I make the beds around here.

I can’t believe I was ever naive enough to think, when I moved in with Alan, “I’m so glad this is happening. Now I’ll only have to make the bed every other day.”

Alan, like lots of people, thinks of bed-making as the ultimate Sisyphean task: What’s the point in doing it when you’ll have to do it again tomorrow? Whereas I believe even a spotlessly clean room looks dirty if there’s an unmade bed in it. (Unless it’s occupied by someone.)

My mother insisted I make my bed every day, and I remember what a pain it was in the time of chenille bedspreads and other troublesome fabrics. You had to get everything smooth underneath, then bring up the spread and laboriously tuck it under the pillow. It looked neat until someone sat on it, sometimes moments later.

Then came the era of the down comforter, an unheard-of luxury in my youth. Then came the fiberfill comforter, for the allergic. We all learned what a “duvet” is. Bed-making is now a matter of yanking up the sheets, then yanking up the duvet, which fluffs itself up and settles back down, not precisely straight but that’s OK, that’s the point. If you have any sort of technique at all, you can make a bed in a matter of seconds. No, I don’t truck in sham pillows and accent pillows and all the rest of that crap. Yank, yank, position pillows, done.

So of course, no one in my house will do it. I can occasionally threaten Kate into compliance, but she is her father’s daughter.

All of which is to say that I just washed the duvet cover and had to put it back on — ALWAYS IT’S ME, WHO DOES THESE THINGS — and thought this must be the only part of bed-making any more that’s difficult.

Do you make your bed? Why or why not?

And how was your weekend? The rain let up and the heat moved in. I did a little yard work until I got dizzy. Walked the dog. Rode a fast 15-miler. Baked a cherry pie, grilled a pork tenderloin. Basked in the glory of summer.

And I do not have any specific thoughts on the Zimmerman trial. Like Eric Zorn, I see enough ambiguity in the evidence that I find reasonable doubt a disappointing, but understandable, conclusion. What I mostly believe is that we’re headed for another round of culture warrin’, and I’m not looking forward to that. I also think so-called stand-your-ground laws need a thorough rethinking. (And yes, I understand this wasn’t part of the defense.) I hate the idea that someone who considers himself a neighborhood guardian goes out armed with a weapon loaded with hollow-point bullets.

The worst of all is, there’s a huge part of the country that looks at the death of an unarmed teenager and shrugs.

We could talk about the breathless NYT story on campus hook-up culture.

Or we could all chuckle over Hank Stuever’s very clever pairing of “The Newsroom” and “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” in his Sunday column.

Busy week ahead. Enjoy yours.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

82 responses to “I make the beds around here.”

  1. Crazycatlady said on July 15, 2013 at 12:56 am

    My mother was a clean nut. With three girls in the house, we were to make our beds daily without fail or else. I could not see the point. I vowed when I grew up never to make my bed unless I wanted to. I grew up, got married and never made my bed without company visiting or for cleaning the sheets. It’s always great to slip into a freshly laundered made bed. But other than that, I don’t. Ironically, my daughter started making her bed before school at about the age of seven or eight. You try to raise your kid right, and sometimes they do things just to spite old Mom! LOL

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  2. DanB said on July 15, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Bedmaking was always very low on my mothers’ priorities for us. She may have made her own, but she never insisted that my brother or I make ours. And when I lived on my own, I didn’t start either.

    Rana and I now do make our bed, at least to the extent of pulling up the sheet and blankets (no comforter; I hate them). It rarely looks that good, but it means the cat doesn’t track litter dust into the bed, which is a pretty worthy end. And it still looks better than a totally unmade bed, which helps things look at least a little nicer in our bedroom.

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  3. Dexter said on July 15, 2013 at 3:35 am

    My weekend was spent driving, mostly up I-65 from the Florida panhandle. “My” Florida is usually the part from Sarasota to Naples, so this Pensacola thing was a helluva lot different.
    I was SO glad I called the dog boarders and they stayed open another minute so we could get our doggies. A spin-out wall-smasher wreck on I-475 (we had to take grandson home to North Toledo) slowed us down. We had come from Cincinnati-Columbus which makes a long drive so damn much longer, but daughter let us use her new car to drive to Florida, as our rattle-trap barely made it to Columbus and back.
    Our daughter’s beach wedding and the stay in the mansion-on-stilts was eye-popping. Solid partying for a week, a mightily daunting task for a sober man. Yeah, I was around and endless supply of every brand and type of booze and beer imaginable, and none of interested me. The tap and bottled waters and the Co-Cola were fine. It’s hotter here than it was down there. That just ain’t right. Zimmerman? Read what my young art student friend (daughter of a blogging pal) has to say: “What’s on my mind? Total disgust and horror. And what an awful crock. I’m sorry. I’m sorry a seventeen year old boy is dead. I’m sorry he is without proper justice. I’m sorry we live in a society that is racist and hateful…And yet convinced otherwise. Hannah Arendt wrote of the “banality of evil”. Evil isn’t all monsters and obvious sociopaths…It’s those who are “just doing their job”. And I’m sorry to the family of Trayvon Martin. I’m sorry that both the media and the judicial system failed miserably. And as I am unable to wish a child a good, happy life because his was taken away…I’d like to wish both that and peace to Rachel Jeantel, who has been attacked mercilessly throughout this ordeal. Fly your flags, support your troops, declare how wonderful your country is…And hate. Hate everyone different from you. Fear them. And allow that fear and hate to indulge you…To excuse and pardon you. It’s the American way? I can’t begin to express how sorry I am. A devastating night.”

