The interregnum.

Another Christmas in the books. When Kate was younger, I used to think of the Three Hurdles of Autumn — Halloween, birthdays and the holidays. By this point, with Christmas behind us and only the new year and tree-dismantling ahead, I’d feel like a racehorse halfway down the stretch.

It’s not as grueling anymore, so I’m enjoying these last few days. It helps that I don’t have to work, that the past year was a good one, that 2015 brought only the normal wear and tear to me and mine. Still, I have this pipe dream of organizing the house before 1/1/16. We’ll see if I can at least get a couple of rooms done.

Meanwhile, I hope you all got the presents you wanted, and a few you didn’t know you wanted. We all did just fine here.

With the 30 Days of Abstention ahead, I’m wondering if I should go whole-hog and try a Whole 30 in January, too. A friend of mine posted about it on Facebook, saying it got his pre diabetic blood-sugar numbers down in a shockingly short period of time, but I dunno — a whole month without bread, pasta, rice, sugar, dairy AND alcohol? Talk about a shock to the system. On the other hand, if I’m already going to be booze-free… What’s the harm of trying?

Never mind the self-improvement for now. How about the weekend’s pleasures?

Alan got stuck working Christmas Day, so Kate and I took ourselves to “The Big Short,” which I can’t recommend highly enough. Hide all the weaponry in the house, however, lest you be tempted to go out and knife random investment bankers afterward. It’s very entertaining and does a tremendous job explaining some frankly impenetrable financial instruments, although there were moments when I was at sea. It didn’t matter — the narrative carries you through the rough parts, and the fourth-wall breaking is a stroke of genius. Go. You won’t regret it.

Then we came home and watched “Inside Out” on iTunes, and that was equally fine, although in an entirely different kind of way.

This is pretty much all I want to do on this break — lie on the couch, let entertainment wash over me and clean closets.

A little bloggage to start the week, whether you’re working or not:

The worst and stupidest health claims of the year, kicking off with none other than Gwinnie Paltrow:

Gwyneth Paltrow told women to steam clean their vaginas. Don’t do this.

OK, I won’t!

For you Michiganians, a particularly harsh take on the legislature’s year.

And in the Freep, a lovely farewell from one columnist to another, who happens to be his wife. (And isn’t leaving anything other than her job.)

More laziness in the week ahead. Enjoy yours, eh?

Posted at 8:08 pm in Movies, Same ol' same ol' |
 

42 responses to “The interregnum.”

  1. brian stouder said on December 27, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    I was watching this fellow speak of his Detroit book on C-SPAN earlier, and it might just pull me in…

    http://www.amazon.com/Once-Great-City-Detroit-Story/dp/1476748381

    Aside from that, Pam has me scrubbing the damned toilets, and I say she should absolutelt ignore the Paltrow prescription…!

  2. brian stouder said on December 27, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    btw, it took me three clicks to get to this article –

    http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-beauty/news/gwyneth-paltrow-gets-vagina-steam-at-spa-preaches-its-virtues-on-goop-2015291

    which Gwynn-splains the steamy vagina thing at least a little bit. Still, as Dick Martin (on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In) used to say, she loses me at the bakery

    an excerpt:

    The lifestyle guru, 42, is famous for offering up recipes, beauty tips, and covetable yet outrageously expensive products, but this week she took it a step further when she preached the importance of getting so-called V-Steams — a spa treatment that cleanses a customer’s lady parts. Writing about a high-end Santa Monica retreat called Tikkun Holistic Spa, Paltrow spills, “The real golden ticket here is the Mugworth V-Steam: You sit on what is essentially a mini-throne, and a combination of infrared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus, et al.”

    Sources tell Us Weekly that Paltrow truly practices what she preaches and visited Tikkun Spa just last week for a V-Steam. She followed up the cleansing treatment with a full body scrub, massage, and facial.

    Mugworth? It sounds like the place is run by Harry Potter (or else Lord Voldemort); and it’s $50 a pop (so to speak) – or 5 treatments for $200…

    (Presumably we’re not really talking about steam here, right?)

