Contents under pressure.

Note to self and all others: The turkey brining was definitely worth it. With so few people to feed (four), I haven’t done a whole turkey at Thanksgiving in a while, and even this year’s eight-pound breast was more-more-more than enough. But breasts love to dry out, and all the solutions I’ve tried so far — cooking in a bag, basting like a madwoman — have been only mildly successful in keeping the thing juicy through roasting, resting and through to the table. But the brine did the trick, and was only slightly more work. I put it in the solution at 2 p.m. Wednesday (in a heavy-duty plastic bag, in an ice-filled cooler, in the garage overnight), took it out at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, soaked it in plain water for a bit, tossed it in the oven with the usual preparations minus the salt, and noticed a huge difference. Even the leftovers are still moist. So. Brining: Gonna do that one again.

The birthday was nice, too. I did more or less nothing, which felt like a huge gift from the universe. Went for a walk, bought a nice piece of fish, read a little, wrote a little, napped a bit. Made my own birthday dinner — trout almondine and sauteed spinach, perfect after all the starch and gluten of the previous day, and opened my present. A pressure cooker! Just what I asked for! I intend to spend the rest of the grim weather making a lot of beans and soups and dals and other stuff in it.

Examining the packaging, it occurred to me I could never be a salesman, or perhaps even a marketer. Pressure cookers have been around since your grandmother was capable of climbing a stepladder to clean soup off the ceiling, although they’re much improved; the only reason I wanted one now is that I’ve been assured they no longer spew soup on the ceiling. But guess what the manual touted? They’re “green.” The company is committed to low-impact cookery. And so on. And why would that be? Because pressure cookers consume less energy. You can do in 10, 20 or 30 minutes what would have taken four hours at a simmer on a stove. Oh. Of all the ways I use energy and resources, cooking is one I’ve given approximately 0.0 minutes of thought or concern to. I feel worse about the brining bag than I do whatever energy it took to roast the turkey. But it’s what sells today. Eco-friendliness is to our decade what oat bran was to the ’80s.

The rest of the weekend was a cruise. We tried to see “Take Shelter,” and couldn’t work it into the schedule (far west side, only two screenings a day). “Hugo” was sold out in all but the 2D theaters, and if I’m going to see Marty’s first and probably only 3D feature in the theater, I’m going to see it how Marty intended. So “The Descendants” it was, yet more torture inflicted upon my daughter, who always notes, when we’re choosing our seats for “The King’s Speech” or “True Grit” or whatever, “Everyone here is old.” “That’s because there aren’t any explosions or vampires,” I told her. The film was rated R for language, which I thought would be for two or three F-bombs, but it turned out there were many moments when the air nearly turned blue from the potty-talk, mostly from the young actors. Although, I will grant you, it was done well. There’s a scene where the older sister warns her younger sister away from a bad classmate, and does it with an escalating tirade ending with “SHE’S A TWAT!” that I enjoyed very much. I thought, leaving, that the film was overpraised, but the further I get from it, the more I find myself thinking about it, so it might just be that my critical muscles are underdeveloped. It was certainly a worthy holiday movie. Many closeups of the Cloonester. He was wearing eyeliner.

I’m teaching a colleague’s feature-writing class today, so I have to make haste this morning. Some bloggage:

Caliban’s right: Sitcoms are officially over, so sayeth the New York Times.

I don’t know about you, but I could watch these turkey-attack videos all day. Hilarious. Why doesn’t anyone open an umbrella or wave their arms or just stop running?

For all you writers, a long Q-and-A with Hank, with a lot of smart insights about newspapers and working for them and the internet and everything else:

…we’re going through a big renaissance now. And it just destroys everything I love. Newspapers, for one. Magazines. The notion of paying a writer for her work. The notion of paying editors. Book releases, book signings, book parties, and worst of all, the loss of bookstores. No longer being able to see what someone on the subway is reading, because even book covers are gone now. It took the music industry, too — our record stores, our record collections and the idea that everyone makes out and/or gets laid to one hit song in the same summer. It’s taking away shopping malls, so it’s taking away something I consider key to the American adolescent experience.

