Upright.

The surgery was surreal. I entered the outpatient center, was called back to the pre-op area, and the usual preparations began. A gown over my clothes, covers on my shoes and hair, an IV started. Monitors. Oxygen. As I’ve discovered at other points along this journey, I was the youngest person in the room by a long shot.

“I hope I don’t hurt your young skin,” the nurse fretted as she pierced the back of my hand. Young skin. That’s a new one.

Then the anesthesiologist dropped by and said he’d be putting me out for a while, and he did. I asked for the demi-Michael Jackson, he chuckled, and the next thing I knew, I was awakening in a warm cloud of opiates.

“Is it over?” I asked.

“The numbing is,” the nurse said. They’d put me all the way down so that two shots could be administered above and below the eye, but the surgery was still ahead. And for that, I’d be awake, although the anesthesiologist would be on hand “to take the edge off, but only if you need it.”

And then they were wheeling me back. “Fentanyl, please!” I called out to the room. No, none of that. “Then pour me another Michael Jackson,” I said. Nope. “You’ll be fine,” someone said. The surgeon said, “No more talking” as he laid the drape over my face and the world went black.

But I was awake. I heard the machinery beeping, a computerized voice announcing numbers. The procedure started — pressure here and there, but no pain at all. No anxiety. I could feel my shoulders were tense, so I told myself, relax your shoulders. I did. The doctor began to whistle. The nurse said, “Are you playing any golf this week, doctor?” He said maybe, and they chatted about teaching the game to their children.

This must be good news, I remember thinking. Golf is better than “oops,” anyway.

And here’s the thing: I could see the needles. I couldn’t see-see them, but their shape, their movement within the eye, was quite visible. There were two. They appeared as shadows on shadows, and I was totally calm, able to think, those are the needles in my eye and not FLIP RIGHT OUT. It must have been the drugs.

And then it was over, the dressing was taped on, and they wheeled me to a post-op cubicle. The monitors and IV were removed, the gown and other stuff taken off, and up we go. I was sitting next to Alan in recovery probably five minutes after leaving surgery.

The doctor appeared to say it all went well. The nurse kept asking if I wanted a blueberry muffin. I had a glass of water and went home. Two hours in and out.

Before we left, I told the doctor I could see the needles. Really? he asked. Absolutely, I said. He shrugged. “Must be some sort of optic-nerve thing.”

It reminded me that doctors, for all their education, can be as tough to interview as anyone. About 10 percent studied enough poetry in college to have a sense of wonder about the miracles they perform every day, the drama they witness as a matter of course, and can talk about it with some feeling. The rest are flesh mechanics. You wouldn’t expect the guy who fixes your Buick to marvel at the magic of internal combustion, would you?

The rest was the recovery, by far the hardest part. Lying facedown with your head supported by a donut pillow feels a little like, as Jeff Foxworthy said, a St. Bernard coming in through the cat door. It wasn’t so bad during the day, when I raised the donut, stacked a bunch of pillows and assumed a position not unlike humping a pommel horse. I put the iPad under the donut and watched Netflix. I watched “The Trip” and I watched “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” I watched some “Mad Men” and I watched nine! hours! of “House of Cards.” I watched the FalconCam. I read the news and stayed up on Twitter. And when the night came, I lowered the donut, adjusted the pillows and tried to sleep. Wasn’t easy. I tried to drift off to Netflix, which only led to puddles of drool on the iPad. I tried drugs, but all I got was some lousy Tylenol 3, which didn’t do much. The final night was the worst of all by far, but Tuesday came and I had my follow-up. The macular hole is closed, and I am cleared to rise to my feet, watch TV from the couch again, read and ditch the damn donut.

Now all I have to do is recover the vision in my eye. It’ll take a few weeks. In the meantime, I’ll be frightening people with my bloody orb.

There’s a lot going on in the world, and I’m going to spend the next few days letting it pass me by. No regular blogging schedule until next week. The world is half-blurred, and I plan to ride the blur for a spell.

Carry on however you like. Open thread, all.

Posted at 8:27 pm in Same ol' same ol' |
 

181 responses to “Upright.”

  1. Leslie said on May 7, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Glad it went well and hope the rest of the healing is less tedious!

  2. Jolene said on May 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Great news! I thought the lying-on-your-face business was going to last a lot longer. Glad to hear you can be a couch potato in normal couch potato position.

  3. Deborah said on May 7, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Holy cow, you saw the needles! Crazy. Good news that you are in the world of the upright. Take it easy.

  4. alex said on May 7, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Glad to hear you’re doing well, Nance. And my heart goes out to you LA Mary over your loss. And I’m sending positive thoughts your way, Jolene. I’ve had two recent cancer scares, epithelial dysplasia in my mouth and basal cell on my face, but I’m encouraged to know that these are fairly common and with proper monitoring should not become lethal issues. Now if only I could quit cigarettes again and do it for good.

    I see Mr. Appalachian Trail just left Ms. Colbert-Busch in his dust. I guess there’s no disgrace big enough to bring down a Republican in the Bible Belt if the alternative is going to be a Democrat.

  5. alex said on May 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Yikes! Discovered a creepy Fort Wayne connection to the brouhaha in Cleveland while reading the Plain Dealer Megablog. Ariel Castro’s daughter was convicted in Fort Wayne of slashing the throat of her 11-month-old baby. Obviously there’s some serious mental illness in that family.

  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Ride the blur. There’s a haiku sprouting there . . .

    Good news, thanks for sharing an update with us.

  7. Dexter said on May 8, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Glad you are progressing through the ordeal like a hot knife through butter, like Clinton through Bob Dole, like a cool breeze ending a hot spell. My brother told me my cousin, a now 65 year old man had the same procedure done when he was 57. No more problems as far as I know.

    I had a shortcut to the Cleveland West Side Market and then on to downtown Cleveland for baseball games when I was going to all the weekend Indians games during the 1990s. I would take W.25th Street and cross Seymour all the time. This was a couple years before crazy Ariel Castro and his brothers locked up those women . I therefore sort of know what kind of area it is. It’s a working class neighborhood, mostly well-maintained homes with some bad urban blight, but actually very little. I never felt threatened driving through there. It’s just regular city housing, older frame homes, small fenced yards, lots of people out and about. It was really cool as I got closer to the giant West Side Market and saw people lugging home bags and bags of produce.
    Nice area, kinda-sorta, and we just never know what humans are doing to each other. One neighbor said (TV) that she had called cops to the house a few times because “something wasn’t right over there”, but the cops came, knocked on the door, and left. Three times.

  8. Dexter said on May 8, 2013 at 12:33 am

    on the other hand…this stuff goes on in Cleveland as well.
    Rough stuff here…don’t watch with kids
    http://video-embed.cleveland.com/services/player/bcpid649725534001?bctid=2350624009001&bckey=AQ~~,AAAAQBxUNqE~,xKBGzTdiYSTvTgY_KEDQxGs6uqT6UiMm

  9. Dorothy said on May 8, 2013 at 1:36 am

    I am immensely impressed that you were able to compose the above despite blurred vision and just recently rejoining the land of the Upright and Walking. Hope you’re getting a good night’s sleep tonight. I slept for about two hours but insomnia struck about 75 minutes ago and here I am. Too much racing through my mind right now. Maybe tomorrow night a Tylenol PM is in order.

  10. ROGirl said on May 8, 2013 at 6:48 am

    I got Tylenol 3s after foot surgery. After about 2 of those I couldn’t move my head without feeling dizzy and nauseated. And they did nothing for the pain, either. Darvocets work for me.

    The Cleveland thing is just so mind-blowingly bizarre, but it sounds like a lot of people in the neighborhood saw things and either didn’t do anything about it, or did call the police, and THEY didn’t do anything, or not enough.

  11. alex said on May 8, 2013 at 7:06 am

    The Cleveland Police released a statement that they had only been called to the house twice over the years, once because Ariel Castro reported a fight in the street and once because Ariel Castro failed to drop off a child at the correct location in his job as a school bus driver. Could just be CYA, to hear the stories of neighbors who say they called police about naked women crawling on all fours in the back yard, etc.

    Weirder still are the stories that Castro’s son wrote about the disappearances of the girls as a student journalist and that one of his daughters living in Fort Wayne slit the throat of her 11-month-old baby.

    I wasn’t a big fan of Elizabeth Smart until she weighed in this week, coincidentally, about how abstinence-only sex education makes women feel demeaned and devalued. Calling girls who’ve had sex “used pieces of chewing gum” to discourage promiscuity is a horrible insult to those who have been violated against their will.

  12. coozledad said on May 8, 2013 at 7:49 am

    If a “promiscuous” girl is a “used piece of chewing gum”, then what’s the equivalent term for the budding Republican date rapist?

    Rohypnotists? Or is Young Republicans sufficient?

    The only people I know who made it far into their adulthood without fucking were not saints or “good Christians”* or marvels of self discipline.
    It was more because they ass was crazy.

    *See Lake Junaluska Bible Camp and defloration depot

  13. Deborah said on May 8, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Good for Elizabeth Smart. Alex, why hasn’t CNN or some of those major outlets not picked up on the baby slashing daughter? Or maybe I just missed it?

  14. beb said on May 8, 2013 at 8:22 am

    In good news, our niece had her twins on Monday. 4.9 and 5.4 pounds, if I recall correctly. Had to delivery by caesarian section because of pre-clampsia. But the babies are breathing well and our niece will be discharged today. I guess the babies will stay in ICU for a little longer.

  15. LinGin said on May 8, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Happy to hear that you came through the surgery in good shape. And hope that the recuperative period is problem-free.

    I didn’t check the site yesterday and caught up this morning as I was eating my faux Egg McMuffin. And scrolled down to the picture. Ooopsy!

  16. BethB said on May 8, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Glad all went well, Nancy. Eye surgery has come a long way since my grandfather had cataract surgery in the late 1950s or early 1960s and had to lie perfectly still for several days–no movement at all; I think they put some sort of immobilizer around his head.

    The fact that you can blog with blurred vision is amazing and commendable.

