I put a spell on you.

There’s one in every neighborhood, isn’t there?


Truth be told, this isn’t my neighborhood, although there’s an even more elaborate display at the end of my street. That one is, in true rah-rah Grosse Pointe fashion, a haunted-yard thing that I believe raises money for local causes. I suspect the people who put up this display just seriously dig Halloween.

Which is today. Boo.

I look forward to getting the candy out of the house, and may have deliberately bought just a tad less than I think we can use, just so I’m assured it’ll all be gone and temptation banished by the time Nov. 1 dawns. I bought a new dress last week, and it is not for candy-lovers. Yes, another new dress. I need something new for the auto show in January, and as it happens, we’re invited to a black-tie event next weekend, for which it will do nicely. It’s not my usual style, but it does have a plunging neckline, in case you’re wondering, and I know Brian is wondering.

I spent the weekend busy, and I recommend it highly as we lurch toward D-Day. Errands. To-do lists. Closet clean-outs. The sort of thing that gives you a sense of accomplishment and requires just enough mental engagement that you don’t have to think about the election, the stupid things written about the election, and pretty much anything else except whether to toss, sell or save item X found forgotten in the basement. Before psychotropic drugs, psychiatrists used to calm mental patients with occupational therapy. Build a birdhouse, an ashtray, a paint-by-numbers gorilla — all of this unhooks the mind from that which is making it so upset.

I did read this clear, sober Fact Checker column on the new email story, or, as the GOP nominee would say, the biggest thing since Watergate. And I read this Susan Faludi column on the Democratic nominee:

It was my third day at the Republican National Convention in 1996, and my notebook overflowed with a one-note theme: “You do know that Hillary Clinton is funding the whole radical feminist agenda?” “She had Vince Foster killed.” “She’s behind many more murders than that.” “It’s well-established that Hillary Clinton belonged to a satanic cult, still does.” The consensus among Pat Buchanan’s supporters seemed ardent and universal, though the object of this obloquy wasn’t even on the opposing ticket.

One of the mysteries of 2016 is the degree to which Hillary Clinton is reviled. Not just rationally opposed but viscerally and instinctively hated. None of the stated reasons for the animus seem to satisfy. Yes, she’s careful and cagey, and her use of a private email server, which the F.B.I. flung back into the news on Friday, was a big mistake. But no, she’s not more dishonest than other politicians, and compared with her opponent, she’s George Washington. Her policies, even where bold, are hardly on the subversive fringe.

Yet she’s cast not just as a political combatant but as a demon who, in the imaginings of Republicans like Paul D. Ryan, the speaker of the House, and Representative Trent Franks, would create an America “where passion — the very stuff of life — is extinguished” (the former) and where fetuses would be destroyed “limb from limb” (the latter).

Indeed. My alma mater, that excuse for a newspaper that should be made to surrender its Pulitzer Prize, used just that argument to justify its endorsement of Trump on Friday. I knew it was coming; I mean, the editorial page editor has been pee-dancing (Roy’s priceless phrase) around Trump, mainly over GUNZ, WHICH HILLARY IS GOING TO TAKE AWAY, JUST LIKE OBAMA DID. But the final endorsement, which I suspect he didn’t write (I have an ear for prose styles, and this hits a little flat), uses the subtle headline, Let’s keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House. It’s a pathetic argument, which seems to run this way: Yes, Trump is a problem, but Pence! And Hillary is SO BAD. So vote Trump, because Pence.

I’m so embarrassed to have ever worked there. My new resume line is that I worked at “the News-Sentinel, a Knight-Ridder daily which, sadly, no longer exists.” It’s true. What’s left is a shopper.

I think I need to clean a few closets. Join me? And have a great week. Boo!

Posted at 12:10 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

59 responses to “I put a spell on you.”

  1. alex said on October 31, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Halloween’s over for us. Our neighborhood association had it on Sunday afternoon. And as has become the usual pattern, people skip the gay house. It was a real downer to watch. So my partner finally took the bowl of candy and just put it out by the street.

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  2. Suzanne said on October 31, 2016 at 7:20 am

    I read that News-Sentinel endorsement last week when it was posted on Facebook by a Facebook friend of mine who also worked there (for a short time. Intern, I think). I was more put off by the poor writing. These are supposed to be professionals, right? It read like a high school newspaper…and not a high quality one.

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  3. Deborah said on October 31, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Alex, seriously? In 2016, people are doing that? So sad.