…I’m entering a cranky cuss phase. I’m entitled to that, because I have rolled with a lot of change. But for now, I’M STICKING TO MY WAYS. I’m sticking with my dumbphone. I’m not joining Google+. I will tweet if I want and I will Facebook if I want but I’m not going to meld them into some social reader account that synchs me up to instantaneousness and lets the world know what 10 articles I just clicked on and what bar I just walked into. I’m still without an e-book reader or a tablet. I like books; I like they way they smell and the way they feel and how I feel when I buy one and have it with me. I still read my newspaper in the morning. I refuse to check my phone for texts while having dinner with a friend. I’m sticking to my ways as they currently are in 2011. I will be exactly where we agreed to meet at the time we agreed to meet, and if you start sending me last-minute texts with amendments to the plan and GPS coordinates of the new location and a change to the cast of who is joining us, I will probably just bag it and go home, because I still believe that a plan is a plan, and that plans are worth sticking to.

But such a fun cranky cuss!

Welcome back to the working week. Let’s get to it.

Posted at 6:11 am in Media, Movies, Same ol' same ol' |

59 responses to “Contents under pressure.”

  1. brian stouder said on November 28, 2011 at 6:49 am

    If you could print that excerpt from Hank onto a teeshirt, I’d buy it and wear it, proudly

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 28, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Hank gets in a nice reuse of Shirky’s “Stop taking the renaissance personally.” This is a hard sell, whether to my journo friends in one direction, or my pastor friends in the other. I think traditional style worship & mainline Protestantism for full-time ordained clergy is like the 6:30 network news or the daily paper — something that’s not going away entirely, but they’re not destinations either headed towards or aspired to by the bulk of the culture anymore, and as a secure source of employment, you might want to look at other options. A smaller number of fulltime professionals working harder to make (relatively) less, and lots of narrow-gauge opportunities to work in those vineyards if you have another way of paying the mortgage & covering the health insurance.

    I, for one, will not miss shared memories around songs like “Undercover Angel” & “Afternoon Delight.” But his point remains — cultural benchmarks are changing. No one remembers their first box social auction over their gal’s roast chicken & mashed potatoes anymore, either.

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  3. 4dbirds said on November 28, 2011 at 7:08 am

    I love my pressure cooker. Yummy lentil soup in 8 minutes.

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  4. Julie Robinson said on November 28, 2011 at 8:44 am

    One last turkey story: we were going to a sister-in-laws, and she called my husband to figure out what size turkey to buy. He worked at Jamison’s meat market for several years during high school and college so he’s considered the expert in the family.

    Okay, says Dennis, six adults plus a picky nine year-old, figure half a pound per person, you need a three pound turkey. Maybe it’s a measure of the stress around this place lately, but we’ve been muttering “three pound turkey” to peals of laughter for a week.

    And speaking of the renaissance, I just heard a radio story about a movie theater that encourages smart phone use during the movies and has even added a special antenna. They’re going for the youth market. Aieee!

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 28, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I actually got to attend worship Sunday instead of preaching (supply work pretty much vanishes during Advent unless it’s an emergency situation), and listened to a good pastor, a bit older than me, tell a story about a couple he watched in a restaurant recently, obviously a first date, after sitting and chatting a bit, getting to place their orders — and then both turning intently to their smart phones for the next ten minutes until their first stage of their orders came. “There won’t be a second date for that couple,” the preacher said, going on to make a perfectly reasonable case for “attentiveness” during the Advent season, to make the time meaningful.

    But my wife and I both agreed: he’s wrong. That’s rude behavior for a couple of our age, but for two twenty/thirty-somethings, that’s pretty much a norm. I don’t have to like it to see that it’s not regarded the same way . . . and we both noticed the largely twenty-to-thirty-something congregation (this was a relatively new start, contemporary worship style church) didn’t react much to his “no second date” comment, which fortunately wasn’t essential to his message as it went forward.

    Happy to hear I’m wrong, but I just don’t think younger couples see “checking e-mail/texts” the same way. Multi-tasking is how they live.

