This new girl.

One reason I’ve been feeling so scattered this week is a big life change: I’m going to work again. Same job, new office. In Detroit. It really is the best of both worlds: We can work at home or at the office, and no one is expected to be there five days a week. This week I’m trying for three, and that is just about perfect: Enough face time with my colleagues to feel like we’re a team, enough alone time to seriously concentrate and keep the dog from flipping out.

But man, it’s been a while since my commute has been more complicated than walking from the breakfast table to the spare bedroom. Get this: It turns out that if you work in an office? You have to wear pants. Every day. I know, right? Seriously, though, it’s so complicated: Breakfast, coffee, paper, shower, grooming, dressing, and then? The commute, parking, and so on. How do you people do it? I used to have this down, and now it’s like writing checks with my left hand.

Sooner or later it’ll come more easily. I might even take the bus.

Meanwhile, such fun: Elevators, restroom keys, takeout menus. The mundane details of adult life.

Our office is a few steps from Comerica Park. The first rule the building manager offered: Get here early on opening day or you won’t find a parking space. Which is in less than two weeks. The snow is thawing, but the forecast is not universally cheerful until then. It could be a fairly horrible day for baseball.

And now it’s home, and the great indulgence of the working mother: A rotisserie chicken, which I accompanied with a couple cut-up sweet potatoes and some broccoli, roasted together in the oven at 425. It kills me to think of all the time I’ve spent screwing around with vegetables, when oven-roasting with some olive oil and salt works for almost all of them. And it makes the kitchen nice and warm on the chilly evenings.

So, some bloggage? Sure:

Half of all Americans subscribe to some medical conspiracy theory. You mean, like the government might have let a group of African-American men carry syphilis through their lives, just to see what the disease could do? No! That could never happen.

After the bang-up job he did in 2008, why would Hillary hire Mark Penn again? It is to puzzle.

Finally, in food news, the Obamas are losing their pastry chef. And if you like the idea of oven-roasting vegetables, you might enjoy this piece on cooking an entire meal on a sheet pan. Both NYT links.

The hump has been cleared, and the week is on its downslope. Enjoy it.

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

40 responses to “This new girl.”

  1. Sherri said on March 20, 2014 at 12:45 am

    I don’t know why Hillary would ever hire Penn, but it would be better for me personally if someone would take him off of Microsoft’s hands. Nothing good can come of him being on the Senior Leadership Team. Why doesn’t he just go work on the Clinton Global Initiative? That seems relatively harmless.

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  2. Dorothy said on March 20, 2014 at 6:15 am

    I was out of a job for three months and now I’ve discovered I’m not as good as I used to be at remembering names and/or faces. I’ve asked several people at least twice to remind me if we’ve met, and each time they look a little hurt. UD is so much bigger than Kenyon – I’m going to have to learn to fake an expression of familiarity when someone gets on the elevator with me. Oh and so far, I haven’t forgotten to put on pants before I leave the house at 8 AM!

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  3. Tom M said on March 20, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Heroin addicts are always trying to recapture that first high which could help explain why Mark Penn would get hired bu a Hillary campaign. That despite a more recent example of his powers.
    Both parties have a leading candidate problem. I could support a Hillary bid, but the AUMF vote will be hard to move past.

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  4. David C. said on March 20, 2014 at 7:02 am

    I’ve never been good at remembering names. It’s part of my dyslexia. I’m great at remembering faces though. So I can chat with people without bothering with their names, so nobody will ever mistake me for a Dale Carnegie disciple (Hi Dave, what a fine day Dave, nice weather we’re having Dave…). It’s a bit rough when I am with my wife and I run into someone from work and I should introduce them and I don’t remember their name. Especially so when I know I’ve known them for over six years, and they know I’ve known them for over six years. Awkward.

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  5. Suzanne said on March 20, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I’m in total agreement on vegetable roasting. It makes me kind of sad to think of all the overcooked awful veggies I ate over the years, when roasting them makes them nearly a meal in themselves. It’s about the only way I make veggies at all anymore!

    Forgetting names seems to be part of the aging process. More and more it seems I see people that I know I know, know how many kids they have, what they do for a living, etc., but can’t recall their names. It’s maddening!

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  6. beb said on March 20, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Came across an interesting fact while reading Robert Reich this morning. In therir hey-day (the 50s), UAW members were making an inflation adjusted $35/hr. That’s $70,000 a year, well above the median income of $50,000/yr. This was from an article rebutting the idea that people are paid what they’re worth.

