A hot weekend, capping a hot week, and looking forward to a hot week ahead, perhaps punctuated by? Storms. We missed the Friday-afternoon blow that currently has tens of thousands in Fort Wayne without power, and continued on to the eastern seaboard and has hundreds of thousands without power, so I guess that means that if we make it through the holiday and through to the weekend with electricity, we will be very lucky people indeed.

My editor is headed for San Francisco on vacation this week. “Where it’s 60 degrees,” he’s said, more than once. This weather doesn’t agree with him. Nor with anyone else.

But hey! Independence Day is nearly upon us. I have a big box of blueberries from the market, so if I can get a big box of raspberries somewhere on Monday or Tuesday, I can make one of those flag cakes you see on the cover of Good Housekeeping.

I had a pleasant weekend, due in part to the heat. When it’s too hot to do anything, there’s not much to do but ride your bike to the park, find a lounge under one of the big umbrellas, and chill with an old Elmore Leonard paperback. (Can’t take the iPad to the pool, yo.) I swam for a while, then read until it got out of hand, heatwise, even under the umbrella. It was actually quite relaxing, except for the ride home. All that blazing-hot asphalt really takes it out of you.

Meanwhile, I got you some bloggage.

I hope you can read this, a great WSJ piece on “The Girl From Ipanema,” on the 50th anniversary of the song’s release. It includes a photo of the actual GfI, but not the best fact I learned about the song along the way, that the English lyrics take considerable liberties with the original Portuguese. There’s a passage in the latter that describes her bundas, her bottom: More than a poem, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

One of my colleagues at Bridge, Rick Haglund, takes apart the president’s “private sector is doing fine,” comment, for which he has received such a raft of it:

While polls show Americans are dissatisfied with the economy, the president had a point. Corporate profit margins are at record levels. In Michigan, the automakers are churning out billions of dollars in earnings.

The private sector has created 4.3 million jobs in the past 27 months. But the United States is still down nearly 5 million jobs since the Great Recession started in December 2007.

But it’s not just the number of jobs that determines a healthy economy. It’s also about income growth, and most Americans haven’t seen much for years.

CNN has a disturbing story suggesting the depth of the conspiracy in the Penn State case. St. Joe was in the thick of it, if it’s to be believed. Quel surprise.

And now the week begins. Stay cool.

Posted at 12:25 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

38 responses to “Steaming.”

  1. Dexter said on July 2, 2012 at 1:11 am

    “But each day when she walks to the sea
    She looks straight ahead, not at me.”

    The song is great, but for perfection, I nominate this one:

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  2. Suzanne said on July 2, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I hope they throw all the perps from Penn State into a dark, icky prison with some big, ugly, and horny guys and then close down the football program, but I guess that is way too much to ask.

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  3. beb said on July 2, 2012 at 8:15 am

    The new allegations in the Penn State case are based on email released since the trial. No one seems to be repudiation the emails and they paint a picture where Paterno, the University President and so on were more concerned about keeping this quiet then dealing with it as a crime. It’s open to debate whether they were trying to avoid embarrassing to the University or to Sandusky. I suspect for Paterno it was to protect Sandusky but for everyone else they were desperately hoping to prevent a major sex crime scandal.Either way, they all should go. And actually, I think they have have left their offices, though I could be wrong about that.

    Obama’s “the private economy is doing fine” is a gaffe on par with John Kerry’s “I was for before I was against it” comment. Corporate profits may be up but private market job creation still runs below the 150,000 a month judged necessary to keep up with population growth. And he really should have focused on the loss of police, firemen and teachers as not only a drag on the economy but as recklessly endangering society.

    The heat over the weekend here in Detroit was intense but also not too bad as it was combined with low humidity. You wanted to stay out of the sun but under shade I’m sure it was pretty nice. Still I’m glad I got the A/C units up early this year. If it’s 90 in June I don’t want to think what it will be like in August.

    There’s been a lot of stuff going on in London over the discovery that British Banks have been manipulating LIBRO, which is their inter-bank lending rate. Since a lot of investment bonds are tied to LIBRO, even here in the US, a lot of cities, states and pension funds have been ripped off for billions. Meanwhile JPMorgan Chase has up their losses from $2 billion to $9 billion and the risk management director was allowed to resign and keep $27 million with of bonuses. Clearly we are owned by a kleptocracy.