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  4. Deborah said on July 15, 2013 at 5:49 am

    I make my bed every damn day. I can’t stand an unmade bed. I only use a fitted sheet and a duvet cover on the down comforter, no flat sheet. Bed making is super easy. The only hard part is stuffing the comforter back in the cover after laundering. I use 2 standard pillows at each place, my husband only likes to actually sleep with one, so I sleep with 3. He is the same as I am about bed making, even more so. During the summer in Chicago we don’t use the down comforter, just the cover because it’s way too hot. But in Santa Fe I keep the comforter in the cover because it gets down to the upper 50s or low 60s at night. On the few nights here when it’s warmer than that I kick off the comforter and pull a cotton blanket over myself that I keep at the foot of the bed. Then in the morning I have to refold that blanket as well as shake out and place the comforter straight on the bed. I prop the pillows up against the headboard at about a 45 degree angle. Little Bird wouldn’t make her bed if I wasn’t around, it drives me crazy.

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  5. ROGirl said on July 15, 2013 at 6:23 am

    I was troubled by the verdict, but juries can only consider the evidence presented during the trial, nothing else. A very public and controversial trial like this one is problematic because everyone has an opinion, but if you have ever been on a jury (I have ended up on 2 cases, one was criminal), you can’t speculate or make assumptions, and you don’t know what you don’t know.

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  6. Linda said on July 15, 2013 at 6:25 am

    I make the bed. Didn’t used to be among that number, but making the bed before leaving the house, and washing dishes, means I come home to a house that is more clean-looking and orderly. It makes the house look somewhat more serene, like somebody cares about it.

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  7. David C. said on July 15, 2013 at 6:57 am

    “Ask her why she hasn’t had a relationship at Penn, and she won’t complain about the death of courtship or men who won’t commit. Instead, she’ll talk about “cost-benefit” analyses and the “low risk and low investment costs” of hooking up.”

    She probably times it and charts it in a spreadsheet, too. Has to be a b-school student. I hope the MBA compensates for her lousy life – inside and outside her head.

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  8. Heather said on July 15, 2013 at 7:46 am

    I am not the neatest person (ask people who knew me in college) but now I do make my bed every day. Part of it is because, as you say, it makes the room look cleaner, and part of it is hygiene–I don’t like the thought of all that dust and allergens falling on my exposed sheets. That’s why I also don’t sleep in the same clothes I’ve been wearing all day (if I take a nap I sleep between the top sheet and the duvet). However, I have not yet made my boyfriend follow the same rules, so I am not quite OCD about it.

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  9. Heather said on July 15, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Also, re the hookup culture article, what struck me is how sure these young women are about being able to jump into a relationship that leads to marriage after never having been in one. It took me three or four adult relationships and 25 years of dating before I figured it out (and I suppose you never really “figure it out,” in a sense).

    Really disgusted by the Trayvon Martin verdict, and it almost makes me sadder that I was not surprised. It is basically legal to kill anyone who looks scary to you, i.e. anyone black.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on July 15, 2013 at 8:52 am

    One of my roommates in college had mastered the technique of making her bed as she got up, pulling up the covers at the same time as slithering out the side. I could never replicate it, and I don’t think it would work on a larger bed anyway, but it constantly amazed me.

    Maybe it amazed me because I grew up in a household of slobs who never, ever made their beds. So of course now I always do. And my own kids don’t.

    I haven’t wanted to follow all the details of the Trayvon Martin case, but from what I understand Zimmerman was told by the police dispatcher to return to his car and stop following Trayvon. His failure to follow that direction makes him guilty of manslaughter to me, but of course I don’t understand Florida law well. I am appalled that he gets his gun back.

    Like ROgirl, I’ve served on a criminal jury in a case where my fellow jury members felt the verdict should be guilty, and we wondered, in the jury room, what evidence/testimony had been thrown out by the judge. Contrary to CSI, there were no fingerprints or other physical evidence presented, and the victim’s testimony revealed dementia. We didn’t feel we were doing justice and it was very frustrating.

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  11. Jenine said on July 15, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I didn’t make the bed this morning but I usually do. My husband never does. As a cluttered person who often has most of her clothes in piles on the floor a made bed is an oasis of calm and order. It’s an easy win.

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  12. Jeff Borden said on July 15, 2013 at 9:43 am

    My wife makes the bed as soon as she exits it. . .I’m lucky not to have been trapped inside on occasion.

    The George Zimmerman – Trayvon Martin affair illustrates many things, most of them not particularly pretty. It underscores again the burden young black men carry simply by virtue of being young black men. Zimmerman clearly profiled Martin and judged him a threat because of his skin color. And, according to Geraldo Rivera, because he was wearing a hoodie, which Mr Rivera considers “thug” clothing. The “stand your ground” law was concocted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group funded by our favorite billionaire assholes the Koch brothers. Not sure why a couple of billionaire buffoons want even more guns and death on our streets, but there you have it. The team of defense lawyers was amazingly coarse and disgusting after winning, whining that it was a case of “reverse racism” that led to Zimmerman being charged, and calling the state’s charges “disgusting.”

    It seems likely to me that Zimmerman exited his SUV to follow Martin. Martin got pissed and confronted him and a fight began. Zimmerman was losing and evened things up by shooting Martin. No one will ever know, of course, except for Zimmerman, who now can sit back and wait for the talk show bookers to start calling and the publishers to start fishing for a book deal, etc.

    To me, the only good thing since the verdict has been the mostly peaceful protests. The nastiest of the right-wingers were praying for a good old fashioned race riot, but the hateful bastards have been denied, so far.

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  13. Judybusy said on July 15, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I usually make the bed; I care more about it than the missus. But this last week, it’s been kinda hot, and we’re just sleeping with a sheet on. The duvet’s resting on the cedar chest. I’ve also been super busy with things more fun than the bed-making, so want to get out and about ASAP. Also, the cats don’t lie on the bed as much in the summer. In the cooler weather, it’s pretty mandatory to make it, plus lay a towel over their spot. Otherwise they expel massive amounts of fur which isn’t very tasty.

    I too, am horrified by the verdict. I’ve seen some articles where black people killed white people in similar circumstances. I will let you guess the outcome there.

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  14. Scout said on July 15, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I make the bed around here too. When I get into a messy bed at night I’m uncomfortable. I like the sheets and blankets smooth, taut and unlumpy or I can’t sleep. My partner thinks making the bed means just pulling up the quilt. No y no y no. I am not a clean freak (no way to be with 5 indoor cats) but I like order. A place for everything and everything in its place, and that means made beds. That concludes my OCD admission for the day.

