The long, cool summer.

Last weekend in July, and we had a September weekend — weirdly chilly and windy, with the sort of rain you get when autumn’s on its way. (I suppose autumn is always on its way on the great wheel, but you know what I mean.) Bottom line: I’m sitting in front of my open window in a sleeveless T-shirt, longing for a hoodie.

In July.

Not that I am complaining. I did plenty of sweating in the gym today.

I haven’t mentioned this yet, because BORING, but I started working with a trainer not long after my eye surgery, and today, almost three months later, I’m starting to feel the results. It used to take three weeks in the weight room to see musculature asserting itself again; now it’s three months. The faster time goes, the longer it takes, evidently. I say “feel” over “see,” because at this point that’s all I’m really interested in. I want to stop feeling like a blob, I want to bend over and straighten up and be aware that the armature handling this task is up to the job. I chose to work with a trainer instead of doing it on my own because the whip on my back is part of the process, and Stephanie the Sadist mixes things up enough that I don’t get bored. I will keep a gym date with a relative stranger, but not a date with myself. Perversely, spending more money at the gym is making me value visits there more highly. Surely there’s an economics principle at work here.

So I read Frank Bruni’s column today on the very same subject, and after my customary first reaction (how did this guy get a column in the New York fucking Times?), I had my second one (there’s five minutes of my life I won’t get back), and then fixated on this passage:

There’s a trainer at my gym who routinely gives clients graphic details of his libidinous escapades. There’s a trainer who travels with and to certain clients, who can’t be without him. There’s a trainee who exercises, if you can call it that, in a full coat of makeup, never smudged by sweat. There are teenagers dropped off by their parents, who apparently believe they owe their children not just good educations but six-pack abs.

How did this happen? And when? Fifteen years ago I didn’t know a single person who had a personal trainer; then, suddenly, every third friend had one. Personal trainers are like automatic tellers: one minute they didn’t exist, the next they were everywhere, and considered indispensable.

Pure Andy Rooney, that. On the other hand, what did I say a few paragraphs back? BORING.

What else happened this weekend? The sweet corn is now at the market. So we can all enjoy that.

So, bloggage?

I used to think of Caroline Kennedy as my doppelganger, born a mere two days apart as we were. Now I find her insufferable. Or maybe it’s just this stupid fawning profile of her, again in the NYT. The byline is Jacob Bernstein, son of Carl and Nora; presumably he was raised amongst his parents’ famous friends, so how can he write a passage like this without barfing all over his own keyboard?

A few years ago, Mr. Hughes made an offhand comment that he and his partner, Dr. Richard Friedman, a psychiatrist who directs the psychopharmacology clinic at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital, made a ritual of competing in Swim for Life, a 1.25-mile event in Provincetown, Mass, that raises money for AIDS and women’s health charities. “She said, ‘Oh, I’d really like to do that,’ ” Mr. Hughes said.

And so, Ms. Kennedy did. “She just showed up and changed in a gas station and came out and did the race,” Mr. Hughes said. “It was pretty choppy, and she did a terrific job. I’m happy to say I beat her. But just barely.”

Although this correction is a hoot:

An earlier version of this article misstated Edwin Schlossberg’s profession. He is an interactive designer and artist, not an architect.

Good to know.

One thing I’ve noticed, since the Detroit bankruptcy thrust our little town into the national spotlight, is how utterly wrong so many people are about so much, how even fairly straightforward facts elude many writers. WDET’s blog addresses just one of these. You can quibble the way a couple of the commenters did, but the main point stands.

It’s time to let the Tiger Stadium site go, says on Freep writer. I have to say, I agree.

With that, I’m going to get a jump on what’s shaping up to be a pretty busy week. Take care, all. It feels like a dangerous world these days, but maybe it’s just the chill.

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

28 responses to “The long, cool summer.”

  1. Sherri said on July 29, 2013 at 2:28 am

    I don’t get the urge to preserve Tiger Stadium in amber, and I’m a baseball fan. I like what Pittsburgh did with Forbes Field. Part of the left field wall is still standing, there’s a plaque that marks where Mazeroski’s homer cleared the fence, and home plate is in place under glass in one of the Pitt buildings.

    I got a personal trainer after I tore up my knee a couple of years ago. I had been through a few too many injuries, and I wanted to keep doing things that might result in injury, so I needed to get stronger. I keep it up because I found that all those nagging things that used to hurt don’t hurt nearly as much or as often when you’re stronger.

