Widely scattered.

I know we have readers here from all over, and some of you have perhaps never traveled to the nation’s breadbasket, where many of us live. Perhaps you’re not familiar with the weather condition the meteorologists call “widely scattered thundershowers.” Here’s what it looks like on the radar:


It’s the thing every Midwesterner notices sooner or later, where you call someone who lives a mile away and say, “Too bad it’s raining, or we could go for a run or something,” and your friend says, “What are you talking about? It’s so sunny.” Sometimes you live right on the literal edge of a shower, and can see dry sidewalks on the other side of the street. Rarer still is Hollywood rain, where it’s pouring, but the sun is out, like in those movies shot in Los Angeles sunshine under rain sprinklers. (You know what I always notice about those scenes? It rains HARD under those sprinklers, but no one ever says, “Maybe we should go inside.” Perhaps because those are the scenes where someone is expressing eternal love, five minutes before the credits.)

Anyway. That’s the kind of day it was. Rode my bike to the dentist and regretted not bringing sunglasses. Came out and had to dry off the seat, then race another cell home. Walked the dog 30 minutes later, wishing I had sunglasses. But it was real pretty, with everything all drippy in the sunshine. I kept looking around for Brad Pitt. So I could kiss him and express eternal love.

I rode my bike to the dentist because the office is half a mile away, but also because I didn’t have a car, it being in the shop for the usual ruinously expensive Volvo service interval (timing chain = bread and water for a month). Kate and her bandmates are borrowing it for a week, for a little tour they booked themselves. Me, worried? Ha ha ha ha ha [takes three giant glugs of wine] ha ha ha. The Cataclysmic Events tour kicks off in Brooklyn Friday night and plays a number of closet-sized DIY venues before concluding in St. Louis (oy) a week later, then home. I’m sure they will have the time of their lives. Those of you who are the praying sorts, feel free to include them in your dailies. ALSO INCLUDE MY CAR.

So, a bit of bloggage today. This has been one newsy year, hasn’t it?

If you’re going to do sex work, make serious bank at it, the way the wait staff at Las Vegas pools do:

Vegas’s hot summers are slow for tourism, but in the past decade, resorts have transformed the generic poolside experience into a lavish party scene. This has spawned a pool-industrial complex, where attendees, even guests who once enjoyed free entrance to a hotel pool, now pay into the thousands for general admittance per day, shaded cabanas and private bottle service at parties featuring daylong drinking and celebrity D.J.s.

Inside the parties, a class structure prevails: The proletariat use towels to claim spots around the pool, the bourgeoisie reserve $1,000 cabanas and aristocrats fork over up to $15,000 for private bungalows equipped with televisions and temperature-controlled climates. Add in food and drink minimums, and these clubs, combined with their night-life counterparts, now surpass the longtime king of casino revenue — gambling.

For the tipped worker, the appeal is obvious. Checks can spike into the tens of thousands, and with an automatic 18 percent gratuity, few service jobs can compete. No wonder people fly in from around the country to apply for them.

Could this story of civil protest in Dent County, Mo., pop. 15,000, be more predictable? The county commission voted to lower flags to half-staff for one day a month (the 26th, because that was the day in June that SCOTUS let the homos get married) for a year, then walked it back “out of respect for veterans,” but not before it yielded this priceless quote:

“It ain’t what our Bible tells us. It’s against God’s plan,” County Commissioner Gary Larson said.

Whenever I read a quote like that, I think of the gray areas of cleaning up bad grammar in quotes, a subject that journalists around the world can no doubt chew your ear off and bore you to death, discussing. I tend to leave it intact except in cases where the speaker’s meaning might be misunderstood, but if you look at stories from many Ohio newspapers during the governorship of Jim Rhodes, the guy sounds like an Oxford don, and friends? He was not.

The Onion swings the sword of truth, regrettably.

Which takes us all the way to the week’s hump. How’d that happen?

Posted at 12:34 am in Current events, Media, Same ol' same ol' |

42 responses to “Widely scattered.”

  1. Dexter said on July 15, 2015 at 1:01 am

    Midwest storms can ruin happy events. Monday night in Cincinnati, local hero Reds third baseman Todd Frazier won the home run derby with a spectacular finish in front of a screaming packed house , touching off a stadium and downtown scene not seen in the Queen City since the 1990 World Series championship. They needed a happy night to counter the horrible violence that city has endured this summer. (The last big-news crime was in Fountain Square a few days ago when an out-of-towner was beaten senseless by thugs.)
    The down side is that due to “widely scattered storms”, 71,000 thousand households lost power and missed the TV fun. Just now I heard 21,000 homes are still without power. Our hero, Todd “The Toddfather” Frazier’s family were at the ball park to witness the party, but their home is still dark…no power. Their solution? Pal up with the other Jersey boy (game MVP superstar Mike Trout) and charter a jet back to New Jersey to the old folks’ place in Toms River to chill before the season kicks in again.

