Ugh, but I am burning the candle at both ends, and will be for a while. Fortunately, this doesn’t involve shoveling coal or anything, but still. I finally got a chance to watch part of “The Roosevelts” — which I’m missing at least partly by choice, because I’m still committed to my premium-cable Sunday nights, along with Dexter — and what do you know, it’s pretty good. A lordly American family who felt an obligation to help their country along, and not just loot it for the profit of their friends? What a revelation.

A little bloggage:

More Cris Carters, fewer Charles Barkleys. What a tool that guy is. (Barkley.)

Big Lebowski fans will want to read this. Thanks, MMJeff. A friend of mine got a magnetic-word selection from the film’s dialogue. She took out most of the swears, because the house has children who don’t need to see that. When I go over, I try to make “My art has been commended as being strongly vaginal which bothers some men. The word itself makes some men uncomfortable. Vagina.” Haven’t been able to, yet.

Are we really putting boots back on the ground in goddamn Iraq? Really?

Talk soon.

Posted at 10:03 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

29 responses to “Whew.”

  1. beb said on September 16, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    All I knw about Teddy Roosevelt I learned from “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

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  2. Hattie said on September 16, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    Gee. If it weren’t for wars a lot of people would not know what to do with themselves. Of course the best wars are ones other people fight and die in. Those are the kind warmongers like best.

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  3. Dexter said on September 17, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Wow, what a thorough dissection of The Dude’s world. Los ANG-uh-lese, California, as The Stranger called it. Well, The Stranger was our pathway to the action, that’s what he was. He could also just insert himself right into the film at once. The Stranger was God, I always thought…well, at times anyway.
    I have watched The Big Lebowski so many times I have lost count, but it’s probably at least 25 times, start to finish. I love that film. Thanks for linking this; I’ll have to save it and read it before and after my next screening in a few weeks, since I just watched the movie again ten days ago.
    If you have not seen it yet, check out NETFLIX’ special on the people who worship the movie by having these conventions every so often. Yes, Walter Sobchak brought out John Goodman’s talent, but so did Charlie Meadows, the maniac in Barton Fink. Then Goodman’s Creighton Bernette, the character Simon said was “based partly on (nance’s late friend) Ashley Morris” showed yet another fan base what an American treasure Goodman is.
    But there I go ramblin’ again, friend. See ya’ later. http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.98601.1318375780!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/gallery_1200/gal-lebowski-sam-elliott-jpg.jpg

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  4. ROGirl said on September 17, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Has anyone else noticed that when the Stranger is on screen no other character is with him except The Dude? Does he exist outside of The Dude’s head?

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 17, 2014 at 7:31 am

    The Stranger narrates most of my activities. I don’t think anyone else sees him, but I’ll ask around today. Interesting question.

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  6. Deggjr said on September 17, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Roosevelt was a traitor to his class.

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  7. Suzanne said on September 17, 2014 at 8:05 am

    I am loving the Roosevelt documentary. TR gave toughness a new meaning and I found it strangely satisfying that he died peacefully in his sleep. Eleanor was the embodiment of making the best of a bad situation. I’d guess that FDR, at some point, had to have thought that marrying her was one of his biggest mistakes. I’m recording the series (missed the first night) so I can revisit.

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  8. Dorothy said on September 17, 2014 at 9:50 am

    The mellifluous tones of Peter Coyote are so great, and I think that enhances the viewing of The Roosevelts. I picked out Paul Giamatti right away, and of course Edward Herrmann and Meryl Streep. We’ve seen about 3 hours of the show so far. Could not watch last night’s ep because we went to see The Drop, James Gandolfini’s last movie. It was really, really good. Mesmerizing and tense and I was rapt for the entire movie. You all need to see it. And I made note of the three previews I saw to make sure we catch those movies as well: “The Skeleton Twins”, “Alive Inside” and “Love is Strange.”

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  9. brian stouder said on September 17, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Are we really putting boots back on the ground in goddamn Iraq? Really?

    All the air is being sucked out of the room, and we’re defaulting toward boots back on the ground. I heard shit-for-brains Sean Hannity – for the 2 minutes I could stand him – while driving to Shelby’s high school yesterday night (flag/band practice, which ends at 9 pm)(!!), and the guy might as well have been a 1965-era Bircher. His tinker-toy logic was a mish-mash of CONSPIRACY!, BETRAYAL!, MORTAL DANGER!, and – I shit you not – BENGHAZI! OBAMA ON THE GOLF COURSE!, DOESN’T CARE – or else – EVIL PLAN!! (wash, rinse, repeat).

