Just to show that the day could still deteriorate, yesterday’s driving rain continued all damn day, although the wind picked up late morning, and sometime around noon, I got the screechy chirp from the CO detector that announces: Power failure.

And that went on all day.

Tuesday is Kate’s heavy-homework day, so the remainder of it was spent as a Flying Dutchman of wi-fi, cruising from the library (slow) to the coffee shop (slower), all in the slashing rain, until 10 p.m., at which point I threw in the towel, thanked my colleagues for covering for me (via instant message, the way we all communicate) and went home. At least I’d get a good night’s rest. Alan had a fire going and even though the house was 60 degrees by then, all was right with the world. I went to sleep at 11:30, unimaginable luxury for a weeknight.

The power came back on at 12:15 a.m., with the CO alarm shrieking. It was just the device resetting itself, but try going back to sleep after that.

At some point, the rain changed to snow, and we got our first dusting of the season. It’s all very picturesque. Just looking at it makes me want to hibernate. Pass the mashed potatoes.

No, not this year! I just took delivery on a pair of water-resistant workout pants, and I intend to layer them up with some high-tech longjohns and take on winter. Embrace it, even. Five months is too damn long to spend on the couch eating root vegetables in elastic waistbands.

And with that, Wednesday commences. Snow on the ground, massive puddles everywhere, the solstice still three weeks away. I hope it doesn’t kill us.

I have a couple questions for you deer-hunters out there: Do you age your meat at all? I ask because it’s the season, and I’m starting to see references to venison meals here and there, and all of them sound — how to put this? — repulsive. Here’s one from my Twitter feed today:

Paleo-bachelor Breakfast: ground venison and mustard.

May I just say? Ew. That’s from the guy I interviewed last year, the “cave man” who was featured first in the New York Times and later on the Colbert Report, which led to a book contract and a big advance and, as far as I can tell, an awful lot of tweeting and not much book-writin’. He amuses me as I watch from afar, because like so many people who’ve discovered a Thing, he spends a lot of time retrofitting everything he likes into his new lifestyle, and declaring it Good. When I interviewed him, I teased him because he called himself a hunter-gatherer, but had never been hunting (he had taken a class about it, though) and did all of his gathering at farmer’s markets and various high-end delis in Manhattan. How can you grow up in Michigan and know nothing about deer-hunting? I asked. Quite easily, evidently.

Well, he must have finally gotten serious about it, because he went out during gun season and bagged what looked from the photos to have been a yearling at best, but no worries — we have many more deer than we need here, and that’s one less for me to hit with the car next spring. And now I’m hearing about every meal via social media, and it’s reminding me why I can count the decent venison meals I’ve eaten in my life on one or two fingers. To be good eatin’, an animal has to be either fat or the meat well-aged, in my experience. Aging requires a constant low-but-not-too-cold temperature, and while most garages would probably suffice, the time it would take to properly age a deer carcass might make the “constant” part tricky. A duck hunter I know hangs the birds in his breezeway/mud room, but ducks are pretty small and ripen quickly.

So, just wondering. Basset?

I should get a little work done before I hit the shower. For you among my constituency who ever toiled at newspapers in the region known as Michiana, you lost one of your best readers last week. Ron Reason writes about his mother:

As early as I can recall, Carolyn had the Michigan City News Dispatch and/or the La Porte Herald-Argus (or weekly Town-Crier) in her lap, was awaiting their arrival or remarking on their contents. It was just a household habit – to get the paper, devour it, fight over the sections, talk about it. Even if it became a lament at times of “there’s nothing in this damn thing,” my parents have regularly received two or more regional papers for decades. It wasn’t unusual to see one or two other papers bought from the newsstand, lying on the family room floor or waiting to go into recycle, when I’d return home to visit. The South Bend Tribune was always added to the mix on Sundays.

…Her devotion to typo-hunting, I think, made us kids try harder on spelling tests or when taking our turn at a spelling bee. Her laughter at the latest Erma Bombeck column (I know I’m taking some readers way back here, anyone else who doesn’t know Erma, just Google her) made us appreciate the wacky side of life, and made me try my hand at column writing. I tested the waters in my high school paper, then in the teen pages of the Westville Indicator and Herald-Argus, and later at the Indiana Daily Student, my college paper at IU-Bloomington. I got hooked.

It’s a wonderful remembrance, but I have to say that if my daughter were to follow her parents into newspaper journalism? (Shudder.) My BFF held a variety of positions at the Michigan City News-Dispatch. I trust Mrs. Reason wasn’t the lady who called one day to chide her for printing all those front-page photos of black children playing at the beach in summer, “because people will see that, and think we’re as bad as Gary.”

I’m glad the cool weather is here, and Coozledad has more time to update his blog. He got a new solar-powered farm vehicle. Looks like it’d be great for deer-hunting.

