rove ought to be as soft as a newborn’s ass.”

    To me he’s always looked like he is all soft. Like he’s melting.

  19. Colleen said on January 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I check PW for recipes, which are unfailingly good, but yeah, the comments are a little bleah.

  20. ROgirl said on January 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Connie, those are the comments on just about every cooking blog I’ve looked at. Incredibly lame and annoying.

  21. Scout said on January 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Blog comments are notoriously in(s)ane, this place being a notable exception. A few others I will bother with are Edroso’s and TBogg’s.

    Speaking of TBogg, today he refererred to She Who Doth Protest Too Much as She Who Won’t Go the Fuck Away.

    I like “First Guns”, however, I’m sure it won’t be long before the term is brought up on Glenn Beck as proof of the equivalency of violent rhetoric between the right and left.

  22. moe99 said on January 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    We had to destroy the village to save it. Shades of Vietnam coming back to haunt us:

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/01/petraeus-team-taliban-made-us-wipe-village-out/

  23. Dan B said on January 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    My favorite bit about the use of mercury for syphilis: under the theory of the four humors (the leading theory of disease at the time- illness is caused by an excess of one of the four types of fluid; it was the justification for bleeding as a treatment), syphilis was a result of an excess of phlegm. One of the symptoms of mercury poisoning? Excessive drooling. Thus, proof that it was working.

    I also remember reading somewhere, though I don’t know how trustworthy it is, that in ancient Rome, Spanish urine was especially desired for tooth-cleaning purposes. A big part of it was likely that it took so long for the urine to get there that it was very concentrated and therefore more effective.

  24. Judybusy said on January 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    A couple I know called emergency services during our big blizzard in December because a mercury thermometer broke. The truck came out and cleaned it up (they have young kids.) They were told it was a good thing to call, as mercury can vaporize and get into the air. I thought it was a huge overraction–“Get a wet paper towel,” I thought!

  25. LAMary said on January 20, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I like the comments in cooking blogs that go like this:

    “great recipe! I tried it and we loved it! I substituted pork for the chicken and potatoes for the rice and onions for the garlic and I left out the peppers and beans and I did it in the crock pot instead of in a saute pan.”

  26. Sue said on January 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Michelle dresses beautifully and wears designer clothes. And her kids wear J. Crew. I believe a congressional investigation is in order because, ya know, Sarah Palin was mercilessly victimized when she borrowed a couple of things once. And since our First Lady is now murdering pedestrians by health initiative mind control, the only color she should be wearing is prison orange. She is evil, I tell you. Fabulous but evil.

  27. adrianne said on January 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    LA Mary, you’ve identified one of my pet peeves – on cooking sites like Epicurious.com, you always get these commenters who change every dang thing in the recipe and still rate it. Useless!

  28. Judybusy said on January 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I made a chicken scallopini with madeira, cream and hazelnuts I found on Epicurious. One commenator wrote, “I made this recipe using soy creamer and Gardein chick’n.” I don’t even know what the latter is, but I knew not to go on reading that review. (By the way, we love the recipe, as written!)

  29. paddyo' said on January 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Why I Like NN.C, Thursday, Jan. 20 p.m. edition:
    The Extra 72-Virgin Spanish Urine Mercury and Venus First Guns, that’s why . . .
    Oh, and the great Recipe Rants, too.

  30. MaryRC said on January 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Treatment by mercury led to horrible suffering. Louisa May Alcott eventually died from the effects of mercury poisoning after she was treated for typhoid fever when she was a Civil War nurse. One of the symptoms is depression and you can tell that some of her last books such as “Little Men” were written by someone suffering from depression, especially by her self-portrayal in these books.

    I agree with Tom & Lorenzo about the straps and the wrap with that Alexander McQueen dress but I didn’t like the original sleeves as shown in the sketch either — too Princess-Di-puffy-wedding-dressy. Other than that, stunning – both the dress and the FLOTUS.

  31. Jolene said on January 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Can’t resist saying, “Me too! Me too!” re the people who completely revise the recipe and then contend that it either is or isn’t wonderful. I mean, jeez, get your own site, people.