    If I was in congress, I’d propose a bill reinstating the draft, including females – and then we’d see how many of these charlatans and frauds would be so eager for war in the middle east (or, more rightly, US participation in the unending wars there)

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  10. Connie said on September 17, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Dorothy, I read a blog called Amateur Gourmet, by Adam Roberts, and his partner is the writer and producer of Skeleton Twins. So I felt like I vicariously attended Sundance as a hanger on with that film. Which I see has been getting excellent reviews. http://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/corridor-sausage-co-churns-out-craft-sausage-in-detroits-eastern-market/Content?oid=2247635 , http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2014/01/our-skeleton-twins-sundance-adventure.html .

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  11. Connie said on September 17, 2014 at 11:32 am

    And consider the link to the sausage article to be just a little something extra.

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  12. brian stouder said on September 17, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Loved the sausage link!

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  13. mouse said on September 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Sir Charies may be a bit off base on this one but he’s one of the few sports talking heads to not fill the room with utter BS.

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  14. Deborah said on September 17, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I definitely want to see Skeleton Twins, I’ve read a lot about it. Thanks for the link Connie, really enjoyed his partner’s descriptions.

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  15. Deborah said on September 17, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    This is heartening, it’s never too late, a 71 year old got a genius grant from the McArthur Foundation.

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  16. MichaelG said on September 17, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    I did a report about getting from Sacto to BCN but it’s quite long because of the Air France strike. I don’t know if it would be approved. I’ll keep this one short. Please let me know, boss lady.

    Barcelona is a wonderful city. It has a warm and inviting vibe and one feels welcome here and the weather is perfect if a tad humid.

    OK, I’ll cut to the chase. The jiggle lives, legs are long and shorts are short. Women here are very attractive. Very. And dressed to show it. This being very attractive includes women of all ages. Women seem to age extremely well here. I wouldn’t recommend Barcelona for Stouder. His fifty something heart wouldn’t stand it. Many years ago I developed a theory about European women. They don’t get fat because they walk a lot. It’s that simple. People don’t all own cars as we do in the States. So they hoof it. Walking does wonders for the hind quarters and it shows here. What with age and illness, I’m retired from that stuff now but it sure would be nice to be forty years younger. Sigh. I would advise folks to travel when they’re young. Tell your kids.

    Spain is all about the ham. I stumbled into a ham store earlier today. It wasn’t a huge place but it didn’t need to be as all the place sells is that famous Iberian ham. One of the very nice ladies who works there took a lot of time to talk with me.

    Barcelona is a very friendly town. People are happy to speak with you, are all very polite and friendly and everyone seems to speak English. A stroll is a delight and restaurants are fun.

    They have a number of different grades of the ham. Prices range from around 25E per kilo to around 60 – 75E per kilo. A ham runs to about seven or eight kilos. Do the math. That’s like around a hundred bucks per kilo for a seven or eight kilo ham. This is not poor people’s food.

    Ever seen a prosciutto? Iberian ham is the same thing although nobody in this country would admit it. A ham is set on edge on a special stand and shaved with a very long, very skinny knife. The lovely young lady shaved off a paper thin slice of an average grade ham for me. Free hand. It was truly all that this stuff is cracked up to be. When I finished that slice, eyes rolled back, sighing with pleasure, she shaved me a slice of the best. Lord. Talk about learning what all the shouting is about. Even I could tell the difference between a cheap ass $500 ham and an $800 one. This stuff is absolutely beyond belief. I was kind of surprised but very grateful that she would be giving away samples of mega buck ham. I should have been born rich. As it is I purchased a few slices of the best to take with me. A couple of slices cost 12E. OK, that’s it for today.

    And, yes, Brian. The draft should absolutely be reinstated.

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  17. MichaelG said on September 17, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    And a lesson. There’s a difference between the theoretical price of a Euro (around a buck thirty) and the real world. I found myself in Paris Orly the other day (God help me) and desperately needed some Euros. I paid $1.56. The best I’ve found here in BCN after some shopping is $1.42. Bring more money.