Dexter mentioned the death of Patrice O’Neal yesterday. He was a funny guy.

Have a good Wednesday. Let’s hope everything stays turned on, dry and out of the ditch today.

Posted at 9:58 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

66 responses to “Powerless.”

  1. Julie Robinson said on November 30, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I’m sure that Dennis also got his love for newspapers from his mother. Married at 18, 10 kids, you can guess money was tight but they always got both newspapers and she read every page. Even after the Alzheimer’s hit and many skills were lost she could read the paper and intelligently discuss the articles. She was a great example of a life-long learner, and much of it came from that daily paper.

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  2. Deborah said on November 30, 2011 at 10:21 am

    10 kids!!

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  3. Judybusy said on November 30, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Ah, winter. I can’t overstate my pleased state of mind that it’s basically December and we haven’t an inch of snow cover. Even if we were to get dumped on tomorrow, that’s a solid four months of snow cover and chill to tolerate. Happily, a couple years ago I finally took up XC skiing; it made friends of me and Old Man Winter. In the summer of 2010, we got a dog. Come November, we find that she is a winter model who thinks -10 is invigorating. We spent many hours at the dog park, letting her joy overtake us. Nancy’s got the right idea: there is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.

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  4. susan said on November 30, 2011 at 11:04 am

    When I eat root vegetables, I remove the elastic waistbands first. They cook faster that way, although they do fall apart.

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  5. Dorothy said on November 30, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Apologies to Julie and Dexter (am I forgetting anyone?) for not expressing my sympathies yesterday. I had written a couple of sentences before I went home from work yesterday but accidentally closed the tab in my browser. I’m very sorry for the sadness you are experiencing. We’ve had a good bit of that at work lately, too – secretary to the President of the college lost her dad on Monday. Got word of a well-loved alum who died yesterday. See what I mean?

    I had an awful experience yesterday afternoon and I’m still sort of in shock about it. After 4 PM, a co-worker sent an email to me but it was obvious it was intended for someone else. She and I had just had a casual conversation near my desk, she went back to her office and typed this email, twisting what I had told her, and made crass remarks about me in it. VERY insulting words. I’m not sure who the recipient was supposed to be, but it opened in my inbox. I was so stunned, I felt almost like I might faint. She is (was) a good and dear friend, someone I trusted more than nearly anyone else here. Or so I thought. I didn’t think she’d realize what she did, sending it to me instead of someone else. So I wrote a two sentence email back to her, so she’d get the point. My reply to her was sent 30 seconds before I went out the door because I did not want to see her come flying towards me, apologizing. She wrote me a note (left on my chair – I found it this morning) and sent an apologetic email but I told her I can’t be friends with her anymore. I accepted the apology, because I’ve done some stupid things too in my life. But this went beyond all reason and I could never trust her again.

    What a terrible feeling… I’m sorry to go on and on about it, but I really need to vent a little. And I refuse to tell anyone else here about it. I’m not that cruel. She’s out of town until Monday, traveling on business for the college. I hope by the time I see her again I’ll not feel like melting in a puddle of tears.

    (p.s. to Deborah – I come from a family of 10 kids, too!)

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  6. coozledad said on November 30, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Nancy: That thing’s marketed to deer hunters, mostly. The pitch line is “They’ll never hear you coming.” That probably plays pretty well with the woodland voyeur market.
    Actually “Voyeur” would be a good model name.

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  7. caliban said on November 30, 2011 at 11:15 am

    MichaelG, Teresa of Frog Blog now says this is her actual likeness.

    For everybody that’sengulfed in rain.

    Judy, I long for snow. Not much chance on SE coastal islands. Still, I’ve got my outback skis and wax, and I will pray for slippery stuff so I can ski to the store while watching the idiots crash their cars. Robert Frost (felicitous name) said:

    ALWAYS the same, when on a fated night
    At last the gathered snow lets down as white
    As may be in dark woods, and with a song
    It shall not make again all winter long
    Of hissing on the yet uncovered ground,
    I almost stumble looking up and round,
    As one who overtaken by the end
    Gives up his errand, and lets death descend
    Upon him where he is, with nothing done
    To evil, no important triumph won,
    More than if life had never been begun.

    Yet all the precedent is on my side:
    I know that winter death has never tried
    The earth but it has failed: the snow may heap
    In long storms an undrifted four feet deep
    As measured against maple, birch and oak,
    It cannot check the peeper’s silver croak;
    And I shall see the snow all go down hill
    In water of a slender April rill
    That flashes tail through last year’s withered brake
    And dead weeds, like a disappearing snake.
    Nothing will be left white but here a birch,
    And there a clump of houses with a church.

    Decent, but not WB Yeats.

