Beware the Ides.

I didn’t make a pie for Pi Day. But I did eat a cupcake, in keeping with my contrarian mindset.

I wished it was pie. But sometimes you settle.

Another day I’m ending with a cluttered head, but nothing really coming to the forefront. I’m more of a stew today, so let’s see what sort of things will rise to the top with a good stir.

“Luck,” the HBO series about horse racing, was cancelled today, after a third horse had to be put down, following an on-set injury. Hmm. I’ve been giving it a chance, but I wonder why — it’s a little too self-consciously arch. (That’s redundant, isn’t it? Archness is self-conscious by nature, right?) But I liked the racing scenes, and the horses in general, although if you know anything about riding, you could see the jockeys struggling to ride the races they’d been directed to, with some hauling so hard on their mounts, the horses’ mouths gaped open. There was one making-of featurette that showed just how the cameras got that close — jib arms and a speeding truck, mostly. I liked Gary Stevens, a real jockey who acts on the side. I liked Kerry Condon as an Irish exercise rider trying to break into the bigs.

Didn’t like: All that Milchian dialogue, which some people love, but mostly gets on my nerves. And the dead horses, of course.

Great headline on a newspaper story — the only place you find ’em anymore — about the primaries Tuesday.

Page through a WashPost special section on cherry blossoms. (Man, I’m getting tired. I just typed “cherry bottoms.”)

And while we’re there, check out the photo gallery for the White House state dinner last night. As usual, Shelley O shut it DOWN, as T-Lo would say. But there were some other contenders.

And now it’s the Ides of March, only it feels more like the Ides of April around here. Yesterday I opened the windows for the first time, and once the morning rain passes, I think I’ll do it again.

But before that? Poached eggs.

Posted at 8:11 am in Current events, Media, Television |

74 responses to “Beware the Ides.”

  1. beb said on March 15, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I just had some Egg McMuffins which is sort like a poached egg (in the same way that “pink slime” is in some way ‘meat’). I saw an interesting cooking idea on boingboing the other day. You slice a large onion to get a thick ring, cook the ring till half-done, flip it over and break an egg into the middle. You get a nice little round fried egg, with some delicious onion as well. Works with a ring of green pepper as the mould.

    Curious, this was posted at 8:11 in the morning but you write as if you haven’t gone to bed yet. what’s up? Robo-posting?

    “Luck” would appear to be doing to horses what “48 hours” has done to kid killings. By forcing ever more dramatic and close-up scenes they’re causing tragic and unnecessary deaths.

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  2. nancy said on March 15, 2012 at 8:46 am


    I wrote most of this last night before collapsing into bed, with the thought I’d have something more interesting to say in the morning. That didn’t happen, but I did find a million typos. So I figured I might as well pull the trigger and get it over with.

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  3. h said on March 15, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Nothing good ever seems to happen to me in March. Quite the opposite: 40 years ago today my father died. That certainly changed things. Got divorced in a March. And other shit went down.

    Today I will try to act like a good man, maybe too quiet for some, maybe too loud for others. Mostly making sure my path this Ides is clear and responsible.

    Got your eggs ideas too late, already went with Museli, nuts, fruit and hopefully good for you peanut butter Puffins.

    Take care.

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  4. beb said on March 15, 2012 at 9:01 am

    worst Batman costume eveh! It comes with both a codpiece and massive man-boobs. Makes me appreciate Adam West doing his Batman in tights.

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  5. Deggjr said on March 15, 2012 at 9:12 am

    The Chicago Tribune headline after Prime Minister Chirac was dismissive of British food: ‘The butter knives are out (smaller font) The Brits are in a snit and Chirac is in a hard place after he creped on their cuisine’

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  6. coozledad said on March 15, 2012 at 9:19 am


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  7. Dorothy said on March 15, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Hey beb thx for that idea about the onion. I’m going to try that this weekend.

    We’re going to have temps in the mid-to-high 70’s for at least another week and that makes me want to get up and dance just a little! I’m finding little to wear in my bedroom closet these days – have to run to the spare room where my spring/summer things are hanging. I am NOT complaining.

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  8. nancy said on March 15, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Hey, Cooz, is this guy one of your neighbors?

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  9. alex said on March 15, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Have had furnace off and windows open the last several days and flowers are busting out all over the damn place. If this is global warming, then I’m all for it.

