One too many.

Someone asked about the incident with the gin when I was 19. It’s not much of a story — just one of those afternoons where G&Ts were the perfect drink, until they weren’t. I recall the sun dazzling off the water. I felt like I believe the British must have felt in the last days of empire, and then there was that foghorn of nausea and oh, well.

I’ve mentioned this before about a million times, but Atul Gawande’s long New Yorker essay on nausea changed my whole way of thinking about it. He noted that a person who gets sick tonight on tequila or gin or whatever might never touch it again for the rest of his or her life. Yes and no, in my case. Yes to gin, but I’ve been beer-sick and wine-sick many times, and lived to drink both another day.

I drink less these days than I have in my entire adult life, but I enjoy it far more. Good wine is cheaper than ever, small-batch whiskey is the new vodka, craft beer has advanced past its silly phase — sorry, but I don’t think anyone appreciates raspberry flavors in a lager — and is now hitting its stride with good, deeply flavored brews of all sorts and for all seasons. It’s a good time to be a social drinker.

Oh, sorry: TRIGGER WARNING FOR ALCOHOLICS. Too late, I know.

I guess I’m the last person to have anything to say about the Sarah Palin speech in Indianapolis last weekend, but honestly, what is there to say? I actually found it embarrassing to watch, what little of it I could stand. She’s truly gone down the tunnel of narcissism into some strange reality on the other side. Her hair is messy, her face looks…like she’s been having some work done and her voice? Crazytown. Better to contemplate who I was embarrassed for. Palin? No, she’s incapable of it. The country? Sure, but too vague. And then I thought of people I’d known in 2008 who thought of her as the bee’s freakin’ knees. I don’t really know them well, but if I saw one today? I think I’d have to avert my eyes.

So, the world took Bob Hoskins away yesterday. Y’all know I’m a big “The Long Good Friday” fan, and I watched the last two minutes twice after I heard the news. I’ve seen it a dozen times at least, and it never loses its power. George Clooney did it in “Michael Clayton,” and I hope he had the good grace to admit it was an homage.

A nice quote here from the man, a few years back:

He learned about acting, he says, not from watching other actors but from studying women. ‘Men are completely emotionally dishonest, whereas women have an emotional honesty which is extraordinary. And drama is about private moments, it’s about the things you don’t see in the street, and men don’t show that. So I decided to watch women. I became a stalker, I suppose! It’s got nothing to do with femininity, it’s to do with emotional honesty. If you go home one night and there’s champagne on the table with your dinner and she’s done up but she’s pissed off, you know it. You know where you are with a woman. You don’t know with blokes. And that’s basically how I learned to act – just watching women.’

Oversimplified, but a sharp observation.

Finally, a nice essay by Mark Bittman on the power of comfort food. In his case, lox and bagels. Hello, Thursday, and we are over the hump.

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

61 responses to “One too many.”

  1. Hattie said on May 1, 2014 at 12:59 am

    I had not thought of that, but I guess it’s true. There is that worried look men get on their faces when they are afraid they have given themselves away, whereas women don’t care about hiding themselves that way. What DO men have on their minds??

  2. Dexter said on May 1, 2014 at 2:00 am

    Larry Glick, the venerable, congenial late night radio host at WBZ-AM Boston 40 and 50 years ago, now gone from us, was always searching for a good call, meaning a phone number of an interesting person for him to call. The prize was a “Glick University ” tee shirt with a microphone and the words “E Plurbis Glickus”. Eventually I got through and got my shirt, but it was a slow night and Larry began to chit-chat with me across “thirty-eight states and Canada”. He asked where I lived, I said Ohio, he asked what folks eat out here, and I said I usually ate a bagel with cream cheese after my evening shift at work, just before bed. He was shocked; he said he didn’t know Jewish people lived out in rural Ohio, and when I explained I was not Hebrew, he was dumbfounded and went into a hilarious bit about how the Goyim had taken over the Jews’ food supply, a bad omen for Larry and his fellow Jews, according to him. The truth is, bagels were not around here when I was a kid in the 1950s. Not in rural Indiana. I have no idea when I started eating them, but it was probably in the 1970s. Now they are a staple for me.