    I am pissed about the outcome of the George Z trial. I believed the very least they could do was choose the manslaughter option. This is the reality of America – liberty and justice for some. Same as it ever was, nothing ever changes. And what was the deal with a six person jury, all women? Why only six?

    Marissa Alexander shot a gun into the air to warn her advancing abusive husband, whom she had a restraining order against, and she is going to jail for 20 years. In Florida. No one died. This outrages me even more than the outcome of the Zimmerman trial. I hope there is a free Marissa movement as a result of this travesty.

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  15. Prospero said on July 15, 2013 at 11:08 am

    When we renovated and replaced all our furniture a couple of years ago, we bought a platform bed, for those two giant drawers under the footboard. It is a pain in the ass to tuck in sheets, but it is the most comfortable bed in which I’ve ever slept. We make the bed together when company is coming, otherwise, only when we change the sheets. It’s a two-person job.

    The controversy in the Zimmerman case was chiefly about local law enforcing immediately forming a protective wall around Zimmerman in thhe first place, when he would have been arrested immediately for shooting a white kid, even a white kid armed with tea and Skittles and wearing a hoodie, and any sentient American knows this is true. This is where the DOJ should be in the picture, even though I’d rather they weren’t. DOJ involvement will escalate Kenyan usurper derangement syndrome, undoubtedly, in the ranks of the morons that insist the President somehow politicized the case, a truly loony proposition. On the other hand, when human tampon Tucker Carlson uses the brouhaha to characterize Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al as “hustlers and pimps”, he is either entirely clueless about race, or he’s displaying symptoms of Tourette Syndrome. What an asshole, seeking to inflame racist reaction, post-verdict. Flaming dickhead.

    Jeff Borden@12: Rioters in FLA are more likely to be the Brooks Bros. sort intending to disenfranchise more than half the state’s voters.

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  16. Prospero said on July 15, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Plaxico Burress got two years in prison for shooting himself in the leg. In the case of Z trial, do private citizens get to practice racial profiling, instigate a fight, get embarrassed by getting a whuppin’ from a kid, and then shoot to kill? Something is mightily fucked up is cops treat a case that way.

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  17. adrianne said on July 15, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I make the bed every day. If I don’t, it just doesn’t feel right. My hubs and my sons could care less, but someone has their standards. Also, I put food in bowls – even it it’s just potato chips – instead of serving straight from the pan, like SOME PEOPLE do. It’s all part of my campaign for gracious living.

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  18. LAMary said on July 15, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Adrianne, I’m with you on serving from the pan. However, a good deal of the time,when it’s only two or three of us in the house, I fix the plates in the kitchen and bring them to the table. Can’t stand pots and pans on the table, though.

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  19. Carolyn said on July 15, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Hello from Florida. We had a good story in The Palm Beach Post this morning from court reporter Jane Musgrave. It explains how Stand Your Ground likely played a role in the jury’s decision.

    From Jane’s story:

    “While Zimmerman didn’t specifically invoke the law in his defense, it was part of the jury instructions. The six jurors were told they could acquit Zimmerman if they believed he was justified in using deadly force.

    ‘If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself.’

    Before the law was passed, such rights only extended to a person’s home under the legal theory that a person’s home is his castle. Even then, people had a duty to retreat, even if it meant only closing the door to keep an intruder from getting inside the house.”

    And a little more from Jane:

    “Again, the jury was instructed: ‘The danger facing George Zimmerman need not have been actual … Based upon appearances, George Zimmerman must have actually believed that the danger was real,’ according to the instruction that guided the jury’s deliberations.”

    As for Kate and the bed-making gene, I expect it will kick in when she heads off to college.

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  20. Jakash said on July 15, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Careful, Nancy. Yesterday, Coozledad suggested that attempting to view the Zimmerman case objectively, or as involving any ambiguity, as you did in today’s post, rather than sticking up for your own side in the latest skirmish of the culture wars, probably indicates that one is a closet Republican. Also, that using capitalization for emphasis in these dry internet comments, as you did today, is likely a sign of a behavioral disorder. I disagree, of course, but I’m not the poet laureate of nn.c.

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  21. Colleen said on July 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I make the bed about 50% of the time. My mother was and is a make the bed every day no matter what person. She and I went round and round when I was a kid. I’m kind of a slob. Not dirty, but messy.

    RE: Zimmerman. I don’t think justice was done. I didn’t keep up with the whole trial enough to have a really educated opinion about it, but I think that poor kid was killed by a cop wannabe who was itchin’ to fire his gun.

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  22. MichaelG said on July 15, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I make my bed every day. Otherwise I’m pretty much of a slob. OK, I keep up with the dishes. In the summer, I sleep with only a top sheet even though the night time temps here are in the upper fifties and lower sixties. Timing, Nance. I just washed the cover for my down comforter as well.

    Serve food from a bowl? I live alone and that ain’t gonna happen. I’ll do it when I have company.

    I don’t think there’s any way to escape the conclusion that Zimmerman precipitated the whole thing with his unwise actions. The consensus seems to be that the prosecution didn’t prove anything and that Florida law is a curious thing. I also don’t get the six person jury. I guess it saves money for the lawyers. They don’t have to spend as much on their jury consultants.

    Doesn’t Zimmerman have about the beadiest eyes ever?

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  23. Dorothy said on July 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Daily bed maker here. It takes such a little bit of time, I’m mystified why some people don’t or won’t do it. It looks so much nicer, and as Heather said, nothing that floats through the air during the day time (i.e. dog fur or cat fur) will land on the sheets where I’ll be sleeping later that night. I like walking through the bedroom on the way to the bathroom and seeing the bed looking neat. Scout’s attitude pretty much parallels mine about bed making. AND I’m equally confused about how the jury in the Trayvon Martin murder case was made up of so few people. If anyone can find a link with a quick explanation I’ll be grateful for the share.

