The lead today is buried.

As no one has ever been able to explain how the use of a neti pot differs significantly from a kinder, gentler waterboarding, I’ve never been tempted to use one. I’ve never had sinus problems, and I was one of those kids whose day at the pool could be ruined by getting water up my nose — it really is one of my least-favorite physical sensations. I understand many of you may well swear by pouring gently warmed saltwater into your nasal passages as the first step on the road to a happy nose, and to you I say: How nice. But get that thing away from me.

So when, settling in for my shift of harvesting health-care news last night, I clicked onto Google’s health page and saw a headline reading, Improper use of neti pots linked to deaths, and read this showstopper of a lead —

BATON ROUGE, La., Dec. 18 (UPI) — Louisiana health officials warn the improper use of neti pots is linked to two deaths in the state caused by a so-called brain-eating amoeba.

— I felt vindicated. Although, in fairness, when you read the story, it sounds like it’s more about the poor quality of tap water in Louisiana than anything else. The brain-eating amoeba in question mainly infects swimmers in warm water in places like Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and please, hold your Cletus jokes. The fact this stuff can live in warm tap water would make me hesitant to take a damn shower in bayou country without seeing a microbiology report from the local treatment plant.

And people make jokes about Detroit’s tap water. (Which is actually pretty good.)

With that, Monday begins. Stand by for news! But first, some bloggage:

Retiring Sports Illustrated super-photographer Walter Iooss Jr. tells a few stories on his way out, including this one about LeBron James:

LeBron became a villain to many after The Decision. I’ve seen a lot of entourages, but none like his. In July 2010 I got an assignment from Nike to shoot LeBron right after his TV special announcing his move to the Heat. We rented the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, where the Lakers and the Clippers used to play, and there were 53 people on my crew-including hair and makeup artists, production people, a stylist. I had $10,000 in Hollywood lighting. It was huge. When LeBron arrived, it was as if Nelson Mandela had come in. Six or seven blacked-out Escalades pulled up, a convoy. LeBron had bodyguards and his masseuse. His deejay was already there, blasting. This for a photo shoot that was going to last an hour, tops.

And that is how a monster is made. If you like sports, or just have time to kill today, it’s worth digging up the whole story at SI. I once knew a photographer who admired Iooss, and he taught me how to pronounce the name — yose, rhymes with dose.

A copy editor at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel inserts a rock ‘n’ roll reference that will be understood by a tiny fraction of the readership:

LAWYERS: Walker camp sues election board
VOTES: 500,000 recall signatures claimed
AND MONEY: Huge dollars flow to governor

Kim Jong Il is dead, which means it’s time to take another look at this remarkable photo, and marvel at the people who have enough time on their hands to produce videos like this, which we are encouraged to snicker at while we wait for the mood to darken as new instability encroaches upon the Korean peninsula. (Even if you disapprove of the joke, some amazing visuals.)

Finally, we have some news today.

I got a job. A full-time, actual j-o-b with bennies and everything. It’s been fun freelancing and odd-jobbing, but it was time for a change, and the change is a pretty great one — I’ll be a staff writer with The Center for Michigan. It’s a think tank. But it’s not a sinecure, that word that so often walks hand in hand with it. Maybe some day I’ll have a think-tank sinecure, but the Center for Michigan calls itself a “think-and-do” tank, which means work beyond just thinkin’. They are nonpartisan and “radically centrist,” and reject the usual institutional model of pounding out position papers for the benefit of one party’s intelligentsia, but are instead focused on being a bottom-up voice for the majority of Michigan residents who don’t fall into standard left-right slots. You can read more about what they’re about here.

I think it’s going to be a pretty good gig. I’ll be doing project reporting for their online publication, Bridge, as well as bringing a new voice to 42 North, their blog. Which brings us to this blog.

