Loose ends.

An all-bloggage day today. I have some photos to dump, so I can delete them from my phone. They actually pertain to a few recent topics. Like? Hair care:


Yes, yet another sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-niche of the shampoo market. Shampoo and conditioner is like snack food — there’s always a new brand extension. I found Mixed Chicks in this section at Target:


The other day I came downstairs and found this lying on the windowsill. Like a turd:


It’s a greeting card. For someone you don’t like, I guess.

Here’s a good animation: Watch the nation get fat, over the last 25 years. I wish I could pause this thing and figure out when Indiana briefly backslid toward thinness, then marched on to Fat City.

Goobing Detroit — tracking the decline of city neighborhoods via the street-view scenes of two search engines, in 2009 and 2012.

If you’re watching “Mad Men,” but not reading T-Lo’s Mad Style dissections of the costumes, you’re not watching “Mad Men.” They’re long — part one and part two, here — and sometimes find things that I’m not entirely sure were put in the scene on purpose, but they’re always worth a read.

The other day I had to ask one of my columnists the other day if she intended to use “awesome” twice in one paragraph. Instead of awesome is for her, and a lot of others.

Oh, sweet weekend. You were here much sooner than I thought, but here you are.

Posted at 12:29 am in Same ol' same ol' |

94 responses to “Loose ends.”

  1. Brandon said on April 12, 2013 at 12:50 am

    I’m just not watching Mad Men.

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  2. Prospero said on April 12, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Dickhead cheating on gaptooth cured my MadMen problem. My own SO has a pleasing gap between her two most prominent teeth (like Lauren Hutton and Sarah Sidel), but Megan’s all gaptooth grin is entirely too predatory for me.

    Generally, what most people mean by awesome is “stunning”, not “awe-inspiring”, which is what it actually means. This is the “nauseous-nauseating” conundrum. Why can’t words mean what they meant in the first gutdom place? I’d say, a good editor will impart wisdom in a non-damaging fashion and nip that obnoxious shit in the bud.

    And Mitch, maybe in Cartland Land where you reside. I say:

    Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you? –Ralph Ellison,
    Invisible Man

    So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
    –F. Scott Fitzgerald,The Great Gatsby, and

    the most beautiful last sentence ever written:

    His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the
    universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and
    the dead. –James Joyce, “The Dead” in Dubliners.

    Ah Bartelby. Ah humanity. And who wouldn’t give it all up to have written that Joyce sentence. A wizard, a true star:



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  3. Brandon said on April 12, 2013 at 12:59 am

    To clarify, I might watch it someday, after it’s cancelled and the hype dies down. The show is well-photographed, -written, -acted, I’m sure, but I get the feeling it’s something more to admire than enjoy.

    Southland: One of Michael Cudlitz’s early roles was as a jerk jock (see tvtropes.com) on Beverly Hills 90210. He’s a good actor and I hope he gets more work. And Regina King is a talent. Check her out in Poetic Justice and Higher Learning.

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  4. Prospero said on April 12, 2013 at 1:01 am

    And as Margaret Atwood asked at the end of Handmaid’s Tale:

    “Are there any questions?” or as the late very great John Barth says at the end of The End of the Road:

    “Terminal.” “Poo-tee-weet”.

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  5. Prospero said on April 12, 2013 at 1:05 am

    By all of which, I mean to say, Nancy, be kind to that dumbass, who may have something going for her on the other side of valley speak. Poo-tee-weet. Love may fail, but courtesy will prevail.

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  6. Rana said on April 12, 2013 at 2:01 am

    Brandon, I don’t watch – and have no intention of ever watching – Mad Men either. But Tom and Lorenzo’s posts are wonderful in their own right; you don’t need to watch the show to appreciate them.

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  7. Dexter said on April 12, 2013 at 2:27 am

    There are a lot of classic and modern TV shows I have never scene. I was always working evenings and I never saw one episode of Seinfield. I avoided Mad Men when it started because it was pitted against HBO’s famous Sunday night shows, and one cannot find time to dvr , TiVo, or tape every show.
    I won’t chronicle every show I love, but I will tell you this: Top of the Lake , on Sundance, is dark and fantastically weird, and definitely X-rated, and it is one of the shows that makes you wonder what’s going to happen next week.
    I was curious about Southland so I checked out the oldest show OnDemand, and they only list three shows. It’s just an LA cop show, right? What makes it must-see? I didn’t quite feel that hot about it.
    And I watched Game of Thrones (HBO) the first season, then when the dragons began getting bigger I had to back away…I can’t handle stuff like that, it makes me feel I am watching kids’ shows.

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  8. Dexter said on April 12, 2013 at 2:28 am

    seen not scene…it’s late. Time for a short bowl of Wheaties and off to bed.