  3. Julie Robinson said on December 27, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Wow, one can think of all kinds of conscious uncoupling jokes, but I’ll be tasteful.

    I’m kinda curious how the Whole 30 differs from other celeb diets, etc. That’s some major food groups to be left out.

    End of year ramps way up for a few weeks for us financial drones. On top of that I’ve been trying to make arrangements for my sister, who fell and broke her knee two months ago. It’s too long and boring to go into, but it’s been very frustrating since she’s been totally passive to the point of not even making phone calls to personnel. I’ve had to do it all from a distance, and I’m so relieved that my kids are there right now. By the end we’re going to get her retired and moved to Orlando where they can keep an eye on her and get her the help she needs.

  4. Dorothy said on December 27, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Twins! We saw The Big Short today and your comments describe it succinctly. And I got Inside Out (by request) for Christmas. My boss’s son in law works for Pixar. I’m hoping someday in the near future we can watch it with a grandchild. I’ll be sure to watch it by myself (or with Mike) before that.

  5. Sherri said on December 27, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    The book version of The Big Short was quite good. I’m always surprised at what Michael Lewis books get turned into movies. I almost never read his books and think “this would make a great movie”, but he’s had three books turned into successful movies. Meanwhile, the book of his that seems the most movie-ready, Liar’s Poker, has not been made into a movie.

    We saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens last weekend. It was a high production values fan-fiction version of the original Star Wars. If what you were really wanting was a version of Star Wars in which Luke was a girl and Darth Vader was an angsty boy and they had a kick-ass light saber duel, then this fills the bill. If you were looking for an original story, then why were you going to to a JJ Abrams movie?

  6. Sherri said on December 27, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    The Whole 30 thing just looks nuts to me. I suppose there’s more information in their book, but their justifications for excluding all grains and almost all legumes is basically “because argle-bargle” or the rough equivalent thereof. They mention science, but don’t actually show any science.

    It looks like Paleo, only ever so much moreso. Personally, I’ve never figured out how to do any weight training without eating carbs and still have any energy.

  7. Connie said on December 27, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    I also got Inside Out, ordered and wrapped it myself to make sure.

  8. alex said on December 27, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Whole 30? I’m not ready to destroy my relationship with food, much less alcohol. Hell, I don’t even want to give up my flings with those friends with benefits, Nick Oteen and Mary Jane, even if I only get to flirt with them in bars.

    But I need to start sometime because life’s kicking my ass. I’m 54, can pass for 44 with the lipids oozing out of me, and feel like 84 when I bend over to tie my shoes.

  9. Dexter said on December 28, 2015 at 3:45 am

    Bad stuff is hard to give up. A friend, sharpest mind of any factory worker I ever met, was having blood pressure issues, went to his doctor, and reported of his visit to us, his crew in the union room. “Doc changed my meds around, and when I asked him if I should cut down on the smokes he said no, that would be too much of a shock to my system.” And so he continued on with his habit…believe this or not, he smoked six packs of Camel filters every day, this before the smoking bans. I joked that I would change doctors right away, but everyone else bought the B.S. and drank that Kool-Aid.
    A short time later, I remember it well, it was the day of the 1987 stock market crash, the smoker had a massive heart attack but survived another 24 years. I have wondered, do you suppose that doctor actually told him that complete nonsense , to keep huffing down 120 cigarettes a day? The only other person I ever heard of who smoked that much was Jackie Gleason, who burned through six packs a day as well. http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20096724,00.html
    I would not like giving up toast with my eggs and coffee.
    Once I did try giving up all sugar for a month. I was lost and headachy. Good luck with the no-booze for a month. I did that in September , 1981. Easy-peasy, even as a pal and I rode the longest Amtrak train since WWII from Cincinnati to Washington, D.C. for Solidarity Day, just after Reagan fired P.A.T.C.O. (air traffic controllers union workers). That was one hell of a boozed-up train-ridin’ clientele, believe me. It was just before the bottled water craze hit and I remember drinking soda pop until I couldn’t stand it anymore. To celebrate the fact I wasn’t an alkie ( I had just PROVED it, dammitt) , I remember with great clarity, at midnight, October 1, I ordered a Stroh’s and the race was back on. False positive, as I found out I had proved not a goddamned thing. Eleven years later I figured it out, finally. I get this in 21 hours: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj4_KqJlf7JAhWENiYKHS2xBcEQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fpin%2F89720217549716012%2F&psig=AFQjCNHVCVkwZK1cjrfm9RRN5Ci0-G3LyA&ust=1451378639200598