    Beb, congratulations to your niece and good news that all is well with the new little ones.

  17. Deborah said on May 8, 2013 at 8:53 am

    This is making the Facebook rounds so you probably have already seen it, a funny bike ad:
    http://mashable.com/2013/05/07/craigslist-ad-bike/

  18. Bob (not Greene) said on May 8, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Nancy, so happy to hear your recovery is going smoothly. I also like the phrase “ride the blur”. I gotta ride me some blur here in the not too distant future. Sounds relaxing.

  19. Peter said on May 8, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Best of luck to you Nancy, and also congrats to Beb’s niece.

    You know, Bob Dole’s wish of a big Republican tent has come to pass. You got the Evil wing (all hail Dick Cheney), you got your crazy wing (too many to list here), and, thanks to Mark Sanford, the creepy wing is coming back strong.

    As Hank Hill would say, that boy just ain’t right.

  20. Jenine said on May 8, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Yay for twins, Beb. What combo are they: girls, boys or one of each?

  21. Bob (not Greene) said on May 8, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Don’t know if this is a bit too optimistic (“death of right-wing talk radio”) but it’s nice to hear at least: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/07/the-high-cost-of-rush-talker-bleeds-millions-from-his-carriers-as-toxic-talk-slumps-cumulus-seems-set-to-part-ways-with-rush-limbaugh.html

    After all, part of South Carolina just took another hike down the Appalachian Trail yesterday.

  22. Judybusy said on May 8, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Thanks for the update Nancy, and I’m glad the face-down period was shorter than expected.

    Beb, glad to hear of your niece’s twins. And yes, I also want to know more details!

    Keep your fingers crossed for us in MN: our state House votes on marriage equality tomorrow. It’s close, but if it passes there, we’re good, as the Senate has the votes and the guv will sign. It’s been so thrilling to see state after state pass legislation this year!

  23. Deborah said on May 8, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Fingers crossed, Judybusy. Good luck.

  24. coozledad said on May 8, 2013 at 10:22 am

    It’s worth listening to a few minutes of this goat fucking bag of guts to get an idea of the kind of theocratic bullshit they’re setting up in Raleigh, but i’d start at the 1:20 mark just so you get past the preamble- another goober in love with the sound of his mangled Anglish. here’s the key section:
    “You need to know where Jesus Christ stands. You need to remember you have an obligation to vote as an informed voter. and if you are a Christian, when you go into there to vote, your vote belongs to Jesus Christ,” Pittman said.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XpD6Oa9S6y0#!

  25. Joe K said on May 8, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Could some one explain the difference between the former Gov in s.c. Cheating on his wife and lying about it, and Clinton getting blown in the Oval Office and lying about it?
    L.A. Mary sorry about the pup, I have had to make that decision 4 times in the last 30 yrs with my Goldens, and it never gets easy.
    Glad your doing better Nancy,
    Pilot Joe

  26. coozledad said on May 8, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Party of no moral distinctions. Sanford could have been caught with his cock in an infant and wouldn’t have had time to wipe it off before some other Republican put it in his mouth.
    B-B-but Clinton gets a lot of traction among those weary of democracy.

  27. Connie said on May 8, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Bringing up Clinton is so 90s. Will you ever let it go?

  28. coozledad said on May 8, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I can’t really blame them. Slick Willy was everything Obama isn’t: Weak-willed, vulnerable, a flawed creature.

    But if you want to go into the sexytime woods with Republicans, be prepared for the whizzing brown shrapnel from David Vitter’s diaper, in the event he stops munching on its contents long enough to begin swinging it about while bellowing something about Jeebus.

  29. Kathy t said on May 8, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Many many years ago I was greatly surprised to discover that my medical school classmates and teachers were not all fascinating intellectual creatures, or in love with the miracles of medical science, or even conscious of their great good fortune in being allowed to partake of the mystery, as far as I could tell. Some were technicians, some craftspersons, some means-to-an-enders (just doing this to support my racecar habit), some fulfilling parental expectations, some continuing to develop their already highly developed Sitzfleisch, some answering a call. Me, I just didn’t want to write ANY papers for 4 years, and to do something with a little redeeming social value. And, of course, not go hungry.
    That said, I think some of us are just not all that articulate. THAT is a gift that’s distributed randomly among professions for which it’s not a requirement. Tell me you’ve never met a single boring artist! And some of us nonmultitasking old folks have to be careful about getting lost in wonder for fear it will distract us from the job at hand.

  30. LinGin said on May 8, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Because, Pilot Joe, the Democrats don’t go around shouting “Family Values!”, don’t enshrine it in their party platform and don’t attempt to restrict rights to a group based solely on their sexuality.

    Also, Sanford took off “down the Appalachian trail” without letting anyone know of his whereabouts while he was Governor. I think that’s malfeasance at the very least.

  31. MichaelG said on May 8, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Your story sounds exactly like my cataract surgery, Nancy, but I saw red light and some movement but nothing I could distinguish, certainly no needles. They talked about shopping. My surgeon was a young woman of Chinese ethnicity but born in this country. Very young and very attractive. Kind of gothish. Short cropped sort of gamin hair, pencil skirts and silk blouses. She painted her entire eye lids black. I liked her.
    The other differences were that when I left the post op cubicle, I felt fine if a little loaded and the next day my eye was fine and my vision radically, unbelievably improved.

  32. adrianne said on May 8, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Nance, great writeup on your surgery. The staying awake part would have skeeved me out the most, but glad to hear you were mildly intoxicated with drugs.

    I remember when I had to have surgery to repair a hiatal hernia when I was four months’ pregnant with my second child. The doctor gave me a choice: general anesthia or topical. I looked at him like, are you crazy, man? Knock me out, please!

  33. davidkirk said on May 8, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Nancy, I’m very glad to hear that all went well. I am, however, amazed that through all of the drugs you were able to recount the procedure in such detail. Makes for a great read! Get well soon.

  34. Prospero said on May 8, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Joe K. I can explain. Clinton didn’t disappear for a week. Nor did Clinton use taxpayer cash to buy a plane ticket to Buenos Aires to get serviced. Nor did Clinton claim to have been hiking the Appalachian Trail while said servicing took place. Those seem like significant differences when the guy claims to be a protector of the public morals and exchequer. As is frequently the case with GOPers in these matters, it is largely about the hypocrisy. Sanford is a whited sepulcher. And once and for all, when Clinton said he didn’t have sex with Monica Lewinsky, he was answering a specific question that pointedly excluded felllatio from a definition of “having sex””.

    So how’d you like House of Cards, Nancy? I’m not a fan of Kevin Spacey, but I thought he was great in that show, as were Robin Wright and Rooney Mara. The asides direct to camera are brilliant. The drunken reunion night at the Citadel episode is so good I watched it twice. Apparently, there is a second season in the works.

    If I ever need eye surgery, I am going to Michael G’s surgeon.

    And the Midwives are trading in their Raleigh 3=speeds for Vespas. Anyone that likes Downton would find this show delightful. Wonderful use of late 50s early 60s pop music, like this one:

    http://www.myspace.com/music/player?sid=77013593&ac=now

    Whoever amongst y’all that enjoys Gabriel Garcia Marquez, particularly Autumn Comes for the Patriarch (his best, I think) should most definitely get ahold of a copy of The Tiger’s Wife. Magical realism Yugoslavian style. An abssolutely gorgeous book.

  35. Sherri said on May 8, 2013 at 11:50 am

    If you haven’t seen the original British “House of Cards”, I highly recommend it. Ian Richardson is spectacular as Francis Urquhart, the role that is changed into Francis Underwood in the US version.

    The British version has three miniseries: “House of Cards”, “To Play the King”, and “The Final Cut”. All are great.

  36. Julie Robinson said on May 8, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Aptly put, LinGin. Congrats to beb & family. Dorothy, hope your load is lifted, though with your son deploying, I suspect it won’t be.

    When my mom had cataract surgery, they asked me if I wanted to watch. NO THANK YOU. Just helping with the drops was rough for me. That’s why I’m so grateful to those who can handle medical stuff.

    Nance, you should ask your surgeon to knock a little off the fee for that great testimonial.

  37. Prospero said on May 8, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    And was that a Cosby reference?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JrxXRU1GOE

    Oops, Kate Mara.

    And you know, if a Dem candidate was hauling an Argentinian mistress around with him on the campaign trail, GOPers would want to know if she’s here legally.

  38. coozledad said on May 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    You have to remember the Republicans are essentially frustrated dynasts, and Bill Clinton, while politically indistinguishable from the Republicans, shit all over their plans when he defeated Bush the elder at the polls.

    They want a sort of Christo-monarchy so they can mop up the last bits of natural resources and finish centralizing wealth in a neofeudal gambit. They’ve got plenty of willing little monkeys with that fundie mindset, and the ones that aren’t quite that stupid get snookered by the pseudohistories of Niall Ferguson and Jonah Goldberg.
    Another distinguishing feature of the authoritarian mind is that reliance on hero figures that most modern cultures seek to discourage through higher education. The weepfest among American rightists(and virtually no one else) over the long overdue death of Margaret Thatcher gives some insight into their reflexive death occultism, and the eternal defensive crouch of the information deficient.

  39. beb said on May 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Jenine and Judybusy, I don’t have a lot of details about the babies. They’re both girls, and fraternal rather than identical twins. Because of their size and weeks premature (about 3) they were sent to neonatal ICU, which because of scheduling, had to be in another hospital. That was odd but the care has been good. Security was pretty tight to prevent the occasional abduction. But once inside the doors people were very friendly. And there was an absence of the endless, plaintive voices, when my wife was having our daughter of “Mommy, make it stop.” The voices might change from day to night but the complaint remained the same.

  40. alex said on May 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    If they’re girls, why are they fraternal twins and not sororital?

