As vacation winds down…

I guess this is the real end of the holidays. The tree is still up, but it knows its time is short. I’m back at work and the only thing to look forward to is some truly atrocious weather coming next week — single-digit highs on Monday and Tuesday, with the latter’s accompanied by high winds. Yay! My character will be totally built.

The parka of misery has been my main coat this year. My fleece-lined jeans, in a hideous cut but so, so warm, are indispensable. Oh, well. There’s a reason January is National Soup Month. We started with a homemade tomato tonight, along with, yes, grilled-cheese sandwiches. What do you have after a seven-inch snowfall?

In keeping with this theme of misery, and beauty, and a hope for better things, a photo essay on life in a Russian village. Lovely pictures.

Today’s long read: A speck in the sea. The moral of the story: Don’t fall overboard.

What happened when Axl Rose rented my apartment.

Now it’s snowing in New York, and you know what that means: IT’S SNOWING IN NEW YORK!!!! OMG, MORE STORIES!!!

A good weekend to all.

Posted at 9:30 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

79 responses to “As vacation winds down…”

  1. Dexter said on January 3, 2014 at 12:05 am

    Remember in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” when Blanche was served a dead rat (from the cellar) by Baby Jane? If nance was evil (in a parallel universe maybe)she would have thrown in a can of Campbell’s tomato soup into her winter treat , served Mr. D., and then served post-meal coffee in the empty Campbell’s can. (Mr. D. has a strong aversion to Campbell’s soup.) 🙂

    Anyway, I also shook off the post-snow shoveling cold with tomato soup, Spartan Stores brand outta a can. I also had a large bag of convenience store popcorn. No appetite for some reason for anything else.
    And…no appetite for destruction whatsoever, eh, Axl Rose? This ghost-renting kind of reminded me of the afternoon I was killing time in a Chicago bar on Broadway. People wandered in, stayed a little while, moved on. One of the characters was Bob the banker. We made small talk and he began lamenting about the Porsche he had bought in the fall but did not want to expose it to Chicago street-salt and potholes, so it was garaged in an expensive , secure place. Payments made, garage rent paid, and he was getting around on CTA buses. Always a complainer in the bunch. Ha.

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  2. beb said on January 3, 2014 at 2:36 am

    “What do you have after a seven-inch snowfall? “


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  3. David C. said on January 3, 2014 at 6:45 am

    I’ll trade your single digit highs for our double digit below zero highs. I miss living in West Michigan. I shoveled more snow, but it was reliably 10-15 degrees warmer than here (Oshkosh, WI).

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  4. Dorothy said on January 3, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Tonight we’re having fish and mac ‘n cheese and broccoli cheddar soup (from scratch, natch). Last night I seasoned our hamburgers with green onions, Louisiana lightnin’ sauce, garlic salt, pepper and horseradish. They were sublime! Sweet potatoes fries went with the burgers nicely. I’m staying inside and working on a 1,000 piece puzzle and alternating with hand quilting a wall hanging i started months ago. Next week one day our high is supposed to be zero, and will be -15 overnight. I’m sure most of us will share these god-awful forecasts.

    How is Mrs. Bassett doing?

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  5. Jolene said on January 3, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Dinner at your house sounds pretty appealing, Dorothy. A bit far away for a drop-in visit.

    Have the ingredients for a cream of broccoli soup of my own. Now, to get off the couch and make it.

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  6. Heather said on January 3, 2014 at 8:07 am

    I think we are looking at negative highs here in Chicago for Monday and Tuesday, which is some Canada-level s**t. Ridiculous. I have a pretty high tolerance for winter but I am getting pretty sick of the cold. However, I have discovered cross-country skiing, which I can indulge in in the park a few blocks away. Dovetails nicely with my New Year’s resolution to get rid of a stubborn 10 pounds or so (for health, not vanity–well, mostly health).

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  7. Basset said on January 3, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Thanks for asking, Dorothy… she’s not in any pain and actually feeling pretty good, we get the latest set of lab results on Monday.

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  8. brian stouder said on January 3, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Basset – it is good to hear that Mrs B is feeling well. Onward and upward.

    Our 15 year old was assigned to read Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, and it made her cry at the end – so she assigned it to me to read, and I finished it last night….and Dexter’s opening post was like a flashback!

    I’d suppose Lennie would

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  9. brian stouder said on January 3, 2014 at 9:11 am

    …enjoy that Campbell’s tomato soup – and the dead rat would be in his pocket.