    I had to smile at your warning to alkies, nance. The last fad-beer I had before I quit was “dry” beer. That didn’t sell, and AB came out with “ice beer” , which did sell well, but was introduced post-drinkin’ for me.
    Anyway, my life with beverage alcohol was left behind and my life became encased in a bubble, impenetrable by alcohol. No fine craft brew nor small-batch whiskey can get into my bubble. Memories are fine, reading about the new stuff and the new way , that’s fine. Losing the desire to drink is the miracle. I have learned that the only way to get people to listen to that message is to preach to the choir in a church basement. Gin was a big favorite of mine. Juniper berries, right? But bourbon, Wild Turkey 101, now there ya go.

  3. Dexter said on May 1, 2014 at 2:07 am

    Watch out if you are a vegetarian with a taste for Guinness Stout, as the recipe contains fish bladder. http://www.sfgate.com/living/article/Surprising-foods-that-aren-t-vegetarian-5435426.php#photo-6229143

  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 1, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Speaking of cheap good wine and Bittman’s essay, he had an observation that jumped out at me in the latter piece: “This is not strictly relevant but it is, I think, revealing: He was instructed to buy “a half of a quarter” — that is, an eighth of a pound. For a family of six, that translates to a third of an ounce per person. I will never forget the looks on my parents’ faces when they first saw my older daughter grab an entire piece of lox — an ounce at least — and place it on a bagel.”

  5. alex said on May 1, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Gin never made me ralph but it used to give me the nastiest next-day headaches, so I’m conditioned to be averse to it.

    I first learned how to make martinis the real way when I was a teen-ager. A doctor and family friend for whom I used to house-sit — who had the most fabulously well-stocked wet bar, including shelves of pharmaceutical samples of sedatives and other stuff from the sales reps — taught me how to make real martinis. No, not with crushed Valium, although he might have done that for himself or his highly neurotic wife. He’d first wet the ice in the shaker with some red vermouth, then dump it out. Then Tanqueray and a touch of Angostura bitters. Shake and pour. He was a Philadelphia mainliner born with a silver spoon so I took him at his word that he knew best when it came to making martinis. I had an okay tolerance for gin then, but at some point in adulthood it started giving me the most pounding headaches I’d ever experienced. Someone told me it was probably an allergic reaction to juniper.

    Rum made me puke my guts out as a teen-ager and I was afraid to touch it again until I was in my 40s, lounging on the beach in Florida, where they were selling daiquiris, pina coladas, hurricanes, etc. I was able to put away plenty with no ill effects whatsoever and now I kind of like it.

    Last time I ever barfed booze was in Chicago off of a rooftop deck at a late-night soiree about 20 years ago. I made the mistake of accepting a piece of chewing gum. I came to realize that this was a trigger for nausea because it caused the sort of salivation that accompanies vomiting. Couple that with some disequilibrium and voila — geysers.

  6. Deborah said on May 1, 2014 at 7:32 am

    TMI warning: this morning I’m getting a mammogram, just routine. It always makes me think of Moe sharing that hilarious joke about squeezing your boobs in the refrigerator door etc.

    We had delicious bagels in Miami when I was a kid, probably because there were so many transplanted New Yorkers living there. I haven’t found a bagel yet that measures up to my memory of those.

  7. Basset said on May 1, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Gin for you, tequila for me, couldn’t touch it for a good ten years. Freshman me made some considerable mistakes.

  8. coozledad said on May 1, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Re Hoskins: I remember in my adolescence being cowed into not wearing my heart on my sleeve. That’s the period where a lot of guys find their niche, and they’ll never overcome their natural cowardice sufficiently to leave it. I think it’s where most of the power relationships among dumbasses are forged, as well as the herd ethic.

    Women can be moral cowards, too, particularly if they’re stupid. But it’s tough to even educate it out of men.

    Our former neighbor had what he thought was a laugh at my expense because I’m dependent on my wife. He said “You couldn’t do nothin’ without her.” He said it with that contemptible hillbilly shit-eating grin where the rictus of the mouth narrows around the upper, malformed teeth. Like some minor character on Green Acres

    “No shit” was all I could say to that. I couldn’t, and still can’t see the problem with it. I thought it was the substance of the emotional contract. It didn’t occur to me at the time he was talking about money, which had eaten the away the remaining shards of his soul when he was still a piece of work in progress.