  41. LAMary said on May 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I’m in the office listening to my office mate talking with one of her fundie right wing buddies about immigration reform. They are both saying that they’re great grandparents or grandparents didn’t come to the US illegally, and they learned English and worked hard so why should we allow these illegals never learn English and live on welfare (how do they do that?) stay in the US.
    I grew up on the east coast. Just off the top of my head I can think of at least twenty elderly people I knew as a child, who spoke little or no English. They spoke Polish, Italian, Greek, German, or Dutch. Sure they all worked. I have no idea what their immigration status was. Our neighbor two doors up the street, my best friend’s grandparents, the guy in the shoe repair store all spoke zip English. Where is this fantasy of earlier immigrants all magically knowing English the moment they arrived in the country coming from?
    Also, my maternal grandmother and all her siblings spoke German. And they were born in the US, near Sheboygan.

  42. Connie said on May 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Beb, when I had my baby it was “Jesus, make it stop.” And not plaintive, but screaming.

  43. alex said on May 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Where is this fantasy of earlier immigrants all magically knowing English the moment they arrived in the country coming from?

    The same place where they get the fantasy that Jesus is a tow-headed Aryan poster child. The same place they get the idea that Glen Beck is the Oracle of Delphi. From having ignorant-ass parents, that’s where.

  44. John (not McCain) said on May 8, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Having just witnessed a cat give birth (and the two kittens are adorable!) I must say I’m surprised that scientists haven’t figured out a way to make human birth-giving as easy as cat-birth giving. A little heavy breathing and then a “oh look, a baby” strikes me as much better for all concerned than the screaming and accusations human women go through.

    On the other hand, I imagine (and do not correct me if I am wrong) that human women do not have to eat the placenta and umbilical cord.

  45. brian stouder said on May 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    What Sherri said about the original British House of Cards; it cannot be topped.

    And Senator Ted Cruz’s latest riff?

    An amendment that ‘allows’ people to stay here, but that they can never have citizenship (ie – no vote).

    Yeah – there’s a great idea. That is,literally, if not the resurrection of Jim Crow – then Juan Crow

  46. mark said on May 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    No, that is, literally, giving currently illegal aliens the same status as the millions of legal holders of green cards- permanent residence without voting rights. http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=ae853ad15c673210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=ae853ad15c673210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD

  47. Sherri said on May 8, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    The same Ted Cruz who was born in Canada and is the son of a Cuban immigrant? Maybe his father just married his US citizen mother to stay in the US and have anchor babies!!!

  48. Mark P said on May 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    That’s amazing, Nancy. I had no idea you would be out of the “assume the” position this quickly. I would definitely have to have some kind of powerful drug to go through that procedure while awake. The idea of sticking something in my eye is more than I can comfortably stand.

    “The rest are flesh mechanics.”

    I believe you are correct. Most practicing physicians (not doctors – that honorific convention is a result of the AMA brainwashing newspaper people decades ago) are essentially technicians. The closest thing to them in the world of the physical sciences is engineers.

  49. Prospero said on May 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Congratulations Beb.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxp7pvpEN_U

    I’m all for disenfranchising the Batistaites that robbed Cuba blind and fled to Miami. Their influence on American politics is obscene and virulent, ansd grotesquely overblown for thaie actual numbers. Seems as if their citizenship came pretty cheap.

    And Mark, if current undocumented workers living in the USA at harvest time could be relied upon to vote for GOPers, Ted Cruz and the lying little shit Marco Rubio would be welcoming them with open arms like Eisenhower-era Cubanos fleeing Castro, and everybody knows that is true. Instead, GOPers want to stymie the Census Bureau and interfere with Americans’ right to vote. Assholes even admit it.

  50. Sherri said on May 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    The government has released the chargemaster data for the 100 most common procedures charged to Medicare for most hospitals in the country; the NYTimes has a very nice interactive map here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/05/08/business/how-much-hospitals-charge.html?ref=business

    My insurance company’s EOB now does a really good job of showing exactly what was billed and what was paid by them and what I owe, so I kept track of the ratio for my recent jaw surgery. The charges (hospital+doctors+anesthesia) were 5 times what the insurance company and I actually paid. If I had no insurance, or paid out of pocket, the surgery would have cost me 5 times as much, unless I somehow negotiated a better rate. Best healthcare system in the world…

  51. LAMary said on May 8, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I spent a week in the hospital about 25 years ago. I had developed an infection after a root canal and had to be on IV antibiotics. I got the bill and I had been charged for physical therapy, a hernia operation, and a lot of meds I wasn’t given. I sat down with my doc and went over each charge. Most of what was on the bill was not mine, so I went to the accounts receivable office of the hospital and went over the bill, line by line, with the manager. I told her I would pay when I got a new bill. A month later they sent me a check for about 1500 bucks. I didn’t have insurance and I hadn’t paid anything, so this was not a refund. It was another mistake.

  52. nancy said on May 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    I recall, shortly after moving to Indiana, meeting an elderly gentleman from Amish country (but not Amish) who said he didn’t speak English until he started school, and that’s why he was shy — he had to learn it via immersion. And he was at least the third generation in the U.S. since his Swiss ancestors arrived.

    During WW I, when the German newspapers were shut down and speaking German was, if not criminalized or at least strongly discouraged, many Fort Wayne families were appalled that they’d have to speak the gutter tongue of English. In fact, I recall the Lutheran ministers claiming one couldn’t properly preach in English, because certain ecclesiastical principles could *only* be expressed in German. It was God’s native language, evidently.

  53. Hattie said on May 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    I love my cardiologist, who is an Iranian-American motormouth. And yes, the original BBC House of Cards is great. They even buried Maggie!
    I think it’s best to be awake for these procedures. Even if you are not conscious, the body remembers.
    Glad you are healing so well, Nancy.

  54. Prospero said on May 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    My dad was a pediatrician that quit pediatrics for emergency medicine in his late 50s. The firefighters’ hours left him bored and he decided to give law school a go. He was a product of liberal arts education by Jebbies and in no way a technician. He was a relentless learner and self-educator. I watched him give injections to little kids without the slightest response. No pain, no yelps at all. I’d say that is art, not technicality.

    I’m not buying anything on Amazon until they remove this obscenity.

    And Krauts notwithstanding, God’s native language is Shakespearean English, by way of King James, and, much to the chagrin of fundagelicals everywhere, the catamite Kit Marlowe. Take that, Phelps fambly.

  55. Deborah said on May 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    My Missouri Synod Lutheran mother spoke only German until she started first grade. Both of her parents learned English much later. My grandfather spoke English fairly well by the time my sister and I were young kids. He got his Vs and Ws mixed up all the time which gave us the giggles. His ability to read English was poor, he used to spend a lot of time trying to read the newspaper silently with his lips moving. The rural church they attended in northwestern Missouri had German services until WW2.

  56. Deborah said on May 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    I should add that my grandfather came to the US with his parents and sisters when he was 2 years old.

  57. coozledad said on May 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    ‘They should have been ready before anything ever happened,’ Cheney told MailOnline exclusively during a party in Georgetown celebrating the launch of a new book by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld…’When we were there, on our watch, we were always ready on 9/11, on the anniversary…

    After a few more shots, Cheney added:

    Me and the president would hop into limousines and bust ass to get up in the air or in my case deep below the ground. Ron Fournier was always on standby to beat me off if I got too worked up-just like that Deniro scene in The Deer Hunter. We never lost a soul after those three thousand or so on the first 9/11. Not on the anniversary. If you don’t count Iraq or Afghanistan, and I don’t think you should

    H/T Charles Pierce.

  58. Brandon said on May 8, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    German is the ancestor of English.
    ==
    Don’t know if this is a bit too optimistic….

    Rush lost two radio stations due to his comments on Sandra Fluke, the one in Maine and the other in my hometown, Hilo. I don’t think this news about ad money will end his career. If anything, he could go fully independent, and distribute his show himself, much the way Glenn Beck is doing.
    ==
    Nancy, I hope you had the best “flesh mechanics” working on your eye(s). You need to save your vision for the upcoming NFL season and The Bad Girls Club.

  59. LAMary said on May 8, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    My paternal grandparents spoke Dutch sometimes, but primarily they spoke Frisian, a true ancestor of English. It sounds like Chaucerian English.

  60. brian stouder said on May 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Superb post, Cooz.

    A bad thing happened in Libya, and there was American blood spilled… and the Republigoons seemingly want to accuse President Obama with complicity outright!

    Never mind that we had an election after that, and the Republigoons made all the same charges, and the electorate summarily dismissed them…

    and now our local Fort Wayne right-wing lip flapper hereabouts echos the national Huckabee (the perpetual wannabe) lip flappin’ fool in wanting an impeachment trial!

    An academic question: If we should impeach a president for the death of 4 brave American diplomats serving their country abroad, what should we have done with President Reagan when 400 brave American Marines were murdered – while on a literally pointless assignment into the Beirut airport, from which we hastily retreated in the smoldering aftermath?

  61. brian stouder said on May 8, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Make that 241 members of the United States Armed Forces, and 58 members of the French Armed Forces

  62. Peter said on May 8, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Propsero, I’ll check out The Tiger’s Wife and let you now, seeing as I still have relatives in that neck of the woods.

    And I thought your description of Clinton vs. Sanford was quite well put.

    The problem I had with Clinton, and with Sanford, Vitter, Nixon, and etc., is the whole I’m above the law concept. If any of you did that on your job your ass would be out the door in minutes. What gets me madder about Sanford, Vitter, and their ilk is their rampant desire to remain in the public light (and trough). Aren’t there any cushy lobbyist jobs they can latch on to? Don’t they have enough money? Can’t they give speeches at some church to raise cash? Are they that irreplaceable? OK, you flew off to BA to tango with some mango; why can’t you just repair to the pampas and rope some steers?

    A common theme I read about Sanford is that he will Hold The Line On Taxes. Well, how hard is that? How hard is it to say No Taxes 1000 times a day? Shouldn’t be too hard to learn.