    Alan’s attitude about bedmaking is what I feel about dusting furniture. I absolutely hate it and do it only when really necessary. I guess our quirks are what make us interesting, right?!

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  24. velvet goldmine said on July 15, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    My parents were pretty OCD about everything related to housekeeping. Most of it didn’t take with me, but the serving everything in nice bowls and platters sure did. That includes rolls, crackers, ketchup, salsa, etc.

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  25. Prospero said on July 15, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Finally, an explanation of the rightwing lunacy on student loan interest rates, from Tucker the tampon. Unfortunately it’s wildly nuts.

    Goober-nor Ultrasound is a serious crook, even for a GOPer politician. Remember the cash in the freezer? Kinda pales in comparison. Of course, GOPers had Cong. Jefferson pegged as the perpetrator of the crime of the century. McDonell, he’s a prospective GOP presidential candidate, mainly because he’s the ultrasound rapist. That may be unfair, but causing placement of a foreign object within a woman’s body against her will is… well, it’s rape.

    If Stand Your Ground was not an explicit part of Z’s defense, the judge had no business even mentioning it in jury instructions. For those who have expressed feelings about the poor quality of the prosecutors’ case, this is the most damning thing yet. Lawyers from both sides review and request changes in jury instructions. Allowing completely irrelevant information about stand your ground is an obvious case of prosecutorial incompetence. And if the judge invoked Stand Your Ground, he should have known better and deserves to suffer some consequences, like relegation to G’ville night court to deal with mulleted, jorts-wearing, butt-drunk young Gators.

    Another particularly odious aspect of the case has been the idiotic internet ranting about GZ not having any racist intent because, look, he’s brown. Seriously? And objectively, GZ’s story sounded like an absolute crock of shit to me. And being the only eyewitness because you killed the other is a lot like a double parricide asking the court for mercy because she’s an orphan.

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  26. velvet goldmine said on July 15, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Oh, I forgot what I really meant to comment on. It’s a measure of this place’s influence that I immediately thought of the Nall Nation when I read just now that Jenny McCarthy is joining The View. I’m sure you’ll all be thrilled that she now has a much bigger platform to talk about vaccinations and autism.

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  27. Jakash said on July 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    “I also think so-called stand-your-ground laws need a thorough rethinking. … I hate the idea that someone who considers himself a neighborhood guardian goes out armed with a weapon loaded with hollow-point bullets.”

    I agree with both of these points. Some neighborhood watch guidelines call for participants to be unarmed while participating. There’s a good reason for that, it would seem, as this case demonstrated. Zimmerman was on his way to Target, supposedly, when he saw Martin, not on “watch,” specifically. This case also demonstrates the problem with states deciding that people arming themselves for a trip to Target is a good idea. At any rate, if Zimmerman had put his gun in the glove compartment when he shifted from “Target shopper” mode to “neighborhood watchman” mode, I doubt he’d have been as quick to leave his truck in attempting to keep an eye on Martin. But, it was not illegal for him to be armed, nor to leave his truck, and nobody but him really knows what exactly happened after that.

    Judybusy writes: “I’ve seen some articles where black people killed white people in similar circumstances. I will let you guess the outcome there.” Obviously, one would need to know the details of any case, but I’d just suggest that this remark doesn’t indicate to me that Zimmerman should be convicted, based on this trial, but that the people in the cases she mentions should have gotten the benefit of the same presumption of innocence that he benefited from. Yes, much of society has been unfair in its treatment of minorities. There’s no question about that. But the solution to the problem does not call for treating ALL defendants unfairly to make up for it, IMHO.

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  28. adrianne said on July 15, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    LA Mary, plating food in the kitchen counts as gracious living with me. I’ve done it meself, many times, so I have fewer serving bowls to clean up!

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  29. Dexter said on July 15, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Forty-four years ago I was instructed how to make an army bunk so tight “a quarter would bounce”. I never got that good. As a trainee a bunk damn-well better be made up tight, or a weird punishment would await. In California when I worked in the army hospital, we never had inspection and the old barracks was filthy and nobody dared make a bunk up, or somebody would dump a butt-can full of cigarette stubs onto it, or worse. At my duty station in Vietnam, we had local mamasans come in and clean and actually make up our cots and wash our sheets once a week. Now, if I am on the road and the maid misses our room somehow, I howl bloody murder, but at home, we wash the bedding like everyone does but we only make up the bed if “company” is coming. That’s me…I guess my wife actually does make the bed a lot more often than I do.

    Oh…speaking of bedrooms…my daughter waited a long time to get married, and her new husband is 48. Her sister is a nurse practitioner. Guess what she got the married couple for a little gift for the wedding night? Right. A sample pack of Viagra. Funny, I guess…it got a big laff anyway. The whole week flew by and then the happy newlyweds got nailed by a speed-cop at the Florida-Alabama line. Bummer. Pilots have a tendency to speed when driving cars.

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  30. Charlotte said on July 15, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    My beloved has corrupted me from an absolute bed-maker to an occasional one (hangs head in shame).

    TNC has a good piece on Zimmerman — looks like the jury didn’t have a lot of choice considering how the laws are written: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/07/trayvon-martin-and-the-irony-of-american-justice/277782/

    While marches and protests make everyone involved feel better in the moment, we’re losing the long game — we need people willing to run for office, for the judiciary, to stick it out through the boring parts and get the laws changed.

    And that NYT story — don’t get me started. The “hook-up culture” was alive and well when I was in college 30 years ago. And look! We all survived. Some of us married — and some of us didn’t. Give me a break. I had one of “my” girls text me this winter to ask if I thought it was okay to sleep with someone “just because I want to” — my answer was of course. Be safe, use protection, and don’t let anyone pressure you into something you don’t want to do — but of course! Grr. Thirty years of scaremongering and abstinence “sex ed” and this is what we get …

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  31. LAMary said on July 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    I do the quilt and duvet thing, so making the bed takes maybe thirty seconds if I fluff and straighten out the pillows. I have quite a few cheap duvets from Ikea. Something like 14.99 each. It makes it easier to change it often since there are hairy creatures who like to sleep on the bed. Four legged ones.