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  4. Deborah said on October 31, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Krugman sees it the way I do http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/10/31/opinion/working-the-refs.html?referer=http://l.facebook.com/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2016%2F10%2F31%2Fopinion%2Fworking-the-refs.html&e=ATMMJIpxbc4jHbSpu0NCsh-DUX6iWopc2Gx-AY0oap9AF08mUzjSipLG26NS6XHuAA

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  5. brian stouder said on October 31, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Say – somebody oughta write Rachel Maddow; her show has a graphic that shows the papers that have endorsed HRC (lengthy list!) and those that have endorsed Thurston Howell’s alter-ego – which I think is up to 4 papers….

    PS – and indeed, we look forward to pics of the auto show dress!

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  6. Dorothy said on October 31, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Alex that is just plain dumbass and terribly sad. I am so sorry you guys have to experience that.

    Okay don’t make fun of me, kids. Mike and I want to do a little day trip drive, less than two hours from our house one way. We decided on Muncie! There’s a quilt store for me and a hobby store (toy trains) for him. We are considering either Amazing Joe’s Grill or Scotty’s Brewhouse. Which one do you suggest? Or should we consider something else all together? We’re not too fussy. I don’t drink beer but Mike enjoys one or two. This will be for lunch. We’re doing this on November 12, in the hope that we’ll be making a toast to the new President Clinton’s impending inauguration.

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  7. FDChief said on October 31, 2016 at 9:50 am

    We have one of those over-the-top Halloween displays down the street and amid the tombstones and rising dead is a Trump yard sign because, according to my kid, ” THAT is REALLY scarey!”

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  8. adrianne said on October 31, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Alex, sorry that you have dumbasses for neighbors. What do they think you’re going to do to the candy?

    I’ve offloaded Halloween to my sons and husband this year (away for the weekend, won’t get home until late tonight). They did a fine job carving pumpkins and have purchased a vat of candy. We still get a lot of trick or treaters, and it’s a particularly lovely day here. So boo, y’all!

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  9. brian stouder said on October 31, 2016 at 10:13 am

    I will make the rounds of our neighborhood with our 12 year old, who will be costumed as a Star Wars character named Ahsoka Tano.

    Ms Tano requires a fairly unique head gear – which Pam somehow fabricated.

    I’m sure they’ll facebook it, and when they do I’ll let you know, ’cause you HAVE to see it! (and with any luck at all, it will NOT rain tonight!)

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  10. Deborah said on October 31, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Living in a high-rise as we have for decades means no tricker treaters. In Santa Fe, our apartment is on ground level but at the end of deadend street, which is narrow, dark and scary at night, so no trick or treaters there either. I still always buy candy just in case, and of course we end of with a bag of those little snickers bars which I end up eating over a long period of time until I finally throw at least half of it out.

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  11. Judybusy said on October 31, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Alex, that just stinks, especially as I’m sure you two buy good candy!

    Tonight, we’re going to a local theater/bar/restaurant/bowling alley for politically-inspired improv. A woman running for our state house of reps will be there, interviewed by a funny guy while improv performers take notes. They then perform various skits. I may have described a previous show–it was super funny. The woman’s candidacy is exciting, as she will be the first Somali person elected to state office! (there are about two Republicans in her Minneapolis district, so she’s a lock.)

    Deborah, I hope you heal quickly. Being bored sucks.

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  12. ROGirl said on October 31, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Last year Halloween was really cold, it’s warmer today, so maybe there will be more kids. Not so many over the top displays, lights, etc this year . Is the election too distracting?

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  13. Heather said on October 31, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Alex, seriously? Everyone knows the gays have the best candy and decorations. Sigh.

    I sometimes try to sit by our back gate with candy as otherwise no one comes to our building–but I don’t usually get home by 6:30 during the week so I doubt there will be many kids out by then. I did go with my nephews and some other kids while I was visiting them in Boston–but it was in a shopping area, which always seems slightly depressing. Didn’t matter to the kids though.

    Didn’t wear a costume to work today for our company competition, but I did wear some cat ears to be in the spirit.

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  14. Icarus said on October 31, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Halloween has always been my favorite holiday and I would love to put out a display like the one Nancy featured here. We are slowly building ours up, with me adding some items as the stores reduce prices to clear inventory for Christmas stuff (in early Oct no less).

    Alex, that sucks. I assume it is the parents and the kids wouldn’t care one way or the other.