  63. Prospero said on May 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    The fact of embassy security that GOPers won’t bring up, is that they cut the budget to zip, in the interest of giving contracts to the murderer Erik Prince and Blackwater/Xe. Privatize. Like those palates of cash that disappeared in Iraq when Halliburton controlled them. Of course, nobody wants the rapists and murderers employed by Xe within their borders and anywhere near their wives and children, and the American diplomats in Benghazi were quite clear on wanting nothing to do with the mercenary thugs. And who did GOPers put in charge of investigating Benghazi? The well-known car thief, chop-shop operator and arsonist for profit, Darrell Issa. I mean, that’s about as legitimate as Newt Gingrich and Dan Burton investigating Clinton’s infidelities.

  64. Brandon said on May 8, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    German is not the direct ancestor of English, but both derive ultimately from Proto-Germanic.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_languages#History

  65. Jolene said on May 8, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    My maternal grandparents spoke Norwegian at home at least some of the time, and the older kids in the family spoke Norwegian too until they went to school. My mother was the youngest in a large family, so the use of Norwegian had pretty much died out by then. She learned only a little. But during my own childhood, there were still small, rural churches that used Norwegian in their services.

    Historically, descendants of immigrants to the U.S. have become monolingual in English by the third generation. As far as I know, that is still happening. People who think their non-English-speaking ancestors learned English when they got off the boat are blowing smoke, as the vast array of newspapers published in other languages in years past attests.

  66. Prospero said on May 8, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Texas legislature is fine with guns on campus:

    http://wpcomics.washingtonpost.com/client/wpc/wpnan/

    but voting where you go to college, we’ll have to raise your tuition, or otherwise stymie your ability to cast a vote:

    http://archive.fairvote.org/righttovote/PFAW-NAACP.pdf

    Mark Sanford’s excuse for breaching the restraining order and tresspassing in His ex-wife’s house: He didn’t think his 13 year old son should watch the Super Boowl by himself. Because Beyonce might have a Janet Jackson Appalachian Trail moment? This guy is a dick.

  67. MichaelG said on May 8, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Mary, my grandparents waltzed off the boat speaking English. Of course, they came from Ireland. It’s my understanding that back in those days (v early in the 20th cent – like the oughts) that Europeans could simply board the boat in a European port, float over to Ellis Island and sign in. Does anyone know the actual procedure?

  68. Jolene said on May 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Michael, Wikipedia has a good overview of immigration to the U.S. Apparently, there were no laws re who could come to this country until 1875. The first immigration law was intended to reduce the flow of Chinese laborers and Chinese women who worked as prostitutes. According to this summary, the next immigration law was not passed until 1924, at which point the goal was to restrict the flow of immigrants from Southern Europe and the Slavic countries.

    Presumably, people could be rejected as individuals, but the idea that most Europens were legal immigrants is bogus. They were, apparently, legal only in the sense that there was nothing to stop anyone who had the price of a ticket and no communicable diseases.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_the_United_States

  69. Maggie Jochild said on May 8, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    During one of the many knee surgeries I had, I was persuaded to try a spinal instead of general. They still give you stuff that is supposed to dissociate you and make you amnesic, but during that surgery I came to completely, feeling percussions in my left leg as they worked on removing bony spurs with hammer and chisel. It did not hurt, and a drape kept me from seeing what was going on, but I turned to the anesthetist and said conversationally “This is a little unpleasant.” He said “Shit”, lunged for the dials and I went back out. I later got to know him well enough to ask if this memory was accurate, and he verified it — said it happens more often than folks realize.

    I spent most of my working life in the medical field, and considered myself an informed consumer, but at this point I am not convinced genuine informed consent is possible for most of us. During my knee replacement surgery, I had an episode of anoxia which went unreported to the surgeon and left me with a profound cognitive deficit (I could not sign my name, recognize numbers, hear bells, etc) for months afterward. Even now, fully recovered, I am absolutely terrified of general anesthesia and have directed my Living Will to allow me to die rather than keep me in a state where I am that mentally damaged again. It took two years for a full explanation to emerge; my dementia was passed off as a fairly mundane response to morphine. I won’t let anyone give me morphine again, either, which they reach for first despite common nasty side effects because it is dirt cheap and has a hefty mark-up profit. Go over your bills with someone in the know, and have a medical advocate who is not terrified by doctors at your side during all procedures, that’s my advice.

    And one more tip: Don’t look with interest at the instruments used for either gynecological procedures or orthopedic surgery. Regarding the latter, gleaming stainless steel does not alert the clear intent of hammers and saws. Some memories take too long to expunge through therapy, if you can avoid them altogether.

  70. Joe K said on May 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Anyone know that today is the anniversary of V.E. day?
    Pilot Joe

  71. Deborah said on May 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the birthday of Saul Bass, a graphic designer who did a lot of film credit graphics for Hitchcock and others https://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en&tab=ww

  72. Deborah said on May 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    In case you can’t get that link to work for the Google Doodle try this: http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/05/08/saul_bass_google_doodle_celebrates_graphic_designer_s_birthday_iconic_title.html

  73. MichaelG said on May 8, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Thanks, Jolene. That’s pretty much the way I understood things.

  74. Connie said on May 8, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Great fun. How historical figures would look today. I particularly like Queen Elizabeth. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/10030619/Historical-Figures-for-the-21st-Century.html

  75. Deborah said on May 8, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Cool, Connie.

  76. Prospero said on May 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Are GOPers really so fracking delusional they believe this Benghazi conspiracy bullshit has any resonance outside the Fux News nutjob echo chamber? How’d that work out for Willard RMoney?

    And does Cheney really mean to bring up 9/11? “We were always hyper-vigilant on the anniversary.” Well how ’bout that first time, Dickless, and the hair on fire PDB about Bin Laden and planes into buildings? Sorta fell asleep on the job on that one, right? You know, the one Joe Wilson brought to Shrub’s attention? Crawl back into your bunker, you vampire POS. Maybe it’s just me, but if I were involved in such a massive FUBAR dereliction of duty, I’d tend toward keeping quiet about it.

    And that Shakes at Connie’s link sure as hell looks like Kenneth Branagh. And Liz Rex looks like both David Bowie and Tilda. And wasn’t Marie Antoinette supposed to have three boobs?

  77. alex said on May 8, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Morphine makes my mother-in-law, the sweetest lady you’d ever hope to meet, into a raging animal that makes ER staff want to call the SWAT team. Yes, some people do have very adverse reactions to narcotic drugs.

    I’m the son of a Hungarian man and don’t speak a word of it. And of a woman of uncertain origins with a wealth of linguistic delights that I can’t quite pinpoint but she’s both learned and folksy at the same time. My dad was IU Law Review right off the boat so it’s not like everybody toils in Swift Meat packing plants for a generation. He did it for a couple of summers. And Fisher Body in DelRey too. It was enough to make him decide this was not the life he aspired to. I’m not sure how quickly he picked up on English, but he sure as hell knew what was going on when the black women in these plants were regaling everyone with tales of their sexual exploits which he says were some of the most amazing things he’d ever heard.

    Yeah, my dad graduated at the top of his class at IU Law School without knowing English (or much of it) just six years before, but he did know German which he said was a great help. His undergrad classmates in West Virginia at Glenville State spoke in Germanic English while his classmates at IU from well-bred circles spoke an English that was Latinate.

  78. alex said on May 8, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    I should add that he had learned both German and Latin early in life and this enabled him to be highly functional in English in a few short years. Somehow it all came to make sense to him. I can’t say that I could have duplicated this feat, but then I didn’t live under the same exigencies. I grew up in his shadow and couldn’t possibly compete. I was spoiled and didn’t do diddly with my life except play at trying to be a trustafarian artist. Glad I came to my senses and got busy being the middle-class drone that I was meant to be because life didn’t pan out the way it had promised and I would have died young without the sense of purpose that makes me live for today.

  79. MichaelG said on May 9, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Marie baby had one in the middle of her back. It made for great dancing. Sorry. Old joke.

  80. basset said on May 9, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Joe, you mentioned V-E Day… my mother, a native Londoner, was fifteen at the time and used to tell how her family and neighbors celebrated with a massive spontaneous party out in the street.

    And this site might be of interest: http://falkeeins.blogspot.com/

  81. Linda said on May 9, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Maggie @ 69:
    I’m very sensitive to anesthesia, and have had a hard time coming out of even mild anesthesia. My father couldn’t handle morphine–many elderly people can’t–and it made him have terrible hallucinations. Nonetheless, we had to fight with hospital staff to not administer it to him. Now I know why.

  82. Linda said on May 9, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Jolene @ 65:
    My grandmother was born in Michigan, but spoke Polish as her first language till the day she died, and her English was heavily accented, like Lawrence Welk (from North Dakota). However, the insular little towns and neighborhoods that made that possible are now gone. With mass media, I’m not sure anyone even keeps the old country language for two generations anymore.

  83. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 9, 2013 at 8:30 am

    A girl I dated in Valparaiso, Indiana back in the 70’s, whose father was a chaplain at the Lutheran university there, had a grandmother living with them who spoke precious little English, didn’t think it was proper for use in worship services and lived for the twice-annual (summer heritage Sunday & Christmas eve) all German liturgies, and was concerned about me because the occupants of heavenly glory apparently not only Deutsch sprechen ausschließlich, but were pretty much doing so with a Missouri accent, synod-wise. (She married a Catholic later whose native language was Spanish, I suspect after the dowager countess passed on to said glory.)

  84. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 9, 2013 at 8:31 am

    (Ich spreche ein sehr, sehr bisschen Deutsch.)

  85. brian stouder said on May 9, 2013 at 9:00 am

    And aside from VE day yesterday, today is the anniversary of West Germany joining NATO, in 1955….just 10 years after the end of the world-wide cataclysmic war they started, and the bottomless cruelty they unleashed upon men and women and children all across the world (but particularly in Europe) who were Jewish.

    Nowadays, our Republigoons are fond of attempting to villify people of another specific lifestyle and religion – Muslims.

    And a question for them might be: What faith tradition was in Europe in the early 20th century?

    And, would it be fair-minded to ascribe the base cruelty of the white people and cultures in Christian Europe of the 20th century – which produced two world-wide wars and the Holocaust – to those white people and their profane faith?

