An agenda full of OMG.

I was just looking at my work and personal calendars for the next month, and realized it’s entirely possible I will not have ONE SPARE MINUTE to do anything I actually want to do before I take a two-week overseas vacation. Two big projects to finish at work, plus getting the house ready to host our house/dogsitter for two weeks — which is to say, cleaning this dump up and jotting down the million notes on garbage day, laundry machines, etc., as well as hoping the air conditioning doesn’t pick that fortnight to go on the fritz.

There may be gaps here. I’m always saying that, but this time I mean it, dammit.

I may be feeling surly because I’m working my way through this NYT profile of Ben Rhodes, the president’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, which seems to boil down to speechwriter/Twitter virtuoso, and it’s stirring up a range of emotions and random thoughts, among them:

1) I’m glad people this smart are working for us.
2) I should write more than this stupid blog and a million emails a day. Write-write, like some fiction. Or whatever. This guy is inspiring.
3) Fuck, what if Trump wins? Who will have this job then? Do you think that person will have even read a novel in their lifetime, much less aspired to write one?

I probably had about nine million more, truth be told. It’s a long piece, but absolutely worth your time.

As was this much lighter, fluffier Table for Three feature, with the president and Brian Cranston shooting the shit with an NYT reporter, on the subject of…well, on a lot of subjects. Ostensibly it’s pegged to Cranston playing LBJ in a new movie, but there’s lots of good stuff in there, like this, from the prez:

One thing you have to keep in mind is that I’m probably the most recorded, filmed and photographed person in history up to now. Because I’m the first president who came along in the digital age. Every leader is a funnel for the culture he lives in. And despite the exotic name and weird background, I grew up as an ordinary middle-class kid. The cultural touch points that shaped you are the same ones that shaped me. And the fact that that was true until I was 45 probably differentiates me from most presidents. For somebody like L.B.J., who fastened onto a political career early, it probably changed the way he experienced culture and presented himself. It never felt like a burden to me. What’s felt like a burden is seeing how politics has changed in ways that make it harder for Washington to work. There are a set of traditions, a constitutional design that allows someone like L.B.J. or F.D.R. to govern. And when those norms break down, the machinery grinds to a halt. That’s when you feel burdened. When you say, “Here’s what we need to do.” I’ve made my argument; the majority of the population agrees with me. Yet we’re confronted with endless filibusters and polarization that forbids us from getting stuff done.

The luxury to absorb all these long reads was one detail of my Mothers Day. I was served blueberry pancakes and a bloody mary and then left to my own devices, so I pretty much frittered the day down to its fringes, with a little bike ride and a big dog walk and a mental organization of the month ahead.

At the end of which: Iceland. Still hard to believe.

So, with that sort of week ahead? Best hop to it. But first, “Game of Thrones.”

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

70 responses to “An agenda full of OMG.”

  1. Deborah said on May 9, 2016 at 12:54 am

    Nancy, I can’t wait to hear about your Iceland experience when you get back.

    One thing I’ve noticed about living in a smaller space is that it’s very zen like. By that I mean it takes very thoughtful and precise movements to do the most ordinary thing. Of course right now it’s compounded by construction going on around us. But take having a shower in the morning, for example: I have to carefully select my clothing for the day and think about exactly where I place my towel, because the bathroom is microscopic (covered in mirrors to make it disorienting). Anyway everything has to have its exact and specific location or it throws everything off, multitasking is impossible which is a good thing. I have a Japanese friend who practices zen and she says about herself, “when I cook, I cook”. Which I never really understood until moving into this space that is 2/3 of the space we had before (we went from 1,200sf down to 800sf in Chicago). Our space in Abiquiu will be even tinier. It is a good exercise in being efficient and minimal in every way.

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  2. Sherri said on May 9, 2016 at 1:19 am

    I don’t know whether it will live up to the play or not, but the movie Cranston is doing us the HBO version of All The Way, a play I’ve seen at OSF and Seattle Rep before its run on Broadway. I loved the play, so I hope the movie is good.

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  3. Dexter said on May 9, 2016 at 3:53 am

    Deborah, I always say that when I strike gold in them thar hills, I will not build a new Versailles like “Queen of Versailles” stars Jackie and David Siegel are building in Orlando (90,000 sq. feet) , I’ll buy and build simplicity, first class everything in a small efficient home. Is it just ego, a wildly insane ego trip that drives the Siegels to build the largest home in America? Some billionaires , well, maybe they have too many billions.