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  10. Judybusy said on January 3, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Heather, I also began skiing a few years ago, and I’ll go out if it’s -10 or warmer. However, we had a warm two days which I think turned the tracks to ice. I would absolutely love 6-7 inches of fresh snow! Today, the high is supposed to be about 18, which makes me ridiculously happy. I’ll head out with the skiis after work. Of course, with our heat wave, there is some chance of freezing rain…..

    This week, I’m thinking to make chicken pot pie, calzones, and Cuban black bean soup. We always plan a menu and shop around that. Oh, we also have a couple whole chickens, so I’m thinking we will roast one of those. We have an old Bon Appetit recipe in which you make pesto, slide some of it under the skin. The gravy made from those juices is divine!

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  11. Bob (not Greene) said on January 3, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I did no snow shoveling at all yesterday despite the 10 inches that fell on my neighborhood. Why? Because I have teenage sons to do that. That is the answer to George Bailey’s eternal question, “Why did we have to have all these kids.” It was to shovel the snow, George.

    And after not shoveling, my wife and I went out to a French restaurant to celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary. How on earth is that even possible? When my parents celebrated their 26th, they were ancient and here I am a sprightly young man of … well, time flies. Seems like two weeks ago I got married on kind of a similar day. About 8 to 10 inches of snow on the ground and bitterly cold temps.

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  12. Dave said on January 3, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Yes, Bob (not) but then they grow on up and move on out and yet, the snow comes. Same way with the grass.

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  13. susan said on January 3, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Snow days

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  14. Bob (not Greene) said on January 3, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Well, Dave, I’m hoping that at least one of the four boys hangs around close enough to the old man. I live about three blocks away from my parents, and another brother and sister live close by, so we’re over there multiple times per week. When I ask my kids to shovel our snow they always bitch. Ask them to shovel the grandparents’ snow, and they rush right over. Of course, they get doted on over there, which probably helps.

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  15. brian stouder said on January 3, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Happy anniversary, Bob(ng)!

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  16. Charlotte said on January 3, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Howling winds all night blew apart my wee backyard hoop house, the lid off the Weber Grill, and various other items askew. Going to be one of those Livingston days where the alley garbage cans are skidding all over the streets. And raining. Sideways. Ugh. Gloom gloom gloom.

    It’s been potpie and “shepherd’s” pie central around here this week — leftover chicken, leftover turkey, leftover pork roast all get made into one or the other. There’s nothing like a layer of leftover mashed potatoes baked on top of stuff to make my sweetie happy. Especially since he’s chinking a log building up on the windiest bench in the valley.

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  17. coozledad said on January 3, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Serial publication killer and execrable Brit expat Tina Brown says legal marijuana will make us unable to compete with the Chinese:

    A lack of respect for education, a disavowal of science, and a neo-feudalist political party that keeps vomiting up whores and carnies as candidates for higher office has nothing to do with us being largely a country of bloated, tactless, insular asswipes?

    But I will give that ass-crawling old bint one thing: the first hit I take of legal weed, I will likely ideate on feeding machine gun belts for the Shinto-Chinese invasion force as they turn the Phil Robertsons of our land into steaming jiffy steaks, and exile the fundies. Chi-na! Chi-na!

    Seriously though. We already know who’ll crack over like a shotgun for whatever authority, native or incoming. It’s encoded in their genes.

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  18. Jeff Borden said on January 3, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    I see David Brooks has come out against legalizing marijuana on “moral” grounds, though he admits more than Bill Clinton ever did to inhaling the evil weed while in college. One of the biggest allures of pot to me was that it was illegal. . .and to a small-town white boy whose criminal past included soaping windows and overturning garbage cans. . .it seemed cool to be doing something against the law.

    If a stick-up-your-ass nerdnick like David Brooks was doing it, how cool could it be?

    There will be issues regarding legalized pot, of course, but Jesus, we have more than 600,000 people in jail for dealing this weed –the vast, vast, vast majority of them black and brown, of course. It’s time to admit utter failure and try something new.

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  19. Kim said on January 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Happy anniversary, Bob(nG) and L! Strangely, during my desk purge two days ago (it is ongoing and will be for quite some time) I found the Christmas card with photo news of your daughter’s birth. It reminded me of how completely calm you guys were as parents of young kids. It was a real inspiration and I mean that most sincerely, no B.S.

