And now begins the countdown to Iceland, and a time of Some Uncertainty for blog postings. I’ll be on vacation, but of course I’ll also want to share the experience with you guys, because that’s what I do — share and overshare. However, the only computer I’m taking will be my phone, and for a long time, the WordPress mobile app didn’t play well with this site. Remember how I used to do Saturday-morning market posts, and then I stopped? That’s because I couldn’t seem to size the photos anymore — they downloaded in their full, multi-pixel splendor, sprawling all over the damn page and grr.
But I tried a phone post yesterday, and huzzah, it worked on three different devices, so awRIGHT, I can blog a bit from Scandinavia, at least as long as I have wifi.
I will not be attempting the Icelandic keyboard set, though, so apologies in advance for mangled spellings of local place names. I’ll do my best.
So while I count down the days and tick the items off my to-do list, which involves a shit-ton of work-work along the way, and in a holiday-shortened week to boot, enjoy some stateside bloggage:
Oh, you should have seen Mark the Shark this weekend; he was en fuego on social media about Herr Trump, whose cotton-candy hairdo may go down in history along with Hitler’s mustache if he keeps this shit up:
“What happens is the judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that’s fine,” Mr. Trump said.
The “Mexican” judge was a law-school classmate of Mark’s, at the Indiana University law school. The “Mexican” judge is Gonzalo Curiel, and he was born in Indiana. Trump called him a “hater, a hater of Donald Trump” why? Because he refused to grant summary judgment in Trump’s favor in one of the Trump University-is-a-scam trials. Any lawyer can tell you that summary judgments, while hardly unicorns, are sort of like 9-0 Supreme Court decisions in the modern era, i.e., kind of a rare bird. A summary judgment is the judge saying that a case is so weak or flawed we don’t even need to have a trial; it’s just game over and one side wins.
For not granting Trump his motion, Judge Curiel became the subject of a 12-minute speech-within-a-speech in San Diego — San-Di-frickin-ego, where you know that calling out a Hoosier “Mexican” isn’t going to attract any attention at all — that went to the usual places, the “build that wall” chant, all of it. My favorite part of the Wall Street Journal story:
An aide in Judge Curiel’s chambers on Friday said the judicial code of conduct prevents him from responding to Mr. Trump.
Well, I’m glad someone’s keeping their wits about them.
Of course, Rod Dreher read the same story and came away with a different villain: The protestors, because things got unruly, and oh that’s a very bad thing. I mean, they waved Mexican flags! OMG!!!
The hell with that. If you don’t protest some things, the people who perpetrate them think it’s OK. It’s not OK. Even if you can’t make them stop, you still speak up and say it’s wrong.
On a happier note, I know many of us here are fans of Pete Souza, the White House photographer whose images of the Obama presidency have been so wonderful. Here’s a puff piece on him, but includes a few of those great pictures. Something I didn’t know: Souza was also Ronald Reagan’s personal shooter, for six years.
Finally, let’s end with comedy: The Libertarian convention, held over the weekend in Orlando. Here’s your nominee, freedom lovers!
In Saturday night’s debate, Johnson, alone among the top-five contenders, said that he would have signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and that he thought people should be licensed to drive cars. He was loudly booed for both positions.
And here’s how it ended. With a fat guy spontaneously stripping off his clothes onstage.
OK, then! I leave you with a picture of my weekend, which was hot but also pretty delightful, as you can imagine:
Dexter said on May 31, 2016 at 3:50 am
Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are both former Repugg governors. That’s it…no way ever.
Monday, C-Span3, from Austin, at the LBJ Library, a great interview with a really old but sharp as ever Henry Kissinger. The topic was the Vietnam War as it pertained to JFK, LBJ , Nixon, Ford. I was mesmerized as Kissinger recalled in great details his story. The part about the President calling him at Harvard and asking him to represent the administration in Paris as the USA wanted ‘Peace With Honor’, and the Vietnamese wanted immediate withdrawal, and there were two Frenchmen negotiating with Le Duc To’s entopurage, well, it was stuff I had not heard before. The Frenchmen, in evening time, reported what had transpired to Kissinger who then phoned the President.