    Spoiler alert from G.O.T.____________ Last week John Snow was resurrected and tonight we found out where he went and what he experienced while dead a week: nowhere and nothing, nothing at all…so much for this being a fantasy show. Sheesh…he could have enraptured us with any sort of bullshit, but instead, he just told the real truth. Oh well, I don’t know what the hell is going on anymore anyway, because I dropped out when the first dragons appeared, maybe around S3 or S4. I must have skipped at least two seasons, but even though I’m lost, it’s still entertaining stuff for an hour. But back to reality, even though I now avoid watching all the weed shows on Viceland network, the other programming just blows me away…reporting on insanely violent crowds in Serbia at football games, poverty’s people living in Bogota’s sewers, embedded reporter- with Dearborn Muslim family during all of Ramadan, Detroit rap scene, more and more.

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  4. David C. said on May 9, 2016 at 5:13 am

    When I retire, I would like to go small. I like the idea of living with only the bare minimum. A he who owns little is little owned sort of thing. I don’t know if my wife likes the idea as much as I do, but I think she’s warming to it.

    Adding to yesterday’s veepstakes posts, I’m thinking Al Franken. He’s from a good liberal from a state with a Democratic Governor to appoint his successor and he still has the comedy chops to cut tRump into little orange ribbons. I think he would have a lot of appeal to both young people, and to middle aged guys like me. He’s also smart as hell and would debate rings around whatever lout or loutess the Rs pick.

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  5. Alan Stamm said on May 9, 2016 at 7:21 am

    1.) Blueberry flapjacks and Bloody Marys shouldn’t be just for Mother’s Day.

    2.) In a WaPo take on the Rhodes profile, Carlos Lozada wallops NYT writer David Samuels for “an uncritical, almost credulous approach.”

    * Headline: “Why the Ben Rhodes profile in the New York Times Magazine is just gross”

    * Taste: “It takes a special kind of journalist to quote his own chuckle.”

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 9, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Contra “stupid blog” — your body of work here stacks up well against a great many writers, and it’s something that you’re putting out there (what we used to call “being published”), so it’s a notch or two above stupid and way more than just a string of comments on a social media platform. Give yourself more credit for this material . . . mainly because I think that angle of consideration is more likely to motivate you to try a different level of authorship than just thinking you’re spinning your wheels.

    And if this is what just spinning your wheels looks like, well . . . anyhow, keep writing in whatever format and most of us promise to read it. This platform just makes it easier for most of us to find it. But if David Simon hires you to help script his next series, we’ll understand if the blog goes on extended hiatus.

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  7. BigHank53 said on May 9, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Ms. 53 and I lived in a 700 square foot house for five years. If we didn’t enjoy bulky hobbies (bicycles, hiking, power-tools) we’d still be there. It certainly puts a damper on the internal packrat: it doesn’t matter how cheap that juicer is if there’s no cabinet room to store it. Do you really want it so much that the electric kettle gets the boot?

    Nancy, if you’re all that envious of novelists, go write one. Go write a bad one. Steal a plot, slap a fresh coat of paint on some stock characters, and just pound out the 80,000 words. Everyone’s first novel is usually garbage. So what? You’ll either decide to write another one, and get better, or you’ll be able to stop pining for that Great American Novel that must be around here somewhere.

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  8. ROGirl said on May 9, 2016 at 9:29 am

    No GOT spoilers!

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  9. Connie said on May 9, 2016 at 10:05 am

    My township has several new subdivisions going in, great big houses on little tiny lots, selling for around $500,000. I would prefer half the house and twice the privacy.

    DTE (Detroit Edison) has been totally trashing my green tree filled neighborhood with tree cutters. Our green leafy wooded dead end is now a stone covered hill. They warned us they were going to get serious and they have. They have yet to get to the back lot line which is also on the list. Not looking forward to the results.

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  10. alex said on May 9, 2016 at 10:13 am

    I haven’t read the Rhodes profile yet, but I sure know a hit piece when I see one, and I suspect that Carlos Lozada has a raging hardon for David Samuels.

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  11. Deborah said on May 9, 2016 at 11:44 am

    This is going to be a long comment, really it’s asking professionals here for expert advice. So feel free to skip over this if you aren’t interested or don’t have any advice to give.