  32. MaryRC said on January 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I was amazed when I saw that the Pioneer Woman home-schools her 4 children. So, she maintains that cooking blog with a different recipe every day, writes and promotes her books, contributes to another blog (Tasty Kitchens), in effect running a full-time business from home — and she home-schools. I’m skeptical — either she has help in the kitchen or the schoolroom that she just never happens to mention or else she’s Pioneer Superwoman. I do like the recipes though. Sometimes I go to that recipe for Crash Hot Potatoes just to look at it.

  33. paddyo' said on January 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    BTW, in the spirit of Boardwalk Empire‘s disfigured sharpshooter and his Phantom of the Opera-style mask, Roger Ebert now has a new chin . . .

  34. Dexter said on January 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    A poor man in my neck of the woods over in Indiana when I was a boy refused to take his kids to doctors…period.
    My friend , a son of the guy, told of childhood earaches and his dad’s remedy: pee in a tin can. Let it set overnight. Warm it on the stove to body temperature, and pour drops in your affected ear. It worked. Who’d a thunk it?

  35. Jolene said on January 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Speaking of new body parts, turns out whoever (maybe Sue?) said, in our previous discussion, that Steve Jobs got his new liver faster than most of us would by gaming the system was exactly right. Turns out he scoped out all the registries and found that it would be to his advantage to register in Tennessee, where the line was much shorter than in California. According to Saletan, his ability to guarantee that he could pay out of pocket for travel, the surgery, and follow-up care would have further bumped him up the list. Can’t really blame the guy for doing whatever he could for a chance at extending his life, but chalk up another item on the list of reasons why life’s not fair.

  36. Sue said on January 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Nope, wasn’t me. I have been wondering though, did they change the guidelines regarding distribution? Seems to me there was some controversy because (I’m not sure I’m remembering this correctly) the system was set up regionally and the proposed change was national, so the (supposed) most deserving patient in the country, not the region, got the next available organ. The change would have benefited regions with fewer donors at the expense of regions with more donors.
    The little girl who died in the Tucson shootings became a donor, by the way; her corneas went to two children, I understand.

  37. Mark P. said on January 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    paddyo’, I admire Roger Ebert. He’s a damned strong man.

  38. Dexter said on January 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Well, ten years ago I bought a bottle of Luis Herrera EVOO, “Almazara” (http://www.cooperativasanisidro.com/ing/NuestraActividad/almazara.php) it’s called, 500 ml for about $38, at Zingerman’s in A2.
    I used it like the Romans in HBO’s “Rome”…poured a flat bowl about a fourth full and dipped crusty bread hunks into it. It was great. I never splurged like that again. Ah, the good old days of overtime pay.

    The Dutch and their bikes…I would just like to go and ride bikes with the natives.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HgLqts3qJs

  39. Jolene said on January 20, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Sue, a bit of googling tells me that registries for people seeking organ donations are linked to transplant hospitals, and the distribution system is national. When an organ becomes available, computer systems designed to achieve the best match are used to determine where the organ will go. Why is the registry local and the distribution system national? I don’t know.

  40. alex said on January 20, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Pee as a tooth whitener? Guess that would defeat the purpose of cleaning the toilet with a cheating lover’s Oral B.

  41. prospero said on January 20, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    I’m the grampa here, so you all get off my lawn. If I get some diretions from y’all that know how, I’ll show you pictures of Cole (family name) Matthew (his dad and my deceased brother), and my precious daughter, who’d revolt if she thought I said that. But she’s awe-inspiring. And gorgeous.

    Meantime, Merkins? Never seen one, that I know of , there is no way I could be sure of this one way or another But if a merkin comes by, buy it you must and Mike motorboated it might feel like the real thing, wherever that might be, depending which side you walking.

    I think it was one of the Jeff’s that goaded me about W and the purloined elections. Were they not? They clearly were. Some day, Blackwell will be tortured within an ounce of serving up his Trix, and he will admit how he stole Sandusky County and how the Supreme Court bacon strips gave away the inhogurztion of GW in the first place. These assholes stole the government and enriched themselves. HW did it first. It’s called Iran’Contra, and Rummy and Dickless were in it up to their eyeba;;ll. So there, Ya Happy. There was still an asshole that ran two wars off the books to enrich Halliburton stockholders, can’t imagine what heart patient that might be. Money just disappeared into the Halliburton maw.