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  20. brian stouder said on January 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    We already know who’ll crack over like a shotgun for whatever authority, native or incoming. It’s encoded in their genes.

    The very next thing I read was this – about the NK despot who executed his uncle –

    120 “ravenous” dogs? (they were starved for 5 days)

    Five other men, plus the uncle?

    An audience of 200 people?

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  21. Bob (not Greene) said on January 3, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Kim, she’s a freshman in high school now, so that must have been some pile on your desk! And I don’t remember being calm as a parent of young children, but thanks for the kind words all the same.

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  22. nancy said on January 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    OK, if you read that David Brooks p.o.s., you have to read this. Ahem:

    And here all along I thought he quit because of that time we got pulled over by the Radnor cops in senior year right after we’d clambaked his Mom’s Vista Cruiser, and first thing the cop does after the smoke clears is look him right in his red, red eyes, and said, “I don’t suppose it would go over so good if I went over to 632 Haverford Road and told Mr and Mrs Brooks their boy was out here with his clique smoking pot.” I was so impressed with the way Dave pulled himself together then. He didn’t beg for mercy or fight with the cop. Somehow he knew exactly how to go all bar mitzvah boy, how to talk to authority, how to flatter and impress and toady, even stoned to the gills, like his inner Eddie Haskell was deeper down than the pot could get. And it worked. The cop let us go, told us we were lucky he knew Dave and that we were white kids from Radnor, and later on, at the pizza house taking care of our munchies, chattering and cackling over our good luck and trying to figure out how Dave and the cop knew each other, busting on him for being a narc, Dave was quiet and pale and barely touched his hoagie, and I think that was the last time he smoked pot, at least with us.

    On second thought, I’m wondering if it’s too good to be true. But it’s very funny, just the same.

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  23. Jeff Borden said on January 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Thank you for the corrective, Nancita. This column was far more illuminating and entertaining than anything David Brooks has written in the past decade. Pretty much rings true, I think.

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  24. Bob (not Greene) said on January 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Ol’ Dave still must believe he’s living in the old days of “who the hell is going to see this anyway?” newspapering. Instead he was reminded he lives in the age of “instantaneous response from someone who knows where the bodies are buried” newspapering. Too funny.

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  25. nancy said on January 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I amended the comment but I’ll add it here: Do you think Gary Greenberg is really that guy? It’s such a richly detailed recollection, and some of the details — like the black kid taking the rap — are almost too perfect. If so, it’s spectacular satire. If true, it’s just devastating.

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  26. Danny said on January 3, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    This caught my eye.

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  27. Joe K said on January 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Do I need to send mrs B. A tenderloin to make her better?
    Ran 6 this morning, -8 degrees wasn’t to bad no wind and dressed in layers. Running the Disney marathon a week from Sunday should be a touch warmer down there.
    Packer-49er game Sunday night should be fun to watch, may be a game time temp of – 10 to -15 with wind and blowing snow. Currently in Beutiful Bristol Tenn. Waiting for mechanics to replace a busted windshield on a r.j. It feels like a heat wave it’s almost +20
    Pilot Joe

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  28. Julie Robinson said on January 3, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Pot pie, so yummy! I just finished off the one we made a few days ago from turkey frozen after Thanksgiving, and we have a ham, green bean & potato soup on the stove for tonight. Last night we had Italian beef in the crock pot. Hubby’s home on vacation and has been helping in the kitchen a lot; it’s been great.

    Judybusy, I love the chicken/pesto idea, and will have to try that the next time I have a roasting chicken.

    Happy anniversary, Bobng. Hope you always have a snow blowing, lawn mowing son around!

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  29. Scout said on January 3, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    My sympathies to all of the cabin bound midwestern nn.c friends. However, even where I live, there is something to be said for soup, pot pies and shepherd pies this time of year, so I enjoy hearing your recipe ideas which I convert into veg versions. Must be that internal setting that remains from being raised in a cold climate.

    I think it is a damn shame that someone like David Brooks has a nationally syndicated column while people with much superior critical thinking and writing skills (Nancy, Jeff tmmo, cooze) do not. Just sayin’.

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  30. Jenine said on January 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Chicken/Turkey and Dumplings from this Serious Eats recipe. I never made dumplings before but now I am hooked.

    Did you see the twitter coverage of the (non existent) rioting and regime change when marijuana became legal in Colorado?
    “…buildings burn as rioters loot the local businesses, lighting their joints on the structure fires they set.”