    What I’m interested in knowing is how to organize a “library”. We have a considerable amount of books and it took us a day and a half to organize them the way we have it, but it seems illogical to me now and I feel like it needs to be redone and I want to do it right because I don’t want to have to do it ever again.

    We have a few categories of books: fiction (including novels, short story collections and poetry), biographies, essays (this includes history, like books about the Vietnam war which my husband collects), art books, architecture books.

    The problem is that there is a lot of overlap. For instance we have a lot of biographies about artists and architects, and we have art and architecture books about those same artist that have photos and descriptions of their work but they’re not full blown biographies. Does it make more sense to put all of the books together about a particular architect or artist, so all of the Frank Lloyd Wright ones would be together no matter what they are (biography or architecture book?). Which is really confusing because we even have some novels about FLW.

    So the other thing that is questionable to me is that there are a number of shelving units butted up together side by side, in groups of two in our spatial arrangement. When I’m alphabetizing the fiction by authors do I do it vertically or horizontally? In other words the top shelf on the left bookcase unit would have A’s and B’s and the shelf below that would have C’s and D’s until you get to the bottom shelf of that bookcase unit, then move up to the right book case unit and align say the L’s and M’s on that top shelf moving down that bookcase unit to the bottom shelf having the Y’s and Z’s? Or do you go across horizontally so the top shelf of the left bookcase unit would have the A’s and B’s and the top bookshelf on the right bookcase unit would have the C’s and D’s and on down that way?

    I’m getting really picky about how to arrange things, maybe a little too OCD? But as I said before, it’s a small space and it’s kind of like composing a rubrics cube when we do anything around here. Once we get it all set up I don’t want to have to search and search for things that I can’t remember where I stored.

    I’d appreciate any library advice. Thanks.

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  12. St Bitch said on May 9, 2016 at 11:44 am

    The Lozada piece is a grain of salt with which to season the Samuels edible Ben Rhodes feast…one I consumed with relish. It does seem that the master of shaping the Obama foreign policy narrative will have been finessing the message he wants to be conveyed in an article profiling himself.

    After he came off the campaign trail and was inaugurated, Obama seemed to have lost his public speaking brilliance in those wooden wonky webcasts he conducted. Looks like we have the the Obama-Rhodes meld to thank for the re-emergence of the beloved charismatic storyteller.

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  13. Deborah said on May 9, 2016 at 11:47 am

    That’s Rubik’s cube, damn auto correct.

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  14. St Bitch said on May 9, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Deborah…a quick unprofessional take on your dilemma. Separate coffee-table size books from the rest so they can be shelved together. Use Dewey decimal for both groups so that fiction is alpha by author, biographies are together (although you could alpha those by subject)…etc. It seems like trying to organize by subject is a time-consuming project you may want to avoid.

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  15. Jolene said on May 9, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Deborah, I’m interested to see what the librarians have to say too, but, while we are waiting for them to weigh in, let me offer a non-expert opinion, which you are, of course, completely free to ignore.

    Here goes: It’s your library. Organize it in whatever way makes sense to you. It doesn’t have to make sense or be useful to anyone else. What’s important is that you and your husband have the organizing scheme in your heads so that you can move quickly from thinking of what you want to reaching for it.

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  16. adrianne said on May 9, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Read the Ben Rhodes profile on the bus coming into Manhattan this morning. It’s really good, and apparently already causing the heads of the establishment to explode. hehehe.

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  17. brian stouder said on May 9, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Deborah – our shelves are devoid of consistent scientific organization. Instead, I go with emotion. Top shelves – Lincoln books. Favorite Lincoln books go toward the center of the shelf, and hangers-on are off on the flanks.

    Everything else goes on the lower levels. The one rule I impose on myself is, the book cannot be shelved until it has been read.

    btw, an interesting book I’m now shin-deep into is The Metaphysical Club, which is about the eastern-elite’s educated and intellectual grappling with the slavery/abolitionist clashes of the 1850’s….so it’s specifically not a Lincoln book, but it addresses the very same issues that the greatest president – the self-educated one – ultimately gave his life to understanding and effectively dealing with.

    (so – no top shelf for it, but it’s good!)