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  32. paddyo' said on July 15, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I’m with Julie R. @ 10 on manslaughter. I blame the prosecution for overreaching, something I’ve seen lots of over the years both as a reporter and as a bystander. If they’d left murder alone and pound-pound-pounded on Zimmerman’s irresponsible and reckless behavior, perhaps they could’ve won a conviction on manslaughter.

    But it also sounds like Florida (not unlike some other states) may have a paucity of options in criminal law, vs. the various degrees of manslaughter, “criminally negligent homicide” and other approaches common elsewhere. I equate what he did — even leaving aside all the elephant-in-the-room race stuff — with a speeder killing a pedestrian, other driver of his/her own passenger in a car wreck. Those folks are almost always found guilty, and don’t always get off with probation, either. He walked in Florida, but I’m not sure he would have here in Colorado, or in some other jurisdictions.

    Personally, I still like The Newsroom despite its shortcomings, but I loved Hank’s take (and clever takedown) in that “Honey Boos News Room” mashup.

    Finally, as a child, one of seven and sharing both trundle-bed and bunk-bed quarters with four other brothers in a single bedroom, there wasn’t much choice about not making our beds. Then in the seminary, it was all hospital corners and Dexter’s coin-bounce tight fit in our big open dormitory (bed – locker – bed – locker – bed – locker etc.) So making the bed certainly is no big deal. Much later, a familiarity with modern bedcovers terminology also unexpectedly helped ease my shyness on first dipping a tentative toe into the dating pool after a divorce. Touring around among guests at an open-house party, I complimented the comely hostess on her nice “duvet cover” and got a melting double-take in reply.

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  33. paddyo' said on July 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Sorry, 2nd graf, 2nd sentence, “other driver or his/her passenger” . . .

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  34. Prospero said on July 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    It will be fracking hilarious tomorrow when GOPers scramble to claim the EZ-filibuster is mandated by the Constitution and that 51 is not really a majority in a body of 100. Or maybe that’s the clear intent of some long lost Federalist Paper found in an amphora in the Dead Sea.

    I’d have had no trouble voting GZ guilty, since his testimony leaked like a sieve, logically and objectively and when he was asked whether he wished all of the homicide hadn’t happened he displayed a completely apathetic lack of affect, like he thought there was nothing wrong with a teenager being dead because of his automatic-packing wannabeism. That was evidence enough for me, and I’d be justified in voting guilty on that basis. That’s a fact in the American legal system, and why it was surprising the psychopath was put on the stand. If FLA continues to let this guy go free with a gun, nobody should be surprised if something like this happens again. His testimony when he was asked about regrets was scary. Non Compos mentis.

    Speaking of fracking, there is a new study that finds the process can trigger earthquakes thousands of miles distant from the injection site.That’s altogether aside from what sort of carcinogenic chemicals are getting into aquifers in the form of fracking liquid the frackers won’t even identify. Allowing fracking operations without full disclosure by the frackers of the contents of the liquid is spectacularly irresponsible and bordering on criminal negligence.

    The state of Georgia is doing something more disgraceful than FLA tonight.

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  35. Peter said on July 15, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I always make my bed. I could never get it so you bounce a coin off of it, but I like a clean surface to return to at night.

    As for Mr. Zimmerman, well, I can’t say I was surprised. Charlotte’s right about the need for long term change, and that’s why I wasn’t surprised: decades of stoking people’s fear will cause crazy crap like this. It’s one thing to allow concealed carry, which I don’t agree with, and another to organize the neighborhood watch/vigilante squads, but this is what happens when you let the lunatics run the asylum. The saddest part is that I’m sure a lot of people don’t see anything wrong at all.

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    The last one out of bed makes it in our house. Works fine, close to fifty/fifty with no intention to do so, just how the week flows.

    A conservative view on the NYT hookup culture piece, which I would agree with, having regular interaction with both a private four-year undergrad campus on one elbow (and where my wife works) and a regional campus of our state land grant university (where I have a part-time staff position), and I think the idea that students in sum, across the country, are all like this depiction is ludicrous and unsupportable . . . and if you read carefully, the Times never claims quite that: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/sex-and-sensationalism/

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  37. coozledad said on July 15, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Suzanne Venker via Wonkette:
    Yet it is males who suffer in our society. From boyhood through adulthood, the White American Male must fight his way through a litany of taunts, assumptions and grievances about his very existence. His oppression is unlike anything American women have faced. Unlike women, however, men don’t organize and form groups when they’ve been persecuted. They just bow out of the game.
    America needs to wake up. We have swung the pendulum too far in the other direction—from a man’s world to a woman’s world.
    That’s not equality. That’s revenge.

    Yeah, it’s getting so bad a former Goldman Sachs employee can’t bump into a black couple’s table and call a spade a spade without getting his drinky head staved in. Thank Jeeber there are still legal remedies for maltreatment of the over/underclass. Damn wimmenz.

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  38. Jim Neill said on July 15, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Florida law requires at 12 person jury for capitol (death penalty) cases, but only 6 person for all other cases.


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  39. Sherri said on July 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    At the risk of TMI, thanks to the side effects of medication and being of a certain age, I often sweat during the night, so I leave the bed unmade to air it out. Otherwise, I’d be washing sheets all the time.

    GZ is the natural result of the NRA push to make sure that guns are everywhere. This is what you get, not some hero preventing a Sandy Hook massacre, but an idiot provoking a confrontation and killing someone.

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  40. Jeff Borden said on July 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Isn’t Suzanne Venker related by marriage to dessicated succubus Phyllis Schlafly, who built a fine career telling other women to stay home and be mommies?

    I hate to admit it, but when I heard about the black guy just flat knocking out the drunk racist, I laughed out loud. It’s so rare when an asshole really gets what’s coming to him. Too bad the black man who knocked him out has been charged with assault. I’d give him a medal.