    He hated his wife, she hated him, and when he developed Alzheimer’s and she saw an opening to bully his ass the way he’d bullied her, she did.

    Oh boy did she.

  9. brian stouder said on May 1, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Life is less complicated with icy-cold Diet Pepsi in your drink holder, as you drive down the boulevard.

    Deborah – here’s to an uneventful exam

  10. brian stouder said on May 1, 2014 at 9:08 am

    He said “You couldn’t do nothin’ without her.”

    That goes double for me!

    When I was a young feller, I made a horrible hash of things, right up ’til I met Pam – without whom I truly ‘couldn’t do nothin’.

    It is a wonderful thing that I cannot explain (although it could be described!) – and would not be presumptuous enough to think it is explainable, beyond ‘when you find it, nurture and keep it’

  11. Peter said on May 1, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Deborah – best of luck on your exam. I had to bring my lovely wife to the hospital last night, and she’s doing fine now, but I think I’m getting to the age where this will start to become a routine.

    Also, next time you’re in Chicago, try New York Bagels and Bialys on Touhy. Open 24 hours, and while they’re not a quarter each any longer, they’re still a good treat.

    I’m sorry I missed out on the swimming stories yesterday, because I can relate. The ones I like are the show-offs who butterfly straight down the middle of the slow lane and push the old ladies to the side, because damn it, they need the room!

  12. Snarkworth said on May 1, 2014 at 9:51 am

    For me it’s whiskey. I don’t even remember whether it was Scotch or Bourbon, because I’ve blanked most of the memory out. I stay away from all brown spirits, just to be safe.

  13. Basset said on May 1, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Joe mentioned the Willow Run plant a few days ago – I just now learned that part of it may be preserved as a museum:
    http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2014/04/25/willow-run-assembly-plant-demolition-proceeding/?refer=news

  14. Bitter Scribe said on May 1, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I liked and admired Hoskins as much as anyone, but I never understood the appeal of “The Long Good Friday.” We were supposed to feel sorry for this bunch of murderous thugs because they came up against some other thugs who were even more murderous?

  15. brian stouder said on May 1, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Bitter is onto a key (to me) difference in taste amongst some of us, here.

    I bet there’s a long (Atlantic-style) essay here (which has already been written and written again, no doubt), regarding divergent dramatic worldviews in entertainment, and the audiences that passionatley like – or passionately DISlike – them.

    Think The Wire/No Country for Old Men (or any other Cohen Brothers movie)

    versus Unforgiven/Blue Velvet (or any other David Lynch film)

  16. Judybusy said on May 1, 2014 at 10:41 am

    My wife recently began making homemade bagels from a book called “Make the bread, buy the butter” by a food-obssesed gal who made lots of stuff at home and wrote a very amusing book about it. She parsed out the time cost vs. money benefit for everything. Bagels are totally worth making, and were really good!

  17. coozledad said on May 1, 2014 at 10:53 am

    What can you say about this, except maybe someone at Justice called the BLM and said, “Back off for now. We’ll come back in once they turn on each other like crazed shitweasels. Meanwhile, we’re shipping you a couple of cases of microwave popcorn.”

    http://gawker.com/nevada-ranch-militias-turn-against-each-other-over-dron-1570140614

  18. Deborah said on May 1, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Exam is over, thank goodness, I hate those. I was an hour early because I had to take a cab and because it was raining, still is, I was afraid it would take a long time. I had an umbrella, put it on the seat next to me in the cab, the driver instructed me to put it on the floor and of course when I got to my destination I left it in the cab, out of sight out of mind. They got me into the mammo early and now I’m walking home in a light rain after buying a crappy umbrella at CVS. I’ve stopped in a Starbucks and I’m using my iPhone to type this and I noticed the comment name box isn’t in the way anymore. Thanks.

  19. Connie said on May 1, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Bagels are one of those foods that I had for the first time when I went away to college. My first bagel: Somewhere on Grand River Ave E. Lansing. My first ever Chinese restaurant: Yat Wah in East Lansing my first week in college. My first lasagne: at my house mate’s mother’s house my junior year in college. My first Mexican restaurant: newlywed, Sosa’s in a converted gas station in downtown Holland. I grew up in bland midwestern food country.