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  8. Heather said on November 30, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Dorothy, that sounds terrible! What a betrayal. As long as you don’t think she’s trying to undermine you professionally, I think you did the right thing. Just keep things civil and cut off anything more. It’s hard to lose friends and even harder when you have to work with them every day, I would imagine.

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  9. caliban said on November 30, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Cooze, are you suggesting that shooting Bambi is somehow preventing psychos from shooting civilians from the Texas Tower? As a skier, I loathe snomobiles, mostly because a large number of the people that drive them are redneck idjits.

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  10. Runner said on November 30, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Dorothy, I had a similar thing with a former coworker. She wrote a blog post about me and I saw it. We were not especially friendly but I didn’t think we were unfriendly either. I was sick to my stomach for days. I’m sorry that happened to you. What an awful experience.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on November 30, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Dorothy, how horrible for you. I haven’t had anything that bad, but there have been a few sticky situations where the discomfort level has been high; I can only imagine what it will be like to continue working with her.

    Venting is good, and I’m glad this is a safe place to express yourself. A good cry is always part of my prescription too, I really believe it helps in the release.

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  12. Judybusy said on November 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Dorothy, let me add my sympathies. It’s really awful to lose friends for strange reasons like this. Like Runner, I have my own sad albeit different story, and I feel for you.

    Caliban, thanks for the lovely poem. If winter could be 3 months long, I’d be happy. It’s the five-month trial that gets grating!

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  13. Deborah said on November 30, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Dorothy, my condolences for having that experience. Aren’t you glad you found out your “friend” is a two-faced person. At least you know now. Doesn’t make it any easier to take though.

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  14. Connie said on November 30, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Home from work. Because there is no power.

    Do not miss the wonderful Google doodle honoring Mark Twain’s birthday.

    my sympathy goes those who have lost famiily members.

    my mother in law’s 90th is Saturday, my Dad’s 80th was a few weeks ago, and we are thankful.

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  15. brian stouder said on November 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Dorothy, if I was going to expand upon what Caliban grumbled about recently, with regard to situation comedies, then I’d become all incoherent about “The Office”. Maybe it is more a compliment than a critique, but that show strikes me as essentially unwatchable and not funny, because I live that show for about 2,200 hours a year, every year. Anyway – it makes me mad that you have such an oaf for a co-worker. I myself am (no doubt) an oaf of a co-worker for my colleagues, but grown-ups are supposed to be able to ‘play well with others’, and although it is tempting to think that all of us SHOULD be able to ‘keep an even strain’ (and/or act like an adult), some folks just don’t.

    I suppose THAT’s what struck me most about your story; you’ve probably spent years being sincerely nice – and discreetly navigating around rocky shoals – and then this person just recklessly chucks you under the bus. It just seems like it is NOT unreasonable to expect better.

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  16. caliban said on November 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Judybusy: Drive South.


    We travel to winter when we choose. Laurentians with Quebec City as a pied a terre. I always wanted to write that. And anybody that has never been to Quebec City should make reservations immediately. Incredibly excellent place. Almost Geneve’. Which is almost Bern.

    What Yeats said about winter (The Wheel):

    THROUGH winter-time we call on spring,
    And through the spring on summer call,
    And when abounding hedges ring
    Declare that winter’s best of all;
    And after that there s nothing good
    Because the spring-time has not come –
    Nor know that what disturbs our blood
    Is but its longing for the tomb.

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  17. Dorothy said on November 30, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Thanks friends. My daughter called me a short time ago and I got to tell her about it – I’m manning the phones during the lunch hour so no one overheard me. She said to me “I’m shaking with rage that she did that to you, Mom!” That about summed up my feelings, too! It’s like 7th grade all over again. It hurts but it’ll stop fairly soon. I’m trying hard not to over-think it.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on November 30, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    How about a little seasonal levity? Worst nativity sets ever: http://whyismarko.com/2011/27-worst-nativity-sets-the-annual-growing-list/. I’m torn between the meat nativity and the Irish version, where the three leprechaun wise men’s gifts are gold, clover, and Guinness.

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  19. Sue said on November 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Dorothy, you need to find out who the intended recipient was. You probably do not realize that you have two false friends, not just one.
    You also need to save a hard copy of the email, outside of the office, and I know this is difficult, but I encourage you to discuss this with your human resources person and see if it is necessary to document it. You may have got an apology out of this, but you don’t know what’s going on and you don’t want to be in the weird position of defending yourself a few or several months from now for not reporting this after some (pardon me) shit that you don’t know about hits the fan.