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  18. Deborah said on May 9, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Yes Jolene, I agree it should be done the way that makes sense to my husband and me. But regarding the arrangement of alphabetizing vertically or horizontally we disagreed, so having an expert weigh in would help settle that one way or the other. And St. B, that’s pretty much how we have it now with the over sized art and architecture books together. Also the fiction and biography section is actually double stacked with a row of books behind because our shelves our fairly deep and we have too many books for the number of shelves we have with no room to add shelves in our place. We decided the rule of thumb for that would be that all of the paperbacks would go in the back, which is purely an aesthetic reason.

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  19. MichaelG said on May 9, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    My house is around 980 Sq Ft and comfortable for me. 1200 seems about right for two and 800 seems a might tight. I think my problem is that I need to get rid of a lot of crap. A lot of it.

    I saw my first campaign ad yesterday. It was for an incumbent who is running for the Assembly. It was strictly positive. “So and So is a great guy, blah, blah, blah.” Also Bernie Nader is going to make an appearance in Sacramento this evening. No, I won’t be attending. The 2016 campaign finally arrives in California.

    Deborah, I read your book arranging question and immediately came to the same conclusion that Jolene reached. She beat me to posting it. It’s your library and you can arrange the books in any fashion that suits you. It doesn’t have to be according to any system nor does it have to be intelligible to a visitor. Just put them up there in any order that makes you happy.

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  20. MichaelG said on May 9, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    I guess between you and your husband there’s always rock, paper and scissors.

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  21. Connie said on May 9, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Librarian chiming in here. I don’t do much organization of my own books though. Nonfiction grouped by category, ie, gardens, cooking, history…. As to fiction if it isn’t autographed I probably don’t keep it. I have about 400 autographed books. Very first was Susan Stamford.

    I can’t imagine doing Dewey Decimal at home, but the ten big century groupings are pretty obvious.

    And keep all the oversized stuff together, with a shelf adjusted for their height.

    If you really want to catalog your home library I recommend Library Thing. . And if you search using Dewey Decimal at home you will find all kinds of ideas.

    Wasn’t much help was I.

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  22. Scout said on May 9, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    When we gave up our 2,000 sq ft home for the 1400 we have now, it felt like we were moving into a tiny house. By tiny house standards ours isn’t really one, but we do find we must be mindful about acquisitions and mostly everything we buy now has to have dual purposes as function and storage. I do like that our way of living, after initially feeling like a step backwards, has become fashionable from the sustainability standpoint. Here is a link to HGTV House Hunters – Tiny Home Edition. I was fascinated by it:

    Every President O interview I’ve read lately affirms two things: A- that he is one of the best POTUS of my lifetime, and B- nobody running has anywhere near the charisma he has.

    I leave for Italy in 9 days. I’m hoping that being there May 19-29 means we will be a bit ahead of the height of tourist season, but we did buy a few skip-the-line tickets.

    Deborah – looking forward to seeing some pictures of Zen Tower Place.

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  23. Sue said on May 9, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Everyone missed the most obvious home-library-cataloguing method:
    All the impressive stuff at eye-level (your big fat copy of Stearn’s Botanical Latin, all your Jane Austen); semi-impressive above that (biographies of Serious People and religious philosophy books next to the tattered generational copies of bibles, in more than one language if possible; humorous below to show you’re human; and all the crap below that with the space opera, time-travel, and guilty-secret trash hidden on the bottom shelf behind little statues and plants. Because they may be tacky but even crap books don’t deserve a dark closed box.
    All kids books get their own bookshelf(s). Likewise everything Terry Pratchett.
    I hope this helps.

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  24. alex said on May 9, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Another good read in the NYT today…

    When she walks she does this curtsy
    That’s one part stately and nine parts flirtsy and
    When she throws down her hankie the men go “ah”

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  25. J. Bruce Fields said on May 9, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    I recently had exactly this discussion with my five-year-old. He went for “by color”, so now his bedroom has one red-to-violet shelf and another with the neutrals.

    Library Thing and Goodreads both have smartphone apps that’ll scan book barcodes, so in theory you could enter your collection into one of them fairly quickly, then arrange by Dewey Decimal, and if you don’t immediately know where to find a given book, look it up in your database and get the call number from there.

    (In practice I tried this once with Goodreads and ran out of steam after a hundred books or so. Maybe the collection I was scanning was particularly obscure, but I found I was having to manually enter more than I wanted.)

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  26. Little Bird said on May 9, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    You could always go crazy and organize the books by color. Not terribly good when you are trying to find a title, but it looks pretty.
    And yes, I am being facetious.