  20. alex said on May 1, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Most memorable Chinese restaurant: Big Wang (I kid you not) in Peru, Indiana, circa 1980. The sign and the decor looked like something out of the early ’60s and it occupied what appeared to have been an old downtown department store.

  21. Jeff Borden said on May 1, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Bitter,

    I never felt sorry for anyone in “The Long Good Friday,” least of all Bob Hoskins’ character Harold Shand. He was clearly an up-from-the-streeets thug who had built an empire through violence and intimidation, then married up. The wife may be well-educated and classy, but she is just as dirty and immoral, counseling Harold on how and when to use his powers. It’s just a damn well written crime story with good actors and a terrific score.

    While I love `em to death, it’s “The Godfather” movies that tend to bother me because they make these organized crime figures to be something out of a grand opera. “Goodfellas,” “The Sopranos” and “Good Friday” seem much closer to the truth. . .focusing on very bad men and women who are largely uneducated, petty, vicious and lazy.

  22. Charlotte said on May 1, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Favorite Bob Hoskins part here is Mermaids — he’s such a mensch in that movie, which as one raised by a less-flamboyant but no less mentally ill mother, I always hoped for a Bob Hoskins character to come along.

    JudyBusy — I’ve been thinking about making bagels. Had a hankering for them lately, and of course, there are no real bagels in my part of Montana. I lived right around the corner from Ess-a-Bagel in NYC decades ago. I was so broke broke broke but started weekday mornings with a bagel, and a cup of coffee and the paper on my way to work. Today it looks like flatbreads — I’ve been on a flatbread kick lately.

    Heard this guy interviewed on the BBC as I drove into town today — fabulous blog, and apparently a documentary, about stylish older ladies and gentlemen: http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com/

  23. Peter said on May 1, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Re: Ms. Palin’s Speech: I read a comment somewhere that the worst part of the Donald Sterling event is that it will likely deprive Snowzilla of a second Joseph Goebbels Lifetime Achievement Award.

  24. brian stouder said on May 1, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Here’s a short news story that made me say “huh!” out load.

    http://www.chem.info/news/2014/05/authorities-seize-75k-tons-iron-ore-mexico?et_cid=3915609&et_rid=44004269&location=top

    Here’s the “huh” part:

    Federal envoy to Michoacan state Alfredo Castillo said Wednesday that authorities seized the Jian Hua after receiving a tip last week that the ship was carrying iron ore illegally extracted from mines in Michoacan….

    Castillo has said that the Knights Templar drug cartel now counts illegal mining among its biggest moneymakers.

    huh!

    (I’d say they need to take a few lessons from Duke Energy on how to run a cartel and stay on the right side of the law..!

  25. Deborah said on May 1, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Charlotte, I’ve been perusing the Advanced Style blog for some time now. My tastes in fashion are more on the minimalist side (black, black and more black), but I salute those women for their moxie. Now that I’m retired about the only thing I wear are blue jeans and long sleeved Tshirts. I had to get dressed up this weekend for my mother-in-law’s 95th birthday celebration and boy did it feel weird, high heels and all.

    I’m back from my trek home from the imaging center, I hit my 10,000 steps goal early today. I had to stop in 2 different Starbucks because of the rain. Felt good though.

  26. Bitter Scribe said on May 1, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Jeff, I hear what you’re saying about “The Godfather.” Calvin Trillin had the best line, something to the effect of, the Corleones killed people left and right but somehow managed never to even nick anyone who wasn’t another criminal.

  27. Bitter Scribe said on May 1, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Cooz–I wonder what would happen if some prankster crept among the Bundy Militia one night and planted a bunch of firecrackers with a remote fuse. Preferably with a sound system timed to play at the same time with a message like, “This is the Federal Government coming to confiscate your weapons.”

  28. Mindy said on May 1, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Best of luck on your mammogram Deb.

    I JUST NOW got off the phone with my BFF. She had a mammogram last week and the doctor found two suspicious lumps, sez that one is likely cancerous and the other likely isn’t. She’s having them biopsied tomorrow, her birthday.

    So tonight I’ll return to my mother’s house where I’m staying while the divorce is underway to endure clouds of cigarette smoke (I’m allergic) and try to find a bright side so I can look upon it.

    I can tolerate gin very well. Copious amounts of it has suddenly become an excellent idea.