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  41. Snarkworth said on July 15, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I don’t believe Zimmerman was part of any neighborhood watch program. I think the word we want is vigilante.

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  42. Kirk said on July 15, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Does it count as gracious living if I plate the food in the kitchen and serve it on TV trays in the living room so we can watch “Jeopardy!”?

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  43. adrianne said on July 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Why, Kirk, yes it does! I commend you, sir!

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  44. Judybusy said on July 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Kirk: yes.

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  45. Julie Robinson said on July 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Kirk, I sadly admit that with the kids gone that is more and more what we do, and I was asked if we could purchase some of those trays.

    Enough about world problems, what I really want to know is if anyone else is compelled to wipe down the bathroom counters and sinks every morning? Also the kitchen counters, every time I see dirt? Messy closets I can handle as long as my counters are clean.

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  46. nancy said on July 15, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    The so-called War on Men isn’t new, but is a lightly exploited niche of wingnuttery. (Maybe because it is, at heart, sort of embarrassing.) I’ve noticed it’s big among all sorts of only semi-related oddballs. One of the third-tier talk-radio wankers was bitching a while back about sperm thieves — women who pick up a man, go home for sex with him, and then, when he disposes of his used condom, sneak into the bathroom to (excuse me if this part is gross) steal it and stick the goo up themselves, so they can extort 18 years of child support from the poor guy.

    It’s an article of faith among these guys — and the women who tell them they’re DEAD ON — that child support is really slut support, because once this guy picked up his kid and the kid was wearing worn sneakers. Also, she has a new boyfriend, and the kid might have to listen to her slut noises at night.

    There are, to my mind, some interesting angles to this. I do think childhood isn’t always kind to boys, especially fatherless ones, and bless Jeff TMMO for his work with Scouting. I think boys do need lots of physical activity, and aren’t necessarily getting the encouragement to be active. But it’s not nice to girls, either. Basically, childhood sucks across the board. It’s a miracle anyone born after 1975 grew up to be a functional adult.

    But their advocates are, to a (wo)man, sort of crazy. Mrs. Instapundit, Mona Charen, Laura Schlessinger, this Venker lady, Kathleen Parker — you can add them up. I think some of them, particularly ones like Parker and Mrs. I, love the attention it brings them. From men.

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  47. Jolene said on July 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Vigilante is, indeed, not too far from the truth. Zimmerman is often described in press accounts as a neighborhood watch volunteer, but I don’t believe there was actually any organized group of watchers. Zimmerman simply took it upon himself to stick his nose in.

    Am so sad and angry about this case. The jury verdict is heartbreaking, but, I think, legally appropriate. The state could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman did not act in self-defense. But the whole thing was so unnecessary. If only Zimmerman had stayed in his damn truck. Now, a young man is dead, people are in their ideological corners with regard to the outcome, and we have, if anything, taken a step backward in terms of racial reconciliation in this country. If I were a black parent, my already elevated concern about my children’s safety would be spiking.

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  48. coozledad said on July 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Jeff Borden: I’m looking forward to Venker’s book Ker-Splat!: Forgotten Male Casualties of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.

    I’m surprised people were so slow on their feet at that restaurant to defuse that situation, but as one commenter said at Gawker, New York is so full of investment banker assholes, it’d be a full time job just trying to keep them from getting the shit knocked out of themselves.

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  49. Brandon said on July 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Compared to Laura Schlessinger and many other pundits, Kathleen Parker is moderate and certainly writes better than Bill O’Reilly (our local paper runs both their columns). Feminist blogger Twisty has compared Kathleen Parker to the wife of Reverend Lovejoy from The Simpsons, which about sums up her vibe.

    @Kirk: You have excellent taste in TV.

    One other thing, Nancy. Follow up on the destruction of black history books in Detroit.

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  50. Brandon said on July 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    In other when-white-people-attack news:


    Dinalynn Andrews Potter, 43, of Barstow.

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  51. nancy said on July 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I don’t have any particular opinions about that incident. The material was recovered, I’m told, and the guy responsible says it was a mistake. Need more info to gel any coherent thoughts on that one.

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  52. Dexter said on July 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    If you hear anyone bring the word “entitlement” to the conversation, you may as well back away, refresh your drink, and not return to the conversation. I can guar-an-damn-tee that person is a conservative Neanderthal and not a pleasant person , unless you, too, are a backwards person.
    Likewise, if someone mentions “stand your ground laws”, be prepared to hear a dissertation on the heroics of Zimmerman’s actions.

    The fucking prick was told by the cop-dispatcher that the cops do not want security guards chasing “suspects” around, leaving their vehicles, and confronting kids with Skittles in their hand. This was pre-meditated murder in my eyes, And Z-man should be on death row right now. The fact he walked is an outrage!

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  53. Dexter said on July 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm


    “Sum-Tin Wong” was what I heard on the radio today…pretty low humor, eh?

    “Wi tu Ro” was another one. Pretty sick, but then …we all know people who hate Asian car drivers as well. The stuff my son-in-law says about Asian drivers in Columbus makes me blush.

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  54. Peter said on July 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Yes, that was pretty sophomoric, and worse than the Sun Times headline, but I couldn’t stop laughing – that’s the great state of broadcast journalism today.

    And that Tucker – he was being facetious, right? Because I don’t think that anyone, even him, could be that stupid.

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  55. Jeff Borden said on July 15, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Oh, you underestimate Tucker Carlson. He is that stupid. And an asshole of significant proportions, too.

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  56. paddyo' said on July 15, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    David Simon has been having quite the post-verdict conversation with his blog readers today . . .