    Just askin’

  86. Julie Robinson said on May 9, 2013 at 9:05 am

    My great-grandparents on both sides emigrated from Ireland, Wales, and Germany; legally or not, who knows. Despite this I never heard any of my grandparents use anything but English, and since they were all farmers, it would have been easy to slide back into the mother tongue. Were they more forward-thinking, knowing they needed to assimilate for success? Or, for the Germans, were they shamed into denying that heritage by WWI?

    Jeff, that Lutheran university now has ELCA pastors, too.

  87. BethB said on May 9, 2013 at 9:05 am

    My back surgery in November cost over $70,000 for a thee-day, two-night hospital stay, and the surgeon’s bill was $40,000. Obviously, with insurance, the hospital and surgeon were not paid that much, and my portion was very low, considering, but still…

    The whole system has to be overhauled and simplified. Wish I knew the best way to do that.

  88. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 9, 2013 at 9:25 am

    And Julie, at least two of the formerly LCMS congregations in town are now either ELCA or that other “we’re not liberal, but we’re not Missouri Synod crazy, either” group. Including the biggest one. In my childhood, the town was 2/3 Lutheran and that was 2/3 LCMS – and there were, I kid you not, fights at my bus stop over Seminex and the St. Louis schism.

    Anyhow, VU has been “Lutheran” and not Missouri Synod affiliated since (I think) the late 80s. They put the Lutheran Book of Worship in the pews of the Chapel of the Resurrection, and you knew the break was coming soon. But it was never a loud, public break, and I honestly don’t know when it became official.

  89. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 9, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Had to go check, and I see the sense in the community that VU *was* Missouri Synod was not officially true even then, which is why when the Missouri Synod tried to put pressure on them to force doctrinal conformity with their new norms, they could reassert their independent Lutheran identity without having to force a break. Thanks for making me learn this, Julie! And to anyone who likes church architecture, if you’re traveling US 30 across Indiana, you should stop in and look around at the Chapel. Almost always open, and said to be the second largest college chapel in the world. It was a sort of town cathedral for all of us growing up; baccalaureate services for the high school were there, and concerts of all sorts, occasional community major events, and of course the site of some pretty incredible weddings. The staff always said “brides, you need to keep moving at a normal walking pace, because if you use that close-step thing we’ll be here a week.” It’s a looooong center aisle.

    http://www.valpo.edu/faith/heritage/index.php

  90. Kim said on May 9, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Late to the welcome back party – Nancy, your recap didn’t disappoint. Sorry you had to live it to tell it.

    Love the FalconCam. Amazing birds, capable of hitting 200mph in a dive as they identify and grab prey.

  91. Deborah said on May 9, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Jeff, I had many friends who attended Valpo (unfortunately I’ve lost track of them over the years). And I attended the church in St. Louis where most of the Seminex professors went. Funny to see that pop up at nn.c.

  92. susan said on May 9, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Kim@90– Here’s a live-streaming falcon nest: http://www.ustream.tv/greatspiritblufffalcons The parents are sitting on three eggs, which will start to hatch very soon. This cam has sound, which unfortunately does not filter out the Interstate noise below (cam is located above the Mississippi River in Minnesota), but does pick up the raucous yattering of the birds. Their cawing carries over the freeway din. Great sounds! The chicks are white fuzzballs after they hatch.

  93. Julie Robinson said on May 9, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Jeff, our daughter was in the chapel choir and we went to a lot of wonderful worship services there. But, pray tell, what is the not liberal but not Missouri crazy group? I’m not aware of them, or maybe having lived through this most recent split (after enduring the LCMS and dating a Seminex student), I can only see them as twisting scripture and giving church a bad image.

  94. brian stouder said on May 9, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Now THERE’s a rock n’ roll band name: Twisted Scripture

    ‘course, Twisted Sister might sue…

  95. Prospero said on May 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    My mom’s dad Charlie was undoubtedly an illegal Canadian immigrant. I don’t think there was much security in upstate New York back in the day. Of course, he served in the US Army in both WWs, Cavalry in I and Military Police in II. In between, he was a US Customs Official, of all things, in the wild, wooly days of prohibition and bootleggers on the open waters of Lake George. He also owned a sulky racetrack and a cage lacrosse stadium. Those Iriquois and Mohawks played for keeps.

  96. Prospero said on May 9, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Grist is a very worthy publication. It survives on donations. Now Grist is giving away a very cool electric bicycle in the interest of raising funds.

  97. coozledad said on May 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Jim Vandehei thinks he’s polished his turds enough for you to be willing to pay for them. And here I thought he made enough just gnawing Republican crank.
    http://wonkette.com/515698/which-part-of-politico-are-you-most-excited-to-pay-to-read#more-515698

  98. Charlotte said on May 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    My lately-departed grandmother grew up speaking French as a first language thanks to a fancy governess. Although her father’s family was French Canadian, her mother’s was all Irish. The French was an affectation to disguise the Irish. She didn’t find our until she was in her late teens that the family who lived in the house by the gates to our farm were actually her cousins. My mother carried the family affectation into our generation where all aunts were called Tante (midwesternized to Tanta).

    I did go to grad school with the poet Connie Voisine, who has some lovely poems about her life before school, which was all conducted in French Canadian. Her father was a logger in Fort Kent, Maine. Let’s just say, her years at Yale were a serious case of culture/class shock.

  99. Prospero said on May 9, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I love The Great Gatsby. I’m approaching this film version with serious trepidation. Music by Jay Z and the missus? Remarkably bad choice. Moulin Rouge was thoroughly unwatchable, but Romeo + Juliet was pretty entertaining. For an Ausie director, Baz sure as hell didn’t get that subtle genius gene Peter Weir displays in abundance. This project obviously carries immense potential for being exceptionally obnoxious.

  100. alex said on May 9, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Just discovered a cool thing I had to share: Time lapse satellite video of the earth from 1984 to the present, pick your location.

  101. Bob (not Greene) said on May 9, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Charlotte, your family and the stories you’ve told about them here sound like something out of Charles Dickens. You need to write a book!

  102. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Julie, I guess it’s the AFLC, which is conservative-ish, but not “women can’t teach Sunday school to boys over 12″ conservative/fundamental like the LCMS. Plus, they’re one A away from having a duck as their logo.

    http://www.aflc.org/

  103. brian stouder said on May 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Instead of a duck, they seem to have a whale-tail (or maybe it’s Charlie the Tuna* – diving deep!)

    *Isn’t that odd, when food companies want you to personify what they’re trying to sell you to eat?

    Charlie the tuna, the Pillsbury dough-boy (I wanna bake you; and quit giggling!), the Great Gatsby-like peanut named Charlie from Planters…and isn’t there one where the thing to be eaten never gets selected? Isn’t that odd-beyond odd? A sad-sack with a death-wish gets rejected in favor of a superior specimen, and this is supposed to make me want to buy the doomed winner?

    But, we digress…

    PPS – great link, Alex!

  104. ROGirl said on May 9, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I thought Moulin Rouge was crazy, over the top, spectacular and fun (and exasperating, too), but maybe I wouldn’t feel the same way on a second viewing. GG is another matter entirely.

    My father’s father emigrated from Russia (really Poland, but at the time Poland did not exist). He died way before I put in an appearance, but apparently he spoke Russian, Polish, some other local language (Ukrainian? not sure), Yiddish, and he learned English when he came here. He listened and paid attention. I think learning a language should not be a big deal. It enriches your life.

  105. Prospero said on May 9, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Phony equivalency department. You can insist both sides do it until you are cyanotic, but no Congress has ever refused to hold up and down votes on Presidential appointees the way the GOPers have since Obama was elected. This is just treasonous bullshit and an abject failure of these boneheads to do the jobs to which they were elected, and for which they are paid exorbitant salaries, with a coupla caddies health care thrown in.. No excuse for these shitheels.

  106. Prospero said on May 9, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Garnish their wages, the crooked bastards.

  107. Rana said on May 9, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Nancy, so glad it went so well and that you’re well on the road to recovery. The needle bit would skeeve me out, as I suspect it would most people, but I guess that’s why they tranquilize you beforehand?

    beb, that’s good news about the babies. I’m glad everyone’s doing well.

    John (not McCain), I hate to disillusion you, but some women do in fact eat the placenta. Some have it dried and ground into pills; others will actually cook the damn thing. (Personally, the whole idea gives me the whim-whams – not only is it an organ that acts as a filter, and thus likely to be full of all kinds of toxins, but, damn – autophagy + cannibalism = GROSS.)

    Maggie, those sound like unpleasant experiences. The first time I had general anesthesia was for my wisdom teeth, and I did slightly wake up during – I vaguely recall making an “ow” sound, which made them up the dosing. The second was for a hospital outpatient surgery I knew would be unpleasant if I was awake (it was an option, but I was uninterested) and they did a much better job with it. No grogginess, nothing.

    alex, I have those issues with things in the depressant/antihistimine family. All those allergy drugs that make most people sleepy? They make me hyper and trigger panic attacks. And things like Claritin that most people tolerate perfectly make me groggy and stupid. Allegra’s the only one that actually works as it should – and only if it’s not cut with the other stuff.

  108. Dexter said on May 10, 2013 at 2:08 am

    Jack Kerouac, an author I have been reading and studying for 30 years, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts of French Canadian parents. Here is another essay on him, his early love-life, and his ancestry:
    http://www.blogcdn.com/green.autoblog.com/media/2006/10/edpose.jpg

  109. Dexter said on May 10, 2013 at 2:11 am

    Damn! That photo in #108 is Ed Begley, Jr.’s EV car. Here is the story:
    http://www.newrepublic.com/book/review/memory-babe-kerouac%E2%80%99s-girlfriend-remembers

  110. Jolene said on May 10, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Hey, Judybusy. Just saw that the Minnesota House had approved same-sex marriage. Looks like MN will be the 12th state to guarantee marriage equality. Very exciting. Congratulations to you and all the people who worked on the campaign.