  10. Dexter said on December 28, 2015 at 3:51 am

    (sorry both links are defective post#9…the first was a story-bio of Jackie Gleason and the second was supposed to be a picture of a sobriety coin, 23 years commemorated)

  11. David C. said on December 28, 2015 at 6:39 am

    Other than cutting out sugar, which essentially means cutting out most processed foods, Whole 30 is a load of crap. It’s “Wheat Belly” and other paleo diets with a different hook. Any diet that turns it’s nose up at a perfectly buttered baguette isn’t for me. It’s a dietary cilice for people daft enough to slap down thirty hard-earned dollars for another book to dust on their diet book shelf.

  12. Connie said on December 28, 2015 at 7:16 am

    I lost more than 60 pounds this year, the first 40 while in a wheelchair and the rest of it while barely able to walk. Diet? Dietician designed counting carbs and high protein. Helped by husband and caregiver, the diet nazi.

    Exercise? Wheelchair leg strengthening exercises and wheelchair push ups.

    So the year was three months on leave at home with wheelchair, then up and out with four months in the evil orthotic boot, then four months and still counting with a medical shoe and brace. When those come off at home I am back in the wheelchair. I still can’t drive.

    If your store doesn’t provide mobility carts I haven’t shopped there this year.

    I was really looking forward to ConFusion, the Detroit area science fiction convention being held in my neighborhood next month. I have just learned that the site does Not have mobility carts available but will let my handicapped assistant register for half price. I would pay big if I asked my husband to go with me. I think I will save those points for ALA in Orlando in June.

  13. Jolene said on December 28, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Connie, that’s outrageous. Seems unethical if not illegal to charge a person present only to assist a disabled attended even half a registration fee. Any higher powers that you can appeal to?

  14. Julie Robinson said on December 28, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Congratulations on the weight loss, Connie, though I know that wasn’t the way you wanted to do it.

    My sister has had mobility issues for years and we’ve learned how many places accessibility is just lip service. Like Connie, she can’t shop without a mobility cart. Last time we got together we searched for an accessible hotel, and the room had a high-wall tub she couldn’t get in and out of safely. I wonder if she’ll ever drive again, since it’s her right knee.

    Right now we’re searching for Orlando apartments that are accessible and coming up short. Around here there’s a whole chain of senior apartments with wide doors, lever door handles, no steps at all. Mom lives in one and adores it, after coming from a two-story house with basement laundry. She was even able to pay a bit extra and have a walk-in tub with seat built in.

    We baby boomers are needing these places already and there aren’t enough.

    And BTW, Broadway has recently welcomed its FIRST actor in a wheelchair.

  15. nancy said on December 28, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Here’s the thing about Whole30: It’s not carb-free (potatoes are OK), it’s not sugar-free (fruit is OK), but it is *added* sugar- and *processed* carb-free, which interests me. I’ve been consciously cutting down on sugar for a while, and have noticed I’m far more sensitive to how much is randomly thrown into pretty much everything.

    What I’m not crazy about: The dairy-free part. I have no sensitivity to dairy, and the only thing that would make such restrictions palatable would be to be able to snack on some string cheese from time to time. And the grain-free stuff doesn’t thrill me, either, if only because it’s SO HARD to live life without bread.

    But I figure I can take it the way you take any difficult process — a day at a time. It may turn out to be a Whole Day for me, who knows. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    What intrigues me about it: My sister had some health issues this year, and her doctor put her on a version of it. She lost 20 pounds, boom. And my friend’s testimony about what it did for his blood-sugar numbers was startling, although again, I have no problems there.

    If I can come out of Whole Whatever eating way less sugar and maybe 50 percent less bread? I’d be happy.