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  15. brian stouder said on October 31, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    I assume it is the parents and the kids wouldn’t care one way or the other.

    Icarus must be correct. Chloe’s and my approach is – if the porch-light is on, we’ll head for it!

    We probably end up walking somewhere around 2 miles (?) – around several blocks.

    On one hand, it puts me off a little when kids pile out of minivans and then pile back in again (the walk amongst all the other goblins and ghouls is more than 1/2 the fun!); but only a little.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on October 31, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Alex, that’s awful, but maybe this will make you feel better: http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/Indiana-Tech-Law-School-to-close-in-June-16059488. That didn’t take long.

    As I turned 60 this weekend, I chose to float above the news and be chill.

    And today is Monday and it has been a true Monday, Monday at work, so I have to get back to it.

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  17. Deborah said on October 31, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    There’s a house on Dearborn and Goethe in Chicago that goes all out for Halloween. I assume the people who live there are quite wealthy, it’s a pricey neighborhood. They usually have animatronic figures that move and make noise. It always attracts passersby, everybody gets out their phones and snap photos and videos. There are a few other houses further north on Dearborn who have had gigantic spiders in their minuscule front yards, some are very creative. I sometimes go up to Lincoln Park to watch the kiddos from the Latin school parade around in their costumes. I won’t be doing it this year because of my damn foot.

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  18. Deborah said on October 31, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Happy birthday Julie!

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  19. Bitter Scribe said on October 31, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    My neighborhood has several exhibits like the one pictured.

    Once I was driving with an acquaintance who wrinkled her nose at one and said, “How tacky.”

    I said, “It’s Halloween. It’s supposed to be tacky.”

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  20. Suzanne said on October 31, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Happy birthday, Julie! I just saw the news that the Ind Tech Law School was closing. I’m not entirely sure why they ever opened. A friend of mine graduated from IU’s Law School back in the day and is a very, very successful lawyer in another state. She’s said consistently the past 3 or 4 years that there are no law jobs. Her firm hasn’t hired anyone in years. If graduating with a law degree from a well known law school is still unlikely to lead to a decent position, a law degree from a school like Ind Tech just would seem kind of pointless. It struck me as doomed from the start.

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  21. Andrea said on October 31, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    So sorry, Alex! and sorry for those poor kids, some of whom are gay, I’m sure.

    I agree with Nancy’s strategy of keeping busy with nearly-mindless tasks. I even braved the horrors of my 17-year-old son’s bedroom, to try to find missing towels and change the sheets on his bed. I also ironed a dozen or so shirts, which requires some focus to get the back pleat just so, and let’s not forget about the dang sleeves.

    I have long thought Anthony Weiner was gum on the sole of my shoe, but I have downgraded him to dogshit.

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  22. Charlotte said on October 31, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    I just ascertained that year-old fun size Snickers are perfectly fine. As are the KitKats left over from last year. So the few kids who come to my house, will be protected by the magic of packaging + preservatives. We get a good crowd at Himself’s house — which is suitably spooky, he has several gargoyles on the bay window roof (you can buy them from the tin-ceiling vendor), and he hangs these cool yearling-deer skulls that have tiny proto-spikes where the antlers would have grown — also Very Spooky! His street gets a good crop of kids — in part because someone has one of those yards full of inflatable spooky stuff — and then pretty much every kid in the county descends on a 4 block stretch of Yellowstone street. The police block it off, and the local community thrift store donates candy to folks on that block, and in the past few years, some of the parents have taken to bringing along a bag of treats to donate to residents on that block. Because it’s something insane like 500 or 600 kids! But fun. Parents hang out, all the kids get to see one another’s costumes —

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  23. Julie Robinson said on October 31, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    How ever does anyone have year old candy, or throw candy out? Sugar, thy name is addiction.

    Besides chilling this weekend I ironed somewhere around 20 shirts; I’m getting ready to travel and when I get back it will be Thanksgiving and family will be staying with us. I watched a couple of great documentaries about Broadway musicals. One was the recent HBO special, Six by Sondheim, the other one an older piece about A Chorus Line. I kinda hate ironing but I’m too cheap to send shirts out.

    My dear hubby asked what he bought me for my birthday, in case anyone asked. Hamilton tickets, I said, and that answer will be good for Christmas too. This is how gift giving works in our house.

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  24. brian stouder said on October 31, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Happy birthday, Julie!