I always knew this place would be a problem for some employer, somewhere down the line. Editors don’t exactly want to own your thoughts, but they don’t like the idea of you expressing them anywhere other than in pre-approved spaces. It’s just the way it is. But over the years and with the help of everyone here, I’ve managed to attract and hold a respectable number of eyeballs for a blog that isn’t about anything in particular, and that has value these days, too. So, for now, NN.C will go on. I may throttle back on frequency a bit — perhaps three writing posts a week, and two photos-plus-links, not sure. (I still have to — wait for it — think about it some more.) I’ll be teaching two classes at Wayne this term, in addition to my new duties, so time will be short and valuable. I will be linking to my work over at the Center, of course. If you want to see NN.C continue, the best thing you can do is take the time to click there and astound my new bosses with my Venus flytrap-like drawing power.

All this begins after the first of the year. New year, new job, new directions. I think it’s gonna be a good one.

Posted at 9:34 am in Current events, Housekeeping |

83 responses to “The lead today is buried.”

  1. Lex said on December 19, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Wow, so many conversational starting points, so little time.

    I use the Neilmed pharmaceutical version of a neti pot — WITH DISTILLED WATER, mind you; no brain-eating amoeba for me. Result? Not a single sinus or ear infection since (I’m prone to them), and my allergies have subsided to the point where my prescription medicine intake has been reduced from daily year-round to daily during Peak Ragweed. Is sinus rinsing unpleasant? Yes. But MUCH less so than what I was going through previously.

    LeBron James is a dose.

    If someone will identify that J-S copy editor, I will buy him/her a beer if I have to commission a headless Thompson gunner to travel to Wisconsin to do it for me.

    And, finally, congrats on the new gig! Bennies R Gud.

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  2. Vince said on December 19, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Woo hoo! I’m ecstatic for you, Nance. Wonderful news. If we feel neglected we’ll know it’s for a good reason.

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  3. brian stouder said on December 19, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Congratulations! – and applause.

    Here’s wishing you all the best, as always

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  4. mark said on December 19, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Tremendous news about your new position. I think you will do “centrist” very well.

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  5. Colleen said on December 19, 2011 at 10:04 am

    That’s wonderful news! Congratulations. And selfishly, I’m glad the blog will go on. It’s part of my daily routine, and god forbid that gets interrupted!

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  6. Deborah said on December 19, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Wow, great news about the full-time job Nancy. Just keep the comments open and we’ll fend for ourselves on your work days.

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  7. Dean Dauphinais said on December 19, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Congratulations on the new gig, Nancy! What an exciting way to start the new year! Happy holidays to you and your family. And best of luck to you in your new endeavor!! 🙂

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  8. John G. Wallace said on December 19, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Congrats on the new job! Sounds like a great way to start 2012. I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping this blog continues – my mornings would have a small void – but it’s been good reading and fellowship for years now.

    I’m not sure what to expect next from North Korea. It does give me a chance to plug a series of novels from James Church. The author uses a pseudonym and is said to be an experienced intelligence officer. His protagonist Inspector O is a great quirky character with a dry wit, and I’ve been known to break out laughing while reading these novels. In the last novel in the series, “the man with the Baltic stare,” O deals with the death of the Dear Leader and the conflicting interests over the nation’s future. I won’t promise that the stories make perfect sense, but the writing is original and I find myself reading over some sentences 3-4 times because I like the style so much.

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  9. Bob (not Greene) said on December 19, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Burying the lede all right! Congrats, Nance. This blog is a daily stop for me (multiple times, actually) and I’ll be sad if it eventually fades from the scene, but I’ve enjoyed meeting you and the other regulars here, virtually, of course. I wish you the best. Michigan can use a bit of sensible Nance thinking in its tank.

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  10. Carolyn said on December 19, 2011 at 10:06 am

    FABULOUS news, Nancy. Gives me faith in that old talent and hard working paying off thing. And I love the idea of a radical centrist.

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  11. Bitter Scribe said on December 19, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Congrats. Just don’t turn into Thomas Friedman with that radical-center stuff.

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  12. adrianne said on December 19, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Nance, to quote an old TV hand in Fort Wayne – You always make us think!

    Congrats on the Bridge gig! Sounds like a good spot for you, Ms. Think and do!

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  13. Julie Robinson said on December 19, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Congratulations–what terrific news! Will click over and explore that rare thing, a centrist approach.

    We have a nephew serving in South Korea, and it’s going to be a nervous time for the family.