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  31. LAMary said on January 3, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Extremely uncool people smoked dope all along. They’ve been screwing other people’s spouses, having gay sex, and stealing stuff too. They just try to conceal it with pre-emptive condemnation of those things.

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  32. Kim said on January 3, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Bob(NG) – I’ve been outed. I only call it a desk purge because the place I am exploring is where I last saw my desk. I think it’s still there….

    My last kid is a sophomore, so we’ll be finishing about the same time (as if there’s an end to parenting that wouldn’t be my eternal dirt nap). Trust me: You both were very calm and funny and your kids were great then as now, I’m sure.

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  33. Linda said on January 3, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    After a 7″ snowfall? If my sister doesn’t busy herself making oxtail stew (da bomb), I shall have to make lemon-rice-chicken soup, one of my favorite comfort foods.

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  34. Charlotte said on January 3, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    My old buddy Art Goodtimes (a fascinating character — poet, former seminarian, mushroom expert, long-time county commissioner in a non-hippie district, all around great guy) was the first elected official to purchase legal dope in Telluride:–Big-Sales-Mark-First-Day-of-Retail-Pot-Sales-in-Telluride?instance=latest_story

    Back in the day in Telluride, the local cop lived 2 doors down from me — he was an old hippie too, and occasionally when he’d walk by on his way home he’d hold up a hand to shield his eyes and say “Please, just not right in front of me or I”ll have to do something.” We’d stick the bong made from a Mrs. Butterworth’s bottle behind someone’s leg.

    I don’t even really like pot, but it’s absurd that it’s illegal. Only issue we had here when the medical cards went viral was people driving really really sloooowwww down East River road. Usually when there was a gorgeous sunset. Good reminder to us all to remember to look at the gorgeous place we live …

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  35. LAMary said on January 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Off topic.
    One of the departments I recruit for has a manager named Jesus (hay-soos in LA). The person I have as an HR contact in our corporate office is named Joseph. I just got an email from the people who handle background checks for us and the first line is, “Dear Jesus, Mary and Joseph.”

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  36. coozledad said on January 3, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    About the only thing I found pot useful for was music appreciation. The amount of alcohol required to reach a similar state will cause you to piss precious electrolytes away, which will be replaced by acetaldehyde, which is bad for appreciation of damn near everything.

    Now, apparently, there are many varieties tailored to your type. There are some that don’t make you paranoid, and there are some that render you a useless blob, if that’s your thing.

    I used to appreciate music a lot with this guy, one of the many drummers in bands desperate enough for a singer to have me caterwaul in front of them. Here he is backing Mike Garrigan, a very nice man who is a Chapel Hill fixture and the composer of a Christian-themed rock opera concept album.

    The one minute mark of this video is the essence of Scott Carle, or “Carlingus” as some referred to him.

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    • nancy said on January 3, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      I liked that, Cooze. Thanks.

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  37. Dorothy said on January 3, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Mary for the win!!!

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  38. Bruce Fields said on January 3, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    “Please note: What follows here is satire of the Juvenalian variety. I thought I embedded enough tipoffs, but then again I forgot how much stranger than fiction truth can be. So to those who thought it was real and suffered pain as a result, I apologize.”

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  39. Dexter said on January 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Hay-soos cristo, coozledad…Michael Stipe has really gone south.

    Mary, that’s some really funny stuff.

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  40. Dexter said on January 3, 2014 at 6:12 pm
    Check it out fishermen.

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  41. LAMary said on January 3, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    I had to write back to the sender and ask her if she noticed that line and if it seemed a little weird to be writing an email about background checks to that trio. She said she hadn’t noticed it until I pointed it out.

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  42. Judybusy said on January 3, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Hilarious, Mary!

    Here is a story many of the music lovers ’round here may have heard, and if not will appreciate–about Carlos Santana re-uniting with his drummer, Marcus Malone.

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  43. Basset said on January 3, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Quite a fish there, Dexter… I caught one larger than that a few years ago in the Columbia River out west, took over 2 1/2 hours. I was wearing a t-shirt with a fleece and a rain jacket over it, wrung the shirt and the fleece out when we finally got him up to the boat.

    Tenderloin… thanks, Joe, but that’s a lot more my trip than hers, she can take them or leave them. Made a venison shepherd’s pie tonight, she ate a little so that’s good.