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  2. Linda said on July 15, 2015 at 6:01 am

    The government sponsored hissy fit in Dent County Missouri reminds me more and more that we live in a bizarre version of the 80s. In those days, the left realized that they were becoming more irrelevant and losing the ability to control the narrative of popular events and culture, so they engaged in fruitless temper tantrums like declaring towns “nuclear free zones.” Now we see conservatives engaged in the same nonsense, and they are taking it with even less grace.

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  3. coozledad said on July 15, 2015 at 7:48 am

    The proletariat use towels to claim spots around the pool, the bourgeoisie reserve $1,000 cabanas and aristocrats fork over up to $15,000 for private bungalows equipped with televisions and temperature-controlled climates.

    That’s pretty damn gauche. But it got me thinking “How else do you run a sex den?” Looks like Vegas has gone for the Baths of Caracalla model.

    I think I’d go with the “New Orleans on the brink of defeat” model. Panic in the air. Actors paid to pretend they’re liquidating their estates in a final nihilistic orgy and encouraging the clientele to follow suit. Heated subterranean swimming area. Absynthe. No TV. Silver nitrate catheterizations on demand.

    I’ll bet someone’s already done it.

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  4. Connie said on July 15, 2015 at 8:05 am

    I often say I am not living in suburban Detroit rather exurban Detroit. Wonder what I mean? Just east of Milford on that map. Just as close to Ann Arbor and Flint as I am to Detroit.

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  5. alex said on July 15, 2015 at 8:16 am

    There is a certain class of nomadic waitstaff who work in resorty places and migrate seasonally to where the money is. I came across one such, an acquaintance from my hometown, on Mackinac Island one time. He wintered in Florida, then headed to Mackinac in the summer. I knew him to be a severe alcoholic when he was very young, and have no idea what he would be doing with his life now, as this was probably 20 years ago and this is obviously a young person’s occupation. I don’t doubt that prostitution is part of the lifestyle, especially considering some of the bikini-clad beach servers with boob jobs and barky voices that I’ve encountered in Florida who just reeked of it.

    And Connie, I like to consider myself an exurbanite as opposed to a suburbanite with respect to Fort Wayne, although the beige vinyl sprawl is getting nearer all the time. Although I must say that the latest stuff going up is taking on darker earth tones and tends to be tarted up with a lot of faux-Craftsman festoonery, making the big beige bull-market baroque stuff look dated already.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on July 15, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Our daughter spent two years on the road with a band and the tales are still trickling out 10 years later. In those pre-GPS days, they got lost frequently but were only in one accident. I was glad I learned 15-passenger vans have a propensity to tip over AFTER the whole thing was over. You do have your AAA paid up, right?

    It will make or break them as a group, and I predict the former. And will happily pray for their grand adventure.

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  7. beb said on July 15, 2015 at 8:25 am

    The trouble with reading The Onion is that their fake news always makes more sense then the real news.

    What’s the point of doing “the pool scene” if all you’re going to do is lounge in a glassed-off air-conditioned hotel room? It sounds like wjay Richard Pryor said about cocaine… it was god’s way to telling you you have too much money.

    A week long bands tour? That’ll test the mettle of that metal group. A week crowded into one car. Will there even be a band left by the time they get home.

    Speaking of protesting the gays… Talkingpointsmemo had an interesting opinion piece arguing that Ted Cruz and Greg Abbott (gov Texas) both lawyers, should be disbarred for urging people to disobey the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling. As officers of the court they do not have the right to disobey the court’s ruling.

    tpm also has the story about a New Jersey Democrat arrested for indecent exposure. She went ballistic on finding that her ex-husband’s fiancee was living in his house so she tried to harass men by shaking her naked breasts in his general direction. Well, so much for her chances of getting elected to Congress.

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  8. Deborah said on July 15, 2015 at 8:28 am

    What the heck is a Silver nitrate catheterization?

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  9. beb said on July 15, 2015 at 8:29 am

    that’s “harass him” not harass men though the latter may get her a few votes.
    Also “what” not “wjay”

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  10. Jolene said on July 15, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Also Maryland, not New Jersey.


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  11. alex said on July 15, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Deborah, that would be an ultrahedonistic fancy way to inhale disco drugs without having to ask anyone to pass them.

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  12. Peter said on July 15, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Talk about your localized storms – Monday morning we had a site meeting and the ground was getting muddier from the runoff of a storm that was occurring at the other end of the parking lot. Meanwhile our end was just nice and sunny.