  111. beb said on May 10, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Detroit’d “mower gang” (and others) gets a shout-out from this Yahoo article.
    http://news.yahoo.com/detroit-services-call-d-y-dept-160617406.html

  112. Prospero said on May 10, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Crazy mofos in Kalamazoo.

  113. Prospero said on May 10, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Death from above.

  114. Prospero said on May 10, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Car thief legislator Darrel Issa admits Benghazi hearings are a lot like New Jersey. No there there.

    Congressman Chop-Shop. Do all those Issa-following Benghazi bandwagoneers know theta Issa once characterized the WTC attacks as “simply a plane crash”?

  115. Julie Robinson said on May 10, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Thanks for the info, Jeff. I was at Bible study last night and reviewed Galatians 3:28, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus”. Nuff said.

    Rana, I’m with you on Allegra. Claritin and Zyrtec gave me fuzzy brain.

    Alex, that was a fun link, and here’s another, yesterday’s solar eclipse as seen from Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3X3skkz7bVE&feature=player_embedded.

  116. brian stouder said on May 10, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Prospero – your ‘Death from above’ link is superb; got me laughing out loud!

    And there’s a Michigan tie-in, wherein a guy in Jackson was leaving the piano factory where he worked, to go to lunch, when a piano crashed down on him “killing him instantly”…and such things have happened (across the country) 26 times over the past century!

    And other guys have been killed by falling anvils…

  117. Bob (not Greene) said on May 10, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Hey, Cooze and Prospero — How are you guys celebrating Confederate Memorial Day (http://www.thestate.com/2013/05/09/2762741/holiday-closings.html) today? I hadn’t heard about it until today. Brian Stouder, had you heard of this before? Incredible.

  118. coozledad said on May 10, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Bob(not Greene): I didn’t even know it was upon us, and I haven’t done the holiday shopping. How will I ever be able to prepare the traditional dish of hog’s anus and unripe apples? Lordy.

    Funny, though, I was thinking just today about trying my hand at building a model of a /www.folkartships.com/gallery_index.html”Union riverboat to decorate the buffet table. That way I can think about it shelling the living fuck out of the cracker forts around Mobile, and blasted chunks of traitor numbnuts flying way up in the air.

  119. Bob (not Greene) said on May 10, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Cooze, you never disappoint. A true master.

  120. brian stouder said on May 10, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Bob – I’ve heard of such things as Confederate cemeteries – which makes a certain amount of sense (even despite US Grant’s apt description of their efforts as being in support of the worst cause imaginable); and I’ve heard of the group of modern-day chuckleheads that call themselves “Sons of Confederate Veterans” – and who insist on fairy tales such as legions of blacks fighting alongside the white Confederates….

    but the idea of Confederate Memorial Day – and particularly official sanction for that – is new on me…although not really surprising.

    I guess I’d call it Treason Remembrance Day, and still take the day off(!)

  121. brian stouder said on May 10, 2013 at 11:37 am

    (and didja notice that amongst all the things that are closed, one thing shown as open was the country club!)

  122. alex said on May 10, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Brian at 103—

    I once had an advertising class at Northwestern that was taught by creatives from Leo Burnett and heard a very funny story about the Pillsbury Doughboy from an old-timer who was there in the 1960s. They had concocted this new clay-mation character. In the early takes he didn’t get poked in the bellybutton by the lady in the kitchen apron. Instead, she pulled on his tummy and stretched it out. When the ad campaign was about to launch, the Pillsbury executives were all excited until one of them spoke up and said “Are you people nuts? It looks like she’s pulling on his schlong!”

    Rana at 107—

    Eating placenta was one of those things that had its moment in the sun in the 1970s for a brief moment, sort of like Tiger Parenting or the Me Me Me Generation, one of those faux trends concocted by Time Magazine. Anyway, Jane Curtin was supposed to do an advertising spoof on SNL that got cut at the eleventh hour but gained some notoriety in the press nonetheless: Placenta Helper.

  123. brian stouder said on May 10, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Alex – ay yi-yi!

    Penne Placenta?

    (I’d go for the Afterbirth Orzo, maybe)

  124. Prospero said on May 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    It was originally some time in April, but it seems that was to early for all of the flower gardens to have come in in VA and NC. The date was changed to May 10 in some places, to coincide with the death of Stonewall Jackson, although I’ve known people and some states that eschewed that remembrance in favor of June 3, Jeff Davis’s B’day. (who created a sort of slavery Utopia for his darkies, in Southren mythology). This is the day in SC that the rednecks get their way and the confederate battle flag or Navy Jack (which is properly square) is displayed publicly at the state house, though these fracking yahoos are so bone ignorant, they insist on calling it the stars and bars, which it isn’t. We’ve still got julep fixins from Saturday, so we will invite our black neighbors over and toast the conquering Union troops. WE could stroll over to Fort Walker, the Union earth fortification around the corner in Mitchellville:

    http://www.sciway.net/hist/chicora/mitchelville-1.html

    The actual Stars and Bars is this flag. It’s hilarious that redneck recidivists put so much effort into claiming they’re defending tradition when they can’t even keep their flags straight.: three horizontal bars of red, white and red, next to a blue ground with 13 white stars. Real original, assholes.

  125. Dexter said on May 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    More placenta talk: should dogs be allowed to eat sheep placenta?
    http://colliefarm.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/sheep-placenta-curiosities/

  126. MarkH said on May 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/irs-apologizes-for-inappropriately-targeting-conservative-political-groups-in-2012-election/2013/05/10/5afef7b8-b980-11e2-b568-6917f6ac6d9d_story.html?wpisrc=al_comboPNE_p

  127. Prospero said on May 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Whatever became of Susan Powter? Stop the insanity.

    Mark H: On the other hand, no harm no foul. It’s miles short of earth shattering, and anybody with a single rational bone in her body might question the practices of any group with “tea party” in it’s name. That’s the astroturfing wonderland. How do Randolph and Mortimer Koch go about running a non-profit? NFW. And when LDS spent $18mill in a California referendum election, how do they retain their non-profit status? NFW. But, anyway, read the article and it is a clear case of sound and fury, signifying nothing, like Shrubco and the alleged New Black Panthers (aka two GOPer shills with combat boots and fatigues, allegedly intimidating black GOP voters in Philly).

  128. Prospero said on May 10, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Also, Stars and Bars is a very funny novel by the inimitable William Boyd. Read everything this guy ever wrote, particularly An Ice Cream War (a gorgeous novel worthy of Evelyn Waugh).

    Like there are black GOPer voters in the Wilson Goode Philadelphia Air Force Memorial Wasteland. Not without time-release Xanax/Dazzle cocktails and body armor.

    It stopped way south of Shrub firing all of the US Attorneys for not answering “Loyal Bushie” questions satisfactorily, too, and not pursuing the “rampant vote fraud and voter impersonation” agenda with sufficient vigor.

  129. Judybusy said on May 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Rana at #110–thanks so much for the shout-out on marriage equality! Our Senate votes Monday, and they’ve had the votes there for a long time. The guv has said he’ll sign the bill. I cried yesterday when I read it had passed–not just for the sake of marriage itself, but for the wider implications of acceptance and celebration of all kinds of love and people. Particularly satisfying after that awful interaction with my dad last month.

    My partner and I married in good ole Canada in 2007, so we need to find out if we can just register that document or have to go through another paperwork deal/ceremony here. Either way, we’re having a party on September 22: the date of the original wedding ceremony we had in 2001.(Yes, it’s complicated when there is no legal recourse in your own country!)

  130. brian stouder said on May 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Judybusy – knowing that this historic news has specifically brought you and yours happiness makes me happy, too! (Now THIS is the way to end the work-week)

  131. Deborah said on May 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Hey Judy Busy your anniversary is a year minus one day from mine which was on Sept 23, 2000. Good news about the upcoming final vote in Minnesota. Andrew Sullivan (the Dish) linked to a moving speech by one of the legislators there, a pastor no less. I’d link to it here but I’m on my iPhone away from home and it’s too complicated right now.

  132. Deborah said on May 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Judy Busy, Oops just realized you said 2007 not 2001. Bad eyes looking at my tiny screen.

  133. Deborah said on May 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Wait, I’m confused now, later in your comment it does say 2001?

  134. MarkH said on May 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Success! The predictible response from Prospero; off on multiple non-related tangents. I knew I could do it.

    It was meant to be lighthearted, Pros. The point being, the IRS (almost) never, EVER issues a mea culpa. Certainly nothing on a blatantly politically oriented deal like that.

    But let’s get serious for a moment on one issue you raise. We are long past the time when certain “non-profits” should be held to account. Endless examples. For instance, grumbling about the NFL’s ‘non-profit’ status is just now starting. Who knows how far it goes and how long it takes.

    Back to regular programming: I guess I missed the news story when those two Black Panthers in front of the Philly polling place in ’08 came clean and admitted they liked Herman Cain and Clarence Thomas better than Barack Obama.

  135. alex said on May 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Just came back from lunch at one of my fave places—home today dealing with tree trimmers—where I had a strange political discussion with the owners of the establishment, who’ve been fairly brainwashed as regards Obamacare. They were telling me that Obama is out trying to sell Obamacare again because the GOP will repeal it when they take the Senate in ’14 only now there are a lot of Democrats against him because it’s such a trainwreck and nobody knew what was in the bill before it passed. I’m assuming they got this meme from Fox. I interjected that in fact what Obama is pushing is insurance reform and the Democrats who are against him had their elections bought and paid for by the insurance industry, so what’s so surprising about that?

    These aren’t stupid people but like so many around here Fox News makes them feel as if they’re getting getting the inside dirt when in fact just the opposite is happening. To their credit, at least they’re not the sort who come at me with rants about Obama being an enemy of the state and making me one by extension for having an Obama sticker on my car.

  136. Brandon said on May 10, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    @Coozledad: Would you consider yourself a modern scalawag?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalawag

  137. brian stouder said on May 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Sounds like you were having your nut trees trimmed!

    The thing about ObamaCare is that it’s a big complex bill addressing a big complex problem.

    A meme that I’m now hearing is that “45% [or fill in another almost-half percentage here] of Americans don’t know what’s IN ObamaCare”…therefore, yippso-facto, ObamaCare is illegitimate and unpopular.