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  44. alex said on January 3, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Just went out and beat the crowds at the grocery. I have enough stuff to make a pot roast, a decent pasta dish and a couple of other old standbys if need be. I’ll likely be feeding my household and my parents.

    I’ve been house-watching for the folks while they’ve been out of town and they’re coming home tomorrow–to a fucking mess. I skipped taking in the mail and newspaper the last couple of days fearing that my truck would get stuck in their driveway. I chanced it today, and upon opening the door I heard a loud spraying sound and water gurgling. There was a broken pipe in the basement stairwell shooting jets of water in a million directions and soaking every damn thing. I cut the water off but not sure what to do about the plumbing issue at this point. Hubby’s going to look at it tomorrow when he gets home from out of town. Right now trying to line up someone to plow their drive so they can get in, never mind that we’re going to get another blizzard tomorrow night.

    Right now procrastinating on putting away all that food. Hope the power stays on so we can cook it.

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  45. Dexter said on January 4, 2014 at 2:20 am

    alex, I walked past my water heater last October and , horrified, I noticed the main pipe spraying water, a real damn mess in the utility room. My most-excellent plumber man, the owner himself, was here in five minutes and took charge. Next morning at 8:00 sharp two guys showed up and took care of it, replacing a pipe section. The next week I got a call from the plumber’s office. The guy sold out his business to those money grubbing Gibsons of Waterloo, Indiana…and they immediately wanted to come inspect my new furnace and my plumbing for the mere fee of $129 or something like that. I said I had had the guys give my furnace the once-over when they were here the last week, and they said “oh, OK then”…no sale motherfuckers!

    I keep getting conflicting weather reports for the next few days. I do know this, Monday -Snow Shower / Wind
    0° high
    -20° low

    Twenty fucking below? Oh shit…That definitely will fuck some shit up bad.

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  46. Basset said on January 4, 2014 at 5:30 am

    Windy and 25 here with rain and snow coming tomorrow – exactly wrong for the last weekend of deer season but I am determined to try right up to the end. Time to get out the door and into the field.

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  47. brian stouder said on January 4, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Basset – you are the man!

    I’d say that 99.999% of the meat I’ve ever eaten was store-bought, and 100.0% of it was killed and processed by other people.

    And not for nothing, but city-slicker/urban-dweller that I am, STILL it strikes me as nothing short of astounding that the whole Duck Dynasty publicity stunt/gonzo marketing scheme worked so well.

    To wit – how many back-woods crackers would waste their time hunting ducks? How many meals can you get from one duck? Wouldn’t a back-woods lady or feller put his or her time and efforts into larger game (like deer), the better to provide for their families?

    And indeed, who the hell would spend money on a store-bought duck call?

    I suspect duck hunting is for the 1% crowd and assorted face-booking city-slicker dweebs.

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  48. Dave said on January 4, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Off topic and haven’t a clue if anyone else here has any special liking for the Everly Brothers but this makes me sad:

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  49. DellaDash said on January 4, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Snowbound in Dementialand…yet harmony prevails. Got 5 SAG ‘for your consideration’ downloads from my Nashville BFF…and appleTV to watch them in flatscreen HD. Haven’t watched 12 Years a Slave, The Butler, Enough Said yet, but have watched:

    August: Osage County

    Streep’s performance is a possessed Linda Blair spinning head, vomiting bile from beginning to end…stunning to the point of exhaustion. Her exquisite nuances are like the crayon colors we used to cover entirely with black, then scratch through to make a picture. I was always on the verge of not liking it…this is not a character you can cozy up to with any empathy, as in Doubt…but found myself indulging in great big gulps of schadenfreude. The jaw-clenching grimness of the beat-down everyone suffers in her pill-addicted, mentally unbalanced orbit touched me on the raw…yet highlighted how Mom’s dementia is NOT flavored with hatefulness-meanness-spitefulness-bitterness…nor was our childhood spiked with any of that toxic brew. Consequently, the sister dynamic in the movie offers a sharp contrast to the surprisingly strong (and gratifying) bonding that’s been going on with my two sisters since I stepped up to the caretaker plate. Here’s the thing…while Streep’s beserker Violet is at the core of the film, she’s also the palette and centralfugal force that allows each member of this stellar ensemble to peel off into their own blaze of “American Horror Story” color. There’s Little Miss Sunshine Abigail Breslin all grown up and nailing the next gen fallout…Julia Roberts going Oscar-ugly (though she didn’t pass the beauty-ugly-bar raised by Charlize Theron in Monster)…Misty Upham (Frozen River) providing her signature brand of sweet sanity…Sam Shepard breaking your heart in a few masterful strokes…Benedict Cumberbatch playing in the opposite end of his range from Sherlock Holmes…and so on. Every single performance is compelling. Then there’s the harsh vista of Oklahoma all glammed up in the cinematographer’s lens. There was also a laugh-out-loud moment with Chris Cooper’s Charlie eeking out an awkward grace at the dinner table.