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  2. Deborah said on July 29, 2013 at 6:55 am

    I have a good friend who’s a former architect, is now a personal trainer. He’s highly educated and a lot of folks couldn’t believe it when he made the switch. He loves his new profession though. I’d love to be one of his clients but he’s in Chicago and with my being in Santa Fe part of the time, it didn’t seem practical.

    Edwin Schlossberg is an exhibit designer, I suppose a lot of exhibits now are interactive, but I never heard it called that. He’s highly respected in my world.

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  3. Prospero said on July 29, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Funny thing about the Caroline Kennedy stuff? GOPers and teabangers going wild about how “she’s not qualified”. A GOPer make-believe president sent Shirley Temple to the UN, you dimwits. What do these yahoos think are qualifications for ambassadorships? They want to know if she speaks Japanese? These critics are people that didn’t understand why it was funny when Shrub, on the eve of a trip through Latin America, wished he had more time to brush up on his Latin, and thought people in New Mexico speak Mescan. Given the strangeness of Japanese culture, I’d bet Ms. Kennedy will be wildly popular in Japan. She is cultured, well-educated and intelligence, and in my opinion, attractive. When people start whining about qualifications for ambassadors, MEGO. In GOPer circles, it is truly all about the money. And these same experts so aghast at a Kennedy ambassadorship to Japan that question her language skills didn’t like Mike Mansfield any better, and he was fluent.

    As far as finding it ridiculous that Frank Bruni has a NYT column, I say David Brooks and Ross Douthat. Holy crap, those two are monumentally both stupid and full of shinola.

    I saw Nancy’s rabbit mask in a TeeVee show (Crossing Lines, decent, with William Fichtner and Donald Sutherland) last night, worn by a bank robber. Two days away from net and television was cleansing, but it won’t take. Started in on Orange is the New Black when we returned. Pretty good, but Jason Biggs? A nearly fatal casting error for any production. That guy is insufferable. Presumably he was cast for his previously displayed masturbation-face expertise.

    I love Tiger Stadium, and not just for baseball memories. Great football there when I was just a kid.

    Something very cool and beautiful for you aviation fanatics.

    And something even cooler.

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  4. alex said on July 29, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Actually, the cool weekend was a welcome respite from the mosquitoes, which have been in a dead heat this year with the flowers in the competition for most vigorous ever. Right now the phlox and tiger lilies and black-eyed Susans and purple coneflowers are going full tilt, and the annuals are all kicking ass as well.

    So are the veggies. Though only the teensiest of the tomatoes are ripe yet, which is unusual by this time of summer, the sheer number of big fat green ones awaiting harvest is staggering. And I have a literal pepper mill going on here—this weekend made a fabulous poblano guacamole and a salsa with Anaheims and hot bananas and fresh garlic that’s quite dee-lish. And I still have more peppers than I know what to do with.

    Such a gorgeous morning it is. Wish I could just spend the whole day here meditating.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 29, 2013 at 7:51 am

    The hummingbirds are busy on our porch this morning. The sedge is keeping my sorry excuse for a lawn looking irregular, speeding out past the plebeian turf and crabgrass. Ironweed is bursting high above the fallow fields down the road. Beautiful sunset last night, gorgeous sunrise this morning, and the Ohio State Fair is ahead of me and my son tomorrow. Hope y’all have some beauty nearby these days; it’s enough to give a weary soul hope.

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  6. beb said on July 29, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I was away over the weekend at an old magazine convention. Met a lot of friends there who all asked how I was doing because of the bankruptcy thing. One of my friends is an artist/art historian from New York. When he heard about the idea of selling off the Detroit Institute of Art he confided that would be a horrible, terrible idea. He’s apparently seen other art auctions and basically, he says, after the auction house gets their cut, the gangs of lawyers (and there would always be lawyers) get their cuts there would be very little money left for the city. Selling off the DIA would put money in the pockets of everyone except the City of Detroit.

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  7. coozledad said on July 29, 2013 at 8:28 am

    He’s apparently seen other art auctions and basically, he says, after the auction house gets their cut, the gangs of lawyers (and there would always be lawyers) get their cuts there would be very little money left for the city.

    Money for the city isn’t the plan, and hasn’t ever been. When Republicans talk about shrinking government, they’re in part talking about replacing fiscal policy with goober bait like “Haw haw them libruls like art less’n us buss that collection up haw haw and build a hockey stadium for the dumbfucks.” Snyder’s doing the same shit Art Pope and McCrory are doing in North Carolina- mopping up stray cash and pissing on teachers and blacks.