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  20. caliban said on November 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Well said Brian, so it’s a show about nothing but aholes. Would anybody here spend a moment with such shallow, self-centered idiots as Jerry, George and Elaine? I doubt it. I think Jason Alexander is a decent actor, but he’s always that turd George talking about “shrinkage”. What a turd. These people are supposed to be friends. They are incapable of friendship, and that is supposed to be funny. The Office is sorry as shit. Not funny in the slightest. When the bits they put in the ads aren’t funny, why would anybody watch this crap and expect better?

    Best office drama show of all time is Dead Like Me:


    As great a TV show as ever made.

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  21. Colleen said on November 30, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Dorothy….I’m sorry you had that happen to you. I once saw a former boss’ blog post about me. It left me shaking for hours. I hate that 7th grade feeling….

    And Julie, my condolences on the loss of your mother in law. I’m glad you have happy memories.

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  22. Peter said on November 30, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Brian, I thought I was the only one who didn’t like The Office because it hit too close to home. I just cringe whenever I see that show.

    Dorothy, I can relate to your situation. At a former firm, I had a long term client that was going to do a large project. Our firm did the standard dog and pony show; the CEO and President did their spiel, and I was able to get a few words in. I got the distinct feeling that the presentation didn’t go over very well.

    Well, it was confirmed a week later. The president did a follow up call; the client said that we were still in the hunt, but our presentation wasn’t so hot. So they send a follow up letter saying that they would be happy to fire me if that would help the account. How’d I find out? They mailed it to my house instead of the client.

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  23. Jolene said on November 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Sounds like you are being more gracious than your colleague deserves, Dorothy, which is surely the best way to put this behind you. It is shocking that a person would behave so badly and, at the same time, be so petty.

    On another topic, has anyone bought headphones lately? Am thinking about a set of Bluetooth stereo headphones to use particularly w/ my smartphone. Have been nagging myself to do more walking, but I need entertainment to keep my feet in motion. A Bluetooth headset would allow me to march along w/o tangled wires. Haven’t been able to find an up-to-date review article. If you know of one or have a specific recommendation, let me know.

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  24. Jolene said on November 30, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Peter, if that weren’t so awful, it would be funny.

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  25. alex said on November 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Dorothy, I occasionally get e-mails intended for someone else whose first name is the same as mine. If you use Outlook Express you typically get a scroll-down list of names after you type in the first letter, so it’s probable that the intended recipient begins with the letter D or is also Dorothy. Just a guess.

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  26. Kirk said on November 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    In our office, the internal messaging system we used until about 5 years ago was so easy to use that people were always whipping off messages and accidentally addressing them to the people whom they were written about, rather than the intended recipient. It led to some hilarity but also to a substantial amount of embarrassment. I was mistakenly sent one, ripping me, by a person I was supervising one night. I got in his face about it right away. He apologized, but it was hollow as hell. He was a miserable turd, so he was on the defensive after that.

    Dorothy, one hopes that this former friend will remain on pins and needles worrying about whether/when you’ll throw her under the bus.

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  27. caliban said on November 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Kirk, I once worked in an office with a phone system so porous anybody could page aloud. A co-worker and I made a tape loop of a part of this song


    And played it occasionally. Juvenile? Sure, but did wonders for the mood in general.

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  28. Linda said on November 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    My niece’s stepkid would steep in bitterness about the Caveman bagging a deer because he has gone hunting twice this year, and nada. Not even seeing deer, just like Basset. They are hiding out in the ‘burbs, eating shrubbery and flowers and laughing.

    Can you grow up in Michigan and not kill deer? Sure, if you’re a city girl. I am only interested in shooting things that try to shoot me first.

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  29. 4dbirds said on November 30, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    A couple of years ago I either watched or listened to a program with Patrick O’Neal in it. It was an ‘off the cuff’ kind of show. He stated that he loved going to Brazil at least once a month because the prostitutes were cheap and under 18. Never liked him since.

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  30. caliban said on November 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I grew up in Michigan and have never given a thought to shooting a deer. Ted Nugent? Yeah, if I had him in my sights while he was trying to kill Bambi.

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  31. Dexter said on November 30, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Thank you Dorothy. After all the emails and postings I wrote yesterday, almost all of it about death of friends and acquaintances and a celebrity, today is calm.
    We were supposed to miss all the snow, but we got enough to sag the trees and cover the streets and sidewalks with an icy, thick covering that made scraping and shovelling a real chore.
    I just de-iced my wife’s car; the stuff was still iced on there pretty good. My last sidewalk shovel job involved a lot of chipping and scraping.