Dexter said on May 31, 2016 at 3:54 am
Their message: Just say or do something. Or maybe “Rufies don’t pay off like they used to.” Three women set the internet on fire.
adrianne said on May 31, 2016 at 6:39 am
Love your Jackie O. look on the sailboat! Have fun in the frozen wastes of Iceland, sounds like a good time.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 31, 2016 at 6:53 am
The uneven but generally delightful Ben Stiller “Walter Mitty” was shot entirely in Iceland when it wasn’t on Manhattan (yes, even the “Afghanistan” sequences). Gives you a sense of the breadth of what that small island has to offer folks like Nancy.
I’m living in a house between a brand-new high school graduate and a recent graduate’s mother, and oh the emotional tone of everything from picking out new socks to talking about next summer’s uncertainties has me ready to decamp for Iceland . . . solo! The realization of what’s well and truly over, and the anticipation of that which is to come (orientation days are in two weeks, two days for student and parent alike) has everyone dealing with everyday matters as if we’re all in a large Italian opera. And I’m trying to skulk about like a spearcarrier in Aida, not wanting to get sucked into drama downstage.
LindaG said on May 31, 2016 at 8:20 am
Two of the biggest set pieces in the film INTERSTELLAR, Miller’s Planet and Mann’s Planet, were filmed (and I do mean film; Christopher Nolan shot it on 35mm/IMAX stock) in Iceland. I saw the movie in IMAX and it was stunning.
Enjoy your trip.
Connie said on May 31, 2016 at 8:20 am
Despite my care, Windows 10 has taken over my home laptap.
beb said on May 31, 2016 at 8:28 am
Connie I think you still have 30 days to revert to your old OS.
Despite a three-day weekend I’m still traumatized by last week’s Hazmat training.
Connie said on May 31, 2016 at 8:30 am
Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said Sunday evening that efforts to recruit a third party challenger to face presumptive nominee Donald Trump have paid off and promised there’s an “impressive” candidate with “a real chance” on deck. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/bill-kristol-third-party-candidate
So who could it be other than Romney? Or only Romney?
Julie Robinson said on May 31, 2016 at 8:40 am
And I’m still traumatized by spending yet another three day weekend packing up my mom’s house, then bringing it here so it can rot in a storage unit. Talk about your drama.
Jefftmmo, just remember that what you’re going through is a transitional and developmentally appropriate way for your son to achieve separation.
That doesn’t make it any easier, I know. With our son it was his whole senior year, and it was pretty dreadful. Fortunately he was offered a camp counselor job for the summer, and we achieved separation early.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 31, 2016 at 9:06 am
Thanks Julie. Yeah, it’s a common thing, and the trick is strategic disengagement, but my beloved, an only child who has been a life-long rule-follower and courteous person, is not enjoying this transition. Plus I have the unfair advantage and unrealistic yardstick of juvenile court work: hey, his behavior is still in the top 5% for couth and appropriateness, so it’s all fine.
Plus, he keeps apologizing for his non-, not to say un-couth if you give him time and space. It’s just adapting to having a new adult in the household for a season, which will be all too short even in its uncouthity.
I do look forward to not using Febreeze so much in everyday housekeeping.
nancy said on May 31, 2016 at 9:19 am
Jeff, I was at a party a few months ago with another couple who were in their first months of empty-nesting, and we both confessed we liked it way more than we thought we would, and was that so wrong? The male half of the other couple said he knew a man, “a saint, one of the best and nicest people I know in the world,” who he ran into in the days counting down to freshman year in college.
“Are you going to miss your daughter?” my friend asked.
“Nope,” the saint said. “I’m looking forward to getting that bitch the hell out of my house.”
Deborah said on May 31, 2016 at 9:28 am
Jeff tmmo, it all goes so fast. Pretty soon your son will be 41 and you’ll be asking yourself, “where did all the time go?” Congrats to your son on his graduation and all the honors associated with that.