  16. Deborah said on December 28, 2015 at 9:57 am

    My philosophy about diets is that you don’t have to stick to them exactly. It helps of course if you can, but every little bit helps. I don’t have much of a problem losing weight, I tend to gain an extra 5 lbs or so and then my jeans get uncomfortable (like now) so I reduce my calorie intake for a while. I still drink cream in my coffee while I’m reducing because I like my coffee with cream, period.

    We’re in Southern Arizona now, I think about 20 miles from Mexico. The closest town is Tubac, but we’re really out in the middle of nowhere, it’s very beautiful. We had a horrendous trip getting here. We spent the night before in Las Cruces, NM and it snowed like mad. In the morning it took us 2 hours to drive 20 miles! It was scary as hell, Interstate 10 was a solid sheet of ice that whole time. Once we got through that it was smooth sailing.

  17. Jeff Borden said on December 28, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I’d be happy to start the new year without bronchitis, which I’ve now had for more than four weeks.

    We enjoyed all the pleasures flying on the holidays can offer yesterday as we attempted to get from West Palm Beach to O’Hare after spending eight days with Johanna’s brother’s family in Fort Pierce. Our 5:05 p.m. flight was already moved back to 6:35 when we arrived at the airport. Buy the time we got through security, it was 7:45, and then 9:45 and then 11:30 and then 12:30 and then 2 a.m. Johanna read while I tried to catch some ZZZZs on the floor. At 1 a.m., the lone American Airlines staffer at PBI announced the crew had worked too many hours and while the aircraft was at the gate, we weren’t going anywhere. We were rebooked on a flight for 6:30 p.m. tonight, then set off to find somewhere to sleep. We got to a LaQuinta –which by the time we arrived looked to us like the Taj Mahal– about 2 a.m.

    I’m pretty sure we will never again fly over the holidays. The airlines overbook to an egregious extent and when they fail to deliver services, the customer doesn’t even get an “I’m sorry,” much less a refund, a hotel voucher, etc. American Airlines customer service rivals Comcast.

    We felt especially sorry for the heavily pregnant woman with two small kids in tow. She was reduced to tears at the news. It made me stop my whining, at least momentarily. Travel by air always sucks. I can’t imagine how much more it sucks with little ones along for the ride.

    Oh, well. I’m sure President Trump will have some ideas on how to fix this when he is elected.

  18. Connie said on December 28, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Had one of those airport experiences once Jeff, your comment about the pregnant woman with small kids reminds me. After several hours waiting for a delayed flight I turned to the poor woman next to me and said “Give me that baby and you can run around with the other kids.” She cheerfully handed her baby to this complete stranger and took the other two for a concourse run.

  19. David C. said on December 28, 2015 at 10:28 am

    But as they say, the plural of anecdote isn’t data. Any diet that eliminates whole food groups for no other reason than they say they’re bad doesn’t seem all that helpful save medical problems like celiac that require it. I have a paleo wife, so believe me, I’ve heard all the nonsense about how like poison grain is and how it’s making us all fat. The thing is, it isn’t. Asians eat far more rice than we do and Europeans eat more wheat than we do and they’re not as fat as we are. The next argument is that we have use awful strains of grain that they don’t use and that those are the culprits. That’s wrong too. They import a good proportion of their grain from the US and the strains used are not appreciably different either. Eliminating milk is no different. They say we weren’t evolved to drink milk, or grain for that matter, as if evolution has somehow stopped. But most northern Europeans have evolved the ability to digest milk. So there again, if you’re lactose intolerant, don’t drink milk. Look at any popular diet of the last who know how many years, be it grapefruit, South Beach, paleo, The Zone, Atkins, or whatever. You would think they had solved everything. All have their amazing success anecdotes with remarkably better blood test numbers and weight loss. Yet they all have fallen by the wayside. More often than not, from what I see, is that making as much of your food from scratch is the key. I know how hard that is for busy people. But look at the added sugars in pre-made food. It takes more time and effort to make, for instance, spaghetti sauce from fresh or canned tomatoes, but it tastes a lot better and it isn’t so sickly sweet as the commercially prepared version.