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  9. alex said on April 12, 2013 at 7:44 am

    For every step forward, Detroit seems to fall another step back. I’m simply amazed to see that in three short years homes that are occupied and well-maintained become abandoned and burned out while at the same time empty shells that look hopeless spring back to life.

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  10. James said on April 12, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Watching that obesity map, I found myself overlaying it with the growth of right-wing politics. I think there’s a one to one correlation.

    Yeah! I’m lookin’ at you Rushbo!

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  11. coozledad said on April 12, 2013 at 8:19 am

    The FBI says in addition to being recorded, McConnell’s strategy meeting was photographed.

    The photo is pretty hazy, so it’s difficult to determine if Mitch is sitting at the right or center.

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  12. Dorothy said on April 12, 2013 at 8:54 am

    If you’ve only seen three episodes of Southland, you lose all the context that has built from the beginning, when we learned so many details about the main characters’ lives. I won’t list them all here but much like Breaking Bad and watching Walter White go from mild-mannered teacher to a menacing drug lord, young Ben Sherman has gone from being a wide-eyed, anxious-to-please new cop to degenerate, I’ll-do-anything-to-cover-my-ass cop in a not very long period of time. Cooper’s history has slowly been revealed and the interaction he had with his dying father (whose in prison for raping and killing a former girlfriend of Coop’s) was phenomenal. Nothing against you personally Dex, but if you want to find out what everyone’s talking about and why a show is held in such esteem, it would be better to start at the beginning.

    The new president of Kenyon actually used the word awesome waaaay too many times to please me in his opening remarks to the community. I hope he finds a way not to do that again; otherwise I’ll be making unfair judgements about his vocabulary without getting to know him a little better.

    And finally, since I’m on a roll (and I hate linking this to the Mitch Albom quote you have above), last Friday my sister (whose husband has been in Afghanistan since December) wrote this on my daughter-in-law’s wall on Facebook: It must begin so it can end. This is of course in reference to the upcoming departure of my son. Two members of my brother-in-law’s National Guard unit, both pilots, died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan this past Tuesday. They don’t think there was any enemy involvement. That doesn’t make the news any easier to bear.

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  13. Dorothy said on April 12, 2013 at 8:56 am

    *who’s* in prison, not whose. Crap.

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  14. LAMary said on April 12, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Mixed chicks must have some disposable income to spend on hair care. 35 bucks for two ten ounce bottles?

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  15. Mark P said on April 12, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I’d love to see the fat percentages plotted against things like income and education. It might be interesting to see it plotted against the mother’s income as well as total family income. Also versus age.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on April 12, 2013 at 10:14 am

    My thoughts precisely, Mary. Is it made of gold?

    Dorothy, the editorial cartoon this morning expressed it perfectly, showing a soldier exiting Afghanistan and entering Korea, with the caption “when one door closes, another opens”. We pray for a lengthy list of military family and friends every Sunday morning, and I’m going to add Josh to my silent prayer then. Keep us updated.

    We never made it past the first disc of Mad Men because watching it depressed us. There were no likable characters to root for, at least not for us. Its popularity mystifies me. Maybe I’ll run over to TLo to work up some enthusiasm.

    It’s gray, raining off and on, with a projected high of 48. On April 12. I ask you.

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  17. nancy said on April 12, 2013 at 10:20 am

    You didn’t like Peggy Olson? Does ice water flow in your veins?

    I’ve never understood the likable-characters thing. All of my favorite shows are full of jerkoffs — “The Sopranos,” “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men,” etc. Even “Southland.” I don’t care that they’re unlikable; they just have to be on interesting journeys.

    I have a feeling this is the end of “Southland,” however. I read that virtually all the actors in major roles have signed with other shows, all but Michael Cudlitz. I think they’re saving the Emmy for him. He’s certainly gotten all the great scenes this season.

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  18. Dorothy said on April 12, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Ahh I did not know that, Nancy, about Southland. Well it’s been a wonderful show and I’ll be sorry to see it go. I had nightmares last night I think because of watching Wednesday’s show on Thursday evening. I know it’s a story on television and not real life, but sometimes those things get under your skin and don’t leave for awhile. This was one of those times.

    Thank you, Julie. We too have been wondering if a re-arrangement of schedules could happen for our soldiers if this North Korea thing goes too far. Lord almighty I sure hope not. But I honestly don’t know which would be worse between the two destinations.

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  19. nancy said on April 12, 2013 at 10:40 am

    One thing I’ve noticed about *all* television in the last year or so is how *much* more violent it’s getting. Not just premium cable, either — the FX shows, AMC, even TNT are getting far more realistic with the violence and I for one am finding it very off-putting. It’s a little surprising, because I’ve been OK with directors like Scorsese and Tarantino, but their violence always seems integral to the story, while the TV stuff seems more tacked-on.

    Frankly, I’m amazed they closed the bathroom door on “Southland” this week. And I certainly could have done without the blowtorch.