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  6. Suzanne said on November 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

    So true, Jeff TMMO. At the family T-day dinner, our daughter brought a guy friend (it’s complicated!)and in trying to identify a particular niece, his description was “Oh. The one that was on her phone…all the time.” I work with a number of younger women and those phones are never out of hand’s reach. Ever. It bothers me, but that is the way they live.

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  7. brian stouder said on November 28, 2011 at 9:36 am

    So on Friday, all the women loaded up and headed for the State theater in downtown Logansport; they were going to watch vampires, while Chloe and her young cousin and I went into the adjoining theater for Happy Feet. The State theater is a funny old place; the ticket window points out onto the sidewalk, and if the movie begins at 3, the window won’t open until 2:45 (at the soonest).

    And, they offer free refills on the popcorn….but the concession stand closes within minutes after your movie starts, so the trick is to buy a bucket of popcorn, and bring lunch sacks. Then, you can load the bags and give those to the kids, and catch a refill before the stand shuts down (in the event, these tactics worked quite well for me).

    Later in the movie, Chloe had to visit the powder room, and when I escorted her there, we made a point of not laughing when we saw a guy (whose wife had dragged him to the vampire movie), empty bucket in hand, mumbling barely suppressed invective at the closed and abandoned concession stand!

    Anyway, Happy Feet was an interesting movie which pleased the kids and made me tilt my head I time or two. There are a few semi-unspoken allusions to global warming, and there is a suppressed(?) gay krill couple and a trans-species(?) ‘flamboyant’ penguin (who has the ability to fly)….

    Really, I didn’t fully understand the movie, but it contains many laughs and made the young folks happy, so there’s that.

    edit: Jeff – I saw a sign outside a church, right near a major-major shopping center here in Fort Wayne, that caused a double-take. The message was something like:Oh Lord, please forgive us our shallow “thankfulness”. Made me chuckle; a bit of conviction on the marquee

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  8. john G. Wallace said on November 28, 2011 at 9:54 am

    As the father of a 21-year old and the host of last year’s spring break for a few of her friends I witnessed their phone dependency close up. If they watch a movie they are all texting each other – you can tell from the laughter. They can be 6-8 feet apart but instead of verbally discussing plans for the day they text each other and if one of the crew is discontent you’ll find out through FB or twitter first.
    I would have gone to a breast only Thanksgiving five years ago as I hate dealing with a carcass on the carving board but a few members of my family prefer the legs and thigh.
    I wonder how long the big meal tradition will survive – with strong retail numbers (up 25% from 2011) we can expect to see Black Friday creep well into Thursday. Not in my house! My planned response will be to shift the meal to Friday if that happens.

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  9. Connie said on November 28, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Julie, half pound person is what I was taught is the portion to purchase when purchasing BONELESS meat.

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  10. Dexter said on November 28, 2011 at 9:59 am

    The first smartphone was created nineteen years ago and in a few short years there was enough R & D to get them to the public.
    I remember a piece I read somewhere about a man who was transferred to the Bay Area and had to ride a ferry to get to work every day. He was in culture shock because every person on the boat spent the entire trip on their phones, arranging cocktail hours and dinner plans. He was used to riding the LIRR into Manhattan , and at that exact time , people still folded NYT pages half-longways as they read the paper and weren’t jibber-jabbering up a cacophony.
    From what I understand, nowadays subway riders , as well as Long Island Railroad commuters mostly stare into e-readers and also watch TV shows on their “phones”.
    So I took this as a history lesson…in this instance, from that forgotten writer’s p.o.v. , in this case it wasn’t the coasts leading the way and the center of the country playing catch-up, for the smartphone revolution, the west coast led the way.

    Mom used a pressure cooker frequently when I was a kid in the 1950’s, mostly I recall her cooking beef and pork roasts in it.
    What a distinctive sound it made, the steam just a-rocking the valve top, hissing away.
    We had a stainless steel one, but they make aluminum pressure cookers as well. I cannot imagine an aluminum pressure cooker…aluminum cookware is so malleable and is actually marketed as “cheap cookware” usually.

    We had two deep fried turkeys in Columbus. It was the best , most moist, tastiest turkey I ever had except for the smoked turkey we had one year.