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  27. Sherri said on May 9, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    When we moved from Pittsburgh to California, and I had a few months before I started a job, and I didn’t have a kid yet, I decided I would arrange our books in some order. I don’t remember what system I used, but what I soon discovered was the problem was maintaining the system. Eventually I gave up on a precise system, and now I just try to group books by type – mysteries together, SF together, tech books, popular science, art, religion, non-genre fiction, sports, etc. I don’t try to alphabetize or even try hard to make sure books by the same author are side by side, but rather in the same general physical area.

    It’s much easier to maintain now that I buy many fewer physical books. Most new books I buy are digital. I need to go through and get rid of a bunch of the physical books that I have, especially mass market paperbacks, because the paper yellows so badly I’ll never re-read them anyway.

    I need to get rid of a lot of stuff. We have a house that is way too big, but the location was ideal for commuting and school purposes.

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  28. brian stouder said on May 9, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Alex, an excellent link, indeed.

    It has an odd resonance, just now in America, as Trump ascends – and “up” is “down” and “down” is “up”

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 9, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Goldberg heard from:

    He’s not happy. But for reasons I was not expecting.

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  30. Deborah said on May 9, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    I read the original Rhodes piece by Samuels and the piece Lozada wrote about Samuels, also the Goldberg piece about Samuels. It’s interesting, but it’s also confusing. I thought the original piece was fascinating as a way to get more info about Obama and what a great guy he is. I thought the Valerie Jarrett part about their similar childhoods was particularly informative. But the finger pointing by the journalists responding to the piece is confounding. I suppose these people feel they have been either mocked or even slandered. My question, is that news to the rest of us? Because they have very public mouthpieces they can air the dirty laundry as though it’s big time news. I guess?

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  31. Deborah said on May 9, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    I love this about Fran Liebowitz (weren’t we discussing her a few weeks ago?), she had this to say about her books in a larger interview in Interview magazine:

    CLEMENTE: [laughs] Let’s talk about your twenty thousand books.

    LEBOWITZ: Ten.

    CLEMENTE: Ten thousand books.

    LEBOWITZ: I only know how many there are because for the last several years I’ve moved every five minutes, so they’re counted. I get rid of the ones that I can bear to give up or never wanted to begin with. I have about ten thousand. And people are constantly telling me, whether they are friends who feel sorry for me, because I can’t find a place to live, or real estate agents, “You can’t afford an apartment the size you need with this many books. Why don’t you just put some of your books in storage?” And I always say the same thing: “What if I told you I had four children? Would you say, ‘You just can’t afford to house four children. Why don’t you just put two of them in storage?'” That’s how I feel.

    CLEMENTE: How do you keep ten thousand books in order, do you have a personal librarian?

    LEBOWITZ: When I move, I do. He packs them, and then every time you move, they have to be put in different ways. I have a number of bookcases, big wooden bookcases with glass doors; most of them are 19th century. So every time I move, they have to be moved around, and I always fight with this guy when we do this, because he is a private librarian, which means, generally, he works for very rich people who never read their books. So we always have this fight, because I have a biography section, and he doesn’t like that, because it’s so inelegant to have a biography section. What you’re supposed to have is, say, all Henry James’s novels and the letters, which is more elegant. But you need more room to do that. So should I win the lottery, I will have that type of library. But so far I have not. So they’re in alphabetical order, within each section. I can put my hand on any book in the whole house; I know where they are. And I read them. I use them frequently. I’m very vilified for this, I have to say. It’s the thing that I’m most criticized for. At least to my face. Things that people will say to me, mostly, is that you shouldn’t have all these books. It’s too expensive.

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  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 9, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    I worry that the Samuels-Rhodes-Jarrett-Obama thread of what growing up in a foreign culture *as* an American does for your point of view is getting entirely lost in the “did they work the media/did the media let themselves get worked” furore, but I suppose it’s inevitable. Did Samuels think that side of the piece would just slide by without comment? Anyhow, that perspective about doing some maturing in South Africa, Iran, Indonesia, etc. is worth a piece on its own: that’s the big thing right now in higher ed generally, and even seminary particularly, which is getting plenty of pushback just on the basis of cost and/or who gets paid for doing it — having a full-immersion cross-cultural experience is starting to be seen as a necessary element of a good education, and that’s a discussion worth pushing forward.