    BTW, if anyone cares, I gave up on “Justified,” and I don’t care who knows it. The characters all talk like their dialogue was written by David Milch, and for a show based on the work of Elmore Leonard, I just find that appalling. I tried this year, but they had a particularly violent scene around the season midpoint and I cancelled my series recording.

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  20. Dorothy said on April 12, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Boy howdy you are right about that, Nancy. We started watching Kevin Bacon’s “The Following” and were mesmerized, but now I”m finding it all a little too much to accept. And I know cable has loosened up a great deal and I’m not even remotely a prude, but I was surprised to hear a character say “bullshit” on Dallas the other night.

    And yes I know I watch entirely too much television. But I’m knitting while doing so, or folding laundry, so I am at least being productive while also being slovenly!!

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  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 12, 2013 at 10:59 am

    I can’t watch broadcast “crime” shows, let alone the cable stuff. Last Thanksgiving at my in-laws, while I had the solace of my laptop and a ridiculously better wireless connection than I have at home (oh, the injustice… #firstworldproblems), I was stunned by the experience of seeing a Friday evening on I think it was CBS, from Jeopardy to the late news. Three hours of anguish and pain and horror and splatter, as my gentle, kindly mother-in-law chatted with her daughter about various family members. And she would look at the tube enough to tell me she was “watching,” and occasionally said “oh, that’s [blank]” so I could only assume she doesn’t doesn’t see it as vicious and brutal and violent. The frog-in-the-pot syndrome, or I’m becoming a wimp in my old age. But that’s my defense of watching too much Guy Fieri or Anthony Bourdain when the TVs on — I can justify to my son violence and torture done to aquatic crustaceans and mollusks.

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  22. Tom said on April 12, 2013 at 11:22 am

    My understanding from a mutual friend of the creator of Mixed Chicks is that white mothers of mixed race girls didn’t know how to take care of their hair, and she filled this need with chemistry. Not to defend the price, but this niche does exist and is served well by this product.

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  23. Scout said on April 12, 2013 at 11:27 am

    So far I’ve watched Mad Men up to the end of Season 4 and Netflix recently got Season 5. I won’t see Season 6 until next year at this time, so I tend to gloss over discussion about the show so I can watch it without prejudice. I don’t know why I love it so much other than the decor and fashions remind me so much of how my parents dressed and decorated in that era, and the music takes me right back to my childhood, which was a happy time for me.

    Those hair care products are ridiculously priced.

    Oh, one last clean up on aisle yesterday’s comments. Brandon posted a link to a Harper’s piece about AZ from 2010. And yes, it really was that bad in 2010, but much improved 3 years later even though we still have a bunch of yahoos in the legislature who only want to talk about guns, dirty Messicans and who gets to use what public bathroom. They are completely unserious and it would be funny, except when you live here it is not.

    Sidebar – NPR is reporting that a bomb intended for Arpaio was intercepted. I hate that guy with heat of a thousand suns but I don’t wish that on him, so I’m glad it was prevented.

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  24. Charlotte said on April 12, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Dorothy — I had nightmares about that last Southland episode too — and I watched most of it with the sound off, from the other room, working and peeking to see if it was too scary. And Nancy — I got through the end of this season of Justified, but I know the scene you’re talking about, and it nearly drove me off too. That and the insane way they just keep using outdoor scenes in California while pretending that Kentucky is a semi-arid chapparal landscape.

    My new favorite show is Elementary.

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  25. Prospero said on April 12, 2013 at 11:35 am

    The thing about The Following: How can the FBI be so bloody incompetent when the psychopath and his minions are so capable.

    I always read while I’m watching TeeVee, or teach myself new mandolin chords.

    Seems like it was several years ago that Vic Mackey pressed a guys face on an orange-hot stove burner. That was easily the most revoltingly violent thing I’ve seen on TeeVee.

    And the conversation on Justified does not remotely resemble anything on Hill Street, LA Law, NYPD Blue or Deadwood (all I know of Milch). Raylan’s and Boyd’s extended dialogues sound exactly like Elmore Leonard characters conversing, particularly when Boyd goes all biblical, and the Great Man has given his imprimatur.

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  26. Catherine said on April 12, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Charlotte @24, my 15-YO is obsessed with Psych, which is set in Santa Barbara and filmed (obviously) in FREAKING VANCOUVER. Makes me nuts.

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  27. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 12, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Say, given that we’ve dealt with this issue a number of times here, I think this is worth EVERYONE considering, and I rarely say that about much of anything.


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  28. Mark P said on April 12, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Charlotte, television’s use of Southern California backgrounds for every possible location on Earth is really funny. Now, with the increase in US broadcasts of TV productions made in Canada, every place on Earth is starting to look a lot like British Columbia.

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  29. beb said on April 12, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I’d like to thank Tom@22 for giving some context to the “Mixed Chicks” shampoo.