    Dorothy, back when cell phones were this big, and home PCs were years away, I had a similar experience, mine in a break room.
    I had just been hired into a foundry to analyze the metal in the holding pots to ensure the proper content. It wasn’t rocket science…it was a relatively simple job, brain-wise.
    I was at a table and the other guy I had started this job with had not seen me enter the room. Another guy asked him, “how’s your helper doing?” meaning me, of course…this guy had already been working there and had gotten this promotion…and this asshole started saying stuff like “if that’s what they teach you in college then I’m glad I never went”, and “if he was any slower he’d …” and a few other diatribes, all the while , the antagonizer was laughing, knowing I was ten feet away. I’m very thick-skinned and I remember all I felt was embarrassment for that guy, so I had to end it by saying something like “well, I’ll try to do better, OK?” in a condescending voice.
    And of course, the apologies, immediately…and I understood completely…he was just trying to entertain his cronies at the new guy’s expense. People gossip all the time, mainly to amuse themselves. When it goes wrong, like the email you received, it is hurtful. Most people who lash out at those around them are unhappy, sad people, though, and chances are, they feel true remorse that their little comment got into the wrong hands. I hope you resolve it and do not let it upset you.
    One night I heard a radio preacher say something that I never forgot: “It makes no difference what YOU think of ME, but all the difference what I think of YOU.” Peace.

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  32. MichaelG said on November 30, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I’m a day late and a dollar short here but I’m sorry for your respective losses, Julie and Dexter. My thoughts are with you.

    That’s really ugly, Dorothy. People need to think before they put something in email. It’s forever. A couple of months ago I got a piece of hate email from a woman I don’t even know – a lawyer at that. The thing was about somebody else I don’t know. I have no idea how it ended up in my in box except that Alex’s theory is probably correct.

    And, Peter, did your boss look like Mitt Romney?

    Vietnam cured me of any hunting notions. In fact, it was years before I could even go for a walk in the woods. To this day I don’t own a gun. Had my fill.

    On my first trip there we left out of Can Ranh. They drug tested everybody beforehand but didn’t police the mens’ room. As a result guys were saying “I’m clean, anybody need a bottle filled?” At SeaTac the customs people asked one guy what his bottle of pills was. He told them they were his “no sweat” pills. They took him away and interrogated him for an hour. The bottle contained salt tablets which we used to call “no sweat” pills. You wouldn’t believe the shit they missed. Guys had grenades, mortar rounds, ammo, knives, weapons, you name it. I’m amazed the place didn’t accidentally blow up.

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  33. Jeff Borden said on November 30, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I guess it falls to me to defend “Seinfeld” and “The Office,” programs which I greatly enjoy and which usually make me laugh.

    “Seinfeld” was something of an anarchistic comedy, in my book, simply because it WAS about four people you would despise and avoid in the real world. It had zero socially redeeming value. It celebrated pettiness, shallowness, selfishness, egotism and navel-gazing without apology. It takes a certain amount of ballsiness to generate laughs from a runaway wheelchair, “Schindler’s List,” ugly babies or a boy in a plastic bubble, particularly on prime time.

    “The Office” operates on similar turf, but as noted by others, it cuts pretty close to the bone. (The English version with Ricky Gervais, by the way, makes the U.S. version look like “The Cosby Show.” It is really cruel and acidic.) It takes the things we all know from offices –the clueless boss, the doofus kiss-up, the love affairs between coworkers, the numbing routines– and turns them up to 11. It’s prima facie absurd that a fool like Michael Scott would be an office manager for many years, but watching Steve Carell play the guy is hilarious. The so-called good guy, Jim, is in actuality quite cruel and self-centered, but again, the actor playing him cracks me up.

    I doubt any of the above will sway those who dislike these programs. It’s all a matter of taste, I guess, but I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy these shows knowing full well that they depict men and women who would have me running for the door if they were real.

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  34. Dexter said on November 30, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    MichaelG: …reminds me of going through customs at Cam Ranh.
    Of course nobody in their right mind tried to smuggle any sort of dope onto the Freedom Bird, but I, being a tobacco pipe smoker from an early age on, had two pipes in my kit. “And what do you smoke in these, Specialist?”
    And I said “Oh, Sir Walter Raleigh, Kentucky Club, and Carter Hall, mostly…” , as the customs agent stuck his schnozz down around the pipe bowls.

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  35. caliban said on November 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Lyrical, Dex.

    Apropos of nothing whatever, wasn’t Roger Miller brilliant?


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  36. brian stouder said on November 30, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    You can’t rollerskate in a buffalo herd

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  37. Dorothy said on November 30, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Goodness the stories some of you have shared! It’s sobering to think I am in good company, although if we had a choice I’m sure we’d all rather not have experienced this bullshit.