Pam said on May 31, 2016 at 9:42 am
Nancy, did you get a new haircut or is that just the photo? If you didn’t, the picture suggests a nice new cut for the summer.
ROGirl said on May 31, 2016 at 9:51 am
Bill Kristol is a blowhard gasbag who championed the Iraq war and had a hardon for $ Palin. His “opinion” should be given the consideration it deserves.
Julie Robinson said on May 31, 2016 at 9:55 am
It’s funny, but I don’t remember that experience with our daughter at all, just the lad. And I must honestly add that it was me he had drama with, not my sainted hubby. Of course, I was also the one pushing for mature behavior, while sainted hubby really just wanted everyone to be happy and get along. (Middle child syndrome, I believe.)
Dorothy said on May 31, 2016 at 10:09 am
I was going to say I loved your haircut – looks like Pam brought up the haircut subject first, though! My kids are 33 and 31 respectively (girl/boy) and I can’t really recall much angst either as they were gearing up to leave for college. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t any, just that my selective memory seems to have obscured it somehow. The adjustment to having a quiet house after the second one left in 2003 was amazingly wonderful. That being said, nothing makes me happier than having them in the house for visits, though, or just plain being with them as we were this past weekend in Pittsburgh. It’s just enough time to laugh together and see my mum (who will be 94 in 5.5 weeks), and 7 of my siblings, too. I’m very lucky my family gets along so well. My mom is not sick at all but she is getting so much more frail. And she stopped getting her hair done, so her slightly shaggy haircut (once it grows in a bit I’m going to pay to have it cut much nicer than the usual place she goes) makes her look like she’s shrunk somehow. Her hair is mostly grey or white, but unbelievably, some of the back is STILL brown underneath. And her face is not lined much at all. At our family reunion her youngest brother, Jack, looked worse than she did and he just turned 80. They’re the only two left out of a family of six and I tried not to dwell too much on the idea that neither of them will be at very many reunions in the future.
Ah well – anyway, I wish someone somewhere would come up with something like a murder in Trump’s past – perhaps that would be the straw that broke the camel’s back for his campaign. That this bozo is within striking distance of being the President is still astonishing to me.
alex said on May 31, 2016 at 10:43 am
After the libertarian bozo and Bill Kristol’s white knight siphon off their respective shares of the GOP vote, Trump will lose even worse than he would have lost anyway.
brian stouder said on May 31, 2016 at 10:50 am
We have a 20 year old son who is attending college here in Fort Wayne (IPFW), and living at home; and a 17 year old daughter who is ready to steam-roll through her senior year at high school this fall; and an 11 year old who has 6th grade looming ahead of her – and the thing I say to all of them is that wherever mom and I live is “home”, and they’re always welcome. So, we shall see how things play out.
PS – not to sound like a dirty old man, but I bet our Proprietress was wearing swimming gear in that evocative ‘underway’ photo…and my first thought was that a wider angle woulda’ been….just the thing to enliven the morning!
Connie said on May 31, 2016 at 12:08 pm
Don’t get to used to the empty nest, your child may also move home after two years of grad school and you will have to start remembering to close the bedroom door again.
adrianne said on May 31, 2016 at 12:58 pm
BTW, I met the magazine writer Rebecca Traister at an awards banquet for the Sidney Hillman Foundation and then started reading a lot of her stories. She’s a very good reporter and writer on feminist issues. Here’s a link to her latest, on Hillary: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/05/hillary-clinton-candidacy.html?mid=fb-share-di
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 31, 2016 at 1:10 pm
Connie, there are so many jokes that could launch from there, but I’ll just let it go.
My wife and I do have good friends who promise to introduce us to each other next fall. We might try dating or something, just to see what we have in common. It’s that, or settle into a pair of recliners facing a giant-screen TV with occasional sarcastic asides to each other, punctuated by affirmative or negating grunts as to dinner plans around 4:30 pm. The latter seems to have been all too popular the last thirty years or so (says a wistful pastor who would like to open doors for something better amongst his flock), but we may get edgy and try the dating option. Just to set a better example.