    In NC, however, a clearer picture of McCrory’s role is emerging. He admits he doesn’t even read the bills he signs, so he delegates that portion of his official capacity that isn’t reserved for sucking warm massage oil off Pope’s starfish.

    An Associated Press reporter asked the Republican governor how three particular provisions of the bill would help prevent voter fraud — ending same-day voter registration, trimming the period for early voting by a week and eliminating a program that encourages high school students to register to vote in advance of their 18th birthdays.

    “I don’t know enough, I’m sorry, I haven’t seen that part of the bill,” McCrory replied.

    This is after he said he intends to sign it.

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  8. Charlotte said on July 29, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Heat didn’t break here until last night — and we even got some rain. Good news for the rather large forest fire up behind Himself’s cabin. And for my garden — it does not like chlorinated water out of the hose as much as rainwater. Supposed to be cool this week, which would be nice —

    I hate the gym, but middle-aged squidginess has me considering a trainer. Especially since working on this new book has me spending way too much time in chairs.

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  9. brian stouder said on July 29, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Cooz – wow.

    One would like to think that our elected leaders would – at least occasionally – be more impressed with the gravity, or duty that comes with winning an electoral contest.

    But a guy who so blithely mentions that he hasn’t even read a reasonably detailed synopsis of a bill he’s about to sign into law (let alone reading the bill itself) betrays a genuine contempt for the electorate, and the citizenry.

    Isn’t “I don’t know enough, I’m sorry, I haven’t seen that part of the bill” at least parallel (if not equivalent) to “Let them eat cake”?

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  10. Connie said on July 29, 2013 at 10:54 am

    I have very fond memories of childhood outings to Tiger Stadium. I can understand why people want to memorialize it. Of course my uncle had access to GM’s tickets so I never sat in a bad seat.

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  11. coozledad said on July 29, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    George Will has this whole Detroit thing dicked. He knows who caused the problems, and it’s not people who listen to Rachmaninoff.

    Here’s some of that Natural Law Republicans are always puking up about stuff: Anyone who has ever worn a bow tie to “smarten up” is a sad case of self-important insular dumbfuck twaddle paste.

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  12. beb said on July 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Detroit’s Emergency ZManager, Kennth Orr, seems to be doing a straightforward bankruptcy case, looking to get creditors to accept haircuts all around (including pensdions). He hasn’t been slavering to sell off Detroit assets. So I’m not sure I’d put him in the same class the the North Carolina legistature, which has given new meaniung to the phrase carpet-bagger.

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  13. LAMary said on July 29, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    “The byline is Jacob Bernstein, son of Carl and Nora; presumably he was raised amongst his parents’ famous friends, so how can he write a passage like this without barfing all over his own keyboard?”

    That passage was metaphorically barfing all over his keyboard.

    Speaking of things meta, I got a call from Petco yesterday while I was deeply involved in making supper. I bought one item there about a month ago and they were doing a survey about my shopping experience. The last question was “does receiving a call like this make it less likely you will shop at Petco again?”

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  14. brian stouder said on July 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I think I’d have responded with “Is the Pope Catholic?”

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  15. Bitter Scribe said on July 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Charles “Death Warmed Over” Krauthammer also weighed on how Detroit’s problems are the fault of Democrats. Or blacks. Or black Democrats. Or something. I didn’t feel like wasting five minutes of my life on it.

    It’s looking like Wrigley Field will be the only authentically old-time ballpark left. At least until the Rickettses get done plastering a Jumbotron and billboards all over it. Oh well, it’ll all be forgiven if Theo Epstein, the boy genius who allegedly saved the Red Sox, succeeds with his strategy of selling off everything for minor leaguers.

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  16. velvet goldmine said on July 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I have no doubt that Kennedy is quite gracious when she is surrounded by JFK groupies who themselves live in a Nora Ephron movie. My main impression of her, though, stems from that disastrous “thinking about it” senate tour. She was such a blunderer throughout, when she had to deal with public and press. I worry about her in an ambassador position, especially Japan, land of discretion.

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  17. Prospero said on July 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    NRA and its allies are running recall campaigns against two Colorado State Senators, Democrats John Morse and Angela Giron, who helped pass expanded background checks and a high capacity magazine ban earlier this year. That’s a reason to recall elected officials? No doubt this effort is funded by the Mortimer and Randolph Koch Kriminal Konspiracy. These are state legislators, and there is no way outside money should be allowed legally to mount recalls. Crock o’ Crap Supremo.