    Thanks for the advice, Sue. I did forward the email to myself at another personal email address. The conversation actually did not refer to anything work related so I don’t think I’m worried about a human resources issue that could rise from this. But it will make working with her uncomfortable to say the least. I am about 95% sure of the intended recipient as well. It was the end of the day, the woman who sent me the email had been talking with one of the people I provide support to. The two of them flew out to Baltimore this morning on a business trip, the same flight, so I’m almost positive she was emailing her so they could get together and discuss things related to the trip. She never called her by name, but the email started out saying “I’m done now.” Then she launched into what she said about me. So putting all of that together, I feel pretty confident who it was meant for. But her name starts with an “L”, not a “D”. So it’s difficult to figure out how she screwed up addressing the email to me instead of her. And now that I think of it, our email addresses here start with our last names, then our first initial. Those don’t match either so I guess it was just her dumb bad luck to send it to me.

    I’m taking the high road and not making a stink. I’m sure it’s not going to happen again. As my daughter pointed out, “If you feel this bad, imagine how bad she feels. She must be in misery.” And I had already thought that, too. But it also pains me to think that perhaps I’ve been disparaged before between those two and that could be a problem, since I provide secretarial support to one of them. But I can’t prove who the email was supposed to go to. For now I’m laying low and hoping it all blows over. I’m planning to be very professional about it, and keep the seething to myself outside the office.

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  38. Marc G said on November 30, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    “Five months is too damn long to spend on the couch eating root vegetables in elastic waistbands.” Excellent quote, Nancy. You should try it at 56 degrees north, where you only get about three hours of daylight on the solstice. But hey, it is 8 degrees C here today, and our daily paper (which we get delivered every morning) reminds us that last year, during this week in November, it was minus 23. And snowing.

    Anyway, when I was younger and living in the mountains we would hang our deer in the shed, usually the same shed we cleaned them in, for a week or so. Very important for venison, but the weather needs to be cool enough to do this. And I have had many delicious venison meals – fried or grilled fillets, venison steak, and one of the most popular, venison chile. Just gotta know how to cook it, and mix in some ground pork if it is too lean.

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  39. Dexter said on November 30, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    caliban…when I was in junior high school, the seventh and eighth grade basketball teams shared the floor during evening practice. I was in eighth grade, and a rather flamboyant gay kid, a seventh grader, used to sing to his buddies in between drills, a take off on a Roger Miller tune which you’ll recognize here:
    His version follows-

    “Dang me
    Dang me

    Somebody get a pole and bang me.”
    And he sang it with great joy and enthusiasm.

    Of course the story ends badly…as an adult he moved to New York City and he died in the horrible nineteen eighties AIDS epidemic.

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  40. caliban said on November 30, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Well Brian, It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry:


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  41. Dexter said on November 30, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Well, damn…that didn’t last long…the insurance agent in Auburn, Indiana who passed away yesterday was an army basic training cohort of mine. His dad was my dad’s friend and long, long-time State Farm agent, as well as my car insurance agent.

    The son and his sister took over the agency. This guy wasn’t a friend or anything, but a contemporary for sure…I wonder if the malaria he contracted in Vietnam had any long-time implications in his death at age 62….
    OK…if anybody else dies today I promise not to not bring the gloom here…. this is getting seriously crazy.

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  42. caliban said on November 30, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    This was mainly an effect of the candidate’s own non-talent for ingratiation; miserably seeking protection in the aw-shucks tone and failing—entirely failing—to grasp that “oops” in any accent sounds bad enough (just as well that Rick Perry wasn’t running in a heterosexual pride contest) but that in the tones of Texas (“Ee-yoops”) it more resembles the last-ditch whine of a luckless peon for mercy.

    Anybody like to try diagramming that? That’s neurasthenic Chris Hitchens making apologias for Goodhair Perry, who he resembles greatly in an effete Brit kinda way. WTF you talking ’bout, Willis?


    What an insufferable cunt.

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  43. brian stouder said on November 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Dexter – on the contrary, and/or No Problemo!

    The way I see it, if all of us were in the cheap seats at Riverfront Stadium (or whatever they call the new place, nowadays), or between Turn One and Turn Two at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, or at a diner – and we were chatting over an icy cold diet…. cola (whichever brand) and a cheeseburger, anything we’d gab about there is what we’d gab about here.

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  44. paddyo' said on November 30, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    C’mon, Caliban — I read the same Hitchens piece yesterday but, upon seeing your acerbic review above, went back and re-read it to see if I’d missed the point. To my eye and ear, it still comes out not as apologias at all.
    Yeah, Hitch can be insufferable and effete, not to mention impenetrable (agreed: tough sentence, but I got through it), but here he’s taking apart those Bozos and we who prop them up, not agreeing with them. Anyway, that’s my take . . .

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  45. caliban said on November 30, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Paddy: If you can explain what in the world the reference to heterosexual pride contest means or has anything to do with, we can agree to disagree. I can’t make it through anything that jackass writes, so you may be correct. I love to comment on the jerk because “neurasthenic is a great word and fits Hitchens pluperfectly. I suppose that when your best (only?) friend is Martin Amis, that’s a statement about your character and personality.