  20. Judybusy said on December 28, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I’m in David C’s camp as far as all the diet fads.

    Deborah, glad you made it through that storm! and i’m with you as far as haivng at least 1/2 and 1/2 in my coffee.

    Jeff B., your story reminds that our local Black Lives Matter protested on 12/23, beginning at the Mall of America, then moving onto the airport via light rail. They blocked traffic and shut security down for an hour, I think at the smaller terminal. I thought it was a really dumb move, likely to alienate a lot of folks. I’m all for interrupting the consumerist madness, but messing with airport was a step too far for me.

  21. Sherri said on December 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    What David C. said.

    You can lose weight in the short term on almost any diet. Time and time again, though, research has shown that these diet fads don’t result in long term change. The major way to lose weight is to eat less, move more, and the rest is playing at the margins. As you get older, that doesn’t work as well, and some of us aren’t as blessed in the genetic lottery as others, which also makes it harder. My husband hit the genetic jackpot when it comes to weight gain. He’s probably within 10 lbs of what he weighed when I met him, and he has never paid any particular attention to his diet, and his weight doesn’t seem to change whether he’s exercising regularly or not.

    I didn’t win that lottery, but I try not to focus on weight gain or loss. I exercise because it’s part of the set of things I need to do to keep the depression at bay. I don’t drink because I can’t stop, the alcohol feeds the depression and the depression feeds the alcohol and it’s an ugly spiral. I eat food that I enjoy, because another one of the things I do to keep the depression at bay is practice enjoyment, which is not a natural state of being for me. So, I don’t feel guilty about the sugar in my chai tea, because I enjoy it, it’s a ritual for me, and anybody who tells me I should give it up because sugar is bad needs to understand that sometimes, other things are worse.

  22. Sue said on December 28, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    It’s been a busy few days for us.
    We co-hosted the family Christmas with my daughter, at her house. It was fun but we were a little preoccupied because…
    The next day was my daughter’s wedding, at our tiny family cabin ‘up north’. 45 people and we’ve been anxiously watching the weather for the past two weeks. Outside wedding ceremony which included a ‘best dog’. Sadly, no snowcover but at least the weather was seasonal rather than frigid. Drinks and snacks outside by a fire and a hot cocoa and mulled wine bar with snacks inside. Followed by dinner in shifts (seating only for about 25, but everyone had the right attitude). Caterer was an hour away (not much on offer in the northwoods, this wasn’t the first time they’ve catered this far away and they took it in stride). They arrived on time with food that was so good that literally every guest commented on it. If you ever use Renard’s in Green Bay consider having salmon as one of your entrees; people really liked the Cornish hens but they loved the salmon. Twinkly white lights and candles everywhere, inside and out, and a joining of two friendly families.
    Two days later, storm warnings for sleet, ice, wind and several inches of snow. We were very lucky weatherwise, I can’t imagine what would have happened if this mess had come on Saturday.
    I’m not a winter person so I was surprised how many people stayed outside partying by the fire. They seemed to be having the best time to be honest.

  23. David C. said on December 28, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Maybe we need get to something everyone agrees on. That Gwyneth is a fucking nut. Steam cleaning a uterus? Oy. What makes people think all the warm, wet places in their bodies are icky and need to be cleaned, sorry, cleansed? But telling a colon cleanser they’re full of shit and that’s OK is near impossible and best not tried.

  24. Dexter said on December 28, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Amen Sherri. The one thing in the whole wide world that breaks down any imposed or built-in inhibitions for me is German chocolate cake. I love that stuff and if I can get near it, I gotsta have it. So far I haven’t gotten into any restaurant or domestic fights or arguments from having a slice with my varied coffees.

    Jeff B: from Pearl Harbor Day until I saw my doctor I had steady bronchitis or lung infection or some-damn-thing… doc listened to my back & chest and ‘scripted a Z-Pak for me. By day 2 , better…by day 5…gone. If you have what I had, Z-Pak may be the ticket. I hate it when instead of free-breathing I go around wheezing and coughing. Best of luck. One inch of ice forecast today in Chicagoland/Calumet area. Hope you and the missus are home-sweet-home now.