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  4. KLG said on July 2, 2012 at 9:05 am

    The only thing that has Penn State quaking in its boots is the likelihood that the NCAA will sanction the football program, based on what Louis Freeh seems to be unearthing (now, that right there is a surprise, I don’t care who you are). The other “stuff”? Well, that will be expensive, but it’s only money. A whiteout of 100,000 in Happy Valley is real. Anyway, there is now no doubt that St. Joe of Paterno knew by the late 1990s that his Defensive Coordinator was predator and a pervert, and the only thing he did was force him out of his position as coach. Which, when you get right down to it is more than the Clan of the Red Beanie (thanks, CP) ever did…

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  5. coozledad said on July 2, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Usually I don’t start hearing Brazilian music in my head until midwinter, but for some reason, I keep hearing Cais by Milton Nascimento. I guess it goes well with the heat. I finally looked up the lyrics in translation, and appropriately it seems to be an escapist song. You never know what those guys were trying to get under the radar of the military dictatorship, but I’m content hearing it as about going away in a sailboat in your mind. Away from the damn heat.

    I’d like to see the Penn State thing destroy the culture of cash athletics at universities, but I don’t think there’s an administration of any football or basketball powerhouse that has the guts to do anything that’ll piss a coach off. If for no other reason, they ought to can those programs to spare the students the spectacle of craven ass-crawling among supposed adults.

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  6. Bitter Scribe said on July 2, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I can understand and empathize with the Penn State administrators who were reluctant to stop Sandusky. The enormity of the evil they were confronting was mind-boggling. It must have been so much easier to look away.

    That said, they still need to be held accountable and punished with severity. The next administrators in a position like that must be made to understand that not acting will have severe personal consequences.

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  7. DellaDash said on July 2, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Wow, Cooz…didn’t expect to run across someone, outside a small circle of friends, who’s also succombed to the spell Nascimento cast on us so many years ago…

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  8. Charlotte said on July 2, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Tear down the football stadium. Salt the earth. Forbid them from ever playing another game again.
    However, it won’t happen. I have a good friend here who played for Michigan –Elwood Reid, wrote a novel, If I Don’t Six about the experience. The blowback from the Michigan football crowd over what still seems to me like a not-controversial critique of the program, was intense. (And while I love Elwood, and I’m auntie to all his kids, I kept waiting for football to be a metaphor for something. It’s not. It really is a novel about football). The football thing is so weird. It still follows him like an aura.

    Hot here and everything’s still on fire. My beloved is the most miserable man you’d ever hope to meet in this heat. Just suffers. I did a ginger-and-scallion poached chicken yesterday that should see us through most of the rest of the week without cooking. The rice cooker is the key to hot-weather dinner.

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  9. coozledad said on July 2, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Della: Milton is apparently a modest, decent person. I heard he still lives in the (poor) town where he was born, and is revered by the locals.

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  10. Peter said on July 2, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Bitter Scribe, I can understand why the Penn State honchos looked the other way, but I don’t empathize with them. Sometimes you just have to do the right thing…

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Back in the day, companies would just privately apologize and pay people to make it go away. They would have given Jerry a nice retirement bonus and a little home in Florida. But Joe wanted his record, and the school wanted the cash and the publicity, and neither of them were going to share or care about anyone else.

    And KLG, I don’t think Penn State will get any NCAA sanctions at all. In their eyes, this wasn’t nearly as serious as selling off some trinkets for a tattoo. What a surprise.

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  11. MichaelG said on July 2, 2012 at 10:55 am

    The weather here in Sactown has been beautiful and is scheduled to be so for at least the next week. Fifties nights and ninetyish days.

    The final spot for the women’s 100 meters team will be decided this evening with a run off. Check your local listings. I think it’s around 5:30 somebodie’s time. No idea what net. NBC has been carrying the trials.

    I like Brazilian music a lot. Have ever since as a kid in College around ’64 or so. I saw Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto and heard her sing “The Girl From Ipanema”. She was young and dark and impossibly beautiful and her voice was girlish and vulnerable and perfect for the song and I fell in love. She had her hair up and was wearing a white dress that came almost to the floor. She stood sort of at an angle so the dress looked all demure until she turned the other way and the audience could see it was slit up to the hip. Whew!

    Getz was a terrific musician and really introduced Brazilian music to this country. To me, anyway. Astrud was an entertaining singer if not the most gifted musical talent around.