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  11. Dexter said on November 28, 2011 at 10:08 am

    brianstouder: I gave up on movie theaters when they took out their popcorn machines and trucked in giant transparent bags of warehouse pre-popped corn and sold that to the movie-goers.
    If the Logansport theater pops their own, hold onto that dream.

    nance’s movie is blowing up in the critical world…many are giving it “best movie, 2011” nods. The shortie TV-ad trailer does it no good, but people are getting past that it seems.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on November 28, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Connie, I think you’re right about that, it was just the imagery of carving a three pound turkey. Maybe you had to be there.

    We caught a Netflix last night, the old-fashioned mail-in kind on a disc. There was an ad for ripping movies onto your computer “so you could watch one on your phone at the beach”. Because that is why you go to the beach, to watch a movie on your phone. Move over, grampa, I can’t see the screen!

    John, I share your horror about shopping starting on Thanksgiving. Last year our daughter was working a crappy retail job while waiting for a pastoral call. She had to be there at something like 3 in the morning and pretty much worked the entire weekend. For every happy family out shopping, there is another unhappy one missing its members on the holiday. The Almighty Dollar wins, people lose.

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  13. Dorothy said on November 28, 2011 at 10:38 am

    But I want to know if KATE liked “The Descendants”?? I don’t know why, I just would like to know. With all that blue talk I’m guessing she didn’t mind it a bit. We rented “Crazy, Stupid Love” which was okay but nearly as wonderful as I was led to believe from all the reviews when it came out. Also saw “Super 8” which was not so super in our opinion. The train crash sequence was pretty cool but the story was simply meh.

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  14. Deborah said on November 28, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Totally off topic but does anyone know when Game of Thrones will be available on DVD? I was hoping to get it before going to NM on the 17th but I see via the internets that it’s not out yet but that you can pre-order it. No info about when it’s going to be released though.

    Pressure cookers have always scared the bejeebus out of me.

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  15. MichaelG said on November 28, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Love those turkey vids. When I lived in Auburn we used to see turkey gangs all the time like those in the last two vids. I’ve waded through them and shooed them off many times and none of them ever attacked me. Just lucky I guess. A gang like that can really tear up a lawn. A neighbor put in new sod for their front lawn and a few days later a gang showed up and started scratching at their new sod. She got so pissed that she went inside and got a shot gun and killed a half dozen of them. Then they ate them. I’ve never thought wild turkeys looked particularly appetizing. Kinda long and stringy looking to me. The neighbors reported they weren’t too bad.

    Airports are great places to observe phone behavior. There’s the important guy who is “solving” problems with his voice turned up to nine. There are the ones who call from their seat on the plane to report to somebody that they are on a plane and about to take off and then the ones who are on the phone reporting their landing even before the thrust reversers are stowed. It sometimes seems like everybody is walking along with their head down communing with their phone and I don’t see how they avoid all running into each other or walking into walls.

    My five year old dumb phone – one of those bend it in half sorts that has no apps and does nothing but act as a phone – is dying. It will barely hold a charge any more. I had to do something, so on the advice of thousands I ordered an I-Phone. I ordered it from Verizon and they gave me a hundred off the published price and some other concessions and I guess it will be an OK deal. It should arrive in mid Dec. We’ll see. I guess if all those other people can figure out how to use it I can.

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  16. John G. Wallace said on November 28, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Am I the only one who hates this obligatory and pointless holiday story each year? Where is PETA when you really wish they were around… Someone should onject to all the partridges being plucked from their pear trees – or is it pear trees uprooted bird and all?

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  17. Catherine said on November 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Saw The Descendants, too. Payne’s movies seem to have at least one good post-movie quotable line — in Sideways it was, “I am not drinking any f**king Merlot!” In this one, I think the full speech is “Rayna is a f**ked-up ho-bag and you need to stay away from her. She’s going to be a meth head and she’s going to get used by older guys. She’s a twat! Say it!”

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  18. Connie said on November 28, 2011 at 11:10 am

    My dumb phone works fine. I am sure I win the oldest phone contest, as mine says Cingular on it.