    Except how many other things which we need from our government are also things we fully understand? For example, the Department of Defense has all sorts of Research, Development, Testing and Procurement programs and protocols, and I bet a smaller portion of Americans understand them, then understand ObamaCare, and yet our sons and daughters go off to all points around the globe and we support it, yes? Or, more locally, how many people really understand how the school systems work? We know what the goals are (effective and more efficient delivery of healthcare for ObamaCare; effective and efficient defense for the United States and its national interests around the world for the DoD; and educated, well-rounded children who will grow into thinking citizens, in the case of our local schools) in each case, but the operations and means within these things are much more complex…..and there’s no sin in that, I say.

  138. John (not McCain) said on May 10, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    “but the idea of Confederate Memorial Day – and particularly official sanction for that – is new on me”

    One of my dead uncles (Alabama branch, although the Alaska and California branches were just as racist) always referred to MLK Day as Jefferson Davis Day. I do not miss him.

    And I specifically said DON’T tell me about the placenta thing! Next thing I know one of you will be violating my express wish to NOT be given $1 BILLION.

  139. coozledad said on May 10, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I’m not willing to reclaim a perjorative term that was coined by the same ilk as Lindsey “I only drink rich white dick” Graham, especially since scalawag just sounds like the title of a Disney movie. But if you look at that entry closely, you can pretty easily divine the psychopathology of the south, and the political systems that were hatched here- the Klan, pre 1948 Democrats, the Republican party from Nixon on. The essential unifying feature is their habit of grading men according to a scale of how quickly they’ll let themselves be buggered raw by some numinous white authority figure, how far they’ll go to publicly debase themselves in front anyone who might have a couple of dollars more than them, how far they can insert that tongue up some swampy old planter crack.

    I grew up around some of these whimpering sadasses who styled themselves men, but were obviously deeply afraid people, uncertain of their next move. They craved authority like a tit. Still do.

    Right now the NC legislature has found it a big old dick to sit on the form of the Automotive Dealers Association, who are bypassing the democratic process to write the law so electric car manufacturers can’t sell automobiles over the web.
    This is also their way of saying how much they love that sweet, sweet Saudi splooge.

    I guess they’ll have to come up with a new perjorative for someone who doesn’t want to eat oil company shit.
    http://www.wral.com/tesla-says-dealership-law-change-would-preclude-says-of-the-company-s-electric-car-in-nc/12429330/

  140. Prospero said on May 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    The thing about ObamaCare is that it’s a big complex bill addressing a big complex problem. What part of Obamacare is “unpopular” ? The first five letters. I know what is in Obamacare, and so does anybody that lived through the wastrel 90s of free enterprise healthcare that went a long way to fucking our economy deaf and dumb. It’s not all that hard to understand except in abstruse details, and the people that object to it’s length an complexity never read a book more complicated than My Pet Goat, fracking Upside Down. You know that cosmically brilliant band Sparks, the Mael Bros. Russell and Ronald, that used to show up on Don Kirschner? That’s right. Everybody’s Stupid. And somebody thought we were all stupid enough to need somebody to interpret Russel Mael’s lyrics. Like his other greatest hit, “This is the number one song in heaven. Why are you hearing it now, you fool?

    Excuse me MarkH. How was I off on a tangent? Even the Fux Newsers are backing off the Benghazi line like it is poisonous. These assholes have come close to accusing Hillary Clinton of participating in a plot to undermine the USA. Do you claim Hillary Clinton sent her friends to their deaths? They don’t get away with that scurrilous shit. While you are ululating, drop some wisdom on how St. Raygun got all those marines killed in Beirut for no reason. If you think there is no connection between really obsceney rich old fucks and fucking over the body politic by spending gigunda wads of cash and sneaking under Tax Law threshholds, you are way stupider than even I thought. Not close dumbass. The Kochs have undoubtedly broken the tax laws millions of times. C’mon you mild mannered folks. I’m a raging partisan and Danny H isn’t. I’m smarter than he is, I know way much more than he does. Take your pick. But I don’t really mean that like that. Kids that grow up like Danny with such skewed understandings of reality, I don’t know what to say. You havwe got to be considered. What an ahole.

  141. Peter said on May 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Boys if you don’t take it down a notch I’m going to wake up Mom and tell on you.

  142. MarkH said on May 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Hee.

    Check again, Pros. Fox shows no sign of backing off. Now even ABC and as a result, normally Obama-friendly BBC are on this story. Time will tell if it has real legs. All they had to do was acknowledge the irrelevance of the video and there wouldn’t be this discussion.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22483768#TWEET751125

    Yeah, you were in tangentville. Danny H, huh? I take it as a compliment. He writes way better than me.

  143. Rana said on May 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    alex @ 122 – alas, the placenta-eating fad has returned: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/03/why-some-mothers-choose-to-eat-their-placentas/273988/

  144. Rana said on May 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Judybusy, I think you meant Jolene, not me. I’m pretty excited about the continuing spread of marriage equality, though. Several of my friends are in long-term relationships, and I would really love to attend their weddings!

  145. Rana said on May 10, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Regarding Obamacare: ACA is certainly not perfect, but I can tell you that it is already making a difference. There are a number of things I’ve had done this year that my insurance would not have covered – not even partially – without it. With it, I get full coverage, and no co-pay. This is a big deal for us.

  146. coozledad said on May 10, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Rana: Our insurance premiums have dropped considerably, even at this early stage of implementation. having gone through a couple of companies who basically gouged us for a couple of years then dropped coverage, it’s refreshing.

    Republicans just want to see people getting hosed, and they want to deny them recourse to legal remedies when they get hosed. We saw a bumpersticker in town today that said “a government that gives you everything you want can take everything you’ve got”. This is another idiot who doesn’t understand the only thing between his paltry earthly possessions and some jumped up Republican martinet is, and has always been the government; the government of the US as it is outlined in the US Constitution.

    Sometimes I wish these frightful little trailerbound shits would get what they want, but I don’t know if I could stand the stench of burning corpses for long.

  147. coozledad said on May 10, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Man, am I glad I didn’t take that summer job at the Dinka dairy.

    You don’t want to watch this at work, unless you’re a social anthropologist.

  148. brian stouder said on May 10, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Cooz – wow. Very….immersive

    Given the mechanics of what the young boys are tasked with, one assumes that every so often one of them would get kicked all to hell…

    As for the urine, I’ve read that it is actually a sterile liquid, but that it’s so rich in nutrients that bacteria quickly grows in it once it is in the air. In some places, the custom is to wash one’s hands before draining the main vein, rather than after

    (although it seems to me that before AND after would make the most sense…but we digress)

  149. Dexter said on May 11, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Well, this is out of left field, but what the hell..open thread.
    I worked with a man I’ll call Dick. His real name was Dick.
    He was operating an automatic punch press, forming gear carrier covers, which created scrap. Imagine cutting cookie dough, making round cookies, and visualize the “I” shaped left over dough.
    This pointy scrap snapped off the cold-rolled steel and slid down a scrap chute.
    Something went wrong as it did a thousand times a shift, and the scrap hung over the chute and Dick just happened to be there standing, and this dagger-like piece of razor-sharp steel scrap violently stabbed him in the, well, dick.

    Dick was cool, he grabbed a handful of shop rags for a compress and he ran to the nurse’s station.

    The old boys in that department were always making horrible jokes about the nurse, what they would like to do to and with her, and this time the nurse held the cards.
    Dick had to take his pants and shorts off and let the nurse perform first aid on the bleeding penis. The nurse bandaged up the bleeding puncture wound and Dick went to the hospital ASAP.
    Dick wasn’t seriously injured, just a lot of blood, and he never lived down the day he showed his johnson to the company nurse, as he became the envy of the the old clod-buster farmers who always proclaimed what they would do if that nurse ever told them to drop THEIR trousers.
    Ah, it’s a strange world. That nurse was just an old woman in my young eyes…and Dick would sit at the local workingman’s bar after his shift and drink two beers and always laugh politely when someone brought up the day he nearly lost his private part.

  150. Sherri said on May 11, 2013 at 1:54 am

    We’ve read about HOA complaints and lawsuits here, but this tops all of those: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020963706_homesdestroyedxml.html

  151. Brandon said on May 11, 2013 at 3:32 am

    To Lindsey Graham, Mexico, and Latin America in general, are “hell holes”:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-lindsey-graham-immigration-mexico-20130509,0,5659961.story

  152. David C. said on May 11, 2013 at 6:30 am

    I think the article about the guy who renovated his neighborhood with a bulldozer was a bit odd. Particularly the detail that the machine was an International Harvester TD-25, similar to a Caterpillar D-9. I wonder if this marks the perp as a lightweight among the bulldozer cognoscenti as it wasn’t a Cat, just similar to a Cat. Now when he’s released from stripe city, he won’t be able to hold his head high at the lunatics with bulldozers convention.

  153. coozledad said on May 11, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Lindsey must not get home much.

    Brian: back when were milking cows, we’d more often than not have trouble getting them to let the milk down. I thought I’d tried everything until I saw that video. That’s a degree of commitment seldom seen in US dairymen.

    Except in South Carolina.

  154. Prospero said on May 11, 2013 at 8:18 am

    If one, logically, removes Americans that don’t like ACA simply because GOPers killed the public option from the calculus, ACA is actually remarkably popular. Most people that disapprove of Obamacare do so because single payer is the obvious sensible thing to do if you don’t own a family HMO, like the Frists. And whatever became of that presidential hopeful.

    That dozer story reminds me of the hilarious movie Tank, in which Jim Rockford goes nuts in his own Sherman tank to bust his son out of wrongful incarceration. Now that is taking the right to bear arms seriously. The story says the dozer maniac digs holes with the machine. That sounds more like a frontend loader. Maybe the guy is a collector. I would bet he has a concealed carry permit to take his gun into the barroom. And he’ll retain it when he gets out of Graybar Hotel.

    DavidC@152: If bulldozers are outlawed, only outlaws will have bulldozers:

    http://www.danielmauser.com/cliches.html

    And, where is the next lunatics with bulldozers convention. I’d like to attend.