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  10. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Please post a link to the cherry bottoms. And as for your plaintive request from yesterday, you come up most days with something I wish I’d said, and I steal it. As I’ve said, I live for those moments when you say the same of something I said.

    I know I’ve posted this before, but the Athens Banner Herald “First Non-Catholic Pope” head was surely the greatest. They actually published it, and put it in payboxes. Obviously, they meant J2P2, who was Polish and they meant “not Italian”. But syrianly, that error is hilarious, and southren, and the ABH is a good paper and still shit its drawers on this one.

    And Brit food does, indeed, suck. And Nancy, does your discussion of ethnic holidays include Paddy’s Day. We are Irish and we party in Savannah, the southren legitimately oirish town, with bangers and mash and corned beef and Power Gold Label whiskey and mucho Guinness. We are Irish, and I figure expats if these election doomsayers are close and it could be President Sanitarium. But I figure Mejico, no airfare.

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  11. Judybusy said on March 15, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for the shot of glamour at the state dinner! Shelly did look amazing. Elizabeth McGovern looked pretty ill.

    We’ve had the windows open since Sunday here in Minneapolis, and I rode my bike to work today—I am not a winter biker! Had to wear tights and warm stuff up top, including a skull cap under the helmet. This afternoon, it will be shorts and a t-shirt for the ride home.

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  12. coozledad said on March 15, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Nancy: Catawba is a few hundred miles south and west and about eighty-five years in the past from us, but Bivins Hollar has probably toasted a few crosses out this way. I’ve probably had some of his drinking buddies out here to trim the mules’ feet.

    We’ve got some good talent coming in to clean up the remnants of the Strom Thurmond wing of the party. My suggestion that we herd them east like cattle and sell them to an overseas diaper sex fetish consortium was ignored, however.

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  13. alice said on March 15, 2012 at 10:37 am

    “And Brit food does, indeed, suck.”

    “We had an EMPIRE to run!” John Cleese

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  14. JWfromNJ said on March 15, 2012 at 11:32 am

    “Driving Mitt Crazy,” was a great headline but the Rick-Rolled one wasn’t terrible. Had to do a double take on the first one.

    Thanks for the onion-egg tip!

    I’m definitly cautious about the ides of march today because I had a great day if midnight to 2:00 am counts and also finished my work for the day 15 minutes ago, but there are still 12.5 hours for someone – family or editor – to screw things up for me today. Curious who is on the copy desk tonight because that’s the likely culprit.

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  15. Julie Robinson said on March 15, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Last night’ headline from the paper formerly known as Nance’s employer: “Santorum surges in the Deep South”. Feel free to insert your own jokes here.

    And gents, take a gander at Jill Biden in those photos.

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  16. JWfromNJ said on March 15, 2012 at 11:45 am

    @Julie – Wow, thats another who was the editor question. I’d love to think it was Kevin and he’s just clueless, that would be a delight, but it seems someone there has a rebel side.. Bob? Player to be named later?

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  17. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Julie: Call Roto-Rooter.

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  18. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 11:52 am

    In coastal SC, we did not have winter. This week? High 70s no wind and sunny through Sunday. And th ocean is 65degrees, which might sound cold, but I’m used to Maine beaches where 56 is tops. Already went shrimping this am.

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  19. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Pre-prescription ergs proposed by Ohio State Senator. I’d propose a proctological exam with four fingers and a thumb.

    Arizona puts SC in the dust forunadulterated insanity. What is in that Gatorade?

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  20. alex said on March 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Speaking of the paper formerly known as Nance’s employer, there truly is no longer any distinction between news and polemics in that place. To wit:

    The rally is in response to the Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate that all employers, including religious institutions, provide free contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs through their employee health plans.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if they started editing wire service stories with “Muslim-in-Chief” replacing “President Obama.” Of course, at the rate that rag is losing readership it might as well go for broke.

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  21. Dexter said on March 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    It’s an odd thing, this HBO show Luck. Great cast, and it’s very Milchian for sure, and it is intense…but it was on at that 10:00 PM slot, when fatigue sets in, as all the good stuff is on Sundays, and ya just need a break at 10:00, and this show requires a close study, meaning five minutes missed will leave you totally out of the flow of the show’s direction.
    The end product of all these factors was a million for the premiere and then a struggle to get 500,000 viewers a week.
    PETA became involved, neglect charges flying, denials abundant, horses bucking and falling over backwards and dying…too much.
    Degenerate gamblers and big schemes…the whole thing was hard to follow and I sort of gave up after a while. After the third horse died, even the hardcore track people I heard talking in radio were saying the show had to be cancelled immediately…two hours later I heard the news.