    I don’t think many JFK groupies are living anywhere any more.

    When I was grammar school aged, we always sat in primo Lions seats courtesy of drug company jobbers (the entire UAW health plan was based in the hospital wher my dad was Chief of Peds). When I started navigating the city sans parents while in HS, it was all Tigers, all dead center field, with the Ol’ Timers from the neighborhood. Great stories, and a never emptied pint o’ Four Roses.. Saw Earl Wilson throw a one-hitter in which he hit two majestic homers, one on the left field roof. That was one big dude.

    Short of barfing in the lap of the diplomat next to you at a state dinner, what damage or what good does anybody really think an ambassador can do? I think that faux pas took place in …tada, Japan:

    Or how about Shrub’s MerkelMassage:,28804,1880208_1880218_1880223,00.html

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  18. brian stouder said on July 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Anatomy of a Smear;


    Since You’re Always Going to be Portrayed as Wrong, Do the Right Thing and to Hell with Them!

    Here’s an article from a predictably anti-Obama/pro Koch Brothers (et al) trade publication

    The lead:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has delayed by nearly a year a plan to boost safety standards for the type of rail car involved in a fiery explosion that killed at least 47 people in Canada this month.

    From paragraph 5:

    A proposed rule to beef up rail-car safety was initially scheduled to be put in place last October, but it has been delayed until late September at the earliest. A final rule isn’t expected until next year.

    From paragraphe 19(!!!)

    The American Petroleum Institute, the largest lobbying group for the oil industry, declined an interview request. But in comments submitted along with the Renewable Fuels Association, the American Chemistry Council and other groups, the API asked the Obama administration to focus its rule-making on cars built after October 2011.

    Worth pondering, as the president considers the Keystone pipeline, etc

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  19. Prospero said on July 29, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    When people stamped their feet in LF at Tiger Stadium, it truly felt and sounded as if the whole place might come crashing down.

    brian studer@18: Of course Mortimer and Randolph don’t operate a fleet of obsolete single hull rust bucket oil tankers, either, grandfathered in by Shrubco and completely unsafe.

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  20. Prospero said on July 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Vocal and bass dynamo or nails on a blackboard, today is Geddy Lee’s birthday:

    Like ’em or loathe them, anybody honest would have to admit it’s a great guitar player, a brilliant whacko drummer and a superb bass player, with squalling vocals, great rock melodies and twattish Ayn Rand based lyrics, which all equal, a guilty pleasure. JJ Cale just died last week, and all the Clapton accolytes were in full mourning mode. For me, I’d rather listen to Rush excess forever than to ever have to sit through After Midnight again.

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  21. Jerri said on July 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Speaking of the API in Brian’s comment above, today’s email from the Washington Post was captioned “Monday Morning Headlines — presented by the American Petroleum Institute.” If that’s happened before, I didn’t notice it.

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  22. Peter said on July 29, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Propsero, I think your comments about Caroline Kennedy are right, except for one – as my female coworker said, she looks real good for her age – if she were 65.

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  23. Sherri said on July 29, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    The guinea worm is almost extinct (and this is a good thing):

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  24. Sherri said on July 29, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Accountability and responsibility are for other people, Mitt Romney edition:

    Accountability and responsibility are for other people, former Indiana schools chief Tony Bennett (and current Florida schools chief):

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  25. Suzanne said on July 29, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Wow! ABC News even picked up the Tony Bennett story! I hope more and more of this stuff comes out, so people can begin to grasp just how sleazy and creepy Our Man Mitch and his minions really were.

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  26. alex said on July 29, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    And the revelations keep on coming. The education reforms that Mitch plans to tout as his triumphs in 2016 are fast unraveling. Wouldn’t it be a knee-slapper if he had to run away from them the way Mitt Romney ran away from health care?

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  27. coozledad said on July 29, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Ven Victor Hanson says “Ve ist der master race!”
    Sing Dude! Dude! Right in der Hansen’s face:

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  28. alex said on July 29, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Just watched the Fox News fail everyone’s buzzing about. I had no idea they had such window-dressy interlocutors, but I guess that’s what you get when you hire strictly for the sake of appearances. 😉 Hope the poor thing doesn’t end up back on her back.

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