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  25. Judybusy said on October 31, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Happy birthday, Julie! I hope those Hamilton tix come your way!

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  26. Icarus said on October 31, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    @Deborah, I bet this is the house you speak of


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  27. Sherri said on October 31, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Happy Birthday, Julie! That’s how gift giving works in our house, too, and I’m very jealous of your Hamilton tickets. The touring show is supposed to be here next season.

    Alex, I’m sorry that happens. Related to that, on the theme of avoiding gay cooties, I just found out that the WA Supreme Court will be hearing arguments in the Arlene’s Flowers case on Nov. 15 in Bellevue, so I don’t even have to trek down to Olympia to go to the hearing. This is the case about Baronelle Stutzman arguing that her religious rights trump the anti-discrimination law in WA, and she shouldn’t have to provide flowers for a gay wedding. The anti-discrimination law and LGBTQs as a protected class have been around for quite a while in WA, even before WA passed same sex marriage, before Obergfell, and the state Supreme Court leans liberal, so I don’t think Stutzman is likely to prevail here, but this is just one of several cases the group backing her is pursuing.

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  28. brian stouder said on October 31, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Well, this article taught me a new word:


    an excerpt:

    Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announced the plan on Monday along the Wells Street Bridge, which will serve as the eventual connection between the south and north sides of the riverfront development. The project will include a promenade, park pavilion, event lawn, entry plaza with sculpture/signage, urban bioswale, educational water feature, urban streetscape, central plaza, urban riverfront terraces, elevated boardwalk, dock, interactive sculpture, and children’s play area, the city said.

    and I thought – “bioswale?”

    And Uncle Google filled in the blank…

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  29. Dexter said on October 31, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Lotta sports-haters here, but yas gotsta love Joe Maddon, Cubs skipper: Sign in Cubs clubhouse after Sunday’s win over Cleveland read “Plane leaves at 7:00—Halloween costumes encouraged.” Joe said he had already ordered Halloween costumes for everybody. Because no damn World Series is going to interfere with Halloween. This is the manager whose personal motorhome has a Cousin Eddie silhouette. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CMlVsj-UsAAQuj-.jpg

    His one instruction to the team in spring training 2016: “Try Not to Suck”. It became a huge-selling tee shirt among Cubsters.
    On the other lakeshore, the biggest tee shirt sales were generated by the “Party at Napoli’s” phenomenon, started innocently by a fan and evolving into a huge fund-raising gig for Cleveland Clinic Children’s. Mike Napoli is a big guy, single and loving a party, who booms out long home runs for the Tribe.

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  30. brian stouder said on October 31, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Speaking of Cousin Eddie, THIS was the highlight, for me –


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  31. Sherri said on October 31, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    I learned about bioswales and rain gardens and other methods of handling runoff in a ecologically sound way when some changes to the Low Impact Development plan came before planning commission. This sets how much of a lot can be developed and how to deal with hard surfaces so that runoff is handled in a way as close as possible to natural conditions, and is required for compliance with the Clean Water Act. It’s especially important here because part,of our drinking water comes from an aquifer that is pretty close to the surface.

    So, sometimes what you think is just landscaping alongside a street is actually a rain garden for cleaning runoff!

    (I love infrastructure!)

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  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 31, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Mmmm, infrastructure. Runoff and hardscapes and eco-friendly design is indeed fun stuff, if you like clean water! “But what about my flagstone patio and giant outdoor grill in a tiny downtown backyard? You Commies…”

    In other news, my editor is now in Cincinnati. Which is (forgive me) barely in Ohio. Meh.

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  33. nancy said on October 31, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    This just goes to show Brian doesn’t read my Bridge stories, because I wrote about rain gardens and bioswales just a few weeks ago.

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  34. susan said on October 31, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Wow. This Comey guy… http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/31/fbis-comey-opposed-naming-russians-citing-election-timing-source.html

    This shit gets weirder and weirder.

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  35. Charlotte said on October 31, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Drunk Napoli was a huge hit on Twitter when the Red Sox won the Series in 2013 … people all over Boston were taking pictures of Napoli, sans shirt, drinking and wandering the streets and pulling beers behind rando bars. It was great. Since Himself is a self-described Masshole, we’ve been watching Francona/Napoli vs Lester/Ross …
    Frankly, I left Chicago in 1985, and seeing all those florid drunk white guys in the stands at Wrigley, I’m remembering why … I’m sort of agnostic in this one, probably leaning Indians because they’ve been playing killer baseball since they killed the Red Sox in the playoffs. Cubs would be a nice story, Indians have a totally racist logo — once Big Papi is relegated to sitting in the stands, I was pretty much over this season. Sigh. Papi.