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  22. Julie Robinson said on March 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    From Prospero’s link: “Turner’s proposal would require a man seeking Viagra to first attain an affidavit from a sexual partner attesting to his impotency, see a state-approved sex therapist, complete a stress test to assure he is healthy enough for sexual activity, and return to the doctor every 90 days to check on his cardiac health.”
    Read the whole thing. Wonderful.

    And I know that it’s night’s, not night’. Argh. Guess I need a copy editor, too.

    Deborah and Little Bird, how’s your cat doing today? Moe had it right when she said pets become our family members.

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  23. beb said on March 15, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Dorothy @7: here’s the link to the article about the egg-onions.
    note they add a little water and cover to baste the egg. I haven’t tried it myself but it looks (and sounds) delicious.

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  24. Dorothy said on March 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Minnie I asked my daughter about the Doonesbury strip this week and she said they hadn’t had any comments of note, so I guess it’s not a big deal there. On a related note, they finally found someone to hire as her new boss and she’s happy. It’s a guy who was a year ahead of her at Penn State, although she didn’t really know him that well when they both worked at the Daily Collegian. Everyone was crazy about him when they brought him in for his interviews. And she’s headed to the Poynter Institute in Florida for some training next month.

    I was home for lunch today and in the US mail I got envelopes from both of my kids! This never happens so it made me pretty happy. Josh sent a St. Patrick’s Day card from Ft. Leonard Wood, MO and Laura’s was an Instagram post card of her recent trip to D. C.

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  25. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 2:12 pm


    Really? Is that hatred of a black planet or sheer ignorance. I will explode upon the next instance of idiots talking about taxpayer-paid contraception. This is like a buncha nitwits being told repeatedly, “It’s a bomb, don’t touch it or it will blow.” And one of the nitwits insists on touching the bomb. How fracking stupid are these people? When did HHS do that?

    And we went to see John Carter, and it is a hoot for the HS boyo inya. My take is, Whassa matter with comic books. I’d bet Michael Chabon likes it.

    On TV: SyFy does great show, like Eureka, which is incredibly imaginitive and well acted. And Warehouse 13, ditto. And whatever happened to Kyle XY and the inimitable Middleman? People are too fracking dumb for good TV, apparently. Rubicon was too slow? Damian Lewis’ Life wasn’t interesting. I start watching every new show I find promising with the sure feeling it will get cancelled. Maybe Walking Dead has been rejuvenated with the zombie-death of the psycho that had to go Shane. But could they stop telegraphing everything?

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  26. DellaDash said on March 15, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    SciFi/Fantasy world…

    …going to see ‘John Carter’ w/friends tomorrow…guess I’ve got an HS boyo in me…although if ‘Hunger Games’ was in town, that’d be my choice, having read/listened to the trilogy…

    …speaking of which, after getting intro’d to ‘The Song of Fire and Ice’ series, and grrMartin, here at nn.c, I went on a marathon and consumed the whole frakkin epic to date. Decided to switch from streaming, back to DVDs (can’t afford both), once the HBO version became available on Netflix. It has…I did…disc 1 to arrive today.

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  27. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Della, that is a monster amount of reading. I finished 2666 just a while ago and I’m considering Infinite Jest. I am a Harry Potter devotee. I think the writing is outstanding, but haven’t read Hunger Games, which I will before seeing movies.. The cast is way promising so I’ll probably buy in. Haven’t read the Millenium sequels, but I was enthralled with Dragon Tattoo and both movie versions. My favorite writer is parbly William Gibson, or maybe Russell Hoban, or Tom McGuane or T. Pynchon, or Walker Percy.

    What would be wrong with comicbook movies? Beyond me.

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  28. Minnie said on March 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Dorothy, thanks for the inside report. I’m gratified that Pilot readers are showing no rancor toward Doonesbury and the paper’s choice to run this week’s strips. If letters to the editor are any indication people here are more concerned about reinstatement of tolls (whopping) on our tunnels. Given our watery geography, tunnel use is unavoidable.