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  12. Bitter Scribe said on July 2, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Charlotte: Damn! I read that novel when it came out and remember liking it at the time, but I’d long forgotten both the title and the author. Did he really get a lot of blowback? It seems to me that when someone writes intelligently and honestly about something that a lot of people have uncritical reverence for, some of those people will inevitably get upset.

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  13. alex said on July 2, 2012 at 11:16 am

    When the girl with emphysema goes walking
    You hear a constant wheezing and coughing
    And when she’s coughing the phlegm she passes is brown

    Back in the ’80s my circle of friends had a chronic case of the sillies and the above was one of my contributions to the group’s rollicking repertoire of dumb ditties. We went to see Astrud Giberto live in Chicago at some old warehouse converted into a nightclub–I forget the name, but it was in River North–and she didn’t take the stage until 2:00 AM and gave a very brief performance once she finally did. I was also a big fan of Jobim’s music generally.

    Well, this is the first I’ve had access to a computer in days. My power didn’t go out but my phone and internet did. Other homes in my own neighborhood are without power so I consider myself pretty lucky. Didn’t lose any trees, but an enormous upper portion of an oak tree fell and managed not to destroy anything.

    Otherwise there was destruction all around me. I saw someone I know personally being interviewed on the news last night; he visits here occasionally. A huge tree managed to lay itself around his house rather than on it. Quite spectacular.

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  14. Connie said on July 2, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I also saw Astrud Gilberto live, late 80s or early to mid 90s at the Kentucky Center for the Arts Lonesome Pine Specials series. We attended that series for years and watched the TV shows on PBS as well. It was a great assortment of concerts with cheap tickets, billed as “non mainstream” music.

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  15. Prospero said on July 2, 2012 at 11:53 am

    If Penn State football gets financially damaged, the unintended victims will be participants in the Title IX women’s and “minor sports” programs that football pays for lock, stock and barrel. Collateral damage: gymnastics, softball, swimming, soccer, track & field, volleyball. Penn State hoops ain’t payin’ any bills.

    An Impanema version by Stevie Wonder and his daughter Aisha, recorded live in Rio:

    Very receptive crowd and Steveland plays a terrific harmonica solo.

    We tend toward reggae when it gets bloody hot, but we haven’t had hellacious temps yet. The ocean is a wonderful moderator of the heat and it’s not a 1/4-mile away.

    I saw Nelson Nascimento do this number at a Reggae Sunsplash concert in Harvard Stadium about 30 years ago:

    Really sounds like Toots/Pressure Drop to me. Bob Marley and King Sunny were also on that show. Unfortunately, no Maytals.

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  16. coozledad said on July 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm


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  17. beb said on July 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    All I know about the NCAA is what I’ve read in Joe Nocere columns I’ve very occasionally read. From them I gather that all the NCAA cares about is the appearance of amateurish in sports. And since the whole child rape thing was not about recruitment whyt should the NCAA care how many boys were raped in the Penn State football locker room.

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  18. Jolene said on July 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I haven’t read any statements by the NCAA re the Penn State situation, but I have read that they are conducting an investigation. Could be that there’s some kind of disciplinary action yet to come.

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  19. Prospero said on July 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    That kid is just befuddled by his anti-seizure meds, coozledad. Savage said so.

    Issa licks the feet of his pernicious NRA overlords.

    What Obamacare means to Americans that don’t have Cadillac Congressional health care coverage, like the plan Boehner is relying on to replace his liver when it shuts down permanently.

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  20. DellaDash said on July 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    The little bit I could find online about Milton and Nelson didn’t yield any connection other than their last name. I like the dancing on your link, Prospero, and can see how Nelson Nascimento would fit in at Sunsplash…but never cared too much for Dancehall stylee. What do you think of Milton? I’ve found I share most of your wide-ranging musical enthusiasms, but know his haunting soft-jazz sound isn’t for everyone.

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  21. Judybusy said on July 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Count me in the Milton Nacsimento fan club, and all things Brazilian. A few years ago, I took a couple years’ worth of community education Portuguese lessons. The teacher used Brazilian music to teach us–we’d listen, work together on writing down the words in Portuguese, then translate as homework. It was a great way to learn the language and new musicians…she was young and hip. The work paid off when my honey and I went to Brazil in August 2008. Yikes, four years ago already!