Sherri said on May 31, 2016 at 1:25 pm
Jeff(tmmo), I advise scheduling a weekly date. Tuesday night is our usual date night; it’s the evening of the week that has the fewest conflicts, with the added bonus that restaurants aren’t usually as crowded.
Adrianne, I just read that article by Rebecca Traister, and thought it was one of the better ones on Hillary that I’ve read this campaign season. Traister actually writes about Hillary, not some caricature of Hillary, or what she wishes Hillary were, or what Hillary should or should not be doing.
adrianne said on May 31, 2016 at 1:51 pm
Exactly, Sherri. She has a few other stories about Hillary that have published in New York magazine that are also pretty good, if you have any time to root around their archives.
LAMary said on May 31, 2016 at 2:55 pm
Jeff, I noticed I was using a lot less Febreeze when one son moved out. I assume his girlfriend is now febreezing stuff. Younger son moved out for two months but decided laundry equipment access and a full refrigerator with good leftovers beat independence. I think he’ll try again a year or so.
The biggest adjustment for me was groceries and cooking. These are two very tall, very active sons. They eat a lot. Right now it’s seldom clear if one or two or three (including girlfriend) will be around for dinner.
nancy said on May 31, 2016 at 3:47 pm
To whoever was asking? Pam, Dorothy? I did cut my hair short a few months back, but every trim I keep getting it a little shorter. I have an enormous, misshapen head and can’t do a really cute pixie thing, but I’m getting more comfortable with being way shorter. I tell my stylist to stop just this side of “definitely a lesbian,” because I like to keep ’em guessing.
That said, you can’t judge from this pic, however, because I’d already worked out Saturday morning and did a sweat-comb set, and the wind had been in it for a couple hours. The late-afternoon shower felt extremely good that day.
Catherine said on May 31, 2016 at 3:57 pm
Mom’s Fears About Daughter Leaving For College Channeled Into Fight About Storage Bins: http://www.theonion.com/article/moms-fears-about-daughter-leaving-college-channele-51060
Dexter said on May 31, 2016 at 3:59 pm
The law is not coming after Zoo Mom. This disappoints me. Harambe Silverback did not deserve this fate. That goddam zoo should be shut down and all gorillas in the USA should be returned home like the circus elephants. This should be the last straw. The internet chatter is intensifying against Zoo Mom. She deserves prison time and her kid put into foster care. Instead, she is scot-free and God help that little boy because he’s on his own.
Sherri said on May 31, 2016 at 4:11 pm
I keep getting my hair cut shorter, too. If my hair were grey, I swear I’d stop coloring it and go full butch and spiky. But judging by my mother, I’m not likely to go full grey anytime soon.
(I color my hair even though I don’t have any grey because my hair is very fine and straight, and a good cut and color helps give it the illusion of texture.)
Sherri said on May 31, 2016 at 4:26 pm
While the focus is on overturning Citizens United, one of the biggest problems of money in politics is not about campaigns. Thanks to Newt Gingrich and his Contract With America, Congress has turned over much of the institutional knowledge, expertise, and experience necessary for developing legislation to lobbyists. Not only did Newt and company get rid of the Office of Technology Assessment, they also substantially cut congressional staff and congressional committee staff, and the pay for those staffers. As a result, there are fewer staffers, they’re younger, and they don’t stay long because the pay is crappy. And since it would take revenue to change that, and revenue means taxes, the Republicans aren’t interested.
Jolene said on May 31, 2016 at 4:27 pm
Dexter, the third season of Peaky Blinders has just come out on Netflix. It’ll take your mind off Harambe.
A few years ago, a two-year-old child fell into a pit of wild dogs at the Pittsburgh Zoo and was killed. This report suggests he was standing, unrestrained, on a railing, but I had heard that he was being held atop the railing and had thrust himself out of his mother’s arms. Either way, it’s a horrible story, as is the Harambe story.
Scout said on May 31, 2016 at 4:28 pm
What I want to know is how we are the same age but your skin looks like you’re 25. If you’ve got anti-aging beauty secrets, spill.