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  30. brian stouder said on April 12, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Years and years (and years) ago, I was watching one of those old-time prime-time serials… Dallas-like, but not Dallas (might have been Falcon Crest, but who knows?)

    And a leading female character killed a guy, and loaded him in her car, and took him to a construction site at night, and dumped him into a hole, and then went into the pit and buried him.

    The whole thing was probably 5 or 6 minutes, and I was riveted, and also sickened.

    And that was it; I was done with that show.

    I will accept a lot more blood and guts in a one-time deal like a movie, but a serial show with brutal violence is akin to a domestic disturbance….which is why I’ll never be a David Simon (et al) fan.

    Folks around here raved about his HBO shows so often and so ardently that I just accepted that I was really missing something.

    And then, one time, I was in a hotel room on a business trip (rare, for me!), and they had HBO, and I had a chance to watch an episode of The Wire.

    Possibly the show I saw was an anomaly or the outlier in the series, but for heaven’s sake! It is no exaggeration to say that, through the course of the episode, I watched the brutal murders of 5 or 6 guys…and learned the term “chalked”.

    It was brutal, graphic, mechanical in the terrible sense of the word, and relentless.

    I would simply not watch a show like that week after week, and indeed, this is no small part of my disinterest in “premium” channels like HBO and the rest.

    Gimme msnbc and whatever channel now has Formula One, and I’m happy

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  31. Randy said on April 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    “like a turd”

    OMG Nancy, thank you for the laugh. Have a great weekend.

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  32. Judybusy said on April 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks, Jeff–I’ve sometimes wondered what would happen if I did die suddenly. I’m friends with a number of people on FB, like I’m friends with people here: no real-life connection, but a lively and treasured on-line presence. How do you all find out if I go to the big library/garden/bike path in the sky? My partner knows I’m here every day, but I very much doubt it would ever occur to her to drop in and let you know about anything dire. Neither of us post really serious stuff on FB, either; it’s just not our style. So, I didn’t put anything up about my grandma, or a car accident I was in a couple years ago. So, how do my far-flung FB friends find out? I think I’ll talk about this with her, but not put it in the will.

    I continue to work my way through Dr. Who and Spiral (very gritty French cop drama) on Netflix. I also just found out that in addition to being able to borrow ebooks and audio files, my library now offers the ability to borrow and download movies. One of the first to pop up was Herzog’s latest about the caves. It won’t be 3-D, but when I have a chance, I’m still going to watch it. I’m very excited about this new service.

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  33. nancy said on April 12, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Fruitless as it is, I’m going to disagree with Prospero on “Justified” dialogue.

    One thing EL’s characters never do is sound like someone they aren’t. They may be smarter than we think at first glance, or dumber, but they sound that way in context. The smart ghetto drug dealer in “Tishomingo Blues” uses blues lyrics as metaphors, not Shakespeare. Ava and Boyd Crowder’s characters in particular seem to have been given a 25-point IQ transplant between season one and whatever the current one is. They started out as basic dumb hillbillies with a streak of shrewdness. Now Boyd says stuff like, “Nothing brings you peace but the triumph of principles.”

    Not buying it.

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  34. Dorothy said on April 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Since Nancy declared this an all-bloggage day,I’ll share this, which my daughter just sent to me.


    I’m bringing one of my dogs (the sweeter one) to work with me this afternoon when I run home for my late lunch break in an hour or so. On campus this weekend they’re having a Relay for Life and to kick it off, at 4:30 today, they asked personnel to bring animals to the lawn outside the Admissions Office for the students to pet and cuddle with. Husky is 100 lbs. of cuddliness and he L-O-V-E-S attention. Plus he just had a haircut recently and he should not shed on anyone. Much.

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  35. Prospero said on April 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Boyd Crowder has been entirely conversant with the King James of Shakes and Catamite Marlowe his entire TeeVee life, and speaks in its august cadences, and he has clearly never been short on smarts. That’s a ridiculous assertion. Ava is still a dumb hillbilly. Boyd never was, and he’s very like Fr. Terry Dunn, the hero of Pagan Babies, but he knows more about explosives and weapons. And none of the dialogue sounds remotely like David Milch, although I wouldn’t mind being compared to the guy. I appreciate TeeVee characters that are somewhat more intelligent and articulate than run-of -the-mill real life. And, Mr. Leonard likes it.

    Judybusy@32: The Criterion Collection on Hulu is a great source for movies.

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  36. Prospero said on April 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Boyd’s eloquence and elevated, philosophical thought processes have been elemental to the character, from the getgo. Though I never get anywhere but being called an asshole when I disagree, Nancy is just flat wrong about this one.