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  46. paddyo' said on November 30, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    No worries, Cali, I get your drift. I still like Hitch for his plain ol’ outrageousness, and occasional nonsequituriousness, which I realize ain’t a word but somehow fits him. I imagine he was just poking fun at Perry’s manly-but-goofy Texas cowpoke image with that “heterosexual pride contest” toss-off, nothing more. I like that the guy defies categorization (many mislabel Hitchens a neo-con, though he’s been known occasionally to say neo-connish things). I also like how he tilts at the God industry windmill. And especially this year, I like how he still rages against the dying of the light, afflicted as he is with cancer of the esophagus. It’ll probably kill him. I’ll miss the voice.

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  47. caliban said on November 30, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Paddy, I see your points. Still, being an ahole for its own sake, and priding oneself on it, gets on my nerves. If Hitchens gets labelled a neocon, it’s his own fault. He was a major cheerleader for the illegal invasion of Iraq, and his politics are Cromwellian.

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  48. paddyo' said on November 30, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Again, I hear you, C — we all have our blind spots, don’t we . . .

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  49. ROGirl said on November 30, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I loved Seinfeld. I cringe at Larry David, but he makes me laugh out loud. Chacun a son gout, as someone once said.

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  50. MichaelG said on November 30, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Dexter, I had the bug twice when I was in country. The medicines they had, even more than forty years (sheesh!) ago, were quite effective. I’ve never experienced any subsequent effects from the disease and I don’t know anybody else who has. So I doubt that your friend did. Something else like 2,4,5-T known as Agent Orange could have quite possibly been harmful to him. And God knows what other shit was floating around although it couldn’t have been as bad as the toxic hell created during the first Iraq war.

    I’d be happy to sip something with y’all, Brian, but I doubt it would be diet cola. Cheers!

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  51. coozledad said on November 30, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    245T is definitely linked to CNS tumors. It has also
    been shown to be teratogenic, mutagenic, carcinogenic, immunotoxic, and hepatotoxic. Furthermore, alterations in multiple endocrine and growth factor systems have been reported. The most sensitive effects, observed in multiple species, appear to be developmental, including effects on the developing immune, nervous, and reproductive systems.[41] The most sensitive effects are caused at body burdens relatively close to those reported in humans.
    Among the animals for which TCDD toxicity has been studied, there is strong evidence for the following effects:
    Birth defects (teratogenicity)
    In rodents, including rats,[42] mice,[43] hamsters and guinea pigs,[44] birds,[45] and fish.[46]
    Cancer (including neoplasms in the mammalian lung, oral/nasal cavities, thyroid and adrenal glands, and liver, squamous cell carcinoma, and various animal hepatocarcinomas)
    In rodents[42][47] and fish[48]
    Hepatotoxicity (liver toxicity)
    In rodents,[47] chickens,[49] and fish[50]
    Endocrine disruption
    In rodents[41] and fish[51]
    In rodents[52] and fish.[53]

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  52. Joe Kobiela said on November 30, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Jim was my insurance agent, a good guy all around. Seinfeld, remember was a show about nothing. Wife and I still quote George when we have a decision to make. What ever seems like the right thing to do, do the oppesit.
    Pilot Joe

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  53. alex said on November 30, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I cringe at Larry David, but he makes me laugh out loud.

    His show creeped me out too (only saw it a few times) but then I saw him in a documentary about Woody Allen recently and realized that his current schtick is intended to elicit exactly the sort of reaction that it does, and man does it leave a weird taste. He takes lack of self-awareness to a whole new level. Why, he could play an upper middle class Hoosier Republican if he didn’t sound so much like an old-fashioned tummler.

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  54. alex said on November 30, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Our guy Kildee in Michigan? How about your guy, you freaks?

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  55. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 30, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Attention, Brian Stouder – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2068367/First-look-Daniel-Day-Lewis-Abraham-Lincoln-Steven-Spielbergs-hotly-tipped-biopic.html

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  56. del said on November 30, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Dorothy, that’s a bummer. Fall back on Rudyard Kipling: “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you … Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating…If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you…”

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  57. del said on November 30, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    I’ll defend The Office and Seinfeld too. Both put me off at first for a time. The Office hit too close to home and was depressing, but then, something clicked, and I was able to achieve blessed Detachment. Dwight Shrute? Conducting a meeting at which employees had to publicly claim their medical conditions upon penalty of exclusion of coverage. No takers for “inverted penis?” And Michael Scott? Asking Oscar about how Michael would feel, “emotionally,” after his colonoscopy? And did he have a “safe word?” Damn funny. Seinfeld was off putting at first because of the characters’ abrasiveness but Kramer opened the door with his slapstick and it then it happened again for me, the Detachment, and the Absurdity of it all came through. Remember George’s parents? Wife and I still quote that show. “Your baby is breathtaking…His buttocks are sublime.” I will concede, however, that some Seinfeld fans had a tendency to overdo their fandom as the show became the rage. Here’s a Kramer clip about the sublime buttocks:

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  58. moe99 said on December 1, 2011 at 2:09 am

    Dorothy, I am late to this, but I am so sorry for the betrayal of your friendship. It will work itself out but right now is a hard time. Reminds me when I found the undeleted email in the family computer that the ex had sent to his girlfriend who I knew nothing about til that point. You will recover, promise.