Sherri said on May 31, 2016 at 5:10 pm
Welcome, Governor Moonbeam, to the Democratic Establishment!
David C. said on May 31, 2016 at 6:05 pm
Nobody commenting on the internet about the suitable for fate zoo mom knows jack-shit about what happened. Kids are expert escape artists. I’m not a parent and I know that. My mom lost my younger brother in the grocery store. They found him trying to climb into a freezer case. My wife’s younger brother escaped and was found in the middle of the street. From what I can tell, all but the lucky parents have lost one at least once. This story made me laugh my ass off way back when and it should be familiar to at least one reader here. I rememberd it because I know what happened with my brother and brother-in-law.
It happens to the best of them, right Adrienne? I know many parents who are irritated by out of control kids who conveniently forget that their own kids were little assholes when they were young. What I’m saying is the people who decided not to charge zoo mom probably know a lot more about what happened than the internet mob so maybe they should just shut up about things they know nothing about. Life’s complicated and sometimes things happen.
MichaelG said on May 31, 2016 at 7:21 pm
C’mon, Sherri, go easy on my pal Jerry. He and I go back a long way. Besides, he hasn’t been Governor Moonbeam since the ‘70s. I like the old guy.
Bernie excoriating the Democratic establishment is a hoot. Bernie’s problem is that he’s not a Democrat. He’s some kind of goofball Vermont Indie. Establishment? He’s been in fooking Congress in Washington D. C. for 25 years. How is that not establishment?
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 31, 2016 at 7:40 pm
Re: kids and what they can do given a moment (aside from growing up quickly, too) —
Sherri said on May 31, 2016 at 7:40 pm
I like Jerry, too, MichaelG. I just was getting a laugh out of Jerry Brown being called Establishment.
Sherri said on May 31, 2016 at 7:48 pm
Remembering Jerry and the Clintons, back in ’92 when Jerry wasn’t so willing to endorse: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/05/burying-hatchet-governor-brown-endorses-clinton.html
Julie Robinson said on May 31, 2016 at 7:51 pm
None of the stories about the zoo that I’ve seen have showed the enclosure itself or truly explained how the little boy got through into the exhibit. So I don’t feel I have enough information to make an informed opinion.
That said, our son was a supreme escape artist who screamed if you put him in a stroller and wouldn’t hold your hand. We tried a harness and he ran as far as it would let him, then wrapped it around the nearest person. He got away from us at Disney while surrounded by four adults. He would run across a parking lot even after being told not to. This is the kid that literally bounced off walls because he would keep running until he ran into something.
None of this was malicious; he was the happiest and easiest child I’ve known in every other area of his life. But he was VERY HIGH energy.
So, could this terrible tragedy have been prevented? Until I know more, I’m not going to blame either party.
David C. said on May 31, 2016 at 7:53 pm
That’s hilarious, Jeff. I can’t imagine a kid could get into one of those without some help from dad though. Not that I’ve studied them enough to know how a kid could get in.
nancy said on May 31, 2016 at 8:08 pm
I was inclined to believe Zoo Mom was asleep at the switch, but others — witnesses who didn’t know her — said it happened so fast, they couldn’t believe it. And people I know are stepping forward with their own stories of losing kids, or getting lost themselves. One, an adult, said she got away from her mom at the Detroit Zoo and fell into the tapir exhibit. (Fortunately, tapirs are herbivores and lack prehensile appendages.)
Bottom line, shit happens.
The vegan girl across the street, whose Twitter I follow, has been increasingly PETA-ized since her conversion to vegetarian’s Hezbollah faction. She said the lives of the gorilla and child were equal. OK, then.
Sherri said on May 31, 2016 at 8:19 pm
My then 18 month old was standing beside me in a store while I paid for something. I turned away to put my wallet away and when I turned back, she was gone. I looked around, and she was at the door of the store headed out. I took off running, and fortunately she turned onto the sidewalk instead of continuing straight into the street. Kids can move much faster than they have the judgement for, and even if you’re vigilant, they can get away from you in a hurry.