    As an easily distract6ed person I would have a hard time working at home. Going to work provides some needed discipline that free internet, sadly, undermines.

    Mark Penn is probably as well placed at Microsoft as anywhere. The company have entered into a protracted death-spiral of bad concepts, failing to listen to users and general arrogance about their products. Penn will neither help nor hinder this death-spiral but at least it will keep him out of politics.

    I wish Hillary would be challenged by someone from the left. She’s a smart woman, fully capable of handling the presidency but she’s also a center-right politician and we already have too many of them in DC. The scary thing is that none of the Republicans bruted about as presidential challengers look capable of managing a car wash let alone the US of A.

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  7. alex said on March 20, 2014 at 9:04 am

    It’s predestined that Hillary is the next POTUS. The GOP primary field will be as crowded as the last one was with bellicose idiots who will serve to drag down the image of the eventual nominee, who like Mitt Romney will find it impossible to serve his two masters without looking like a completely disingenuous milquetoast. As long as the GOP has to answer to the Tea Party it’s going to be the party out of power.

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  8. LAMary said on March 20, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I’ve done that sheet pan thing from the NYT I guess three times now. Huge hit here.

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  9. brian stouder said on March 20, 2014 at 9:34 am

    except in the gerrymandered congress.

    If the Republican party takes the unrepresentative Senate (wherein California’s 38 million people get two senate votes, just the same as the 1 million people in Idaho, or the 6 million in Arizona), I think they’ll hit the impeachment button again – just because it’s there.

    And then, we’ll have two Clinton presidencies, and two Clinton impeachments, and the stupidest Republican party in American history.

    Not to mention that, if the Republicans actually succeed in impeaching and convicting HRC, it will mark the end of their existence as a national party….

    but we digress!

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  10. Minnie said on March 20, 2014 at 10:08 am

    A couple or three years ago I splurged on two heavy-weight half-sheet pans. What a revelation! This winter I added quarter-sheets. We grill all summer and roast veggies and braise meats all winter. After the dismal winter’s end this first day of Spring is beginning to feel like a grilling opportunity.

    When I went out to get the paper I noticed oak catkins emerging from twig ends. Soon comes the pollen storm.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on March 20, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Guess who had a rotisserie chicken on Tuesday. The ones at Costco are not only larger and less expensive than the other stores around here, but super-high in quality and taste without being overly salty. I usually boil the carcass afterwards (okay, later in the week) to make soup, and then I don’t feel guilty.

    David, this wouldn’t help Dorothy, but when my hubby and I run into people, we have a little agreement. If he doesn’t remember their name he says nothing, and that’s my clue to start the introductions myself and pull out their name.

    When I volunteered at school, I would take photos of each child and have them help me put their name in on the phone. They loved the individual attention, and I would spend a few minutes everyday studying them until I got them down pat. Nothing offends a six year old faster than calling them the wrong name. Actually, it offends almost everyone, doesn’t it?

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  12. Bitter Scribe said on March 20, 2014 at 10:20 am

    After two months of unemployment, I took a job in downtown Chicago. I live in an exurb at the very end of a commuted rail line. For two months I had to make not only my lunch but my breakfast the night before, so I could eat on the train, which would give me an extra 20 minutes of desperately needed sack time.

    Thankfully, after two months of this, of leaving home at 7 a.m. and getting back almost 12 hours later, I got my current job. It’s a long drive, but it’s a drive, in a nice warm car, and I only have to do it two days a week. When I think of how I could be standing outside, waiting for the bus in zero degrees…

    Now I better actually go do the nice job I described.

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  13. LAMary said on March 20, 2014 at 11:21 am

    I drive to work. I can take a light rail and bus combo to get here, 11 miles from my house, but it would take abotu 90 minutes. For some reason there’s no more direct route. Yet. Going to downtown LA the light rail is definitely the way to go. Going to Burbank not so much.

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  14. Jolene said on March 20, 2014 at 11:27 am

    When I was teaching at the University of Arizona, I found that, by the end of the semester, I had learned the names of most students in a large (150-200) student class, so I decided to do it on purpose at the beginning of the class. I had them fill out a short form with info about themselves, took their pictures, and pasted the pictures to the forms. After a few passes through the forms, I knew all the students by name.