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  37. Jeff Borden said on April 12, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    As a veteran viewer of violent films –up to and including the famous Italian “gut muncher” zombie movies which were rendered into insane comedies by the priceless ongoing commentaries of my hilarious friend Page Lewis– I am in agreement with the violence issues on TV. It has escalated substantially in the past couple of years. I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I were a parent. I’ll be 62 in a few days, so I grew up on westerns and detective shows as a kid, but I don’t recall seeing any blood. The victim tended to put their hands over the alleged wound before falling over. Now, yeeeeesh.

    I’d say the “CSI” and “Bones” programs really mark the start of the violence escalation more than the HBO shows like “The Sopranos” or “Deadwood.” Once you get away with burrowing into the guts of a corpse in prime time, you have to expect other programs are going to imitate.

    Like Dexter, I missed three years of TV in the mid- to late-1970s because I was a night police beat reporter in Columbus. Not sure I was too deprived as I recall the hot shows were things like “Charlie’s Angels” and “Starsky & Hutch.”

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  38. Judybusy said on April 12, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks, Pros!

    Also,Dorothy, that article is great, isn’t it? A couple friends had shared it on FB. It might seem like common sense, but apparently not. I would add that another helpful thing might be to remember that the person is more than their diagnosis, and treat them as such.

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  39. LAMary said on April 12, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Agreed on the violence increase. I watch a lot of old Law and Order and while there is violence it’s not the sort that makes you want to hide. The last new episode I saw had a bloody death toll of eight? nine? and then it made an attempt at a feel good ending. Compare that to the old L and O, which frequently had intelligent writing and interesting questions about justice and race and gender. It was total crap the other night. Anyone else see it? Patricia Arquette played a hooker on Hunt’s Point in the Bronx.

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  40. MarkH said on April 12, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Jonathan Winters RIP.


    The mother of one of my best high school buddies grew up with Winters Springfield, OH. She used to tell stories of his antics in high school. He never changed, she said. He was always on stage and had everyone in stitches.

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  41. MarkH said on April 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I gave up on Sons of Anarchy this season for much of the same reasons Nancy stated. There was some good dialogue, but none of what Damon Pope said convinced me his ‘philosopher king’ musings fit everything else he did or was.

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  42. MarkH said on April 12, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    @41 — “…with Winter IN Springfield, OH.” JC is this your plan, making us be more careful?

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  43. Julie Robinson said on April 12, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Anti-violence here in real life and the screen. Can’t watch it without nightmares, and I value my sleep too much to go there. And no, I didn’t care for Peggy Olson either. Call me unsophisticated, but I found everyone on Mad Men to be shallow, brittle and yes, unlikeable. You might guess that I don’t find much on TV to watch, and you’d be right. But there are marvelous books and music and I will never have enough time for them all. YMMV.

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  44. Prospero said on April 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I remember a Christmas Special when I was a kid, with Johathan Winters. he was dressed as Santa and beamed a wide smile into the camera. He said something along the lines of “What do you kiddies think about those pearly whites kids? Every tooth made from a little elf’s skull.” I thought at the time it was the funniest thing ever, but I had yet to hear Don’t Crush That Dwarf while high as a kite.


    He may have been loony, but he was insanely funny. I love Richard Prior. I think he was the funniest mofugger ever. But Jonathan Winters, Danny Kaye, and Victor Borge were comedy’s golden age.

    I came close to bagging Sons, because of Clay’s negative humanity, but the TeeVee is the inerrant and irreplaceable background at times, and I’d rather spend time with people exuding intelligence and artistic ambition (or pretension) than with morons. Nancy, I don’t think anybody in the writing crew has altered Ava’s randy redneck girl character. And Boyd has been speaking antediluvial Bible-ese from scene 1. Is he self-educated? Don’t know. But dumb was never in Boyd’s wheelhouse, and he’s a pure Dutch Leonard villain straight through the heart, right to his command of the language.

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  45. Prospero said on April 12, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Nancy, would you deny that the old man makes his last gasp villains ariculate as hell? They all say shit he intends to spout. You should read back a few.

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  46. brian stouder said on April 12, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    and by the way, if I saw that ‘greeting card’ in our kitchen, I’d think Pam finally realized that this is as good as it’s ever going to get with me, and that my contract has not been renewed!

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  47. beb said on April 12, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    JS Burns – is a “preview” pane doable, so we’d have a chance to see how our post will look before committing to an upload, and make edits as need be?

    Violence on TV — I’m glad to see that I’m not the only disconcerted by the amount of blood, bloody wounds and cruelty shown on TV lately. For a time my daughter was obsessed with “Criminal Minds” which starred Mandy Patinkin one season and Alan Arkin (?) the rest. Recently I read where Patinkin regretted taking on the Criminal Minds job because the shows were so harsh and bleak that it gave him bad dreams.

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  48. beb said on April 12, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    A little Charles Pierce to get your blood stirred

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  49. mcegg said on April 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Dorothy @34…what a great link. I have posted it to Facebook and Twitter. I am mostly a lurker around here, but that made so much sense to me I had to say “Thanks”.