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  19. adrianne said on November 28, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Welcome to the world o’ pressure cooking, Nance. I’ve become quite dependent on mine. For dinner Tuesday night: pot roast with parnsips, carrots and leeks. If you’re like David, you will be tempted to consume contents mid-day. Resist!

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  20. Jakash said on November 28, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    While I imagine that Caliban will appreciate the validation of his diatribe against the new TV shows, none of which I’ve watched, I fear that the NYT article will be ruined for him by the fact that the writer evidently found “Seinfeld” as worthy of mention as Caliban’s favorite, MASH.
    The constantly-recycled sitcom category that annoys me is the simple miscommunication or lack of communication or misinterpretation that escalates into 22 minutes of less-than-inspired mayhem. Andy Griffith was the king of this, but they still do it.

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  21. Carolyn said on November 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Nancy, If you liked the brined turkey, then google la times and dry brine before your next Thanksgiving.
    We tried it this year – takes more time, turkey goes in the refrigerator Sunday night, but it’s essentially rubbing salt on the bird without having to put it in water. Some diners think it’s even better than the so-called wet brine.

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  22. Jolene said on November 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I love my smartphone and all the cool apps I’ve added. I do like having lots of info at my fingertips, but doubt I’d ever come to prefer it to conversation. I have found it disconcerting to walk into my brother’s house where his three teenagers are all looking their own screens, and they barely look up to say hello.

    Mostly, I am fascinated by the technological achievement. When I first used computers, punch cards were required, and, as late as grad school, I was still spending hours in a computer center arguing a mainframe to perform simple calculations. So glad those days are past, and am curious to see what the next ten or twenty years will bring. Doubt I’ll be around or, at least, in shape to appreciate new technology longer than that!

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  23. Dexter said on November 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    MichaelG…I too use a flip phone and when it would not hold a charge, I went to Google and found a cheapo phone battery place…I ordered one for each of our phones, and the total charge was about $30, so if you hate your new phone, just change the battery in the old one.

    If all the apps were free and the phone bill would be the same, I’d smarten up. But I have used smartphones (all the kids and older grandkids have them, and well, I hate them) …but yeah, I’m old, there’s that…. 🙂

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  24. caliban said on November 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Amazon has no release date for Game of Thrones. Ths site says March:

    Though why they would miss Christmas is mystifying.

    Had to crank up the Cougar to do it, but saw Hugo 3d in Savannah yesterday. I have rarely seen a more perfect translation of a stunningly genius book to film. Of course Hugo Cabret is one-half brilliant illustrations, so I’d say that gives the director and art director and whover else is responsible a big head start. It’s easy to see that everyone involved in the movie gets the book completely. The acting is terrific, even Sacha Baron Cohen makes up for obnoxious drivel like Ali G and Borat. The drive is not too bad, through the countryside with weather good enough for the top down, and pizza and red Hook IPAs at Vinnie Van GoGos (an old favorite, deep in the heart of SCAD country, SCAD being the trendier RISD).

    A really nice day to take my mind off mangling my right hand in a dumbass-driver-induced bike crash Wednesday. I can club a softball lefty but that’s about it. Wreaked havoc with typing cooking, biking, opening anything including new CDs. When I got up from the crash, my right ring finger was 90degrees across my middle and index fingers. Gruesome, but I snapped it back. (Football experience saves the day.) The finger is now the size of un petit andouille. Had to take my icebag to the movies. Major problem, I wear a ring on that finger, and the apparent constriction in the swelling scared me with thoughts of gangrene and amputation at first. But the finger remains pink, except at the joints where it’s purple, black and jaundice yellow. My recommendation: Hugo is a great movie, so great I might actually buy a 3DTV just for Hugo, see it soonest, but hold out for the 3D.

    For two years, Seinfeld was funny as hell. After that, the characters descended into such snivelling, whinging, self-centered assholery, they were nearly impossible to watch. Still, considerably superior to the insufferably smarmy smut that passes for comedy on the networks these days.