    The amazing part was that, at the end of the semester, I would forget 90% of those names. It was like I had a file folder in my brain for the class. Once the class ended, all the information in the folder became inaccessible.

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  15. brian stouder said on March 20, 2014 at 11:28 am

    (except for the nsa, of course!)

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  16. coozledad said on March 20, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell

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  17. MarkH said on March 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    That’s great, Brian. No sooner does Alex have Hillary elected and serving, you’ve got her impeached already.

    “…the unrepresentative senate”? So, what, we just do away with it? Since you can’t go back to civics class, you might want to check out this little primer on the construct of the house and the senate. It makes sense, unless you think it might be OK for the agendas and sensibilities of, say, California, to have an undue influence on places like Ft. Wayne. The founding fathers were smarter and wiser than all of us.

    Oh, and I think you owe Grant a nice lunch or something. He was right about Sebastian Vettel. It’s going to be an interesting F1 season.

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  18. coozledad said on March 20, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    The founding fathers were smarter and wiser than all of us.

    When it smells like mythos, it’s mythos.
    The reflex religiosity confuses me. It reminds me of the Romans always looking for a way to stuff some shitsack emperor or his cousin into the pantheon.

    I guess you could just chalk it up to the inherent suicidal streak in species. They’re going to find a way to dumb themselves to death.

    I will admit that that old gaggle of whoremasters and slaveholders were slightly more intelligent that the Republicans trying to wipe their ass on the constitution in this crapwater:

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  19. beb said on March 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    If the R’s take control of the Senate this year you can bet there will be an impeachment of Pres. Obama. Over what is hard to so since, strictly speaking he hasn’t done anything that violates the law or spirit of good government. But you can be sure that the Rs will impeach him on something. And if they can’t get him they will surely go after Hillary.

    The Senate was set up so that a small state like Rhodes Island would have a voice equal to a large state like Virginia. And after that as the nation began to assume that everything between the Atlantic to the Pacific was theirs, the territories were carved up to similar size blocks, with Texas (an annexation) and California the chief variations. The result is that profoundly empty states like Wyoming and Montana have as many Senators as densely populated states like Illinois or New York.

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  20. Jeff Borden said on March 20, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    The GOP modus operandi since 1992 has been to delegitimize and destabilize any Democratic administration. There are precious few sensible Republicans in D.C. these days who might point to the ongoing danger this tactic creates. If Hillary Clinton does indeed run and win, she’ll be a target from day one.

    I’m not enthusiastic about Ms. Clinton. Whatever considerable personal and political skills she and Bill possess, they do tend to surround themselves with shady and/or inept characters. I cannot foresee ever voting for a Republican presidential candidate so I’ll throw my ballot her way, but I find myself wishing for Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren to announce. Probably won’t happen, but a guy can dream.

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  21. dull_old_man said on March 20, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Beb @ 6: Was bruted a pun about Republicans or a typo for bruited?

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  22. Peter said on March 20, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Is anybody getting together a posse for the Phelps funeral? It would be fabulous, but I think the irony would be lost on them.

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  23. Julie Robinson said on March 20, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    If anyone does, I hope they’ll keep it positive by fighting hate with love.

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  24. Sue said on March 20, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    “The scary thing is that none of the Republicans bruted about as presidential challengers look capable of managing a car wash let alone the US of A.”
    Still, I do hope Scott Walker runs. He so richly deserves what will happen to him. He is at least one presidential election cycle behind in mind-set and behavior and will be this season’s Rick Perry. And no, he doesn’t have a chance. He will probably win re-election as governor, he’s got buckets of money, media that (until recently anyway) are nowhere near as persistent as their counterparts in New Jersey, and an opponent who has yet to show a real willingness to come out swinging. But president? Someone, somewhere will ask a question that hasn’t been vetted and the fun will begin. He hasn’t shown a real ability to think on his feet and doesn’t like to go where he can’t control the message. Plus, he hasn’t gone to “looking presidential” school yet and has trouble with photos that show him sleepy-eyed and slightly slack-jawed. I’m thinking if he gets out of there with only one Dukakis moment he will be lucky.

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  25. coozledad said on March 20, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Frontrunner in the NC GOP primary Tom Tillis and his degree from the University of PO Box 2000:

    Tillis’ LinkedIn page listed the University of Maryland at College Park as where he got a Bachelor of Science Degree in Technology Management, Technology & Project Management. Similarly on Tillis’s biography page on his House Speaker website, Tillis listed the University of Maryland as his alma matter and links to College Park’s website. But according to officials contacted at both the University of Maryland at College Park and the University of Maryland University College, Tillis graduated from the University of Maryland at University College. Tillis is also listed as an alumni in the University College alumni magazine

    Life is just roleplaying for these fucks.