    There was a story recently (NY Times, I think) about eye infections among contact users, and of course poor hygiene was the main cause, but using tap water was a strong contributing factor. Yikes.

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  14. SusanG said on December 19, 2011 at 10:16 am

    A job is a good thing. Congratulations.

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  15. coozledad said on December 19, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I guess the governor’s hit the fan.
    Congratulations Nancy.
    Who’s going to post links to my shitty blog now?

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  16. Heather said on December 19, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I must join in the general congratulations. Sounds like a dream!

    I think I’m too lazy to boil water for my neti pot, and too forgetful to buy distilled. If the bug bites, well, it’s been nice knowing all of you. However, I live in Chicago, where I suspect the brain-eating amoeba regularly freeze to death.

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  17. Runner said on December 19, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Congrats on the new job!

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  18. Liz said on December 19, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Congrats! But selfishingly, I am glad the blog will go on… I love me my nn.c 🙂

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  19. Jolene said on December 19, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Congrats, Nancy. In my last job, I was a communications analyst at a think tank. Was, in many ways, a great job. Hope you’ll be happy there. As others have said, I hope will go on. Sometimes, it’s the best part of my day.

    The NoKo video at your link is funny, but this one is scary. Can’t imagine what it would be like to live in a society that would demand this of its people.

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  20. John C said on December 19, 2011 at 10:39 am


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  21. Nicole Brodeur said on December 19, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Thrilled for you, sorry for those of us who read you and need you for cracking up and thinking purposes. Sounds like a great gig. Merry Christmas.

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  22. Laura Wise-Blau said on December 19, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Congratulations, Nancy! I gave up the freelance life, too. I’m working at Fisher College of Business at Ohio State. Taking my first paid vacation in 15 years next week. Gotta love those state benefits!

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  23. Jolene said on December 19, 2011 at 10:50 am

    A short article re the difference between the NoKo and SoKo economies. One chart tells the story. Fascinating. Government really matters!

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  24. Dexter said on December 19, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Way to go. Best wishes for the New Year as you venture into a new job.

    I was just talking to my wife about the neti pot story before I logged on here. She uses a water-pik thing, and I may have to also. We’ll see.

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  25. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 19, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Roland the Centrist Thompson gunner, indeed. Congrats, and post us links to the Center for Centrist Centripetality, and we will make a thousand blossoming links bloom. This is good news, even with a mild reduction in linktastic goodness. As Deborah said, we’ll all be happy to keep the bar chatter going on slow days.

    But it’s not burying the lead to celebrate Warren Zevon first, new employment second. Never! Ahhhh-oooooo . . .

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  26. Fearguth said on December 19, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Not a huge Warren Zevon fan, but I’m a ‘tiny fraction of the readership’. Best of luck in your new venture!

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  27. LAMary said on December 19, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Congratulations on the new job. I went from self employed to salaried and benefitted when I came here six years ago and it definitely has its plusses.
    When I lived in Colorado, dry, high and cold, I got in the habit of snorting water in the morning. No neti pot. Just after face washing and toothbrushing, snorting a handful of warm water. It helped a lot. I never had any sort of problems with infections.
    And on a less disgusting note, I made the French Pork Stew on Saturday and it was fabulous. The household liked the prunes.
    I think the fresh herbs and lemon at the last minute elevate the whole thing to another level, like a lump of butter stirred into creamy soup. Suddenly it becomes jazzy restaurant fare rather than very good home cooking.

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  28. MarkH said on December 19, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Congrats on the new job, Nancy! I never understood how you juggled all the facets of your life as you have presented them to us. But, here’s hoping your CFM gig brings a new normalcy, especially normal sleep patterns!

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  29. beb said on December 19, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I hate change.

    I also understand your desire to have a solid, steady employment (who doesn’t). So congratulations.

    And thank you for the compliment about Detroit’s drinking water. As a Detroit Water and Sewerage Department employee it’s good to hear.

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  30. Dorothy said on December 19, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I am so happy for you and send a very hearty congratulations to the bouquet already begun above my comment!

    A co-worker swears by her neti pot but I’m 100% with you on it. Keep it as far away from me as humanly possible.