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  59. Dexter said on December 1, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Thanks, Pilot Joe. Hoover was my Dad’s agent, and mine for a few years before I moved away from Auburn. I actually got to know son Tom (also called Hoover) a few years later as he was a softball teammate. Tom was an IU man, studying in Bloomington.

    Also, my daughter’s man, the Net Jets pilot, is spending his off-week in Bermuda, having flown a doctor-buddy there , to get some air miles on the doctor’s airplane and get some training time in towards the doc’s pilot’s license. All I know is that it is not a jet, but a piston driven dual engine craft. They made it there Monday night.

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  60. ROGirl said on December 1, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Dorothy, offices are gossip mills and there’s always going to be somebody who disapproves of something someone else said or did. Not that that excuses what your “friend” did.

    I once overheard my brother on the phone with my mother and she told him the exact opposite of what she had told me. I was living at my father’s house (parents divorced) and the brother and his girlfriend visited for Christmas. After they left I found that some things I had in boxes in the basement were missing. I called my mother and she agreed that the girlfriend did it, called her some names, said my brother wasn’t particularly observant, and she sympathized with me. She told my brother that I couldn’t prove anything and I didn’t know what I was talking about. At that moment I realized I couldn’t believe anything my mother said. It wasn’t the first time I doubted her, but it was the first time I had proof.

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  61. Suzanne said on December 1, 2011 at 6:52 am

    I love The Office. One of my former supervisors was Michael Scott, I swear to it. I did have a job a few years ago, though, that made it darn near impossible to watch because I lived it everyday, but without the fun.

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  62. basset said on December 1, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Late response here… never seen Seinfeld or The Office, nothing to add there, but I can address proper handling of fresh venison.
    Hanging it for a week or so does make a difference but most of the guys I know just go straight to the “processor” (butcher shop) with it and it ends up frozen within a day or two. Ideally, you would let it hang in temperatures just above freezing until rigor mortis relaxes, but not everyone has somewhere to put a whole deer and maintain the temp, particularly not here in Tennessee where conditions can vary widely from one day to the next.

    Another option’s to cut the deer up and put it on ice in a cooler with the drain open so it doesn’t get waterlogged, I’m going to try that if I ever get another one.

    And roses are red, violets are purple, sugar is sweet and so’s maple surple.

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  63. coozledad said on December 1, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Alex: I’m beginning to think the whole party’s drenched in methamphetamine. It explains the psychosis.
    It’s tempting to lapse into paranoid theory here and suggest all the CIA mind control experiments with LSD were an absolute dead end, but with meth, they found the philosopher’s stone for creating an army of disposable slaves-not an army in the stand up and get shot at sense, but a reliable group of sociopaths you could motor to the polls, who reproduce vigorously in their warrens, and blow their heart valves out before becoming a prolonged stain on the loss ledger.
    But meth has worked it’s way up the chain of command, into the middle managers.
    If this hypothesis has any legs, we should start seeing meth-fueled candidacies for national office, characterized by erratic behavior, forgetfulness, the public gratification of unconventional sexual appetites, and an unnatural attention to hair.

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  64. Dorothy said on December 1, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Thanks moe. ROGirl and del. It’s about 40 hours since it happened and already I’m not feeling quite so bad about it. For some weird reason I’ve been thinking about how she must feel. I’d have trouble showing my face in the office again if I had been the one who made that dumbass mistake. I am dreading Monday when she’s back after her business trip.

    Dexter – I love that phrase “my daughter’s man” – I might borrow that! Makes so much more sense than calling him her boyfriend. He’s 35, she’s 29. It’s been years since he was a boy.

    And I have not seen any episodes of The Office, but I did buy the original British series with Ricky Gervais. That was an uncomfortable show to watch. It was like a train wreck – and then it dawned on me that was what you were supposed to be feeling. Kind of fascinating and repulsive at the same time. I loved it!

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  65. del said on December 1, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Right Dorothy. The Office is tragicomedy and our laughter is catharsis.

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  66. brian stouder said on December 1, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Well, a possible paraphrase of something Cleopatra might have said – I usually prefer denial to catharsis

    edit – Jeff, thanks for the link; I will check that out a bit later on

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