  42. prospero said on January 20, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Alex. That is rude/ Pick yourself up, start all over again. Sorry but home school these days amounts to plopping the kids in a cloud of cigarette smoke and battering them with Glenn Beckk. You have got to be kidding me. Increasingly, parents are fucking nitwits. Michelle Bachman claims to have home-schhooled her children. Riiiight. You lying piece of shit. Educated about what. She is a moron that don’t know diddley. What did she teach those kids. Home=schooling is indoctrination and these kids turn out “Village of the Damned” strange. Pologise if I offended anybody. but , you know, the President was brainwashed as a young muslim fellow, very clever and very suggestible. Grew up to be the Manchurian President.

    What Republicans present since Sister Sarah is toast?

    Michelle fucking Bachman. Marginallay prettier *they both look rode hard and put up wet), far loonier, if that is actually possible. I remember when Republican women all looked like Bevo. Now they all look like Berlusconi fodder.

  43. brian stouder said on January 20, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Prospero – that last link of yours is well worth the click, if only for the photo of bug-eyed Bachman; it looks like, at that very instant, she is experiencing the “rip it off quick” method of merkin removal.

    Aside from that, it sounds like you’re a very proud grandpa. My bet is, lots of kids won’t get off your lawn, expressly because they want to hear your colorful stream of oaths

  44. Snarkworth said on January 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Brian, that ripping image generated a lol!

  45. Dexter said on January 20, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Ebert looks distinguished, and I miss Half-A-Sniper-Attack-Face from Boardwalk Empire.

    I am just one lotto hit away from leaving this frozen wasteland of NW Ohio…no work for working-age people here as this town looks more and more like a frozen “The Last Picture Show”‘s Anarene, Texas. But since I am retired anyway, that isn’t my main reason, it’s this damn ice and snow…it’s nearly impossible to even walk my dog in the yard, let alone the super-slippery sidewalk. And now we are in for near-zero degree nights for the next 5 nights, at least.

  46. prospero said on January 20, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Brian. Everbody is gettin’ Off my lawnI realixe O’, and paid for these days. I mean Social Security. Republocans want to rob us of the cash we put in. They want to blame this on Dempcoats/ They are major league liars. Somebody please, point out the last time a Republican politician actually told the truth about anything> TA’dum. Ain’t gonna happen. Just like Happy Jack, they lie. lie. lie. lie. That’s the media difference. Fox just makes shit up. MSNBC sticks with shit that people actually said and things that really happened. O’trillt didn’t do that loofah shit. John Stewalt tretjfo;rt made tjat up. He’s not that funny, Nd that guy is so disgusting it’s almost impossible to comprehend. O’Reilly sisn
    r thind it was vunny wnouvh ro cLl Chelsea C;omton the Shite Hose Dog/ Sos rhwaw aho;wa wvwe lool in mirroe? Cic rhey ever xinzider rhey qwew feoan mwn shw qas kis? no? Zo, you are zassholra.anpthher try.I’ll win, bit I sure don’t care onw qay or another/

  47. Dave said on January 20, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Ah, Dexter, your words make me at least momentarily pleased that I’m sitting down in Florida for awhile. Just breaking into this retirement stuff.

    As for the dismal future, our youngest graduates from IU in the spring and we’re wondering where he might end up, we’re certain it won’t be northeast Indiana.

  48. John G. Wallace said on January 20, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Here’s a contest that Nancy’s readers can get behind and take hold of. Visit FeedbackFortWayne.org and lend your support to naming the downtown boondogle known formerly as Renaissance Square, at 200 East Berry Street, after the Hon. Harry Baals.
    Todays young people don’t know enough about Harry Baals, and this tribute would both honor Fort Wayne’s longest serving mayor, while telling the nation, “Fort Wayne loves Harry Baals.”
    I can’t take credit for the name, but I tip my proverbial hat at all the Baals backers who came before me.
    And this isn’t off topic – this is what happens when you played with mercury as a child.

  49. joodyb said on January 20, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    i am by nature suspicious of industry such as the Pioneer Woman’s. i can appreciate her culinary facility and have tried a few of her recipes. frankly, i probably feel about her the way many people feel about nigella – it’s cooking with a schtick, so to speak. they both have so many many irons in so many fires.
    i seem to tolerate nigella’s better than most. like my husband says, she’s got it goin’ on. by which we mean two entirely different things.