  25. Jeff Borden said on December 28, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Dexter,

    I went through a nine-day z-pac followed by a regimen of steroid doses intended to help my lungs recover. All the steroids did was deliver some of the most upsetting nightmares I have ever experienced. I cannot take a deep breath without coughing. If not for Nyquil, I would be sleepless in Chicago –or West Palm Beach, which is where I sit, hoping my early evening flight home has not been canceled.

    Aside from a vicious sinus infection in the early 1990s, I would say this is the lengthiest illness of my adult life.

  26. Heather said on December 28, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Trying to figure out how the steam into your vagina would get to your uterus. It’s not like there’s an unobstructed tunnel to your insides from down there.

    I’m trying to drink less, that’s my plan for 2016. I’m not a lush but I do like wine, and I have gotten into the habit of having a glass or two every night, and I think I’d do better to keep that to just a few nights a week. Plus I just can’t metabolize it like I used to. As far as weight loss, for me the only thing that works is just eating less, which sometimes means going to bed a tiny bit hungry.

  27. Brandon said on December 28, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    @David C. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW4sfzdTmSY&quot;The Nutty Professor mentioned colon cleansing. NSTWWE (Not safe to watch while eating.)

  28. Heather said on December 28, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Oh and Jeff, I sympathize. I developed a nasty cough on vacation that had my allergist very worried, as I have asthma and my lung capacity was noticeably reduced. It only took about three weeks to clear up but it was a little scary.

  29. Joe K said on December 28, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Holiday air travel? Charter, expensive yes but it’s worth it, but if you need to cattle car it, take some advise, try and catch the first flight out in the morning, chances are the first plane out was the last plane in and it will be at the gate with a fresh crew, much rather get up early and get going then spend the day worrering about my flight, fly thanksgiving day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, no body else is, be pro active, if weather looks bad see if you can rebook from home for the next day, go get a hotel it’s worth the $100 bucks to not sit at the airport for 12 hrs, add a buffer day coming home, and this is the best advise, be extra nice to the ticket agent, I have been behind screaming people that got nothing no voucher or anything, then walked up to the same agent myself smiled was pleasant apologized for the asshole in front of me and walked away with a hotel, meal, and bump to first class.
    Pilot Joe

  30. ROGirl said on December 28, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Eating less helps, not snacking helps. Shopping the outer perimeters of the grocery store and skipping most of the inner aisles helps.

    Uterus cleansing? Hunh?

  31. alex said on December 28, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    I’ve had the same experience, Joe — those people get yelled at all day for things that are out of their control, so being nice may get you the things that are within their control. I’ve been bumped to first class, had hotel vouchers, even an upgraded rental car. But I know better than to fly during the holidays anymore. Inevitably there will be a missed connection because of delays. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve arrived late and had to rush all the way to the other side of the airport for my connecting flight only to miss it, particularly at the Atlanta airport on my way to Florida.

    The last diet I tried was Atkins and it sure did melt off the pounds in record time, but it’s an extremely unhealthy diet to be on for any length of time, especially if you already have hypercholesterolemia. Too bad they can’t figure out a way to self-induce depression. It’s even better for weight loss than Atkins and probably not any unhealthier.

  32. Dian Kim said on December 28, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Jeff @ 25;

    My sympathies to you as well. I’ve had the same thing. Last time, my doc gave me an inhaler and then later added what I can only describe as an extender. It was sorta egg shaped, 6ish inches long. Had a place at one end to attach the inhaler. The other end had a mouthpiece.
    The idea was to squirt a puff of the inhaler, which went in the chamber. At the same time, you inhale. There was some kind of gizmo that buzzed/rattled if you breathed too fast, too slow. It helped deliver the medicine to the right place in my bronchi/lungs, if I understand correctly.
    The tightness/wheezy eased and I was able to begin to breathe deeply without coughing.
    I could tell within 24hrs I was getting better, and proceeded to continue to get well from there.
    I was gobsmacked that such a simple thing made such a difference. (I’d already had the inhaler to use).