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  25. Dorothy said on November 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I’m kind of amazed that your phone is not coming until mid-December, MichaelG. My daughter went into a Verizon store in Norfolk VA yesterday and bought her new iPhone, had it home in less than 90 minutes after they schooled her in all it’s fun and quirky features. The pictures she’s taking with it are already knocking my socks off. And FWIW my husband reluctantly gave up his flip phone in September and really loves his new Droid. I got mine in July.

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  26. Deborah said on November 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I’m really happy to have an iPhone. I love that I can look something up when I’m having a conversation with someone and I realize I don’t remember a detail, or if I want to show a photo of something I’m talking about. I know there are a lot of phones out there that you can do that with, but I’m partial.

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  27. Jolene said on November 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    What I do worry about w/ the technology at my fingertips is becoming a complete couch potato. I love the news, love movies, love reading, and, as bad as TV can be, there are still always good things to watch. Unfortunately, there’s not much of a return on being an info/media sponge, or, if there is, I haven’t found a way to collect.

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  28. Deborah said on November 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I forgot to mention that Scorsese did a previous 3d film, it was “Shine a Light” about the Rolling Stones. We saw it in 3d at the Navy Pier Imax.

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  29. caliban said on November 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Keef and Mick in 3D. I don’t know about that.

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  30. Jolene said on November 28, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    On another topic, I’m bummed that Barney Frank is retiring from Congress. He is 71, so it’s hardly unwarranted, and redistricting had apparently put him into more challenging circumstances too. Still, he’s one of the few people in Congress who is actually fun to listen to, as he’s both smart and funny, and he’s a fighter.

    From Ezra Klein, some of his best YouTube moments:

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  31. alex said on November 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I recall seeing a man talking on his phone in a restaurant some years ago and feeling embarrassed for him. It just struck me as an odd sight. Then it became the norm. Now it strikes me as odd again because nobody talks and everybody texts.

    I don’t have a smart phone yet and don’t plan to let one suck up the money I’m saving by not buying cigarettes. That money is paying for new carpet and paint.

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  32. nancy said on November 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Catherine, that’s a very accurate summation of that speech in “The Descendants.” It was the only time I heard Kate actually laugh out loud. Otherwise, I don’t think she liked it much, or if she did, she’s not giving me the pleasure of knowing about it.

    My all-time favorite Alexander Payne movie line is still from “Citizen Ruth,” when her mother is yelling at her through a bullhorn during the abortion demonstration.

    “Ruth? You stop that this instant. What if I’d aborted you?”

    “Well, at least then I wouldn’t have had to suck your boyfriend’s cock!” Through the bullhorn. A killer.

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  33. caliban said on November 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I used to work in the Mass State House as an asst. to a Boston news anchor and poitical reporter. My favorite things were listening To Barney, when he was a fixture there, and his associate Mel King. They made a hilarious pair, visually. Frank is short, and, in those days, rumpled and rotund. Rep. King was 6-4, athletic and wore sandals and a resplendent dashiki on State House business. Both were fierce, brilliant purveyors of what they knew to be right. They were very effective allies. Rep. King’s bio certainly echoes the background of President Obama.

    I’ve got an iPhone, but thanks to the total lameness of AT&T, I don’t even get reception inside my own condo. My contract is up in May, and I’ll be long gone to sprint or Verizon, though I’m also looking into CREDO Mobile, which has standing donation agreements with organizations like Amnesty. They offer a Samsung smart phone free.

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  34. brian stouder said on November 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    You know, a movie they should remake/update would be The Front Page. I liked the Jack Lemon/Walter Mathau version best – but in any case you have to have cynical newsies with fairly non-stop zingers and repartee. Of course, in the remake, they’ll have to text all the repartee…

    I recall one scene where the reporter who wants out and the editor (who won’t let go without a fight) are in a train station(!), and several kids approach crying out “Daddie!! Daddie!! Don’t leave us!!” – and the editor (Mathau?) says something like “Go on, beat it kids – he’s not staying” as he whips out some cash and pays them and their “mother” off.

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  35. caliban said on November 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Barney Frank on his retirement:

    I will neither be a lobbyist nor a historian.

    Oh, snap. Stick that up your fat ass, Newt.

    BS is SOP for GOPers, but this argument blaming OWS for the failure of the Supercommittee to reach an agreement beggars belief.