    Hope your daughter’s new boss will be just the ticket and that she enjoys her time at Poynter.

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  29. Julie Robinson said on March 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    The Hunger Games trilogy is fantastic reading, and the movie based on the first book seems destined to be a hit. There are so many subtle themes in the book, though, and I worry that the movie will just be a female Gladiator. Some members of my household see nothing wrong with that.

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  30. jerry said on March 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Prospero @ 10: “And Brit food does, indeed, suck.”

    Well, that’s a fairly sweeping statement! There is plenty of bad food available here (lots of McD’s for example) but our good food is excellent. If you’re over in England you could try, for example, The Fat Duck – voted Best Restaurant in the world 2005, and runner up for several years. But there are plenty of other places, large and small, that provide good well-cooked food.

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  31. Deborah said on March 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Julie, thanks for asking about the cat. She is still at the vet. She got flushed out and got fluid injected under her skin because she’s already dehydrated and the enema doesn’t help that situation. We won’t know until tomorrow what’s causing her to be dehydrated, just hoping it’s nothing serious. Poor thing is so stressed out she’s not evacuating enough after the procedure, she’s very particular about what litter box she uses and they want to keep her at the vet until 5 this evening. Of course this all cost way more than we said we would spend. But what else can you do?

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  32. Kirk said on March 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Our copy desk received specific instructions (with an explanation) not to use “Santorum” and “surging” in the same sentence. As the news editor wrote, “This may be the strangest style ruling I’ve ever made.”

    Dorothy, your daughter will like her time at Poynter. It’s a first-class outfit with a stimulating program, and there are plenty of opportunities for fun.

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  33. JWfromNJ said on March 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    @Kirk – That memo must have been priceless! I’d have my copy framed and display it in a place of honor. Or was this just an awkward verbal clarification?

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  34. Bob said on March 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Hey, JW! Can’t take credit for the “surges” headline; I’m one of those who believes it’s time to leave “surges” behind and move on to “soaks” and “splashes”

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  35. Little Bird said on March 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm


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  36. Scout said on March 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm


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  37. DellaDash said on March 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    It’s a lot of listening actually, Prospero, unless the narrator isn’t up to the material, in which case I’ll go to library print. I can’t afford to be as sedentary as being a confirmed bookworm demands; so while I’m cleaning, exercising or crafting (just designed and made myself a slammin crotchet winter coat with handspun wool, alpaca and silk sent by a BFF in Colorado who belongs to a spinning guild), I usually have a story being read or acted out in my ears…unless I’m in a more musical frame of mind. I know someone else here is an audiophile…is it you, Julie?

    William Gibson is on my short list of favorites. Someone here mentioned him in context to one of the threads months ago.

    Never got into Harry Potter, beyond the first one…but just talked to a Jamaican niece who was a bright-eyed 11-year-old when I took her with me up into the bush for a memorial Nyabingi drumming a year after my husband died, and we spent a lot of time reading out loud to each other from the 3rd Harry Potter (I think). I also brought her the complete ‘Chronicles of Narnia’. At that time she was such a sheltered island pickney that she totally freaked out when she found herself on a path (to a German friend’s home) in the dark of night with no light whatsoever…no moon gleaming on the Caribbean below us…no oil lamp burning in a nearby window…only the exquisite sparkle above us as if Hermione had waved a wand and cast a spell. Not too long after, ‘me likka Idren’ (my little friend) went to live in London. She tells me (in a British accent…gone is the singsong lilt) that the library was what she liked best when she moved to that foriegn city; and that I turned her into a mini-me bookworm. She’s now 21, this daughter I share with her mother…passed her A levels…is interned as a nurse…considers becoming a doctor. *proud*

    A few recent good reads in the genre:

    ‘Reamde’ by Neal Stephenson (recommended by my uber-nerd baby brother who was the one to turn me on to Gibson)

    ‘1Q84′ by Haruki Murakami (had to return to the library before I was even halfway through the 38 disks…now have to wait in line to finish…but worth it)

    David Foster Wallace is a new discovery…’Infinite Jest’ is supposed to be out in audio soon…tasted a little of ‘The Pale King’, Deborah…couldn’t stick with it

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  38. JWfromNJ said on March 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I’m holding out for “Santorum seeps” in some context

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  39. brian stouder said on March 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    My very most favorite sentence in this thread:

    I’m finding little to wear in my bedroom closet these days – have to run to the spare room where my spring/summer things are hanging.