    Beb @ #3–I’m reading a book called Power, Inc., that is about this very issue: how huge corporations are affecting the economy and changing the role of government. What I especially appreciate is the historical view he takes–going back to the late 1100s. However, it clips along and doesn’t get bogged down in details. Highly recommended.

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  22. Prospero said on July 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Della, soft, or cool jazz, kinda always reminds me of the truly horrible Chet Baker, although the guy could play, and played with Charlie Parker and Gerry Mulligan. When smack convinced him he was a singer, it all went to shit, and then he got his teeth knocked out by his dealer which pretty much messed up his horn playing. Jazz needs swing and bop, for me, rebop. Like the great McClintic Sphere.

    I have the Angelus album and listen to it occasionally, but bought it mostly because Wayne Shorter, Jack DeJohnette and P. Metheny play on it. Herbie Hancock too. My favorite cut from that is Vera Cruz, that I believe is an older composition: (1968 version)

    This sounds like a Return to Forever piece to me, like a Chick Corea or Mangione composition. I like it pretty well.

    This sort of thing has a fine vocal and interesting arrangement, but seems kind of ennervated by reaching for hipper than thou:

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  23. DellaDash said on July 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Charlotte – ‘If I Don’t Six’ sounds enticing, but can’t be found at the Nashville library, so I’ve put a hold on ‘Midnight Sun’ instead. Seems like your cuz, Elwood, just might belong to an exclusive coterie of what I call uber-virile writers…those who can take me on a no-holds-barred carnival ride down into the testosterone-brined psyche of the American male. Bukowski is one. Harry Crews (A Feast of Snakes), who died just a few months ago, is another. Articulate, creative neanderthals never cease to fascinate me…at a distance. Doubt if I could handle them in the flesh.

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  24. Icarus said on July 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    interesting tidbit I found. Apparently the DA had enough evidence in 1998 to press charges. Instead he disppeared in 2005

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  25. Charlotte said on July 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Yes, Elwood is one of the Manly Men writers (for my money, his best book is “What Salmon Know” — short stories). Livingston is ground zero for Manly Men Writers. However, he has 4 daughters and a toddler son, so his house is always full of little girls and lots of hair accessories. He bellows at them all to “GO PLAY OUTSIDE” and no one pays any attention at all. It’s quite hilarious … especially when the little ones tell new friends not to pay any attention to Daddy.

    We’re off for the annual rodeo parade this afternoon. Word is that Jon Tester is driving the antique tractor that’s pulling the Democrat’s float, Steve Bullock of Citizen’s United fame and our current candidate for Gov will also be here — the great thing about a low-population state — we all wind up in a local backyard afterwards. Chance to meet and greet and pass along your two cents. Can’t say I ever had that chance in California …

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  26. Sherri said on July 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I wouldn’t necessarily put a lot of weight on what Cyril Wecht has to say. He wasn’t involved in the investigation, and he’s always looking for attention.

    For those looking for the NCAA to do something, you’re going to be disappointed. The NCAA has no authority to do anything about this. It only has the authority the member schools give it, and there isn’t going to be a groundswell of schools pushing to punish Penn State that severely because everybody is afraid it could happen to them. Recruiting violations, yes; that gives offending schools a competitive advantage. A coach molesting children and covering it up? Next thing you know, they might start looking more closely at sexual assault in general in athletic departments, and how often that gets covered up.

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  27. Julie Robinson said on July 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    It looks like a lot of good links today but the library internet is understandably slow so they’ll have to wait for another time. It would be churlish of me to complain about it when it’s nice and cool, and I even found a comfy chair with a plug nearby to charge all my electronics. I just heard that power is back at our church and never will I be so happy to go in to work.

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  28. beb said on July 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Something confusing me is that Anderson Cooper just came out as gay today. Except I thought everybody knew he was gay year ago. Is this a second coming out or what?

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  29. alex said on July 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    So I wonder who or what ignited this latest round of “Obama’s bank bailout” and “Barney Frank’s mortgage default crisis” that I keep hearing about. Anyone else notice an uptick in these zombie canards and the bumper sticker with the Obama symbol that says “HONK if I’m paying your mortgage”?

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  30. Bitter Scribe said on July 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    beb: I thought so too, unless I was confusing him with Don Lemon.