    Heck, it was even cheap.

  33. Dexter said on December 28, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Damn. Corky Fries has passed away. He was Ken Fries’ dad…Ken was or is the Allen County, Indiana, sheriff. Corky was the best teacher and best human being I ever met. It bites hard to lose a former and always mentor, 84 years old or not. 🙁

  34. basset said on December 28, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Went to the spa’s site to see what this steam device looked like, seems you could DIY one without much effort. Wooden box with a hole cut in the top, maybe a little padding, vaporizer inside, sit on it bare-ass with a shower curtain wrapped around your waist to hold the steam in and you’d be all set. Stick whatever herbs and stuff you want in the steamer, I’d say go with beef bouillon cubes.

  35. brian stouder said on December 28, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Basset wins the thread, hands down!

  36. Charlotte said on December 28, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    The sugar thing is interesting — I don’t eat much normally, but the holidays seem to have been a Month of Cookies. By Christmas day I was really sick of sugar. Jeans are showing it. Went to the orthopedist this morning for my wonky ankles and it looks like my new year will include some surgery — he seems to feel it’s all fix-able and worth doing now before the bone spurs and arthritis get worse. Also, tendon repair. I’d be more nervous but learned a lot from my dear departed Owen-dog, he of the wrecked achilles tendon. If it works, it means I’m back to actual hiking and skiing again, which I really haven’t been able to do for the last couple of years.
    Which will also help the jeans fit better …

  37. Jill said on December 28, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Dexter, congratulations on 23 years. That’s fantastic.

    Jeff B., I hope you got home. My parents are meant to come up to Chicago tomorrow from PBI and I’m expecting problems after today’s cancellations and delays. West Palm is a pleasant airport but there aren’t enough options when flights get cancelled.

  38. Dexter said on December 29, 2015 at 1:28 am

    Thanks, Jill. And the Suncoast used to be like you folks describe. If you fly after noon out of Sarasota, for example, and the plane is tagged for repairs, you are finished.

  39. Sherri said on December 29, 2015 at 2:46 am

    Dexter, congrats on 23 years. Lots of respect.

    Sue, congrats on your daughter’s wedding! Glad everything went well.

    Charlotte, hope the doc can fix everything. Getting old is a pain! I just started with a new personal trainer, and he’s really working on flexibility in my shoulders and hips. There was one exercise I was really having difficulty with on my dominant side, and I couldn’t figure out why, until I finally remembered that I had torn my hamstring at the insertion point about 10 years ago. It’s hard to keep up with the list of insults to various body parts if you live long enough.

  40. Dexter said on December 29, 2015 at 3:48 am

    Preach it sister…I see Ringo prancing on stage and running around like he’s 30, but he’s 75, and I’m much younger (born at opposite ends of the 1940s) , and I inherited this what I call early onset old age, and I can’t even navigate without a cane or a walker, and a year ago had to quit bicycling which disappointed me. This spring of 2016 I am going to trade in a couple of my bicycles and get one of those bikes which I call off-set…maybe I can feel safe on one of them. It’s the dismounting and getting walking again that bothers me…my bike guy swears by these for elderly heavy riders, which is me, now. http://blog.supersizedbikes.com/tag/comfortable-bicycle/

  41. Suzanne said on December 29, 2015 at 7:50 am

    I’ve been doing some yoga to try to offset old age, but I don’t do it every day, which I should. I am amazed at how much better I feel after a half hour or so. I wish I had been practicing some sort of yoga for the past 30 year because I know I’d be in a lot better shape, but yoga studios weren’t around in my area back then, obviously no YouTube to find routines yourself, and we were being told by too many people that it was a Satanic laced religion & to avoid it at all costs [sound the alarm!!]

    One thing that has surprised me about aging is that as the years go by, I find it harder & harder to really give a darn about so many things. My new motto seems to be “Meh. That’s life”

  42. David Edelstein said on December 29, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Glad you agree about Big Short and Inside Out. Re: steamed vaginas, they’re yummy, like har gow shrimp dim sum.

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