    A little bragging: my daughter started her new position at the newspaper in Virginia last night. She’s the new Assistant Copy Desk Chief. Wooo hooo – now she’s in management, and she handled the Kim Jong Il news with aplomb. Her Facebook status I saw first thing this morning:

    **** (name redacted) is heartened to know that in the time it took the New York Times to send out an email alert about Kim Jong Il’s death, I had posted the Associated Press alert on, sent a text alert to thousands of subscribers, updated the online story no less than five times, added multiple photos, AND made it the No. 1 spotlight on PilotOnline. Not to mention all the work my co-workers are doing to tear up A1 when we have a skeleton Sunday night crew. Urgency, we have it.

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  31. Suzanne said on December 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Congratulations! It sounds like a great job, one I would enjoy if I was a good writer :-(. I hope the blog continues, since I’ve only been on board for a little while, and it has become one of my regulars. It also keeps me away from reading yet one more food blog.

    I agree that the French Pork Stew was fabulous! I can’t wait to make it again.

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  32. Walter Biggins said on December 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Nancy, congrats on the new job! Although I realize this will probably mean reduced frequency in blog posts, this sounds like a great new step.

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  33. James Moehrke said on December 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Way to go on the new job! That sounds so great.

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  34. MichaelG said on December 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Congratulations, Nancy. You are exactly what they’re looking for and will do a fabulous job. Sounds like a really busy schedule and we’ll understand a cut back here. What year was that Bob Greene thing that drew so many of us here? I wonder how many blogs have had faithful readers who have lasted that long.

    I made that pork stew yesterday. It did turn out very well. Good thing it was good because I’m going to be eating it for a long time. When I went to the prune department at Safeway, they were almost sold out. What was left was all labeled “Dried Plums”. They looked and tasted like prunes to me.

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  35. Connie said on December 19, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Congratulations Nancy, I’ve been keeping up with The Bridge on Facebook for some time and I’ll be looking for you there.

    we drink Detroit waterhere in the far west metro as well. I was at the meeting the other night when the township renewed it’s DWS contract.

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  36. heydave said on December 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    So I guess you’ll be passing on that whole house-cleaning-in-a-neighboring-state for me, huh? Well, congratulations anyway!

    And isn’t that reference supposed to read “lawyers, guns and money?”

    Can anyone report that pork stew recipe?

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  37. heydave said on December 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    @Michael G: that labeling is the Prune Board’s way of trying to stay hip and attract a younger demographic.

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  38. heydave said on December 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Uh, never mind on that recipe: I figured out how to search this place.

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  39. Mindy said on December 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Congratulations, Nancy. I hope the new gig means you’ll get more sleep.

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  40. Brandon said on December 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Does this sum up radical centrism?

    All about nasal irrigation:

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  41. alex said on December 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm


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  42. Kim said on December 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    A big woot for the new job, Nancy. There will be days when you wish you could quit us, but I doubt (selfishly) that will happen. This crew you’ve attracted is just too damned interesting. And it’s just wild how many people here I actually know or are within a person or two of knowing.

    Dorothy (a person I am two away from, by my count), well done on your daughter. I saw the front page today and, knowing what tearing up A1 causes the desk to do on a Sunday night, knew the Pilot folks should be satisfied.

    Now I have to get the goods to make that pork-n-prune thing. Thanks BobNG (a person I actually know) for that!

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  43. Lisa Belkin said on December 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Congrats Nancy, you Venus (fly-trap) you!

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  44. JayZ(the original) said on December 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Congratulations, Nancy. I’m sure you are breathing a sigh of relief to have the stability of a job with bennies. I hope that nn.c continues. Even though I am a voyeur more than a contributor, I enjoy it immensely. I’m not writing an obituary here, but if it turns out you must shut down, we have all benefited from the wit, the wealth of information, the intellectual stimulation, the snarky moments, and the sense of community you provide.

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  45. moe99 said on December 19, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Such wonderful news! Congratulations. I’m very glad you are not abandoning us, however. I count on being able to come here and learn something and kibbutz with the folks.