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  18. MichaelG said on September 17, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    The deal about this trip is that I’ve worked for around 60 years (counting paper routes), was making decent money for the last ten years, have a decent retirement between pension and SSA and have saved a few bucks. I’m old(er) now, am enjoying a respite from my lung cancer and at this point can easily afford to fly first class, flop at a nice hotel and can spend whatever I feel like while on the road. My wife and daughter have already been seen to. I realize and am grateful that I have been extraordinarily lucky but here I am. I’ve got nothing to save for so, fuck it. I’m spending the money. I’m hoping to take another trip soon. And another after that if I’m strong enough.

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  19. brian stouder said on September 17, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Michael G – you are the MAN!! This is precisely how to play the game, I’d say.

    Continued safe travels to you – and take lots of pics (they will always make your people happy, when they see them)

    As for beautiful people, I was quite taken by the collection of personages at LAX last year; one can only imagine all the beautiful folks in Barcelona (maybe if I wore my Fernando Alonso teeshirt, eh?)

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  20. Judybusy said on September 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    MichaelG–that IS the way to do it! I am 49, better half’s 43, and we are planning and saving so we can travel when we’re retired, too. And of course, we have a savings account now for vacations. (And we frequently say to each other: man, have we got it good. Don’t want to take this good life for granted.) So glad you are living with gusto! May you enjoy good health and travels.

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  21. MichaelG said on September 17, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    The only worm in the apple is that my beautiful wife is not with me. We’re still separated. I do know that she could compete straight up with the women here in BCN.

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  22. Dexter said on September 17, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Espana, the place from where Romans with taste import olive oil for their personal table. Back when I was raking in the overtime pay every check, I planned a trip to the Spanish Riviera. When my wife realized I was dead-serious, she declared she would never get on an airplane. We did not go. Years later and she has now flown all over the hemisphere with our daughters, Key West,Dominican Republic , Las Vegas, California, Carolina Coast, more trips to the Florida Panhandle and the Atlantic Coast cities…but back then she just would not fly. I as yet have never been to Europe, and I applaud MichaelG for his attitude.
    And, when Budweiser speaks, NFL listens. Forfeit $200,000,000 a year in revenue so Adrian Peterson the child-beater can run the football? If you fuck with the money, you find out quick you ain’t so damn tough and indispensable after all. The announcement came at 2:00 AM Eastern time so everyone would wake to the news. A.P. is done until he gets through the courts.

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  23. Sherri said on September 17, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Way to go, MichaelG! I’m with you – I’ve decided that the next time I get on a plane for a 9 hour flight to Europe, I’m going first class. I’ll economize somewhere else.

    I feel for Adrian Peterson’s children, but I also feel for Adrian Peterson. He’s doing what he was taught; it’s hard work to overcome that programming. I know what it’s like to be “whooped with a switch”, but thankfully, my daughter does not.

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  24. alex said on September 17, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    $800 ham? Is it in the breeding? The curing? I believe you that the taste is worth every centavo but what exactly makes it such a precious commodity?

    I hope the dollar gets its mojo back some day before I retire so I can go have a culinary blowout in Spain.

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  25. Deborah said on September 17, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    I flew once to Europe first class, my husband who traveled extensively for work had racked up jillions of frequent flier points. We took his mom and younger sister on a trip to France and Germany and we all flew First Class. What a way to go. I have done the trip to and fro many times since then via coach and all I can say is, no comparison. I flew to Europe and Asia a few times for work via Business class and that was pretty good too.

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  26. LAMary said on September 17, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Michael, when you get to Madrid, spend a day at the Prado.

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  27. Charlotte said on September 17, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Connie — I read Adam’s site too, and I’ve been just kvelling for him! So fun to have watched his food blogging evolve …

    Michael — yay adventure! It’s never too late — eat all the jamon, watch the ladies, and have a lovely lovely time.

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  28. Deborah said on September 17, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    LA Mary, yes the Prado, so worth a visit.

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  29. MarcG said on September 19, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Dear MichaelG,

    I am glad to read how much you enjoyed Barcelona, it is also one of my favorite european cities. But I think that you are overestimating the actual price of the ham. And, if you get a block or two away from La rambla, maybe not so much english is spoken. But we don’t go to Barcelona to hear english, do we?

    Anyway, if you plan another trip to europe, may I recommend Portugal, either Porto or Lisboa? Both are wonderful cities, full of wonderful people, wonderful culture. And of course, if you ever find yourself in the Baltics, please feel free to get in touch, we can meet for beer.


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