    Judi, Judi, Judi. The Dench rules!

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  50. Basset said on January 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Brian, I have been the man in this situation a time or two before but not today – the odds are way against me harvesting any more venison today or tomorrow, due mainly to high winds today (they tend to stay hidden because they can’t hear or smell danger as well) and even higher winds plus rain and snow starting tonight. Cold and light rain don’t bother them and they will move freely, but a hard rain and 20 mph wind will find them snuggled up somewhere warm, like I would be if I had any sense.

    Mostly been doing end of the season stuff here … sat in my tree stand awhile this morning, then took the cover and safety line off it for storage, about to fold up two ground blinds (portable camouflage tents for concealment) and take them home … Last hour or so I have been mainly sleeping, leaned up against a big hackberry tree and occasionally peeking downwind through the underbrush at a place where deer might be passing if there were any around, which I doubt. Update coming after dark, maybe I will have something to talk about.

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  51. Jolene said on January 4, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    The Post published this detailed and, indeed, frightening prediction re extreme cold tomorrow and Monday, including the observation that frostbite can occur in as little as ten minutes. Under these conditions, the Packers and the 49ers are going to play a football game.

    If that isn’t evidence that football causes brain damage, I don’t know what is.

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  52. Deborah said on January 4, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Good stuff today. LA Mary (Jesus and Joseph) what a stitch. Della, now I really want to see Osage County. We saw the play “Superior Donuts” by the same person who wrote August Osage County, at Steppenwolf.

    Back from spending the last night in Abiquiu for awhile, had breakfast there with some neighbors. Brought back lots of wood for our fireplace in Santa Fe. Our cat loves the fire.

    Not frigid but very windy in Northern New Mexico.

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  53. brian stouder said on January 4, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    If that isn’t evidence that football causes brain damage, I don’t know what is.

    On this crisply cold night before the storm, Jolene has me laughing!

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  54. LAMary said on January 4, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I was sad about Phil Everly. Wake Up Little Suzy is one of the first rock and roll songs I remember. Written by Paul Simon, by the way. Bye Bye Love is great too. I liked their. I also had a pair of guppies I named Phil and Don in their honor.

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  55. LAMary said on January 4, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Insert the word harmonies in the above comment.

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  56. Kirk said on January 4, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I believe that Felice and Boudleaux Bryant wrote “Wake Up, Little Susie.”

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  57. beb said on January 4, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Dave @48: The Everly Brothers were part of the music of my youth. So it is sad to hear that one of them is gone.

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  58. DellaDash said on January 4, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    The Butler

    Heavy-handed. Overlong…almost tedious…collapsing from the lack of chemistry between Oprah and Forest (Oprah has her moments but doesn’t have the chops to carry such an earnest project…dedicated to the freedom fighters of the civil rights movement. Viola Davis might have been able to pull it off.) Some casting choices might have caused severe cognitive dissonance if I weren’t already living in Dementialand: Vanessa Redgrave as a strict but kind elderly cotton plantation matriarch; Alan Rickman as Ronnie Reagan; Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower???! On the other hand, a few lively cameos perked up the predictable proceedings: Terence Howard reprising some of his Hustle & Flow vibe; Jane Fonda taking a break from kicking ass as Leona in The Newsroom to spruce up Nancy Reagan; John Cusack crafting an amusingly derelict Nixon.

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  59. basset said on January 4, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    “And the one in the middle with the beard and the bad breath, that’s gotta be Willie Nelson.”

    No deer today, weather is looking bad tomorrow so that’s probably the end of my season.

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  60. Jolene said on January 5, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Della: I’ve been on a holiday movie binge too. Lots of overlap with your choices. Saw 12 Years a Slave, The Book Thief, American Hustle, Enough Said, and Philomena. So far, my reactions overlap with yours too, but you are a more colorful reviewer.