  29. Sue said on May 1, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Holy moley, they’re baiting traps now?
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-27243115

  30. Dexter said on May 1, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    alex, I always wanted Dad to take us to Chen’s in FWA but he was adamant, “No.” We drove to Fort Wayne every Friday for dinner, but never Chinese. There was a place out on “The Bypass” called “Pagoda” if I remember, and Dad worked in Fort Wayne and the rumor (fact?) had it that they had been caught serving cat meat. Then Chen’s got a reprimand for shoddy cleanliness, and Dad went into his “I told you so” routine. So I had my very first Chinese meal when I was 18, on the baseball team I talk about all the time, in Kokomo, Indiana. I think I, who knew nothing, ordered chow mein, and I would guess most novices do that. I was instantly hooked on the spices and general great tastes. I have eaten Chinese buffets from Florida to California, Texas to New Brunswick, and I still love that stuff.

    brian, I have been hoping, praying even, that you will come to your senses and switch back to Coca-Cola products. You poor, misguided man! :)
    http://www.seedwalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Coke-Bottles-w.-Timeline1.png

  31. coozledad said on May 1, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Sue: Why not? The right in this country has already signed on fully with torture, cruel and unusual punishment, a two tier judicial system, geocentrism, climate change denial, warlordism, racist revanchism and revocation of the voting franchise, all the while greasing the skids for state sponsored religion.
    http://alicublog.blogspot.com/2014/05/gas-chamber.html#disqus_thread

  32. Sherri said on May 1, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Since I think capital punishment is by definition cruel and unusual punishment, I can’t answer this question, but maybe somebody else can: what goal of capital punishment wouldn’t be better served by turning it in to public spectacle? If we (as a society) believe some convicted felons deserve to die, shouldn’t we have the courage to watch it, rather than having it happen behind closed doors observed by a select few?

    I would think that surely there were at least a few Christians among the Palin supporters who had a problem with her “waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists” line, but maybe tribalism is stronger than blasphemy.

  33. Jolene said on May 1, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    I feel the same way, Dexter. I always thought that, if Brian and I had the chance to meet, we would get enjoy getting to know each other, but his switch to Diet Pepsi has made me doubtful.

    Did I tell you, by the way, that David Letterman revealed recently that he puts mustard on his scrambled eggs, casting into question his status as my TV boyfriend?

    Brian’s questionable beverage choice has similarly reduced my confidence in him.

  34. brian stouder said on May 1, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Dex – our almost-16 year old daughter and I switched places; she used to love Diet Pepsi while I was a confirmed Diet Coke guy…

    but the pendulum will swing back at some point, I’m sure.

    She’s quite the confident young driver, too. We live near channel 15/Dana, and her school is across town near the airport (good ol’ Wayne/New Tech Academy) – so whenever we have to go there, she racks in 25 minutes both ways.

    But tonight will be a very, very un-fun evening; an evening that (I’m sure) will live in her memory for the rest of her days.

    She (along with Pam) have a visitation this evening, and a funeral tomorrow; this will be her first one for a non-family person – an infant who she babysat 3 or 4 times, and became quite close with.

    And so the transition from childhood to young adulthood continues…

  35. Deborah said on May 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Sue, it’s a sad state of affairs, isn’t it? Whatever happened to the notion of “be bigger than that”? I remember when I was growing up my parents told me that when someone did something offensive it didn’t give me an excuse to do something equally offensive. It was my duty to be bigger than that, to act above and beyond, correctly. Because a convicted killer has acted reprehensibly in whatever crime they committed doesn’t give us the right to act equally reprehensible, “by accident” or otherwise. I knew this when I was a little kid. And I taught this to my kid.

  36. Sherri said on May 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Jolene, I think I could get past the Pepsi thing with Brian, but I don’t know where we’d meet, since so many places are exclusive to either Coke or Pepsi!

  37. nancy said on May 1, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Brian, I think Bonnie Blackburn wrote about the same baby. There can’t be that many in Fort Wayne.

  38. Deborah said on May 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Brian, my condolences to your wife and especially your daughter, and of course to the parents of the baby. Wow, what a life lesson that will be for your 16 year old. Was it a SIDs death? I had a friend who lost a baby to SIDs, what a sad, sad funeral that was. As a complete coward I could not bring myself to go to the viewing the night before the funeral. I just couldn’t face the sight of the infant in the casket. I’m ashamed of that now.