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  57. Prospero said on July 15, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Happy birthday Linda Rondstadt. This is a great cover with a scorching vocal of one of the best rock songs ever written. It always pissed me off that LR did a lame-o version of Poor, Poor Pitiful Me. Sorry lady, that’s a guy’s song. But she does Mick and Keef and them up proud. Anybody know who’s playing lead? I’m guessing Waddy Wachtel. It’s got his brand of swagger. This is on the Simple Dreams album, and Lord she looks gorgeous on the album cover:


    I’m with Dexter on premeditation, although I don’t see how that could have been proved. Furthermore, his “fucking assholes always get away with it: is telling, in my opinion. It’s also odd. During the first couple of days after the homicide, I heard a recording in which he said Trayvon was a “fucking coon” My memory is not impaired, and I know what was on that dispatcher tape the first few times I heard it. So was what was played at trial doctored? God only knows, and as with the murder of the other witness, Zimbo knows. He made it clear he doesn’t give a shit when his lawyers put his dead eyes in his porcine face on the stand. That and the sudden appearance of the kid’s cellphone in the hands of GZ’s lawyers, along with the cops’ failure to arrest the asshole right off, makes me wonder what really went on, and is ample reason for the DOJ to investigate the FLA cops. I hope it doesn’t happen, because the wingnut racist backlash will be nauseatingly fierce.

    Entitlements? What Humpty Dumpty said about what words mean. I hit max on payroll taces when I was 38. I’m 62 now and still paying in. Anybody that wants to tell me to my face Social Security payments and Medicare are entitlements is in for a kick in the nads from me. Congressional insurance plans and pensions for assholes that refuse to do the people’s business because, Obama, those are entitlements that should be cut off at the knees.

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  58. Charlotte said on July 15, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    The other thing I’ve found shocking in the last few years (since Obama’s election?) is the manner in which I have heard “nice” white people of my parents age (70s-80s) become increasingly comfortable using racist language in ways they hadn’t for decades. My borrowed kids were telling me about their grandparents, Ohioans who now winter in their RV in southern Arizona, who have become outright and open racists … so the 13 year old told her grandmother, when she was visiting in LA, that her older sister’s been dating black guys. Just for fun you know. Also, while they toned down the jokes the night of the Democratic convention when I was home in Lake Forest, it was only out of deference to me … sigh.

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  59. Annie said on July 15, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    First of all. I don’t have time in the morning anymore to make my bed. So I don’t. I have more important things to get done before I get to work. My life has now turned into no time for myself. I have my job which takes up my day. I come home from work and have to deal with all the crap around here. Dinner, cleaning and all the things that go along with that. If anyone would make a comment to me on why my bed is not made I will give them a swirly.
    I expected Zimmerman to get off. The reason being that justice does not happen. Zimmerman was to blame. This would not have happened if he did not get out of his car. He decided that this black kid was up to no good. He decided. Zimmermann is no better then anyone else who decides that the color of your skin makes you a bad person. He did not know this kid. He decided that this is a black kid so he must be no good. I hope that Martins family can somehow get justice. Zimmerman makes me sick.

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  60. mark said on July 15, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Prospero- Zimmerman didn’t testify at trial.

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  61. Deborah said on July 15, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    It is downright cool today, the high was supposed to be 67 but I don’t think it ever got there. Tonight’s low of 49 should make for great sleeping under the comforter. My cat is cold, I had to get out the heating pad to warm up a spot for her.

    I’m kind of a clean freak, especially about the floors in Santa Fe, we have ceramic tile and I’m always on my hands and knees wiping them. Everyone thinks I’m OCD about it. My mom was that way too about our parquet floors, growing up we had a joke that if you came in bleeding profusely my mother would clean up the floor before attending to your injury. Clean counters in bathroom and kitchen are a must for me too. I don’t like clutter, but my desks at work were always highly cluttered, go figure.

    And one more thing about bed making, in Chicago we have a platform bed very low to the ground, the mattress is countersunk into it, the platform surrounds it flush to the top. It is a bit harder to put the fitted sheet on after laundering, but definitely not a 2 person job.

    I finally had time to read the NYT article about hooking up, all I can say is I’m so glad I’m the age I am now. I have learned so much about life and have such a better take on it since I was in college, wouldn’t go back there for anything.

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  62. Suzanne said on July 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Charlotte, I’ve noticed the 80+ set and their use of off color racial terms, too. I chalk it up to creeping dementia and the effects of Fox Geezer Syndrome. I know we have elderly relatives that we are scared accompany out in public or fear of what might come out of their mouths.

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  63. Deborah said on July 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    One other thing, I got a pedicure today, my first of the summer because Santa Fe is way too dusty to wear sandals, but since I’m going to be in the hot, sticky, Midwest in a couple of days, I’ll probably want to be wearing sandals there. Right across from me at the salon was a giant flatscreen attached to the wall and boy howdy has daytime TV taken a nose dive. I was never much for watching but it was amazingly bad, and mostly commercials, really, really bad commercials. Is it me or was it always that bad? It seems to be geared for teen moms or something. Seriously.

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  64. Dexter said on July 15, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Prospero, you are indeed right. Zimmerman called Trayvon a “fucking coon”. I heard it plain as day. This was a racial profiling murder, a hate crime…and if Trayvon had wrestled the weapon away from Zimmerman and the weapon accidentally had discharged and Zimmerman would have been killed, well…what do you think Trayvon would be getting in sentencing? A noose is what.

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  65. David C. said on July 15, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    These stand your ground laws scare the crap out of me. Several years ago, I was riding my bike and a jerk in a pickup took offense at me being on roads “that I don’t pay for”. He drove by twice with his mirrors inches from my head and then drove by again, stopped in front of me and got out of the truck. I had a frame mounted aluminum pump and was ready to kiss him up side the head with it before he backed off. Nowadays, even with him as the aggressor, he could shoot me if he felt I would hurt him. What is one to do now? I have no clue.

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  66. ROGirl said on July 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    When I was in Europe during college, and I was in casual conversations with people on trains, in cafes and restaurants, etc., and out of the blue they started talking about “The Jews,” it was shocking to me. “The Jews” do this and that, “The Jews” manipulate things to their advantage, “The Jews” pull strings and hold down the ordinary people, “The Jews” are a force. I don’t hear these types of comments in this country (not that they don’t exist), but I can’t imagine what it’s like for a black person to be confronted with racism on a daily basis.