    And is there any doubt that many “national” media outlets have less depth and global breadth than they did not long ago? I can’t see how, and here’s what moves into that vacuum.

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  33. alex said on May 9, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Jeff, even our rinky-dink Fort Wayne paper used to have a Washington bureau. Now it has a couple of political bloggers. CBS has Major Garrett, formerly of Fox, and also Lara Logan, both right-wingers whose presence is apparently intended to appease same. No wonder we have such an uninformed electorate in addition to the large segment who are misinformed.

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  34. LAMary said on May 9, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    I just became sole owner of my house. I managed to buy out the ex.

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  35. Dorothy said on May 9, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Oh Mary I’m so so happy for you!!

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  36. Deni Menken said on May 9, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Oh, Mary! Free at last! What an accomplishment.

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  37. Sherri said on May 9, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Congratulations, Mary! That has to feel good!

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  38. MichaelG said on May 9, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    That’s wonderful, Mary. I’m so pleased. I know the Ex. has been a source of problems for you over the years. Congratulations!

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  39. Deborah said on May 9, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Good for you LAMary, it must feel great.

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  40. Jolene said on May 9, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Congrats from me too, Mary. A huge relief, I’m sure.

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  41. LAMary said on May 9, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Thank you all for the good wishes. Yes, it’s a huge relief. I found out I can get through some pretty terrible stuff and come out alright.

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  42. Sherri said on May 9, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    It’s raining in the other Washington:

    Around this Washington, we call that “a brief shower.”

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  43. Peggy said on May 9, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Here’s Rod Dreher of the American Conservative’s take on the story:
    “It is almost breathtaking to read Rhodes describing how his White House war room orchestrated media coverage of the Iran deal to sell a story that was not true. He and his team deceived people for what he believes is the higher good. They just flat-out lied. ”

    Apparently the “lie” was that they started negotiating in 2013 rather than 2012. But Conservatives love the “Obama lied” stance.

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  44. Brandon said on May 10, 2016 at 1:33 am

    The link:

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  45. Dexter said on May 10, 2016 at 2:51 am

    Best wishes LA Mary on this positive step away from the burden.

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  46. adrianne said on May 10, 2016 at 6:48 am

    I think we’re going to have to live with the zombie-eyed granny starver from Wisconsin, as Charles Pierce so delightfully puts it. Paul Ryan’s primary challenger is a doofus of the highest order.

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  47. Diane said on May 10, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Deborah, another librarian chiming in here for what it’s worth.

    3 main categories:
    Fiction organized by author’s last name
    Biography organized by subjects last name
    Other non-fiction (architecture, history, art, etc., etc.) organized by subject, classed into subjects in the way that makes the most sense to you and your husband as the library users

    Shelve vertical in each shelving unit so that the organization in each unit would make sense if it were to stand alone – it’s easier to get from the books at the end of one unit to those at the start of the next.

    YMMV of course.

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  48. Diane said on May 10, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Oh, I forgot to add the most important point. Leave some space on each shelf (you can vary whether the space is left, right or center and use bookends and objects d’art to make the space more visually appealing if you want) but without leaving a little space it will become impossible (or at least a real pain) to maintain the organization as you add to (or even delete from) your collection.

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  49. Deborah said on May 10, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Thanks Diane, the leaving space part is the hardest right now, we’re going to have to thin out our books to do that. We already gave a lot away and put some in storage to take to Abiquiu. Somehow it seems like our books regenerated themselves because somehow before we moved it didn’t seem this crowded on the shelves.

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  50. Judybusy said on May 10, 2016 at 9:39 am

    That is truly great news, Mary! So happy that this worked out for you.

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  51. Deborah said on May 10, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Another day of waiting for deliveries, the one that was supposed to happen yesterday never came, they’ve promised it will arrive this morning. Later this afternoon my closet shelves etc get installed, I can’t tell you how much I can’t wait to put things in the closet, I’m tired of stuff sitting around all over the place. Yesterday the doors got put on the closet. Tomorrow the window blinds get installed, so privacy again. The only things left are the venetian plaster on one wall and base boards everywhere, besides odds and ends like a new bathroom door with no mirror on the inside of it.

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  52. Mark P said on May 10, 2016 at 11:02 am

    David C @4, I saw Al Franken’s video explaining why he was first running for the Senate. It was one of the most impressive and moving political speeches I have ever seen. It convinced me to vote for him, but since I couldn’t (for some reason being a resident of Georgia disqualified me), we contributed to his campaign. I figured, rightly as it happens, that he would do a better job of representing our interests than anyone that could ever be elected in Georgia.