    Got a notice that I could stream two free movies through what is, to me, a new service called M-GO. Had been thinking I might go for Fruitvale Station and The Butler. Your comments on the latter cause me to rethink, but, on the other hand, sounds like free is definitely the way to see it.

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  61. coozledad said on January 5, 2014 at 9:29 am

    It’s hard to go wrong trying to sound like the Everlys. They always make me think of old folk stuff from Scotland, but a little more forward looking. Maybe that Northern sound is what got the Beatles interested in them.
    This song owes a bit to them:

    And some more Everlys harmonies:

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  62. LAMary said on January 5, 2014 at 11:42 am

    You are probably right, Kirk. Paul Simon wrote one of their hits. Maybe Bye Bye Love? I’m being too lazy to check right now. I’m waiting for the coffee to finish dripping through filter.

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  63. LAMary said on January 5, 2014 at 11:53 am

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  64. Deborah said on January 5, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    So far about 60% of the flights from Albuquerque to Chicago Midway have been canceled. The crummy thing is that my husband’s flight is still saying it will happen, only we have to leave Santa Fe at least 2 hours ahead of his flight time and we could find out when we get there that his flight is canceled which means we will have made a 100 mile round trip for nothing and then have to take him to the airport again Monday. I’m trying to talk him into taking the shuttle on Monday if that happens. Hopefully we will find out soon that his flight is canceled.

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  65. DellaDash said on January 5, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Deborah – Of all things, the playwright of August: Osage County, Tracy Letts, is also the actor who plays the smirking Senator Lockhart we love to hate in Homeland. Furthermore, he won a Tony for his portrayal of George in the revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?…shades of which play can’t help but come to mind while watching Osage. Anyway, you have given me the best idea. I’ve been back in my hometown for eight months, yet haven’t been able to get together with a dear friend in all this time (except for attending her eldest daughter’s wedding reception), submerged as I’ve been in figuring out how to care for my mother and run this household. She doesn’t know it yet, but with Chicago a straight two-hour shot on Interstate 80, as soon as weather permits we’re going to dinner and theatre at Steppenwolf, with much catching up to do while driving to and fro. She’s the owner (with her husband) of our local health food store, Greatest Grains; is a vegetarian; and just lost her mother to Alzheimer’s last January after taking care of her at home for the last several years…so she knows all too well what I’m going through.

    Jolene – I’ve been so out of touch with what’s going on in films that it’s great that the Screen Actor’s Guild is making the choices for me. On top of the free movies, I get to cast the votes in lieu of my friend, who is the actual SAG member, but either defers to my stronger opinions, or just can’t be bothered beyond being entertained. Since you’re on an overlapping binge, I’ll solicit your 2 cents when it comes time to vote. With SAG, it’s all about the acting. This’ll be fun. I don’t think Fruitvale Station has a SAG entry, but is now on my to-see list. Let me know what you think.

    Enough Said

    This is a quiet, intimate relationship movie, so it qualifies as a chick flick. I think guys may not consider it an ordeal to watch, though, with James Gandolfini representing. How bittersweet that this is his swan song…I believe he thoroughly enjoyed singing it. There’s a superb supporting cast, including Catherine Keener with artistically-sheathed claws, a nicely understated Toni Collette, and three dewy beauties on the verge of womanhood. As for the wickedly scintillating, Palin-mocking Veep; she can do vulnerability so well that I was drawn all the way in…at the same time ruefully shaking my head over my own folly and foibles. I like to tell myself that I’m immune to outside influences, even from BFFs, when it comes to who and how I love…but I know deep down that it isn’t true. Especially in body-conscious Southern California, where the story takes place and where I used to speculate that my third world husband, even with his hip dreadlocks, Bob Marley patois and ripped hardship sixpack, wouldn’t make the grade because of a few visible birth defects. Pure foolishness, when I was stupefied with love for my funny valentine. Anyway, this movie is a smart and funny valentine for anyone who chooses to partake.

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  66. Julie Robinson said on January 5, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Della, I’m enjoying your movie reviews, keep them coming when you have the time! (And agree about The Butler.) Is your mom in a hospice program? The one for my MIL had four caregiver respites per year. She would spend the weekend in a nursing home and everybody got a good break.

    Listening to all the tributes to the Everly brothers made me aware how much they influenced other singers, especially Simon & Garfunkel. Now I want to explore their music, since I missed it the first time.

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  67. Kirk said on January 5, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Everlys were huge. The Beatles were trying to sound like them.