    Ohhhh baby; You KNOW what I like!

    Aside from that, there’s this –

    which is good stuff.

    And aside from THAT – a group of parents and students (including Pam and Shelby) have all specifically read Hunger Games, and will all see the movie together, next week. (I have been assigned transport duty on movie night)

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  40. Deborah said on March 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Jerry, I’m with you on good food in the UK. I lived in London briefly and there were some fantastic restaurants there. I think when people talk about British food though they’re talking about things like shepherds pie, kippers and stuff like that. Which are OK but not spectacular.

    Prospero, do consider reading Infinite Jest, I enjoyed it, but I like DFW in general, except I’m still not done with his last one Pale King. Which was unfinished when he killed himself. They cobbled it together and published it anyway. You can really tell it isn’t as finessed as his other work.

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  41. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Jerry, Mickey D’s is fuel not food. And I’ll admit, in my 24-hr. stay at the Cadogan Hotel (where Oscar Wilde was arrested) in Summer, 1970 on Swissair’s dime, I had very good wine and mediocre room service food. And what’s with those little standup crustless toast thingies in the dining room? I’m a Yank, so I had roast and it was overdone to the point of inedibility.

    Bird and Scout, squatters. Or bacon strips. As on tidy whitey magic underpants.

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  42. beb said on March 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Prospero: “I’d bet Michael Chabon likes it [John Carter].”

    He should, he wrote part of it.

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  43. Little Bird said on March 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Don’t ruin my love of bacon, please?!?

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  44. DellaDash said on March 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Looking forward to a ‘Hunger Games’ movie review from you, Brian…

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  45. Julie Robinson said on March 15, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Yup, Della, you’re right. I’m not a TV person and when I’m home alone I’m always listening to music or audiobooks. Our library has digital downloads but for books not available I check out them on CDs. If I’m not going to have enough time to listen before they go back I transfer them onto my mp3 player for later.

    The Marukami book is on hold right now, and I’ll look into Stephenson. Currently I’m reading the second book in Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy on real live paper and ink. The book has a March 12 processing stamp on the inside flap–there’s something exciting about knowing you’re the first one to flip the pages.

    And I can relate to bad narrators. I was working on Blue Like Jazz, and it was work since the I didn’t care for the narrator. I’m going to have to read that one in print, since our daughter loves the book and we’ll be seeing the movie together on our upcoming visit. Which will be next month! For 12 whole days!

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  46. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Doesn’t Hunger Games owe a huge debt to Stephen King and that woman that wrote The Lottery? I mean it sure sounds like the premise of Running Man (Ahnuld’s best movie, and Richard Dawson’s and the person that cast him’s, greatest hit), and the Judas Goat theme was done once to perfection. Oh, Shirley Jackson.

    Deborah, I wasn’t thrilled with Broom of the System, but in the long run I liked it. I’ll read Infinite Jest, but I’ll be annoyed at every authorial interjectio. We know you’re there dumbass, and you intend the big goodbye. For me, Pynhcon’s style races by in a breathtaking fashion, and I don’t mind the esoterica, and I love the verbosity. Maybe because I read John Gardner first. Sunlight Dialogues may be the greatest novel ever written. And it’s dense and abstruse, and full of allusions to The Book of the Dead. I love books like that. And I love laconic, pluperfect writing like Tom McGuane on simple human nature like “tops in mindless”, and mindlessly murderous bastards one excapes by pure luck, and absent blappeople in Florida. And whoever it was here that mentioned Mary Doria Russel, I think, maybe Moe, The Sparrow is mind-bending and -expanding, like The Devil Is Dead, by RA Lafferty.

    Nothing could ruin my love of bacon. Nor paper and ink. I own one first edition: The American Language, and it cost a fortune and has the great man’s signature. And why has nobody ever made a movie of Mencken? And Beb, right, but Michael Chabon knows the power of comics, too.

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  47. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Here you go Brian The Boss does Beach Boys (sorta, there is still that minor chord synth wash).

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  48. moe99 said on March 15, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Looks like Andrew Sullivan was at the state dinner. I’m afraid that I disagree with the proprietress about Shelley’s dress. Too dark and don’t like the two piece idea. She’s looked so good so many other times.