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  31. Dorothy said on July 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Hullo from the home of toilet flushing done via buckets! We expect to have power back today but in the mean time we are showering on campus and running back and forth with buckets and jugs of water. The cacophony you will hear from my locale will be the sound of a half crazed 54 year old woman who is greeting the restoration of her electricity with wild-eyed glee and banshee shrieks.

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  32. Dexter said on July 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Well, we got both cars out of the repair shop, have a tree service coming at 8:00 AM to cut this goddam monster maple off our rooftop, got a replacement air conditioner so we have AC now once again, the loaner Chevy Blazer died but the tree service man gave me a jump, so things are looking up. We have power, which the entire villages of Paulding and Sherwood here in rural NW Ohio are without…the tree service man said his connections told him it could be TWO WEEKS before power is restored. Two f-ing WEEKS!
    I donated the old window air conditioner to the city recycling department. I went online before that, and found how to thoroughly clean a balky AC, but this one was just “plum-wore out.”
    I never saw even one minute of the Tour de France…I hope they have a replay tonight.
    Oh, thank God for a younger brother with a strong back and great lifting power. I damn-nearly disabled myself by horsing that air conditioner around by myself before he got here to help me. When did those air conditioners get so damn HEAVY? 🙁 And yes it sucks to get old.

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  33. Prospero said on July 2, 2012 at 5:43 pm


    Now you know what Rand Paul has been put through by the government the last 20 years.


    That gar-bbbazh about Barney Frank ties into the myth of Fannie and Freddy being behind the bursting housing bubble because liberals wanted to make the two organizations ensure home ownership for people that didn’t have the financial wherewithal to DESERVE it. Funny, but I thought that universal home ownership was a W initiative. Anyway, the facts are that the quasigovernmental orgs held or guaranteed between 10 and 15% of the subprime mortgages when the market went bust. This one is pure D bullshit, and it really isn’t even difficult to understand, if you’re sentient enough to breathe without mechanical assistance. I’m going to make some bumper stickers that say “Did you get foreclosed fraudulently by the crooks that invented bundled bad home loan derivatives and followed up with robosigning?”

    There is no lie so egregious that GOPers won’t broadcast it, and no lie so obviously bullshit lots of Americans aren’t fracking stupid enough to believe it.

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  34. Deborah said on July 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    95 and muggy in Chicago right now, so glad I have electricity and air conditioning. Must be awful for you folks without it, my sympathies.

    My daughter Little Bird in Santa Fe reported that it rained this morning and is supposed to rain again this afternoon. The high there is 85. Wish I was there.

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  35. Suzanne said on July 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Dorothy @31. I am with you on the toilet flush via bucket, one of the side effects of that good ole country living. People who live in a urban area and still can get a drink of water and flush the toilet when the power is out don’t know how lucky they are.
    When my daughter was in college, there was a power outage, but she called home thrilled because they had a gas stove, so not only could she use the bathroom, she could make tea!! It really is the little things in life…

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  36. Sherri said on July 2, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    After our extended (5 day) power outage here a few years back, I converted our seldom used fireplaces to gas fireplaces so that we’d have heat in the event of a power outage. It was the cold that eventually drove us out to seek shelter with friends who had a generator. We had a gas stove and a gas hot water heater, but our gas furnace required electricity to operate.

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  37. alex said on July 2, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I remember dog-sitting at my parents’ place when the power went out in very cold winter weather. They converted their wood burning fireplace to gas and it put out very poor heat. My only comfort was a filthy Labrador Retriever who loved to cuddle.

    Re: Barney and Fannie and Freddie: I quit a professional association a few years ago when they invited a luncheon speaker who was spewing this utterly racist screed cribbed from a long Ben Stein fart about how the blacks pressured the Dems into making banks loan them money by crying racism instead of pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps and getting jobs and that’s why—ta-da!—mortgage crisis. It’s one of the most offensive things I’ve ever heard and couldn’t believe all the ditto heads nodding approvingly. They’re begging me to come back—quite hard up for members—and yet I’ve never brought it up. I figured they were smart enough to figure it out. Maybe not.

    On edit: The painter of light leaves behind two tough broads duking it out over his shite: the long-suffering woman who stayed married to this humiliating piece of shit for three decades and the opportunistic witch who polished his knob for the last 24 months.

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  38. Sherri said on July 2, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    There are the gas fireplaces that are for show and the gas fireplaces that actually put out heat; mine put out heat. I use them now to heat the room and keep the thermostat low for the rest of the house when it’s just me during the day.

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