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  26. brian stouder said on March 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Republican that looks credible to me: Senator Luger.

    What? –

    Oh, OK – Republican that looks credible to me and hasn’t been fired?

    Chris Christie!

    What? –

    Oh, OK – Republican that looks credible to me and isn’t listing 45 degrees to the port side, on the verge of keeling over?


    y’know, Dennis Kucinich might become credible, if the teapartiers don’t run him out on a rail, over ACA/expanded Medicare in Ohio

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  27. brian stouder said on March 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    …NOT Dennis Kucinich; I was thinking of Governor John Kasich!

    (one more successful Ohio politician with a ‘K’ surname, and we have a rally!)

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  28. Bitter Scribe said on March 20, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Cooze, maybe I’m dumb, but why is it a big deal which campus of the U of Md. this guy went to?

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  29. coozledad said on March 20, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Bitter scribe: He claims he attended the campus in College Park, but he attended the online school which was spun off and no longer associated with the University of Maryland (spun off more than ten years before he attended).

    So he didn’t come close to attending U. Maryland at College Park, as he claims:

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  30. LAMary said on March 20, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    My job is hiring people and we do background checks on everyone we hire. You would be amazed at how many people lie about college. And then there are the folks with a BA from a for profit online university named after the largest city in Arizona and graduate degrees from the same place.

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  31. beb said on March 20, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Another instance where zero-tolerance is zero-intelligence:
    She took a razor away from a boy who was cutting himself, threw the razor away, reported the incident and was suspended with a commendation for expulsion. This is Virginia.

    dull_old_man @21: It was a typo pure and simple. I can only wish I was clever enough to make it a pun about Republicans.

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  32. coozledad said on March 20, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    LAMary: I’ve had family members attend some high priced weekend day camp at a university, and then post it on their Facebook page that they’d attended 1)Harvard 2)Duke.

    This is what Tillis did. Republicans won’t rebuke him for it, because I’m sure they’ll attribute it to their prized quality of low peasant cunning.

    The guy he’s running against is an anti-vaxxer ob-gyn. There are a total of eight teabag shitheads in their primary. So far the entertainment prospects are looking good. Shame they’ve already ruined the state.

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  33. Sherri said on March 20, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    One of the boldest cases of faking credentials has to be Jim Baughman. He was Superintendent of San Jose schools, and claimed to have a PhD from Stanford. He even forged a transcript, giving himself a 3.96. Once San Jose started investigating, they also discovered that he had embezzled funds while a principal in the district. He was convicted and went to jail, but that didn’t stop him from becoming director of recruiting for Lucent!

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  34. LAMary said on March 20, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    I once had a new boss who struck me as full of crap from day one. This was when I was working at a recruiting company. This guy’s resume said he had a masters degree from Pepperdine and was a professor there. Using my finely honed recruiter skills, I discovered he had not gone there or any other post secondary school, but he did attend a seminar at Pepperdine once. I had a colleague for a while who claimed he graduated from UCLA. Never happened. Six weeks of community college, one class. That’s it.

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  35. Deborah said on March 20, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    And Bitter Scribe, the term “University College” is usually a night school that isn’t really the same as the University. An example, in St Louis, Washington University is a prestigious school that’s hard to get into and has highly expensive tuition, while the University College of (or at) Washington University is quite a different institution that uses some of the same campus at night, totally different instructors, no application process that is selective, less costly etc. a very different school for sure.

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  36. Julie Robinson said on March 20, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Mary, did you turn the guy in?

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  37. Suzanne said on March 20, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    I don’t understand, will, I guess, never understand why someone would lie about something like a college degree when that is so easily verified. If you are going to lie, tell tales about something you did at a job 5 years ago which would be difficult to track down.

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  38. LAMary said on March 20, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Julie, in a heartbeat. Faking credentials can drag down the whole company. The Pepperdine guy was truly stupid and nasty as well so he was asking for it.

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  39. Julie Robinson said on March 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Glad to hear it, Mary!

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  40. LAMary said on March 21, 2014 at 12:22 am

    so wow. so wonderful. such stars.

    Why do I love that site so much?

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