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  49. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Amazing performance of If I Should Fall Behind:

    Brilliant Clarence. Heartbreaking. And our song for the week:

    My brother bought a house with a greenhouse. We gonna grow some cannabis sativa for our own use only, and because it’s an extremely attractive ornamental.

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  50. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    And I’d like to see the First Lady in a two piece. Rash Limbo thinks anybody but a 13 year old third world female child is fat. Anybody but his disgusting fat ass.

    And a song for the pre-birthers,

    Kill’em after they leave the uterus, or starve ’em, or beat them down:

    The GOP way, no Bishops required (since they are not on this cruise).

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  51. nancy said on March 15, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Turns out that T-Lo agrees with you, Moe. It gets a “First Lady, that is not your dress.”

    I’m having second thoughts about that necklace. But overall, I love that color on her (and on me). Maybe I was swayed by that.

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  52. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    GOPers attacking sane and responsible Republicans. Of which there aren’t many. A dying breed.

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  53. JWfromNJ said on March 15, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Prospero – That’s from the Live in NYC performances right before 911. It’s a great performance by the entire crew. Played it at a friend’s funeral last year – left a young wife and kids behind. Nils, Steve, and the big man make that performance.

    This will be the first tour in years I miss – unless my cousin in Tampa comes through with an extra ticket. Wouldn’t be the same as being in the Meadowlands or MSG.

    I’m partial to the Springsteen and Eddie Vedder videos. You can just see the mutual respect and the sheer joy on Eddie’s face:

    Better Man

    No Surrender

    Good luck with your gardening project. Not that I’d know what I’m talking about in recent times but top it off without mercy and wait the extra time. LOL.

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  54. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    JW it’s been years without. Patience is our middle name. Nils and the trampoline rule.

    But Cry Tough is the best.

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  55. Deborah said on March 15, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    The cat is back home and we are in for a long night with the after effects of the flush out. We have to confine her to the bathroom with her litter box and she is not happy after all she went through today I’m sure she just wants her familiar warm dark spot. Poor thing. They did get the blood work back and it’s her kidneys, that’s what’s making her dehydrate and causing constipation. It’s not dire and can be managed with a special diet. Food that I have to buy at a vet type place, not horribly priced but it doesn’t come in beef, only poultry so this is going to take some time to switch her over. I’m relieved. Stressed out but relieved that it’s not the unthinkable.

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  56. Charlotte said on March 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Just clicked through the WaPo slideshow — the pictures of Ed Koch hit me like when I haven’t seen one of my parents friends in a while — so old! oh no! Michelle and Clooney — swoon. And Jill Biden — babe dress!

    Prospero — I think Michael Chabon was brought in to consult on John Carter. I don’t have a citation, but I think I read it somewhere in the vast procrastination that ate my last 2 days.

    Warm even here in Montana. Windy as shit, but warm. Getting ready to plant greens under hoops — new beds though, so they need some tending still. Weather all screams climate change though …

    (Oh, and on the egg thread — another good trick, cut a hole in a piece of bread with a cookie cutter or glass, fry egg in the middle. I like a good dollop of tomato or chile sauce as well).

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  57. Jolene said on March 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    I agree w/ T&L that the problem w/ Michelle’s dress was the way the top fit, particularly the angle of the pieces that fit over her upper arms. Seems like a sharper angle so that the thing would have hung more naturally on her shoulders would have worked better. What I loved was the sweep of the skirt in this photo. Her best state dinner dress was, I think, the one she wore at the dinner for the prime minister of India.

    Glad your cat is back home, Deborah. Hope she recovers quickly.

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  58. Jolene said on March 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    An interview w/ Naeem Khan, who made MO’s dress for the India dinner:

    When the First Lady chooses your dress, your world changes.

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  59. brian stouder said on March 15, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Della – seeing that movie (Hunger Games) is not in my plan; I’m just a driver! I’m nearly to the end of Chris Matthews’ surprisingly readable JFK book, after which I have Elizabeth and Hazel waiting in the wings, and then an Eric Foner book about Lincoln, and then Pam’s compendium of Jane Austin novels (which I got for her about 20 Christmases ago).