Sherri said on May 31, 2016 at 8:27 pm
I assume your vegan neighbor hasn’t always been vegan, and therefore is doing proper penance and atonement for all the co-equal chickens, pigs, and cows that were sacrificed to assuage her appetites in her past. Or are you sins washed away when PETA throws fake blood over you to baptize you?
MichaelG said on May 31, 2016 at 8:30 pm
It’s a hun here. Supposed to be 105 on Friday. I know, I can see the tolerant smiles on the AZ contingent.
Sherri said on May 31, 2016 at 8:38 pm
Forget Bernie’s carping at Democrats. The real reason he should drop out is to improve security lines at airports!
Heather said on May 31, 2016 at 9:22 pm
My toddler nephew somehow let himself out of a small hotel room while my older nephew and brother were inside–I think my brother was in the bathroom. He found him playing with the automatic doors to the hotel entrance. Luckily an older gentleman was there keeping an eye on him and didn’t freak out/call the police etc. He told my brother he figured someone would come looking for him soon enough.
Suzanne said on May 31, 2016 at 9:43 pm
Yeah, my kid got away from me at the mall as I was writing out a check (back when one did such things). He was in his stroller when I started and wasn’t when I stopped. After my mind passing loose in the mall and going straight to kidnapping by a pervert with all that horror, kid pops out of the display window of the store and smiles. It happens so quickly.
That said, though, I have seen parents of young children allowing or participating in stupid behavior. Go to the Grand Canyon and you are surrounded by oblivious parents unconcerned that their youngster is cavorting on the edge of the abyss. A number of years ago, the observation area of the Lincoln Bank building in Fort Wayne opened the observation deck for the day. There is a thick stone wall maybe shoulder height, but no railing, no plexiglass barrier. One guy had his kid, who I would have estimated to be about 3, sitting on the top of the wall. He was holding on to him, but a kid that age can be a mini Houdini. I had to walk to another part of the deck- it made my stomache queasy. I might have said something, but didn’t want to startle either one of them.
basset said on May 31, 2016 at 11:20 pm
Back to the boat for a minute. What is the appeal of just going out there and driving the boat around? My total sailing experience totals about half an hour over thirty years ago, on a Hobie Cat in Kansas, and I don’t get it.
Dave said on May 31, 2016 at 11:21 pm
It happened to us, our youngest disappeared at Sea World, when there was one at Aurora, OH. He was RIGHT THERE and then he wasn’t. We were, of course, panicked, but a little search of the area and we found him in the care of a lady who said, much as someone said above, I knew someone would be along.
I don’t know anything about the zoo and the layout, either, my first thought was, “What kind of parents. . .?” but then I thought of how our son suddenly vanished when he was about three. Dex, criminal prosecution? We don’t know anything about these people. Yet.
Dave said on May 31, 2016 at 11:25 pm
2 to 3 people a year fall into the Grand Canyon, something they don’t like to talk about. My sister has five sons and they were kind of a wild bunch at times, when they visited the Grand Canyon, those sons gave her fits. They’re all adults now and doing fine.
Still miss the edit button.
Hattie said on May 31, 2016 at 11:30 pm
Kids can disappear in a flash. We were at the Basel Zoo, watching a dolphin show, when suddenly we realized our three year old had disappeared. She had just ducked behind a side wall. My mother was with us, and her knees gave out and she fell. So scary. Kids are fast, and a few seconds with your eyes off them is enough for them to vanish.
Peggy said on June 8, 2016 at 2:38 am
So glad to see someone else getting impatient with Rod Dreher. He takes himself so seriously as a sensible conservative, but he’s sure the only reason black people have trouble is that they have a Bad Culture. This morning he posted a story about a drunk black motorist getting arrested for drunk driving with a very unflattering picture. Even his friends said “WTF? Take that down!” He said he thought the picture of a drunk black woman was “funny”, but took it down. But the very next thing he put up was concern about how bad the schools would be when they’re majority/minority. Not because racism but culture. Racism is over, doncha know.