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  46. Bitter Scribe said on December 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Not to be pedantic, Moe, but it’s “kibbitz.” A “kibbutz” is an Israeli commune.

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  47. brian stouder said on December 19, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I’m with Moe! This place is sort of both!

    Anyway, the view from up here in the cheap seats has always been magnificent; indeed, there’s not a bad seat in the house.

    And indeed, this past weekend I was pondering a truism from Nancy and Ms Lippman – the one about “killing your darlings”. (I take that to mean not to settle into a comfort zone too snugly)

    This website is definitely a darling place, and if it must be razed to the ground to make way for the next phase of the life of our Proprietress, then indeed – who can stand in the way of progress?

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  48. nancy said on December 19, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Thank you all for your kindness, but let me re-emphasize: This blog is not going anywhere. I want to keep it going for several reasons, and sending traffic to Bridge and 42 North is only the newest.

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  49. Kirk said on December 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Dorothy, your daughter sounds like someone I’d like. In fact, she sounds like someone I’d like to have working at the desk across from me at the Big D.

    Nance, way to go. Regular work makes life a tad easier to deal with.

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  50. LAMary said on December 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Will you have to wear work like clothing and all that? Are you out there scouting the Jones New York suiting separates racks?

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  51. Bob (not Greene) said on December 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm


    I stumbled across this today. Maybe your new gig will improve your influence score among the nation’s elite. Who knew people tracked such things?

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  52. Dorothy said on December 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Maybe Calista Gingrich has a few extra pieces she’d be willing to pass on to you, Nance!! (pretend I am inserting a winking smiley face here)

    You would be crazy about her as a co-worker, Kirk. She got heaps of praise last week from her fellow Pilot employees when the word got out. We’re very, very proud of her.

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  53. brian stouder said on December 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    There should be an NN.c/Tom & Lorenzo issue with photos of LA Mary and Nance and the others, with laudatory (and snarky) commentary from the peanut gallery.

    Anyway – up ’til today I had never heard of a “neti pot”; but I will pass along one tip that may or may not be worth a bucket of spit. I’ve been fighting a chest cold since mid November (more or less), and Pam just learned that one should pitch one’s tooth brush, and then douse the new one with Listerine every morning.

    We’ll report back on this – but the law of averages dictates that, sooner or later, this cough I have will be fade away in any case….

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  54. deb said on December 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Nance, I already shrieked my congrats to you over the phone, but I can’t say it often (or loudly) enough. You’ve earned this, baby. Enjoy it.

    @adrianne, just had to remind you of the implied second part of “You always make us think”: “And you know how much we hate that.”

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  55. Judybusy said on December 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Oh, Nancy, so very happy for you. I don’t think stability can be overrated– Congratulations!

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  56. Rana said on December 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Oh, congrats, Nancy! That’s great news!

    RE: neti pots… I have a lot of friends who swear by them, and I have one I use when I’m desperate to clear a sinus, but I’ve never experienced the “soothing” quality they claim it provides. Instead, I always feel like I’m halfway to drowning, and it makes me anxious, not soothed. Much more effective and less traumatic is the sterilized saline spray that comes in a pressurized can, I find. That stuff is great!

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  57. Rana said on December 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    (By the way, your feed link’s borked; it returns an error message. Okay, I’ll stop now. You have better things to do with your time!)

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  58. Jolene said on December 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    A propos our earlier conversation re math abilities, I happened across this report on purported differences between men and women. According to this study, previously observed differences in the US are disappearing rapidly as opportunities and instruction change. The original report on this new research was published by the American Mathematical Society, which suggests that the results can be trusted.

    Three cheers for research that debunks stereotypes! And hooray for gender equity in education too.

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  59. 4dbirds said on December 19, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Congrats. A job with benefits is a good thing. A very good thing.

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  60. Joe Kobiela said on December 19, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Congrats Ms Nall,
    Celebrate. Go get a fruit cake, I know how you adore them.
    Pilot Joe

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  61. lisa said on December 19, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Congratulations on the gig.

    Neti pots and sinus rinses: Yes, boil the water. But as someone who suffers the slings and ill arrows of sinus problems, I must put in a good word for NeilMed sinus rinses. I recommend using the squirt bottle. The Neti pot looks so … awkward.