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  50. annie said on April 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    @47Patinkin regretted taking on the Criminal Minds job because the shows were so harsh and bleak that it gave him bad dreams. And now he’s on HOMELAND???

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  51. Sherri said on April 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    I just finished a quick and hilarious book, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? It’s a sort of epistolary/artifact novel, a very funny send-up of Seattle and Microsoft life, but I think it’s funny even if you know nothing of Microsoft and Seattle. Maria Semple, the author, does get all the details about Microsoft and Seattle dead-on, though. Like this quote about Chihuly:

    Hovering over me was the Chihuly chandelier. Chihulys are the pigeons of Seattle. They’re everywhere, and even if they don’t get in your way, you can’t help but build up a kind of antipathy toward them.

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  52. Deborah said on April 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Funny, antipathy toward Chihulys. A few years back before I moved to Chicago I went to a Chihuly exhibit at the Garfield conservatory, I thought it was sublime. Now when I think back on it it seems tired. How quickly that happened. Love the word antipathy, today in Starbucks I heard a young woman refer to someone as dogmatic. Revives my faith in young people.

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  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Happy birthday, Jeff B.!

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  54. Brandon said on April 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Has anyone here watched The Carrie Diaries? I watched every episode but one, and found the show charming, well-written, and -acted. In fact, I think it’s one of the best shows of the year. It generally captures the look and sensibility of the mid-eighties, though some of the characters’ lingo (e.g., “drama queens”) is more 2013 than 1985. And Freema Agyeman gives a stand-out performance as the flamboyant Interview Magazine editor Larissa, who becomes Carrie’s mentor.

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  55. Deborah said on April 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Brian Strouder, did the Civil War really start on April 12th, 152 years ago?

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  56. Prospero said on April 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Never had a dream I didn’t enjoy, I seriously have no idea what a nightmare feels like. I love dreaming, And my dreams are strange and wonderful. If it’s Jeff’s birthday, Happy birthday. I seriously don’t understand nightmares. I really embrace all of my dreams.

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  57. MichaelG said on April 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Happy Birthday, Jeff.

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  58. LAMary said on April 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Costco has a coupon for Starbucks French Roast this week. This has made my day. That and the pork chops and sweet potatoes I bought. I’m looking forward to supper. I do oven roasted wedges of sweet potato tossed with sambal oelek, the Indonesian chili garlic paste. Not too much. Just enough to be give a little heat.

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  59. Deborah said on April 12, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I lost my appetite after my train ride but I must say LA Mary your dinner sounds delish.

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  60. Linda said on April 12, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Beb, that wasn’t even the best Pierce writing today: Get a load of his reaction to some South Carolina clown comparing gun registration to the Rwandan genocide:

    And our old friend, Clio, Muse Of History, swallows a fistful of klonopin with a fifth of Stoli and looks for an Estonian sailor down on the docks to take her away from all this.

    Ten pounds of awesome in a five pound blog.

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  61. Allex said on April 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Right now awaiting prime rib at a fave joint. So naturally I’m going to veer back to the subject of gore and violence on TV. Can’t stand to watch any of it. CSI, SVU, none of it. I physically hurt in sympathy when I see people being shot and dismembered. I can’t even stand to watch AFV.

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  62. Linda said on April 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Yeah, I clicked on the awesome alternative site–but bonny did not seem to cover the Pierce piece.

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  63. Sherri said on April 12, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    For you baseball fans out there, Roger Angell shares a story about Jackie Robinson: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/sportingscene/2013/04/jackie-robinson-again.html

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  64. Dorothy said on April 12, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Happy 66th birthday, David Letterman! Twenty-eight years ago this week I started watching his Late Night on NBC. I don’t watch him regularly anymore, but I’d love to be in the audience again, like I was in August 1987. Maybe next year. It would be cool to see the Ed Sullivan Theater.

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 12, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Not to poach on Brian’s terrain, but I’d say the Civil War began open hostilities today 152 years ago, but the war started Sept. 17, 1787.

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  66. brian stouder said on April 12, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Deborah – it didn’t occur to me, but you’re right!

    I always remember that September 17 (1862) was the bloodiest single day in American history (Antietam; still a heart-breakingly beautiful place, where an unspeakable horror unfolded, and where a survivor of the carnage commented that, as the sun went down, the fields had a singularly ‘crawling’ appearance), or April 18 (1865) that the war ended; or that July 4 1863 marks both the flawed Union victory at Gettysburg and the brilliant Union victory at Vicksburg….but I’d have blown your pop quizz about April 12!

    Today’s “Today in History” calendar marked the anniversary of the Catholic Church convicting Galileo of heresy for saying that the damned Earth revolved around the sun, and NOT vice-versa, several centuries ago

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  67. brian stouder said on April 12, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    JINX!! And indeed, Jeff – this is why I always snort when a person gets all genuflect-y with regard to our secular saints – aka The Founding Fathers.