    I wish I knew how to use photoshop. This photo screams for a can of pepper spray.

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  36. MichaelG said on November 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Yeah, I could have gotten a new battery, Dexter, but reception is deteriorating as well for reasons I don’t know. My monthly bill certainly won’t be going down.

    I don’t know about delivery times, Dorothy. It probably has something to do with where one is located. All I could get immediately was a white 16 Gig phone. I went for a 32 Gig black phone from Verizon for $199. I don’t know how that price looks back east but it’s pretty good around here. I don’t mind the wait. I’ve had the old phone for five years. Another couple of weeks won’t hurt.

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  37. MichaelG said on November 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Caliban, I’ve always liked that web site. Something about that nurse over on the right side rings my chimes.

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  38. Bitter Scribe said on November 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I loved “Citizen Ruth” and couldn’t figure out why it didn’t make a bigger splash. To me, its genius is how it makes the plague-on-both-your-houses approach work. As somebody who is passionately pro-choice, 99 times out of 100 I absolutely despise that position as morally and intellectually vacuous and lazy. But Payne used it to skewer both sides adeptly.

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  39. Catherine said on November 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I think we’ll be streaming Citizen Ruth this weekend.

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  40. Dexter said on November 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Since the awful c word has been written today already, how about this funny as hell video taken in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers locker room yesterday? I got a kick out of the words the interviewee was using, considering the object that was dangling just over his shoulder. And the c word is cock, BTW. This made live TV.

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  41. caliban said on November 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm


    Have you read her comic Frog Applause. It’s suggestive and inscrutable, and for some reason I find it entertaining. She’s always in some sort of censorship beef with the UClick people. Many have suggested that the nurse is Teresa Burritt herself, but she ain’t telling. I suppose her blog is , for me, the visual and graphic analog of the verbal bravura of NN.c. I check Frog Blog every day, after looking here.

    Fascinating, funny, educational video about math, physics and philosophy. (Another from Frog Blog.)

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  42. caliban said on November 28, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Netflix subscribers can see Citizen Ruth free online. I’m pretty much a sucker for anything with Laura Dern and no dinos. Although I’ve watched the ludicrous Lake Placid several times for the presence of Ms. Dern and the inimitable Oscar Platt, and the giant gator.

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  43. coozledad said on November 28, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    A woman who claims to have worked with Herman Cain has come forward to say she doesn’t think he made inappropriate remarks to her during her two-day stint cleaning windows at the National Restaurant Association.
    “I’m hard of hearing, and he was on the inside of the building, while I was outside. I think he was just pointing at a spot I missed on the window. It was all professional, I think.”
    The Cain campaign seized on the new revelations, saying that in the coming weeks as many as “a dozen or so people” will come forward to say they were never made uncomfortable during their contacts with the one-time Republican frontrunner, or if they were, the discomfort “wasn’t anything a couple hundred dollars wouldn’t fix”.

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  44. Bob (Not Greene) said on November 28, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Funny you should bring that up Cooze. Herman is toast after today’s bombshell. Woman claims 13 year affair with him. He says she’s just a friend his wife never knew about. Yeah surrrre.

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  45. Bob (Not Greene) said on November 28, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    The link:

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  46. caliban said on November 28, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Hermanator’s valentine:

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  47. coozledad said on November 28, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Bob(not Greene): The Cain campaign has issued a statement denying the allegations, saying that Cain plans to “stay on the scene”.

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  48. caliban said on November 28, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Cainster’s lawyer’s comment:

    No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life,The public’s right to know and the media’s right to report has boundaries and most certainly those boundaries end outside of one’s bedroom door.

    Gutdom that is flaccid denial from any GOPer philanderer or harrasser.

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  49. caliban said on November 28, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    The Cain campaign has issued a statement denying the allegations, saying that Cain plans to “stay on the scene”.

    Poor choice of words, Cooze, quoting the Godfather in defense of Godfathers:

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  50. coozledad said on November 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Caliban: I understand there’s some tension between the Cain and Romney camps, both of whom have been trying to obtain use of that song.
    Romney’s version is “Stay on the scene. Like a Machine”.