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  62. ROGirl said on December 19, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    One more congrats. Now that I’m working I don’t have the luxury of visiting during the day. Trying to catch up with all the comments at this hour of the evening just doesn’t do it justice.

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  63. Sherri said on December 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Congrats on a job with bennies.

    I get annoyed with SI tut-tutting about athletes turning into monsters, when SI has done so much to turn those athletes into monsters. SI started hyping Lebron James when he was in high school, and now they’re disgusted with what he’s become? I like SI, and I love Iooss’s photograph’s, but I wish they’d stay off their high horse.

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  64. Dexter said on December 19, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    The very first time I heard of a neti pot was when George Sibley, (James Cromwell) , Ruth Fisher’s (Frances Conroy) boyfriend on the HBO classic “Six Feet Under” used one.

    I can barely believe it’s been six years since that show ended and “Dexter” has been on ShoTime for another six. I don’t get ShoTime so I have never seen it. I still only relate the name Michael C. Hall as David Fisher . I should rent the DVDs for “Dexter” I guess.

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  65. Scout said on December 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Congrats, Nancy. I’m really happy for you. As an under-employed person for the past few years, I sure can relate to the joy you must be feeling at the prospect of bennies. And thanks for keeping the blog going. I’m strangely dependent on it!

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  66. Minnie said on December 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Congratulations, Nancy.

    As for the neti, I understand the reluctance, but it really does help with my allergies. Guess I’ll be cringing as I rinse for a while.

    Dorothy @ 11:59 a.m.: Hope your daughter enjoys her new job. That’s our paper. We subscribe.

    I’ve got to make that pork stew that keeps coming up in the conversation here.

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  67. Deborah said on December 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm


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  68. basset said on December 19, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I would make the pork if I could find some damn fennel root – you would think that in a MSA of over a million people it would be available somewhere other than Whole Paycheck.

    Where I will not be going any more, at least the one in Franklin, Tennessee, in the wealthier fringes of Nashville. When I go to buy currants and candied mixed fruit for Christmas pudding, I expect the people who work in the grocery store both to know what currants are and not to give me any attitude about candied mixed fruit.

    I know, Miss Lip Ring, that it might have preservatives in it, and I do not need a lecture, much less any condescension from someone young enough to be my daughter. Vegetable suet I never should have mentioned, I can Google it on my phone just as well as she can without having to explain what suet is, that I want suet, not soup, and what the vegetarian version contains. Crisco, essentially, that’s what I ended up using. And put a Mercury dime in the batter, we’ll see who finds it.

    And you kids get the hell off my lawn.

    Way to go on the job, Nance, sounds like you hit a good lick there.

    Scout, our main local paper here is a Gannett clone which runs USA Today’s sports pages without even changing the typeface to match the rest of the section. I’m sure some marketing study told them to do that.

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  69. Julie Robinson said on December 19, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Dexter, will it make you feel more au courant if I tell you that I’ve never even seen Six Feet Under? We continue our boycott of paying for TV signals, so a lot of popular culture goes right over our heads. Not that that’s always a bad thing.

    Neti pots do look awkward so I use a water bottle with a squeezie top when I need the big rinse. The little packets just have salt and baking soda, if you google the recipe it tells you how to mix your own. Nope, it isn’t pleasant, but it does help a lot when I’m completely clogged. My father-in-law swore by his daily water pik sinus wash but I can’t take it that far.

    But, here’s what I don’t understand: if water is safe to drink, why wouldn’t it be safe to run through your sinuses?

    We cooked our turkey over the weekend and tonight I finally got to have the turkey chowder I’ve been craving since October. It was ambrosial, and luckily enough, we made enough for a couple more meals!

    Edit: Bassett, do you have any food co-ops around you? Ours is expensive, but not Whole Foods expensive. And some products, like bulk spices, are cheapcheapcheap.

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  70. Crazycatlady said on December 19, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Congrats! Busy fulfilling days ahead! Be happy!