    One my my regrets in life was not visiting Vegas when I was much younger. In the ’80’s we had a single friend that would fly to Vegas for the weekend, and the only thing he did was check into his room, change into trunks, bring a big book down to the pool, and stay there the whole weekend. Try that now and they’ll look at you like you’re an eastern european ex-pat foraging for mushrooms in parking lots.

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  13. 4dbirds said on July 15, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Movement in the 40 year old case of two missing girls in Maryland. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/investigators-prepare-announcement-in-1975-missing-girls-case/2015/07/14/2ca2e68c-2a2f-11e5-a250-42bd812efc09_story.html?hpid=z3 This case inspired Laura Lippman’s “What the Dead Know”.

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  14. coozledad said on July 15, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Deborah: it’s the nineteenth century treatment for syph. I think the rationale was it was caustic enough to burn the contagion right out of the urethra. In other words, heroic medicine requiring a lot of heroism on the part of the patient.

    However, I’m going to incorporate Alex’s idea into my business plan. I wonder if ecstasy or ketamine can be absorbed urethrally.

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  15. Judybusy said on July 15, 2015 at 9:26 am

    May Kate’s roadtrip merely be the beginning of wonderful adventures for her group! I hope they have a blast.

    If I had the kind of money to pay for 15,000 grand for accomodations, I’d be going to Europe. If I never set foot in LV, I will consider myself fulfilled.

    Totally off topic: watched a documentary about Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Berge called L’amour Fou. It was structured around the sale of their stupendous art collection after YSL’s death. I didn’t know much about them, but I loved drooling over the collection. In the beginning, there are shots of their Paris apartment, and I kept saying things like “Wow, that’s a Matisse! Isn’t that Picasso?” Some chair from 1920 went for 20 million euro. The whole auction raised $484 dollars, most of which Berge donated to AIDS research.

    (I’m leaving that typo in there, cuz it’s funny. Should read $484 million.)

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  16. Judybusy said on July 15, 2015 at 9:28 am

    I see my math is really off today. 15,000 grand= $15 million dollars. Still going to Europe. Forever.

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  17. BigHank53 said on July 15, 2015 at 10:32 am

    I remember reading an essay a few years back on the Las Vegas catered-rave party thing. They were paying EDM DJs as much as $100,000 per night. Which should tell you how much money rolls in from the marks–I mean guests.

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  18. Deborah said on July 15, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Travel day for me today, I’m basking in the sunny, dry, 57 degree weather this morning in Santa Fe, it will be plenty more humid in Chicago. This weekend we’re going to a family reunion for my husband’s family in Kewanee, IL where one of his uncles lives, the temps will be in the 90s. Yuck. It should be fun though.

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  19. Icarus said on July 15, 2015 at 10:43 am

    so we have Breadbasket and Rust Bucket to describe various corners of America. What else?

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  20. brian stouder said on July 15, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Deborah – you basker, you!

    This has been a strange summer.

    Our fine young son wanted to get out and about, and they were having a free-admission practice at Baer Field raceway last night, so off we went – only to see that race cars were running and the road in to the track was submerged…no way to get there.

    But the track folks would give you ride in, using a high ground-clearance pick-up truck, so – in we went; and it was indeed a pleasant way to end the day.

    Watching the news last night I was a little surprised that every single Republican candidate attacked the Iranian accord; I thought at least one of them (say, John Kasich) would say “Hey, I agree!” – if only to get some free press.

    The Flying Monkeys of the rightwing radio airwaves were in lock-step, of course, and are laughably hyperbolic and apocalyptic (they apparently think history began when President Obama took office)…but I digress

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  21. alex said on July 15, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Cooz, I knew some women who used to drop acid vaginally, and the colonials used to take nicotine anally. I should think the urethra would be a fine route for drug taking, especially when the other routes are impacted with passing objects.

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  22. Bill said on July 15, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Deborah, I was born and spent my childhood in Kewanee. I hope you enjoy it. They have some marvelous murals and a huge (several square blocks) furniture store downtown. Unfortunately there will be no basking this weekend.

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  23. Brandon said on July 15, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Rarer still is Hollywood rain, where it’s pouring, but the sun is out….

    We have that quite often in Hilo.

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  24. jcburns said on July 15, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Rural church sign in Tennessee today informed me that “God does not care what your opinion is.” Ah, so many ways to take that apart.

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  25. brian stouder said on July 15, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    That would be the god of Talk Radio, no doubt.

    His earthly personification is the wholly Call Screener

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  26. basset said on July 15, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    “…I knew some women who used to drop acid vaginally…”

    I have indeed led a sheltered existence.

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  27. Little Bird said on July 15, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    We get those localized scattered thunderstorms in NM. I blame the wind patrerns formed by mountains. We’ve already had one today, which I had to walk home from the store in, and there’s another brewing to the northwest. I expect it to at least drop more rain on Santa Fe in next hour or so.