    Those guys were sharp enough to NOT put the word “slavery” into the Constitution (“persons held to service” sounds so much better, yes?), and slick enough to still count these ‘non-humans’ as worth 3/5 of themselves, so as to add more congressional representation to states that nurtured the institution of enslaving human beings; and they basically handed the next generation a system so fundamentally screwed up that it broke down into a fratricidal and utterly remorseless war….but we digress.

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  68. Jolene said on April 12, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Another historical anniversary: FDR died on this date in 1945. So says the NYT.

    Dorothy, I’ve been a Letterman fan for many years too. I sometimes refer to him as my TV boyfriend. Have never seen the show live, but your mention if it makes me think I should plan to do it. It’s really not a big deal to get from DC to NY, and the jokes about audience members that he does during the monologue make it seem like the warm-up that we don’t see must be a lot of fun.

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  69. MarkH said on April 12, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Fun David Letterman facts, as of today:

    Today, Letterman is seven months shy of the age Carson was when he retired.

    Letterman’s total time as a late night talk show host (NBC Late Night/CBS Late Show) has surpassed Carson’s time on the Tonight Show: 31 years, 2 months vs. 29 years, 7 months. Although, Letterman’s time at CBS in Carson’s old time slot is just 19 years, 9 months.

    Letterman’s son, Harry, will be 10 years old in November, 2013.

    Like our very own basset, he got his start in Indiana college radio.

    Time is indeed starting to fly at light speed.

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  70. basset said on April 13, 2013 at 8:05 am

    That he did… but now he’s up there and I’m the old guy in the office with my very own cubicle. Guess I should have talked about hail the size of canned hams back when I was starting out.

    TV was fun back then, though. I got in while news was still a loss leader and you could do pretty much what you wanted; my first station gave me a film camera (CP-16 with a 400-foot load that was supposed to last you all day) and a Pinto station wagon and away we went.

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  71. Deborah said on April 13, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Basset, did you know Letterman back then?

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  72. Basset said on April 13, 2013 at 9:41 am

    No, nine years younger and different schools… he was at Ball State, I went to IU Bloomington.

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  73. Prospero said on April 13, 2013 at 10:16 am

    David Letterman has braincells that never existed in Jay Rockjaw. Guy is Fred Flintstone, but not quite as funny.

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  74. Dorothy said on April 13, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Jolene I think I told the story before but if you don’t know it I can repeat it. About giving him a quilt I made, and I handed it to him just before the show began in August 1987.

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  75. Charlotte said on April 13, 2013 at 11:05 am

    I remember Letterman’s weird morning show — I was in high school, staying with my mom for the summer — I’d watch his very odd and funny take on morning shows, then ride my bike to my job as a camp counselor. I loved that show.

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  76. Deborah said on April 13, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Charlotte, I remember that morning show too. It was the year we moved to St. Louis and I took a year off to figure out what I wanted to do besides teaching.Letterman had a running gag about cow paste, then a few years later I experienced the stuff when I became a graphic designer and worked for awhile in London. They used cow paste for paste-ups instead of wax on the backs of sheets of typeset. This was before the computer obviously. A long time ago.

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  77. Charlotte said on April 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Deborah — my first job in NYC was as an editorial assistant — I spent a lot of time waxing type, and schlepping mechanicals around town for people to sign off on. One of the few things that makes me feel ancient — none of my younger writer/journalist friends have any idea what waxing linotype even means!

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  78. LAMary said on April 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Blinky’s Cow Paste. I used to watch that show too, when I managed a gourmet shop in NYC. I was the afternoon/evening shift sometimes and I’d watch David Letterman before I want to work. A couple of years later I was working for one of the specialty food wholesalers at the NY Fancy Food and Confection Show. David Letterman was there with a crew. They walked by our booth, and I accosted him and asked him if we could have the east coast distribution deal for Blinky’s Cow Paste and he laughed.
    Charlotte and Deborah, do either of you remember when one of the regulars on the show (he had a few actors who were on staff) portrayed a high school girl just back from being an exchange student in a poor African country. David Letterman asked her what was the most difficult thing to adjust to and she said “I could never find any cute tops in the stores.”

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  79. Charlotte said on April 13, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    I don’t remember any of the details from that show, except that it was unlike anything I’d ever seen on TV before. I have a vague recollection of him tossing those sun/cloud/snow magnets just randomly at the weather map and then cackling. I don’t think I’d ever seen anyone on daytime tv just making fun of the entire enterprise before that. I loved it.

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  80. JWfromNJ said on April 13, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Hail the size of grapefruit too!

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  81. Deborah said on April 13, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Another hilarious sketch I remember from that morning show was about a Letterman theme park that was being planned. One of the drawings they showed of the “proposed” design was a monorail that came out of the gap between the front teeth of a giant head of Letterman. I laughed until I cried. You had to be there I guess. Sorry, the retelling doesn’t do it justice.