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  53. brian stouder said on May 10, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Deborah, the one year anniversary of our family’s “displaced” experience is upon us, and I definitely feel your pain. It will definitely be a pleasant thing, once your place is truly ‘your place’ again – but you already know that.

    On Sunday Chloe and I made a Mother’s Day dinner run to Casa’s (a nice Italian restaurant chain, that is a Fort Wayne institution) on US-24, and were in sight of the hotel we stayed in – which immediately shifted Chloe’s conversation to those days.

    But soon enough, she could smell the food, and we were on the way back home, and all was well!

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  54. Dave said on May 10, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    I’ve never understood the attraction of the Casa’s on Dupont Road, it’s so noisy in there that you can’t hear anything or anyone, people sitting at your own table are folks you can’t converse with. At least, that was our experience so after a couple of times, we never went back. Perhaps it’s better now.

    I see a poll today that says in three key states, Clinton and Trump are virtually tied, the three key states being Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. This is the stuff that bad dreams are made of, I’m waiting for Trump to have a major meltdown but nothing so far seems to have any affect on him. How can this be?

    Deborah, when we moved, I parted with things I never thought I’d part with, a record collection, for one, but with today’s digital abilities, there are few songs that one cannot find and few albums that one cannot listen to, if one seeks them out. I parted with a lot of books, too, some donated to the Allen County Public Library, and some went to Hyde Brothers, a well known used book store in Fort Wayne.

    Mary, I join in wishing you well in gaining total control of your home and hope that the future goes smoothly, after all the troubles you’ve had with your ex.

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  55. brian stouder said on May 10, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Dave – I’ve only done the north one a time or two – generally more of a mid-day thing.

    The one by the Coliseum, and the one on 24 are our go-to ones…and anymore, we call in the order and pick it up as often as not.

    But – the salad – that’s the trick

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  56. adrianne said on May 10, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    I’m calling b.s. on that Quinnipiac poll. They seem not to have talked to any black or Latino people.

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  57. brian stouder said on May 10, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Adrianne – first, agreed.

    If the poll lights a fire under HRC’s voters, such that they all (or speaking for myself, we all!) show up on election day, and don’t take fro granted that Trump will be repudiated, then I’m all for Quinnipiac’s b.s.!!

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  58. BethB from Indiana said on May 10, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Deborah, another librarian weighing in: all of the ideas you’ve already received here from librarians and everyone else are great.

    I have nothing new to add except our own experience–when we moved to our present house, we organized nonfiction by general category, within the category (travel, for instance) more specifically sorted. We kept coffee-table size book separate, and we organized fiction (what little was left–most was donated) by author and biographies by last name of subject. That was in 1996.

    Now it is more jumbled than organized, but that is our own laziness. We are also trying to downsize so we are getting rid of more and more books. Any fiction I read now is from the library, and I only (and rarely) buy nonfiction if it is something that I know I will use again and again. I have a few young adult autographed books that I will keep until my “grands” are ready to read them, then they will go, too. I am doing better than my husband who is clinging to his hobby and music books even though the hobbies are no longer pursued (who knows, he might decide to do blacksmithing again).

    I think it is brave to downsize as much as you are, and I can’t wait to see pictures of both of your finished places.

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  59. Scout said on May 10, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    When we moved into our smaller house we also downsized the book collection. We only kept reference type non-fiction and got rid of everything else. We went from two seven foot by three foot bookcases full to one smaller book case and some of the shelves store other things like picture boxes (still working on digitizing all of that). We also got rid of all the CD jewel cases and bought album style books for all the CDs. At this point, with Pandora, Spotify and the Sonos system, we rarely even listen to any of them anymore.

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  60. Dave said on May 10, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Adriane reminds me that my father wouldn’t part with magazines that he thought he might need to read again, mostly to do with camping and traveling. My sister and I tried to get rid of them but he stopped us, I don’t know when he thought he was going to read them and why the years-out-of-date articles would have much value in a modern world. It was one of the first things to go, right to recycling, once Dad was gone. He had a lot of them, it took more than one trip to haul them all away.

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  61. Dexter said on May 10, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    art break…one of my favorite Julian Schnabel works

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  62. brian stouder said on May 10, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Dexter – that is superb!