    Other than Jane Austin, Laura Lippman’s books scratch whatever fictional itches I have. Now there’s an odd sentence. Are my itches fictional? – or, am I itchin’ for fiction? Who knows?!

    Aside from that, let me say to JW from NJ – Eddie Vedder is the MAN! Good stuff, always.

    And one last aside – Pam liked Michelle’s dress, too. And, she thought that Ms Biden was about to have a nipple-slip, in one of those photos

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  60. basset said on March 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I like the early Gibson, seems he’s been repeating himself in the last few though. Stephenson… I LOVED Snow Crash, had to force myself to finish Anathem, started Cryptonomicon but closed the book and took it back to the library first time I ran into a math formula. Such as that has no place in a novel.

    Hunger Games I haven’t read but I see the author is yet another IU Bloomington alum.

    Didn’t make a pie either, there was another food-related holiday yesterday though. Steak-centered.

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  61. Connie said on March 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I would add my recommendation for Stephenson’s Reamde and will add to it a recommendation for Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Each book in its own way has portions that take place within an online world somewhat like Second Life. Ready Player One’s characters have to use their knowledge of 80s video games to outwit the bad guys.

    Coming to you from the Public Library Conference in Philadelphia where I have just attended two fine parties. A fine looking Thomas Jefferson was at one.

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  62. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    That’s Dr. Biden to you brian stouder. Basset, on the contrary on William Gibson. He’s reinvented in his last three novels, and has a keen eye for how fracked the world is these days. Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, and Zero History. Pretty amazing, I think. I also think it’s fascinating that there is a “real life” Idoru these days:

    The Canadian from South Carolina invented that idea. He also pretty much invented reality TV before there was any (and I wish he’d kept that to himself, though that was more likely prescience and noir ability to see the worst in people than any progeniture.

    And Count Zero is old-fashioned SF but with cyberspace, which W. Gibson invented, too.

    For math in fiction, Flatland is a brief great read about geometry, the only math I understand or see a point in, unless you count music as math, in which case, I’m all for Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers. An amazing book, that’s also instructive in genetics. And that’s the cleverest title pun ever, I’m pretty sure.

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  63. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Cosplay parties, Connie?

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  64. brian stouder said on March 15, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    OK basset, I’ll bite: what was the other ‘food-related holiday’ yesterday?

    Say – all y’all need to read Nancy’s newest Bridge article on Michigan’s charter schools.

    Here are a few passages that made me groan. There was one principal (Lombardi) who was highlighted, who scavenged desks and chairs and so on, to furnish his school:

    Lombardi says that, free from the layers of bureaucracy and oversight, he is able to give his students and teachers the benefit of his bargain-hunting in the things that matter less in a quality education. His desks and chairs were put together like Frankenstein and are in ’70s colors, but they’re clean and sturdy. Why can’t public schools be that smart about it? “It’s fun to do this, because everything you save, you put into the kids,” said Lombardi.

    How quickly this would turn around and bite this guy, when a kid knocks his head on a steel desk, or if they find lead in the paint, or when a shelf collapses. Then, indeed, the question that will be asked of HIM will be – just what the hell HAVE you “put into the kids”, and/or “put the kids into”?

    Not for nothing, but those “layers of bureaucracy and oversight” are precisely and exactly what I demand, for my publicly financed public schools.

    Markavitch claims charters are getting too much of a free ride in the name of promoting innovation in education. Very few provide transportation and most don’t take the most challenged special-ed students, she says. In Oakland County, special ed costs $15,478 per services-receiving pupil; charters spent $5,282, Markavitch said.

    Diane Ravitch says – and I agree with her as completely as it is possible for any human being to agree with any other human being – that Charter schools (et al) are nothing short of a direct assault on Public education, period. If we believe that public education is a positive good for society (and I, for one, do), then the only question is, how to go about it.

    A sufficiently funded school system, overseen and governed by a local, elected school board of trustees, is the way to go. For-profit operations, afterall, can fail to turn a profit and then close down….and then who is left holding the bag?

    Afterall, and as Ms Ravitch reminds us, the public school systems that we have inherited are not specifically OURS to destroy; they were built by the taxes and efforts of previous generations, and we have a responsibility to future generations to run them well, and maintain them, and pass them onto future generations.

    That absolutely does not mean that there isn’t room to innovate and experiment and improve them; and indeed, real choice within the public system is something that FWCS (in particular) offers.