  39. brian stouder said on May 1, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Nance – that’s her; and that was superb article – which I will immediately pass along to Pam and Shelby.

    Jolene – I’m a fickle soda pop guy, it’s true; but just as Cooz and I were earlier discussing social contracts – I’m sure we’d all be fast friends, if we lived in the same county!

  40. Julie Robinson said on May 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Mindy, I hope things get better, and I’m with you on that smoke. Gin away.

    Brian, she will remember it–those baby caskets are so tiny and so heart-wrenching. I’ve been to two, both as an adult, and still weep if I allow myself to think very hard about the tragic circumstances.

    And I hope I won’t be kicked off the island if I confess my favorite drink is the very sweet Vanilla Coke Zero. To paraphrase Woody Allen: the tastebuds want what the tastebuds want.

  41. brian stouder said on May 1, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    (pssst – Julie – when we go to a place that has those fancy-schmancy Coke dispensers with every different flavor….and I’ve had a dalliance with Vanilla Coke Zero. But, I will deny this if you repeat it)

  42. Joe Kobiela said on May 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Diet coke lover here, although I also like diet mt,dew and diet dr pepper.
    First Chinese i think was the rice bowl in Angola, I believe it’s still open.
    88 here in Orlando.
    Pilot Joe

  43. Deborah said on May 1, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Holy cow, 88 degrees in Orlando! On May 1, already? No thanks, I’d rather have the cloudy, rainy 48 in Chicago. What will it be like in August?

  44. Dexter said on May 1, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Babysitting story, second hand…My good friend of 44 years, who I met while working at a California US Army hospital, was startled two nights ago while he casually caught part of an NBA playoff game on TV. He noticed one of the referees was Zach Zarba. “OMG!”, he thought…could it be? A quick search, and yes, this was Zach from Brooklyn, where my friend Greg babysat Zach in the mid-1970s when Zach was an infant and Dad Joe Zarba had errands to run. Zach has been a ref for many years, but Greg is a very casual fan , and had no idea. Greg also was instrumental in promoting the career of Jimmy Greene, who was the father of Ana Marquez-Greene. She was killed in the Sandy Hook massacre. Jazz musician Greene said “he couldn’t touch his saxophone for a month—after his 6-year-old daughter was murdered.” (ww w.n ew ser.co m) :(

  45. Little Bird said on May 1, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    It snowed here today.

  46. brian stouder said on May 1, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Dexter – what a story! It is funny how big the world is, on the one hand; and how small it really is, on the other.

    Pam has corrected me (via text) – Shelby babysat Quinley 13-14 times, rather than the 3-4 I thought. I met the infant a time or two – and of course she was the sweetest little person; inquisitive and engaged and smiley and sociable.

    Pam and I went to her best friend’s son’s funeral, some years ago. He, too, was an infant. It was a headline story, as he was murdered at his Carmel (affluent Indy suburb) daycare.

    What I remember was that the church was brand new, and had that ‘brand new smell’ – fresh pain, new carpet, fresh and airy decor….we went down a long corridor in what was the attached school, and in one of the classrooms – very sunlit and airy – there was a wrenchingly small casket, and it was open, and the baby was beautiful.

    I think everyone who walked in there lost a piece of their hearts, if not their souls. Later at the gravesite, the baby’s dad just let go of his emotions and wailed in the most sorrowful way I’ve ever heard.

    Still – if he or Pam’s friend drew one scintilla of strength from the gathered mourners, then there was no place on Earth that we would rather have been, right at that moment.

    Later I ran into a woman who turned out to be a reporter for the Indy Star, who had to cover the story – and she (understandably) looked to be taking it badly. (I think – aside from the image of the sunlit classroom and terribly small casket – the thing that relly got me was the singing of children’s songs in the church service – Jesus Loves Me This I Know, etc). Yet another reason I don’t take for granted the really hard work that reporters do every day

  47. brian stouder said on May 1, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    “fresh PAINT” – although I suppose “pain” fits right in there, really.