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  28. Scout said on July 15, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Nancy, you are the definitive “Cool Mom.”

    Las Vegas has never held any appeal for me. My daughter lived there for 8 years, though, so I visited a few times. The Strip is notable at night with all the lights, but walk around there during the day and it’s just seedy as hell. The outlying areas are charmless expanses of cookie cutter housing developments, strip malls and chain restaurants. Now that dear daughter has moved away, there is absolutely nothing calling me to ever go back there.

    OT, Bernie Sanders is coming to Phoenix on Saturday; his crowd size is already expected to double Trump’s (he of the story that the Phx Fire Dept let three times the number the space allowed into his event… as if) and they have already moved it to a bigger venue in anticipation of big crowds. I saw pictures of people waiting to get into Trump’s Combover Tour event last weekend and it was quite… diversity free.

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  29. coozledad said on July 15, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Taking LSD through the penis could be dangerous. It would be like introducing it directly into the cerebral cortex. It could make guys want to compare automobiles or ask about each other’s salaries.

    It would also lead to songs like “I had too much to donk last night.”

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  30. Deborah said on July 15, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Scout, the addition to the Phoenix Convention Center shown in the photo in this link was designed by my husband http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/07/15/1402378/-Bernie-moves-Phoenix-Arizona-town-meeting-to-convention-center-campaign-reporting-8-000-RSVPs?detail=facebook.

    Bill, My husband’s uncle had a car dealership in Kewanee for many years. My husband comes from a long line of car dealers, that’s why the playground that we are designing, donated by another uncle has a car theme https://www.facebook.com/brubakerplayground?fref=ts&ref=br_tf. It’s in another small town in Illinois (even smaller than Kewanee). Those Kewanee murals are on our list of things to see.

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  31. Deborah said on July 15, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    I’m at the airport in Albuquerque. I noticed that the Harper Lee novel is all over the place but no T-N Coates anywhere. Gee, why am I not surprised. I suppose it could have sold out yesterday, but I doubt it. Thank goodness I got my copy in Santa Fe yesterday.

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  32. LAMary said on July 15, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Deborah, I really like the way the different shades of sandstone on the convention center refer to the rock formations you see in the southwest. That’s a nice touch.

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  33. Deborah said on July 15, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Here’s another link to the Phoenix Conv Cntr. My husband got to work with a number of really top notch artists who had installations in the public areas of the center. Louis Bourgeois did this sculpture http://www.phoenixconventioncenter.com/venues/phoenix-convention-center/louise-bourgeois.php, it’s gigantic. We didn’t get to meet her because she was quite elderly at the time (in her 90s) and died shortly after that. She was a major artist, her work is in many museums around the world. We got to go to the foundry in Brooklyn where the piece was fabricated. They even asked me for some advice about how to do the lettering on it, since I had experience in architectural signage. We also met and went to the studios of Tom Otterness http://www.tomotterness.net/artworks and Tony Oursler http://www.tonyoursler.com who also had work in the center. Oops, I might have to many links for nn.c.

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  34. Scout said on July 15, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Deborah – that’s cool! Be sure to let me know when you do the ‘hubby’s architecture tour’ in Phoenix.

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  35. Deborah said on July 15, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    I submitted another comment about the Phoenix Conv Cntr, but it’s in moderation because I had too many links in it. so I’ll wait.

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  36. Sherri said on July 15, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    We live at the southern edge of a convergence zone, which can result in storms in our area when nothing much is happening outside the zone: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puget_Sound_Convergence_Zone

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  37. alex said on July 15, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    And not so far from that harmonic convergence zone known as Rajneeshpuram, where it has been known to rain Rolls Royces.

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  38. Judybusy said on July 15, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Deborah, the convention center addition is beautiful. I had little idea Bourgeois lived so long. I first became acquainted with her work in the late 80s and loved her more organic shapes. The playgournd looks like sheer fun!

    We’re headed into a hot and steamy weekend here, after a 73 degree day tomorrow. Summer’s not been too bad this year, heat-wise. So far, just the right amount of rain, too.

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  39. Dexter said on July 15, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Alex? They’re still doing it, apparently.

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  40. susan said on July 16, 2015 at 1:09 am

    Speaking of butts…

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  41. Mcconk said on July 16, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I live near st. Louis and will tell you there is a big problem with bands getting all of their equipment stolen out of cars. Not sure what they will travel with, but they need to be hyper aware and not leave much in the car overnight. Good luck to them!!

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    • nancy said on July 16, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks. They have been drilled over and over on the importance of bringing everything in every night, as well as various other points of personal and automotive safety. But I appreciate the report; I’ll use it to underline the risk.

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