  50. Crazycatlady said on January 20, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    My father suffered kidney failure at the age of 43. He was sick a lot when he was on dialysis. He waited almost a year for a kidney, and at the age of 44 he was lucky, received a good one and was given a second chance. However, the early generation of transplant anti-rejection drugs were harsh, and caused him to need both hips replaced and eventually he had a heart attack. A year later he died at 53 of a heart attack. Drugs today are much improved, and techniques have been refined so that it is very common now. I carry my organ donor card wherever I go–it’s on the back of my license!!

  51. MichaelG said on January 21, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Same thing here in CA. It says “Donor” on my license. It’s an easy block to check on the app. Costs me nothing. Unfortunately, anything I have to offer is gonna to be pretty high miles when I’m done with it. Certainly nobody’s going to get any bargains when they part me out.

    I’ve liked P Woman for her portrayals of contemporary ranch life. The rest you can have. It’s a bit, well, too much for me. And like Prospero, I’m deeply suspicious of home schooling.

    I’ve always kind of liked Nigella. Her recipes are so-so but I think she’s quite an attractive woman. Some might think her a tad full figured, but she’s most certainly an unabashed, card carrying woman and I like that.

    My current lust object is Laura Calder who does French stuff on the Cooking Channel. Another genuine female. Maybe her act is a bit coquettish but she’s got me hooked. Whew!

  52. basset said on January 21, 2011 at 12:24 am

    Checked my license and re-signed the donor line when the topic first came up a few days ago – signature had rubbed off, may I suggest that everyone else take a look at theirs just in case?

    And Prospero, what in the hell are you ingesting? Not sure I want any, but I’d like to know what it is.

  53. Jolene said on January 21, 2011 at 12:47 am

    In my googling earlier today, I found that some countries have opt-out systems–that is, it’s assumed that you’ll be an organ donor unless you opt out–and that such systems do, indeed, result in higher transplantation rates. Our system, of course, is opt-in. That is, you or someone authorized to speak for you has to give permission to harvest your organs.

    One more morbid detail: A significant number of donated organs come from suicides. From Wikipedia

    People committing suicide have a higher rate of donating organs than average. One reason is lower negative response or refusal rate by the family and relatives, but the explanation for this remains to be clarified.[42] In addition, donation consent is higher than average from people committing suicide.[43]

    Attempted suicide is a common cause of brain death (3.8%), mainly among young men.[42] Organ donation is more common in this group compared to other causes of death. Brain death may result in legal death, but still with the heart beating, and with mechanical ventilation all other vital organs may be kept completely alive and functional,[44] providing optimal opportunities for organ transplantation.

  54. joe kobiela said on January 21, 2011 at 2:51 am

    I’m sitting in Chicago waiting on a part to take to Des Moine. Just wanted to say it’s FREAKING COLD.
    Pilot Joe

  55. Deborah said on January 21, 2011 at 7:24 am

    It’s 0 according to my iPhone this morning, Joe.

  56. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 21, 2011 at 7:36 am

    To paraphrase John Blutarsky as to organ donation, “Don’t cost nuthin’.”

  57. brian stouder said on January 21, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Speaking of Chicago, here’s a fun fact I would have missed:

    The last time the Green Bay Packers played the Chicago Bears in a playoff game was in 1941 (before Pearl Harbor)

    And the coaches on the field were named George Halas and Curly Lambeau.

    I would have missed that on a quiz

  58. Deborah said on January 21, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Brian, it’s going to be crazy this weekend in Chicago, temps in the single digits, I wouldn’t want to be at Soldier Field in the wide open for anything.

  59. Julie Robinson said on January 21, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Harry Baals Government Center is currently #1: http://www.feedbackfortwayne.org/forums/96987-name-our-building

  60. Mary said on January 21, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Nancy, read this morning cup o’ satire and thought of you:

    http://www.theawl.com/2011/01/the-most-emailed-new-york-times-article-ever#comments

    As usual, the action is in the comments:

    Hamilton: Haha this is awesome. Ten years from now: “Tell them how you got your job at the Times, Dave. Classic story.”

  61. Dave Kobiela said on January 21, 2011 at 10:03 am

    It is “0” here in Landstuhl too, Joe. Of course Celsius “0” isn’t anything like Chi-Town “0”. Great visit with the Majors Ketz and especially the grandkids. Reading Nn.c is a nice way to stay in touch with the good ol’USA. Appreciate it!