  48. Joe Kobiela said on May 1, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Deborah,
    Just visiting till Monday, I try not to come down here in summer.
    Indiana in August is bad enough.
    But 88 feels great now.
    Pilot Joe

  49. CathyC said on May 1, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Sue @29 sadly they are. Fortunately one jury in Minnesota said no.
    http://wapo.st/1miTp1F

  50. Sherri said on May 1, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    It’s 88 here in Redmond, shockingly, and it feels great. By Saturday, it will be 60 again.

  51. Jolene said on May 1, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    CathyC, I remember hearing about that shooting when it happened. What an awful story. And Brian, your description of that child’s funeral is heartbreaking. Good on you for having been there to share the sorrow of the parents.

  52. Sherri said on May 1, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    A powerful Ta-Nehisi Coates essay on elegant racism: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/05/This-Town-Needs-A-Better-Class-Of-Racist/361443/

  53. coozledad said on May 1, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    I just got me a simple, toothless troll out on my blog, just because I wrote about one of our drunkass county commissioners nudging his car out on the road while he was aspirating enough ketones to kill a stand of Johnson grass. His English is somewhat familiar:

    I don’t know who you are but if you don’t like they way of living in Person Couunty please take you ingnorant liberal ass back to where ever the hell you come from !!! People like you don’t deserve to breathe American air. How dare you write this about good people and a great county.

    The county’s alright, except for the drunkass Republicans.

  54. Alan Stamm said on May 1, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Mark Bittman’s crisp, tasty essay gets a NYT reader garnish worth sharing. This excerpt is from a letter posted today:

    “As an Indian-American who grew up in a largely Jewish part of northern New Jersey, I, too, have fond memories of eating bagels, lox and cream cheese on Sundays, delivered faithfully by my father from our local Jewish deli. This odd cultural juxtaposition, which never fails to delight my Jewish friends, is a result of the American journey that brought my parents from New Delhi to New Jersey — two places they continue to call home.

    “Yes, Americanization is eroding some ethnic traditions. But we should also take comfort — and pride — in the fact that America’s blending of cultures has produced unexpectedly rich childhood traditions for a new generation of Americans.” — Usha Sahay | Washington, D.C.

  55. Suzanne said on May 1, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    I never had bagels & cream cheese until I went to college. I’ve been to New York several times, but have I ever had an honest to goodness NYC bagel? No. This must change.

    I still drink gin & tonics, but not Martinis. I had someone make me a tumbler full once, and I stupidly drank it.

    The funny thing with $ Palin’s speech is that it got the hackles up of a guy I know (who was positively giddy when she was picked as the VP candidate). Why? He’s a good Christian & she equated water boarding to baptism. Maybe, just maybe, she’s finally run her course…

  56. CathyC said on May 1, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    So true. Favorites of our boys growing up in Bloomington were steamed dumplings, garlic naan, and mango lassi.

  57. CathyC said on May 1, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    So true Alan Stamm… and Suzanne re $ Palin.

  58. brian stouder said on May 1, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Sherry – great article; thanks for the link

  59. brian stouder said on May 1, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    …just popping back from rurritable, and the resoundingly satisfying smack-down of the troll.

    If the folks who want to argue with Cooz really want to support the right of drunken people to driver their cars down the roads, I suppose they’re not a whole lot crazier than the gun-totin’ maroons in Nevada who don’t want no oppressive guh-mint, but who DO want to form oppressive armed bands of lawless thugs (setting up checkpoints on public roadways)

  60. Basset said on May 1, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Dexter@30, my baseball career ended after Little League but my first Chinese meal may have been at that same Chinese restaurant in Kokomo. When I was at IU in the mid-70s I did some unskilled helper work for one of the music school tech managers who built and repaired pipe organs on the side – we went to Kokomo once and I still remember the sweet & sour pork.

  61. Dexter said on May 2, 2014 at 12:18 am

    yep basset, it’s a small world…the Kokomo Chinese place I went to closed after the lunch hour and re-opened for dinner. I remember this because we just missed lunch but it worked out so we went back for dinner. This place had tables with white linen tablecloths and the waiters wore white servers’ coats. And…you could smoke.

    brian, oh man, what a horrible thing to endure for everyone. At our local church where I actually attended as a member when I returned to church for a few years when I quit the booze, a couple lost their baby to SIDS. I just could not imagine the pain of that family.

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