    Is the young lady part of the art? If not, she should be!

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  63. Sherri said on May 10, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Trump is certainly a “master persuader” with a certain segment of the population: white nationalists.

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  64. Deborah said on May 10, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I was impressed that my husband gave up his cherished Spanish architecture magazines that he had subscribed to for years. At first he was going to offer them to the IIT library but after awhile he wasn’t crazy about schleping them to the campus so we put up a notice in the laundry room of our former building that they were free to anyone who would be willing to come and get them from our place. Since there are a lot of architects and designers in that building we thought that someone would want them, but nobody responded. Finally my husband asked a young instructor on campus if he’d be interested and he was thrilled to have them. He came and got them and we didn’t have to deal with them anymore. It inspired me to ditch some things I never thought I would. But I can see that in the future we’ll have to pare down more.

    Scout, we have eight, 30″ x 7′ bookcase units but they also have drawers in some of them so they’re not all book shelves. We didn’t have a wall long enough in our new space to align them up against so we had to position them two up and back to back forming an entry “corridor”. It’s very hard to explain, but it’s really effective in our space. My husband is really good at figuring stuff like that out.

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  65. MichaelG said on May 10, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Those covers on that Spanish magazine are wonderful. From what I’ve seen in Spain, the magazine has a lot to talk about. They’re doing some very nice things.

    I have four 30” X 7’ bookcases and several small ones. And books aren’t my biggest problem.

    I’m getting really, really sick and fucking tired of Bernie Nader. At this point it’s all about him. He is doing nothing for the good of the Democratic party, for down ticket races or for the American people. It’s all about him and his huge, sorry ass geriatric ego. He’s doing harm to Secty Clinton and to the party. But then again, he’s not a Democrat anyway. What a colossal asshole.

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  66. brian stouder said on May 10, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    MichaelG –

    All I have to say to you is:


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  67. Jolene said on May 10, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    I agree, MichaelG. I am listening to him right this minute, and I want to tell him to knock it off. Steve Kornacki, the MSNBC delegate counter, says that, under the most generous assumptions about outcomes in elections between now and the California primary, he would have to win the California election by 75-80% to defeat Clinton. Not going to happen. The Oregon crowd he is speaking to is roaring. I think he is misleading people and will ultimately contribute to disillusionment among his many young followers.

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  68. Jolene said on May 10, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    This piece by Kevin Drum re why he never “warmed up” to Sanders resonated with me.

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  69. FDChief said on May 10, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    “What’s felt like a burden is seeing how politics has changed in ways that make it harder for Washington to work.”

    Ummm…you mean the part where the Republican Party went batshit crazy over God, Gays, Guns, and nuking the Muslim parts of the Middle East until they glow? THOSE ways?

    Yeah, Brian. Me, too.

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  70. St Bitch said on May 11, 2016 at 1:34 am

    I’m feeling more magnanimous towards Bernie Sanders these days for a few reasons.

    First of all, because he no longer poses a threat to my candidate’s nomination.

    Secondly, the sight and sound of the bigger, nastier threat so sickens me that I no longer tune in to the news…consequently I’m not getting irritated by the sparse Sanders sound bytes that manage to leak through wall-to-wall tRump.

    Thirdly, there are some BernFeelin youths I’m fond of, around whom I’ve bitten my tongue and refrained from demanding, “Why in the world do you want to revolt against Obama?”. We boomers had Vietnam and Kent State to protest. Or we were hugging “Atlas Shrugged”. I’m trying to remember what it felt like to be idealistic and cynical at the same time. What it was like to be both angry and hopeful.

    Bernie Sanders may be a tunnel visionary, but he is most certainly a man of his convictions, and he speaks from his heart. In the political firmament, especially in contrast to the black hole that is tRump, that makes him a shooting star. That doesn’t make me confident that he would be at my back, but I don’t think he’s running a con, as suggested by Kevin Drum.

    I agree with Drum about what is needed for the long slog. That’s why I support Hillary, tireless yet ruthless as she may be. However, the following sentiment loses me:

    “I hate the idea that we might lose even a few talented future leaders because they fell for Bernie’s spiel and then got discouraged when it didn’t pan out.”

    Falling for ideals, then getting discouraged when they don’t translate into reality, is part of growing up. If someone can’t mature through growing pains, then they’re not cut out to be a leader.

    It’s a non-issue.

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