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  67. Prospero said on July 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    A cop’s take on Zimmerman. This sounds as if local law enforcement should have been aware of the danger posed to other citizens by GZ. Especially the dispatcher who told him not to stalk or confront the kid. It sounds as if it’s just unadulterated luck that the fool hadn’t killed somebody sooner.

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  68. Prospero said on July 15, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    I always feel safe no matter where I am or what time it is, because I know that agressors are in deathly fear of my hoodie, my iced tea, and my Skittles. Don’t leave home without them

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  69. LAMary said on July 15, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Deborah, it is geared to unemployed people with not a lot of job skills and teen moms. Lots of commercials here on the local channels for schools to learn medical assisting or certified nursing assistant classes. All low paying positions with not a lot of growth potential. I can’t believe how bad the pay is on entry level jobs. Security guards, in the LA area, make 14 dollars per hour. EMTs, 16. Nursing assistants in hospitals maybe 15 and in nursing homes 12. How do you live in Los Angeles on that kind of money?

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  70. Annie said on July 15, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    I wonder if this incident is going to stop Zimmerman. Also, will other people think they can do what Zimmerman did because he got away with it.

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  71. Prospero said on July 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Too bad Lester Chambers didn’t have a gun. Hope that foolish shrew enjoys Vacaville or Lompoc or wherever. What sort of person attacks a 73 year old music legend? Somebody that should be sequestered from society, that’s who. I saw Lester and his brothers at Cobo in Detroit with Sly and the Family Stone in 1968. Brilliant show. Lester Chambers is one of the greatest rock ;n’ roll singers that ever lived. People get ready is certainly a divisive message that would drive any white supremacist nutcase to dangerous antisocial behavior. Too bad the sax player didn’t bean the harpy with her instrument.

    Not only do I frequently wear hood sweatshirts, but I also find that a do-rag is good at keeping my scalp from getting sunburned and sweat out of my eyes, when I’m riding my bike. Luckily I like Skittles and AZ iced tea, to scare away predators that might decide I’m an ” asshole that always gets away with it” despite my white skin and blonde hair. Claiming that GZ didn’t engage in profiling and stalking makes less sense than the bullshit story the slimy bastard sociopath told on the stand. And anybody that thinks calling the creep a sociopath is out of order, take a look at him answering questions in court about whether or not he was sorry he had been packing, had left his urban assault vehicle, had shot the kid, or that the kid died. Zero affect. That is somebody that needs psychotropic meds and belongs in a high security psychiatric facility. Dangerous nutjob, who is likely to hurt somebody again, because Lord knows, he won’t lose his CC license again. The cops had already taken it away once and given it back.

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  72. Annie said on July 15, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    I just heard on the news that one of the people on the Zimmerman jury plan on writing a book about the trial. That is one book I will not buy.

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  73. MichaelG said on July 15, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    I used to be majorly in lust with Linda Ronstadt. The first time I saw her was in Berkeley in 1969 at a store front dive called “The Monk”. She wore tiny little blue jean cut offs (no such thing as jorts then), a blouse made out of red bandanna material with the bottom open and tied off across her midriff. Here hair was in those little girl pony tail things. She was young and beautiful and radiated sex and boy could she sing. When she introduced the band she introduced one of them as “Balloon – Dick”. There was complete silence in the club for a moment while everyone stared at the guy. I have a lot of her early albums on vinyl, including Simple Dreams. One thing I’ve always loved about her is her willingness to try anything musical. It must have taken a lot of guts. I still wonder what kind of relationship she had with Jerry Brown. He just didn’t seem to be her type.

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  74. MichaelG said on July 15, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Her hair.

    Yeah, I remember army bed making. Hospital corners and bounce a quarter. Much of the time in Vietnam we were out in the boonies somewhere and just slept on the ground. No bed to make there.

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  75. beb said on July 15, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Scott Lemieux makes the argument that the Zimmerman verdict says much about the nation’s gun cult.

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  76. Deborah said on July 15, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Zimmerman is a complete doofus who got himself in over his head when he was stalking Trayvon Martin who had every right to be there and knew it. The fact that Martin was getting the better of Zimmerman who was puffed up by his “power” to intimidate, made the idiot pull out his gun and use deadly force because he could. Guys like Zimmerman should not be allowed to have a gun. Period.

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  77. Deborah said on July 15, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Michael G, aside from “Desperado” my favorite Linda Ronstadt piece is on a Philip Glass CD called “Songs From Liquid Days”, she sang in a piece called “Forgetting”, along with the Roches and others, it’s gorgeous.

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  78. Kirk said on July 15, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I saw Linda Ronstadt at my second concert in college. She was the warm-up act for Johnny Winter. Can’t remember what all she sang, but I do know she did “Take a Whiff on Me.”

    The albums she did with Dolly and Emmylou are mighty fine listening.

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  79. Kirk said on July 15, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    The jury initially had three votes for not guilty, two votes for manslaughter and one vote for second-degree murder when deliberations began, the juror writing the book said on CNN tonight.

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  80. Jolene said on July 15, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    I saw Linda Ronstadt perform in Tucson in the mid-Eighties after she released the Canciones de mi Padre album. She was no longer wearing those little shorts, but it was still a great concert.

    Tucson is her hometown. Her father and grandfather were prominent businessmen, and her brother, Peter, became Chief of Police. She grew up singing with her family, and several family members came on stage to sing with her at the concert I saw.

    Her Wikipedia entry has some nice details on her family’s history in AZ, and her family’s influence on her development as a singer.

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  81. Basset said on July 15, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Great quote from her in an interview about those early days:
    “I wasn’t oversexed, but I was definitely sexed.”

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  82. lynn said on July 18, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I’m with Alan. I have enough relatively pointless tasks in a day to add one more. Plus its only me anyway and the area surrounding my bed actually makes the bed itself even in its un-made glory look ‘put together.’

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