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  71. Cara said on December 20, 2011 at 1:28 am

    Nancy, Congratulations! Although I rarely comment, this is a daily visiting spot. So glad to read that will continue. Your comments and snark make my day, sometimes I have to think for ages! Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday and all good things in the new year.

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  72. Dexter said on December 20, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Julie I admire your discipline. Many people have flipped the bird at the cable companies and they watch shows for free on Hulu.
    I just have to have my HBO. HBO is in a lull now so I have been watching Alaska State Troopers and IRT’s summer show, driving trucks over narrow mountain roads in South America.
    I hate Zimmerman but I do watch that diner show and also Bourdain’s show. I prefer sports…without cable, I couldn’t have watched the Steelers get slaughtered by the 49ers last night. I’m thinking I first got cable in 1973 or so…I would really feel out of touch without it.
    And how did I live without satellite radio?

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  73. basset said on December 20, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Julie, I’m sure we have some but I’m not aware of any along the Bloomingfoods model, where you just walk in like it’s a regular grocery store. I’ll just make the damn stew without it…

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  74. ROGirl said on December 20, 2011 at 6:47 am

    In my underemployed days I watched Oprah, and Dr. Oz was on an episode talking about neti pots. Julie, I get DVDs from the library to watch the premium cable shows. I recommend Six Feet Under.

    Happy Hannukah, all.

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  75. coozledad said on December 20, 2011 at 7:26 am

    What is it about hair gel, snake flaggers and criminal levels of stupidity? There seems to be a distinct correlation:

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  76. Julie Robinson said on December 20, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Library DVDs are part of our no-cable strategy, as are Netflix and hooking up the computer to the TV for The Daily Show and Colbert. But in truth, we never seem to have enough time to watch even the offerings at hand. We tried cable for a year and my husband spent every night flipping from channel to channel to channel, always landing on the ones where angry men where shouting at each other. It was not good for our souls.

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  77. brian stouder said on December 20, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Cooz – an interesting link; and it connects with Julie’s ‘angry men…shouting at each other’

    Hell, the latest GOP “front-runner” (or the turd blossom that bloomed last week) thinks guhmint should have the power to summarily dragoon judges who reach ‘politically incorrect’ findings out of their courtrooms and before Congressional committees!

    Because, you know, we have so many legal experts in Congress, right? And they have all their OTHER responsibiliities well under control, yes?

    And really, at the end of each election, we should conduct ideological purges within the Judiciary, yes?

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  78. Hattie said on December 20, 2011 at 9:27 am


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  79. MichaelG said on December 20, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I was quite pleased with the 49ers last night, Dexter. They would be dangerous if they had a quarterback.

    I’ve always thought Whole Foods a strange place and I only visit on rare occasions. One time I asked for slab bacon at the meat counter and the guy behind the counter treated me like I was an idiot. “Whaddaya want that for? We don’t carry it. Sliced bacon is just as good.”

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  80. caliban said on December 20, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Basset: I would suggest, if you really can’t find fennel root, try substituting a bit of anisette for the flavor. Pretty similar. One for the pot, one for the cook.

    Nancy, the job sounds wonderful, a real cause for celebration.

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  81. basset said on December 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Anisette? If that’s what fennel root tastes like I’m definitely leaving it out… appreciate the guidance, though, Caliban. “One for the cook” this time of year is a dram of Laphroaig.

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  82. caliban said on December 20, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Well fennell tastes like licorice, for sure, milder of course. Black gumdrops. But Bassett, when all of these flavors melt together, who knows. Give it a try. I had an amazing semi-sexual experience with anisette in college. We’d go hitchhiking at the bottom of HC Hill, and townie girls would cruise. I got picked up with a buddy, Dave Eagle, and jacked immediately by some toughs from Worcester that hijacked the girls. This was about ’70. The girls were named Blackie, Angel, and Butch. There was a minor altercation with the interlopers. To this day, I’d figure I was lucky to have been interceded for. But That Sunday, Blackie, Butch, and Angel came looking for me in my dorm room to apologize for the situation. I was a legend. How stupid are intelligent kids when they leave their parents behind?

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  83. caliban said on December 20, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    If I’m the class clown, I also think I know all sorts of shit. Whatever. You Grosses. Whatever.

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