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  82. MarkH said on April 13, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I remember the Letterman morning show, especially the cooking demonstration that erupted in flames. Deborah, I remember that gag as well, and splitting a gut at the monorail vision.

    As long as we’re on a Letterman meme, and as we lost Jonathan Winters yesterday, here’s a couple clips of Winters’ 1986 appearance on Late Night, where Robin Williams joins the fun.



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  83. Jolene said on April 13, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks for the clips, MarkH. I sometimes think of YouTube and the various boxed sets of DVDs by comics of my youth entertainment for my nursing home years. Am hoping that, when my dementia gets too advanced to learn anything new from the news or reading, I’ll still have the skills to play videos that make me laugh.

    Judybusy, are you keeping warm? Just saw a photo that made it look like you’re getting a pretty substantial pile of snow there.

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  84. Kirk said on April 13, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Ditto, MarkH. Jonathan Winters was one of the funniest guys who ever lived. I’m sure you remember the stories about his working at Channel 10 in Columbus and keeping the staff in stitches with his Woody Hayes imitations as the old bastard did his TV show in the studio there.

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  85. Dexter said on April 14, 2013 at 2:04 am

    My brother was in the same graduating class with David Letterman at BSU. Not in any same-circle of friends; Dave was THE BMOC and my brother paid his own way by playing lead guitar in a few rock and roll bands in the Muncie area.

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  86. Dexter said on April 14, 2013 at 2:08 am

    I was listening to the satellite radio and the topic of college tuition came up.
    University of Chicago, $59,950 per year. Sarah Lawrence, Yonkers, NY, tops the list…north of $60 K per year.

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  87. MarkH said on April 14, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Kirk, I was not in Columbus at the time, but I do remember hearing the stories of Winters’ time at WBNS. Did you ever know anyone at Channel 10 that worked the Woody Hayes show? It could be excruciating to watch, especially the efforts of Ted Mullins to keep from saying anything to piss off Woody. To no avail, more often than not. Especially if OSU lost that day.

    basset, same with me. I worked and ran OSU’s campus dorm station, and a workaday guy here as well, although the view out my window is OK.

    Dexter – amazing, isn’t it? The sister of my son’s girlfriend just got accepted to Smith, $55K/year. Good thing dad’s an oral surgeon.

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  88. Jolene said on April 14, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Craig Ferguson, who comes on after Letterman, sometimes invites a few audience members onto the stage at the beginning of the show for an amusing few minutes of chat. This week, he spoke with a family that was visiting California so that one of their daughters could tour California Lutheran University. Had never heard of it, so I googled it, just for grins. As you’d expect, it’s a small liberal arts college. Has an appealing web site that makes it sound line an interesting community. Tuition? 40K

    At least when you pay for Sarah Lawrence, Smith, or the University of Chicago, you are buying a credential with widely recognized value. Not so sure that’s true at California Lutheran. Who knows? It may have a strong alumni network and a great placement rate, but, man, that is a lot of money for a degree from a not especially distinguished university.

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  89. Prospero said on April 14, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Jolene@88: And who is way funnier than Dave ever was. I watched a Craig interview with Desmond Tutu, and the guy is actually astute on matters of theology, He’s also written a very entertaining novel. Then I went to the Grady School. That had real newspapermen running the show,I don’t think Leno has. God knows what my mom and dad paid for the two years at Holy Cross, but I thank them for the Ovid and the Thoreau and Emerson seminars Would I rather have the cash? Probably. Nope. Each tooth made from little Elves’ skulls. And I’d point out Ralph McGill, Henry Grady, and Reg Murphy, three of the greatest and most courageous newspapermen that ever lived,

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  90. Julie Robinson said on April 14, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Those huge college prices are for full retail; most people get a lot of scholarships. When our daughter was making her choice between large state school and small private school, the private school gave her so many scholarships that what she actually paid out of pocket ended up being the same. That being said, most schools these days are ridiculously overpriced, and this current recession has woken people up to the reality of nor being able to pay off big student loans.

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  91. Connie said on April 14, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Same for my daughter. Butler gave her tons of money, Purdue offered her nothing, so that the cost of each for us was the same

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  92. Sherri said on April 14, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Whitman gave my daughter a merit scholarship even though we didn’t qualify for any need-based financial aid and had already committed to the school by applying early decision. Yes, tuition is a lot more than at University of Washington, but she also won’t have any classes with 700 students in them.

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  93. MarkH said on April 14, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    RIP, Frank Bank, aka Clarence Rutherford, aka…Lumpy.


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  94. basset said on April 14, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Meanwhile, back to Romenesko for a minute:


    our wedding was listed in the Kalamazoo Gazette AND the Bloomfield Evening World, so the hell with ’em.

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