  155. Prospero said on May 11, 2013 at 8:30 am

    So that’s how John Lydon got his hair that color. Make’s sense. Best music video ever:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0YFJvWmoes

  156. Prospero said on May 11, 2013 at 9:19 am

    A recommendation for Joe and others that like to run:

    Running the Rift, by Naomi Benaron.

    Superb novel about a kid in the middle of the Rwandan genocide. And what do white supremacists have to say about those skinny Africans that can run faster longer than anybody. I’d be willing to bet all of my retirement cash that somebody in Kenya broke 4:00:00 over a mile long before Roger Bannister did. Is that a tangent. I think it’s just free association. You know, thinking.

  157. Prospero said on May 11, 2013 at 9:39 am

    It just struck me, nobody has asked after your (mental) health lately Nancy. Recuperation proceeding well? I meant to ask, what was your involvement (architect avoiding blame speak) in The Wars of Other Men? I pitched in and I love the movie. You would have looked good in one of those Kafka unis, keedo. Steampunk never seems to pay its debt to Franz Kafka, does it?

  158. Prospero said on May 11, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Is there a greater Rolling Stones song than Factory Girl?

  159. Prospero said on May 11, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Well, Sweet Black Angel. And who played that fiddle on Factory Girl. I’m betting on Jem Fincher. And Mick Jagger is smarter on world economy than assholes like the bunch-backed toad Krauthammer or that hopeless POS Jonah Goldberg.

  160. Prospero said on May 11, 2013 at 9:46 am

    How are you feeling Nance? I seriously care.

  161. brian stouder said on May 11, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Great article, Sherri. I laughed at the darkly humorous aside, maybe three paragraphs in, where the article notes that the raging-bulldozer guy was given to digging seemingly random holes around his property, at night.

    I mean – what the hell?! Are there any missing persons around that area?

  162. Prospero said on May 11, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Who digs holes with a bulldozer, unless it’s a mass grave?

  163. Judybusy said on May 11, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Ooops, I did mean Jolene! Thanks for catching that, Rana.

    It’s pretty heady stuff here! What I really love is that this all began because the Republicans put forth a ballot question to change our constitution to define marriage as between a man and woman. There was a TON of organizing as a result, and after that amendment was defeated in November, the decision was made to build on that momentum to expand marriage equality. What I’m most proud of is the campaign we ran. It was based on respect and having conversations–heart-felt, deep conversations–with people about love and commitment. We didn’t talk about rights per se, but loving, committed couples, or people who would want to one day get married. Much research went into the how of this campaign, and it clearly paid off. I wish all politics could be run like that.

  164. brian stouder said on May 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Judybusy – amen to that!

    That whole canard about marriage being only for “one man and one woman” doesn’t withstand practically ANY examination. The bible itself has it between one man and as many women as he can afford at one time(!), and modern-day gasbags like Oxy-Rush define it as one man and as many women as he can marry sequentially.

    It is so good to hear that reasonable people can occasionally WIN the day.

    Aside from all that, remember how Sarah Palin (et al) refer to something called “real America”? I’m not sure what “Real America” really is supposed to mean, but I suspect that if you went to a Brad Paisley concert, then the crowd you’re within might be said to be part of this group, yes?

    http://www.wane.com/dpp/news/indiana/police-arrest-54-people-at-brad-paisley-concert

  165. MichaelG said on May 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Boy, California looks like crap here with our defense of marriage act and the rest of the states OK’ing gay marriage.

  166. Kirk said on May 11, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Rick Grech on fiddle.

  167. alex said on May 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    California and Minnesota are still light years ahead of Hoosierland, where politicians are more than happy to continue validating the worst prejudices of the most militant conservatives. Unfortunately conservatives are the only ones who are politically well organized around here. But our legislature did back down this year on its plan to advance a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions. It decided to wait and see what the Supreme Court has to say about writing discrimination into state law, and perhaps also whether the winds of change will make pandering to haters more of a liability politically than an asset.

    I’m sure it must be an exhilarating moment for you, Judybusy. I’m hoping someday I’ll experience it here too, but I suspect they’ll be dragging Indiana kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century probably about the time the twenty-second begins.

  168. brian stouder said on May 11, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    But our legislature did back down this year on its plan to advance a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions. It decided to wait and see what the Supreme Court has to say

    Alex, I think you’re giving our duly-elected Indiana chuckle heads too much credit. Melissa Long’s husband used his power to stop them from considering it – or else it would have passed like shit through a goose.

    David Long also stopped them from supporting the idea of a national Constitutional Convention, which is both a spectacularly bad idea, and as FAR from “conservative” as anything could possibly ever be!!!

    I used to be a Republican; hell, I used to call myself a conservative.

    But honestly and truly, how a “conservative” could ever square the idea of literally crashing the United States Constitution is flat-out beyond my ability to understand.

    Ronald Reagan used to say that he didn’t leave the Democratic party, so much as it left him. I think the Republican party that I thought I knew ceased to exist, somewhere along the way in the past quarter century

  169. Kirk said on May 11, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Brian,
    What are the Indiana Excise Police? Do they do anything besides bust people drinking beer at concerts?

  170. coozledad said on May 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Brian: The definitions have shifted and no one in the press has the balls to call the Republicans what they are, radicals. The term ‘conservative’ has broken free of its cognates and started flinging handfuls of shit at them.
    It’s the equivalent of Burke calling Robespierre “that liberty and equality dude”.

  171. brian stouder said on May 11, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Kirk – I know not precisely what they are, but the sons o’…bucks have turned up in the news several times recently.

    Seems to me they did lots of drinkin’ busts at “the Little 500″, and now at that concert….but I’ll bet you one thin dime that they WON’T show up at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (for example), nor at a Colts game day tailgate party.

  172. brian stouder said on May 11, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Cooz – couldn’t agree more, about the untethered, destructive radicalism in the heart of the 2013 Republican party.

    They literally make no sense at all on the subject of healthcare, or gun regulation, or abortion, or marriage equality, or immigration.

    Even President Bush – who I voted for! (and who will almost certainly be the last national Republican that I ever voted for) was smart enough to know that Hispanic people could easily become conservative Republicans on social issues alone, if not also for other reasons….and now the very first thing the National Republican party says to millions of hispanic people is “go to hell”, and “by the way you’re all congenitally too stupid to be Americans, and you’re likely always gonna be stupid”

    One would like to think that, as the Republican party becomes older (and older) and whiter (and whiter), that this garbage will die off and go into RWR’s “dustbin of history”.

    But on second thought, look how much trouble a very small percentage of powerful white guys stirred up for the United States of America, 8 score years ago

  173. Prospero said on May 12, 2013 at 12:27 am

    “congennitaly too stupid to be Americans”? Not Fracking possible. American stupidity is impossible to overrate. People vote for John
    Boehner, for Christ’s sake. How stupid can one buncha bastards be? Americans in TN vote for Yertle. You cannot be fracking stupider than that. And Carmelo keeps firing up those threes when he could pass to Jason, who actually makes those. And did SI actually admit the Kid is better than the the gnger went barefootin’.

    Raygun sided with the sleazy bastards when it seemed a good idea. After all, he had no decency. Like when he impregnated the starlet while he was still married to the other srarlet. The first one was very pretty.

  174. Dexter said on May 12, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Those Noblesville cops were doing their jobs, that’s all. I ran my first car off the road into a ditch the first time I tried drunk driving at age 18, and all these kids were minors and juvies. Kids way under the age of 21 drinking and then having to get to a destination post-concert? No damn good. I doubt any of these kids were having a small communal sip…they were getting blasted. Kudos to those excise cops this time. We all know kids’ brains aren’t developed until they are in their early twenties; Teenage alcohol consumption is way too dangerous to be condoned.
    One of my friend’s mom used to buy us booze when we were 18 or so. Looking back, what a fool she was. She didn’t give a damn at all. And again from left field, I’d rather my kids ate pot brownies and smoked reefer than drink any beverage alcohol.
    New Orleans style: The Traveler: http://www.bonappetit.com/images/magazine/2012/07/insta-1/instagallery_4.jpg

  175. Dexter said on May 12, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Finally, this man can rest in peace.
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/05/10/alvin_cote_saskatoon_death_of_beloved_town_drunk_reduces_canadian_cops_to.html

  176. David C. said on May 12, 2013 at 6:51 am

    With every new state that passes marriage equality, I think of Don, my uncle – my favorite uncle. He and his partner were together for 40 years, yet we never knew about Dean until Don died three years ago. We all knew Don was gay and it didn’t matter. At least it didn’t matter to me. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have to hide a big part of your life and the person you loved for 40 years. I feel so sad when I think of it, yet there has been so much progress that my nephew can now be out. I don’t think my wife’s fundie family really accept it, except his parents, who after they found out joined PFLAG and are active in pushing for marriage equality. This country is devolving in so many ways, but I’m thankful that in this area, we are making progress.

  177. Prospero said on May 12, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Some writers on Mothers’ Day.

  178. MichaelG said on May 12, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    And a Happy Mothers’ Day to all you moms out there.

  179. Prospero said on May 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Fux News’ expert on the Great Benghazi Cover-up Oliver Fracking North. Funny if it weren’t so sad. I mean really, this massive cover-up is almost as sordid as Iran-Contra. Why aren’t the perps in jail like Ollie North and Fawn Hall.

  180. brian stouder said on May 12, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Pros – interesting link, indeed.

    And here’s another one, about the abysmal human tragedy – one thousand one hundred (plus) people smashed to death in a factory collapse in India, and a Texas town leveled by a massive explosion.

    Two separate events, but which are quite similar, in that both were almost entirely avoidable, and both occurred where ‘governmental regulation’ is something like the Big Foot monster…that is to say, a mythical nothing.

    http://shankerblog.org/?p=8286

  181. Prospero said on May 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Rat-face Sergio Garcia claims Tiger Woods messed up his shot by deliberately taking a club from his bag when Sergio was in his backswing? That is hilarious. What a fracking ahole.

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