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  68. brian stouder said on January 5, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    So speaking of dead celebrities, this plane crash may or may not add to the list –

    a side note, from the article, is how odd non-media types sound, when they try and sound like media types. At this small airport, two celebrities saw the terrible crash, and then did what people do nowadays…they tweeted

    Comedian Kevin Nealon tweeted: “Horrible plane crash here at Aspen airport. Exploded into flames as it was landing. I think it was a private jet. Fire truck and ambulances were on the scene within minutes.”

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  69. basset said on January 5, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Some beautiful interpretations of Everlys songs:

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  70. coozledad said on January 5, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    I didn’t know this was a Don Everly compostion. Sounds like something out of one of my old bagpipe tutorials. This is one of those songs I always turn to when I’m shitfaced and trying to make sense of the music I’ve appropriated. Good as any of it, I guess.

    Frank Zappa talked about “harmonic environment”.This is a good example:

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  71. Deborah said on January 5, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Listening to the Everly Brothers instantly takes me back to the time in my life when I heard a lot of their music. I can close my eyes and see the house I grew up in, smell the smells etc. Leonard Cohen’s music does this for me too, a time a bit later but still very vivid to me when I hear it. Not all musicians do this for me even though I really enjoy their music from back in the day. I wonder why that is?

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  72. coozledad said on January 5, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Deborah: We’re auditory creatures. Visual memory is poor.
    I half think my memory of the Everly brothers comes from listening to them while my mom was slinging me around in her belly. This is the romantic idea.

    The more social scientific idea is the reason the North could never fully destroy the south is there was an angel living right up against its ugly heart.

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  73. Deborah said on January 5, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Yeah, I hear you Coozledad, but why is it that I don’t have that same experience about all of the music I enjoyed back then? Why is it that some stand out in my memory more than others. It makes me wonder if it has something to do with the harmony or the lyrics etc. I mean, I didn’t feel more attached to the Everly brothers at the time, but now they really take me back. Is it that they were a lot better than most and I’m just now realizing that?

    My husband just texted me that his plane landed at Midway and the temp is 0, with 25mph winds. He’s taking the orange line to the red line and then walking a half mile from the stop at the red line to our place. He has a neoprene face mask and plenty of jackets/coats and a cap but I’m worried about him. I told him to take a cab instead but I know he won’t.

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  74. brian stouder said on January 5, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Deborah – tonight is definitely a hum-dinger, weather-wise. In my lifetime, the one snowstorm that sticks in my brain is certainly the blizzard of ’78.

    I think this blizzard of ’14 will be another that will stick (and for the young folks, too). The wind is really whipping, and the powdery snow is going at an impressive rate, and temps are dropping out of the positive numbers and into the negatives.

    Our 18 year old shoveled and shoveled early on, and I did the same before sundown, and the wind-breaks that we created by heaving the snow off to the sides of the driveway and sidewalk now all have snow vorticies whipping madly off of them.

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  75. Jolene said on January 5, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    My first memory of the Everly Brothers is hearing “Wake Up, Little Susie,” which Google tells me was recorded in 1957. Sounds right, as the memory is connected to receiving a record player for Christmas when I was about eight. That record was one of a small set of 45s that my parents bought to go with the record player. The other one from that batch that sticks with me is “Peggy Sue,” the great Buddy Holly hit.

    The record player, by the way, was covered in blue and white vinyl, and there was a record case to match. Quite the foxes, we were, my sisters and I.

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  76. Deborah said on January 5, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Jolene, the first record player I got (well really my sister and I) was when we were 6 and 7, it was red and white, the records were Souza marches to twirl our batons to, and a couple of trendy songs, which I remember the tune and lyrics but couldn’t tell you the titles if my life depended on it.

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  77. Deborah said on January 6, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Just heard that my husband made it home from the redline stop, he said the wind was not as bad as he expected. He didn’t end up wearing the face mask.

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  78. Jolene said on January 6, 2014 at 12:31 am

    Exciting news: The most horrible of all the horrible Republicans with whom we must share this lovely planet has ended her Senate race. That’s right. Liz Cheney is dropping out of the Wyoming Senate race. Can’t overemphasize how happy this makes me. I didn’t think she was going to win, but merely having to hear about her was a burden too much to bear. Now she can go back to being the mean daughter of a mean, evil man without bothering the rest of us. 2014 is looking up already.

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