    I just cannot see how we could, in good conscience, chuck all these responsibilities and obligations, to past and present and future generations, to some “For Profit” concern that will – as soon as they decide their profits aren’t what they should be – simply chuck it all and say “See ya!”.

    That is one question I’d have for these proponents of “Charters”: What do they envision will happen, when a private concern says “screw it” and blows town? How does this end? (And I betcha $15,000/student that the hapless taxpayer gets to hold that bag, again, until things are stabilized enough for another set of “private sector” leeches attach themselves, and start sucking again)

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  65. Crazycatlady said on March 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Cherry bottoms make the best Pies!

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  66. DellaDash said on March 15, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Oh yes, Connie…took in ‘Ready Player One’ and ‘Reamde’ almost back-to-back without realizing what a matched pair they are! ‘Ready Player One’ is so steveJobsian in an anti sort of way. I like how Earnest Cline does a shout out to Corey Doctorow (and a cohert who’s name I can’t remember, now) in the story…though both are non-fiction activists for users’ rights.

    Guess I’ll check out ‘Snow Crash’ next for my second Stephenson, Basset.

    Okay, Brian, you’re off the hook…unless you want to pass along a second-hand account.

    Prospero…’Flatland’ has the only math in which you see a point?…ha ha!

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  67. Prospero said on March 15, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    I eat ’em up Crazycatlady.

    And from our Paddy’s Party invite:

    There was half a million people there
    Of all denominations
    The Catholic, the Protestant, the Jew, the Presbyterian
    Yet there was no animosity
    No matter what persuasion
    But failte hospitality
    Inducing fresh acquaintance

    Theme song:

    And yes I’m Irish. And NYC can keep their parade. Savannah does it better.

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  68. Deborah said on March 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Brian, there have been studies of late about how bad some earlier school furniture was for little bodies to sit on/in for hours on end, ergonomically and related to allergies (plastics on sensitive skin). So old stuff may not be good.

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  69. Kaye said on March 16, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I always learn something here but today was a banner day: Eggs and music and cherry blossoms, oh my!

    In anticipation of seeing the movie next weekend, I re-read the first Hunger Games book early this week. Between now and then we will visit the cherry blossoms in DC.

    A special thank you for Springsteen/Vedder “No Surrender” link; love it!

    This Shelly O outfit is one of my recent favorites. I disagree with T&L re: Sam Cam’s outfit; I think it looks like a 70’s polyester dress from JCPenney. Just my opinion and no one has ever mistaken me for a fashion model, or a fashion critic for that matter.

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  70. Prospero said on March 16, 2012 at 12:53 am

    I had a lot to say couple of days ago on Nancy’s piece on charters. I believe charters are the camel’s nose in the tent for people that were hot for vouchers, which was never anything but cash back for fairly wealthy people. And it’s privitization under another flag, and that never turns out well. When HW was President, prisons began to be privatized. Early contractor? Famous criminal Chuck Colson. This is GOPer politics. Who votes for these crooks? And those prisons are rank failures these days. What a friend we have in Jesus.

    I just saw a TV as for BudLite Platinum. Holy shit. Make rented urine taste better by naming it a different color, or metal. And rednecks will buy this dreck?

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  71. moe99 said on March 16, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Kay, I was about to post the same Shelly in Zac Posen picture! Great minds think alike!

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  72. beb said on March 16, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Michael Chabon was brought in to revise parts of the John Carter screenplay, which I think was a sign of desperation because he’s not a screenwriter, he’s a novelist. I don’t think those skills translate well. Just as people are saying Stanton f’ed up because he was an animator, not a director, didn’t know what he was doing or how to contain costs. Interestingly, the people most likely to like this movie, old-time pulp and SF fans seems to have had a favorable to very favorable impression about the movie. And even comments here seem to suggest that when people actually go to see it, they have generally like it. So I’m hopeful when I go to see it.

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  73. basset said on March 16, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Brian@64, search “steak” and “March 14,” you’ll see it.

    Prospero, have to disagree on the recent Gibsons. I finished “Zero History” just this week, doesn’t have the level of detail and disconnection that the early ones do.

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  74. Connie said on March 16, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Sorry Prospero, no cosplay, though Ben Franklin was there too. Several furries in the exhibit hall too.

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