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  51. caliban said on November 28, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    That would be pretty astounding self-parody on Mittster’s part. He’d probably be better off with one of the following:

    or this classic from his homies:

    It would probably be a “gotcha question” to ask any of the Klown Kar Kandidates to quote a favorite James Brown line. My own only requires remembering one word, and repeating it four times.

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  52. caliban said on November 28, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    For the halibut, Van Halen bluegrass:

    and rasta led zep with an Elvis impersonator:

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  53. caliban said on November 28, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Restored Dr. Zhivago at Turner Classic in 60 seconds.

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  54. Kim said on November 28, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Lively convo today, kids! While I enjoyed the Hank S. interview (much as I am a fan of nearly everything he writes – thank you!), I have to say I think it’s OK to take personally what the asshat bosses and middle managers did in the run-up to the renaissance and, even, now. The actual renaissance itself I find exciting. This is coming from a person whose mom canceled the Chicago Tribune because her eldest (me) would read it and risk being late for the school bus. I conquered that by using my milk money to buy a damned paper on the way home from school.

    I love paper newspapers and magazines. I love books. I love writing and receiving letters in the U.S. Mail. I love email. I love knowing what is going on Right Now from a reliable source in a great newspaper. I love the pop and hiss of vinyl. I love going on YouTube so I can show my daughter the Black Keys’ new single, Lonely Boy. I love to walk and ride my bike. I don’t mind driving.

    Things change. Except pressure cookers, apparently. Presto!

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  55. alex said on November 28, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    So ‘what Bill Clinton did was nobody’s business’ is the current cooption of liberal activist tactics by the right who support Cain. Fair enough. But Cain has yet to demonstrate a true grasp of any of the issues that face this country and is a non-serious second- or third-rate candidate who doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell in any event and it’s sort of pointless to speculate about it.

    Bill Clinton, on the other hand, could talk out of both sides of his ass, a la Mitt Romney, and pull it off because he has the inborn charisma that Romney lacks, and the talent it takes to drive the right wing right up the wall by stealing what little middle ground they owned.

    I’m enjoying the current fracas over the Tea Party vs. the Occupy movement. Why is it that the debate over the difference always fails to mention that the former has an ideological manifesto whereas the latter is fairly nebulous but authentic, completely benign and unfunded by political interests, and smells like shit only because it sleeps in the town square and not because its constituency is chiefly smokers and drunks who live in squalid households and have no sense of smell because they’re in denial and plug electric tomcat candy fragrances into the wall?

    This nonlawyer rests his case. Amen, hallelujah, ye religious fuckers, NRA dupes and otherwise fools.

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  56. coozledad said on November 29, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Alex: One is the product of obdurate anti-American interests, variously aligned with Bavarian fascists and Stalinist oil producers, the other is straight up wobbly.

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  57. Jolene said on November 29, 2011 at 12:28 am

    The Post has two good articles re Barney Frank, one by Robert Kaiser, who has known Frank forever and has worked at the Post almost as long. See

    The other is by Paul Kane, a younger Congressional reporter. See;jsessionid=BE6B5BA333D3C073BE39389E24178A96?rssid=597&

    These articles both make the point that Frank was effective because he bothered to learn what the hell he was talking about, something a lot of people in Congress don’t seem to regard as an obligation. And, of course, the reporters have done the same. The stories are hood because the writers really know what goes on and can describe Frank’s role authoritatively.

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  58. Deborah said on November 29, 2011 at 4:01 am

    “… and have no sense of smell because they’re in denial and plug electric tomcat candy fragrances into the wall?” that’s priceless, Alex.

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  59. brian stouder said on November 29, 2011 at 9:14 am

    The assumption has always been that Cain ran for president in order to raise his profile, and therefore his book sales, and therefore his speaking fees; and in this – whatever else comes of it (so to speak), he has therefore succeeded magnificently. My question is – how long before that restaurant association (otherwise known as Animal House, apparently) sues him, for fraudulent expense reports (or whatever else) run up while he was supposed to be working for them?

    (Now THAT might be an entertaining movie…sort of a comedic “The Firm”)

    (“The Erect”?)

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