    Have you guys seen this though? The ESPN Body Issue videos are great — this one is Jake Arrieta pitching naked (blurred for modesty) and speaking really interestingly about the mechanics of pitching. The one that really got me though comes after — Greg Lougainis, talking about living with HIV, and just living. And diving! naked! so beautiful … http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=16616055

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  36. brian stouder said on October 31, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Well, although you do indeed “put a spell on me” – I confess that I only hit the Bridge when you put a link here and say something like “Hey – look at this!”…and then I binge read several things over there. (also, when you’re on vacation, it’s a good place to get a Telling Tales fix, so to speak)

    The “breaking news” from Washington Post is so loaded with typos that it really must be “breaking”.

    This WaPo sentence made me guffaw:

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest praised Comey as “a man of principle…integrity and talent,” and said that President Obama, who nominated Comey three years ago to serve a ten-year sentence, does not believe that he is trying to influence the presidential election.

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  37. Danny said on October 31, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Dexter, is it just me or do Joe Buck and John Smoltz have almost exactly the same voice?!?!!

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  38. Julie Robinson said on October 31, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks for all the birthday wishes. I got the Hamilton tickets a few weeks ago, but they aren’t until the end of April. So maybe they’ll have to be Mother’s Day presents too. $$$

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  39. Sherri said on October 31, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    This article explains why I think that saying Clinton was stupid to use a private email server misses the point. Even if she hadn’t used a private email server, she would have used a personal email account, because literally everybody in government does so, and there just would have been some other string that House Republicans would have pulled on.


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  40. Sherri said on October 31, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    I have little doubt that Trump likes Putin because Putin said nice things about him, though I’m less certain about others in his ambit like Gen. Flynn. But what is Putin’s game? Mike Lofgren provides some insight.


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  41. Sherri said on October 31, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Is this part of the info that Comey thought too hot to release during an election? It’s a very odd pattern of communications between servers.


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  42. Sherri said on October 31, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Several months ago, when it was clear that Republicans weren’t even going to consider Merrill Garland, I wondered if they would really refuse to consider a Clinton nominee for four years, and thought maybe I was being too cynical. I forgot. It’s impossible to be too cynical with current Republicans. We’re up to 3 Republican Senators who have declared that they are going to wait at least 4 years to fill the vacancy, or vacancies, should more occur. McCain, Cruz, and now Richard Burr, in NC. The good news is that Burr is in a tight race; the bad news is that nC is still doing all that it can to suppress voting, even after the courts smacked them down.

    Societies don’t work without norms, and Republicans no longer care about norms. This is profoundly disturbing, and I don’t know what to do about it.

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  43. Diane said on October 31, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Alex, that is appalling! I must must live in that same bubble Deborah talks about without even knowing it because I would have never thought that that kind of shunning still occurred!

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  44. Deborah said on October 31, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Yep Icarus, that’s exactly the same house. It’s actually a little more subdued this year compared to previous years.

    I walked all the way to Whole Foods and back in my boot today. It’s about a 3/4 mile round trip walk. I don’t think I’m supposed to walk that far yet, but it felt great to get out and my boot positions my foot so that it doesn’t hurt to put weight on it. The rest of the day I binge watched Stranger Things, I’m about halfway through it now.

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  45. Jill said on October 31, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Happy birthday, Julie.

    Alex, I thought what Icarus wrote: It must be the parents because the kids couldn’t care less about the source of the candy. Jerk parents. And I didn’t know gay people used different candy. I guess I’m more sheltered than I realized.

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  46. Sherri said on October 31, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Pretty good take on Peter Thiel. And something to keep in mind re Elon Musk. rich and eccentric isn’t necessarily the same thing as genius.


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  47. alex said on October 31, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    I figure the candy we bought wasn’t all that special. The Halloween aisle at Kroger has pretty limited choices. But I think we chose with good taste. We went for the M&Ms, Snickers, Milky Way, Hershey’s bag versus the sour pucker stuff and brands I’d never heard of.

    Yeah, it’s the parents. And it hurts to be confronted with the realization that we’re being badmouthed by our neighbors. And I can’t help but wonder what messages they’re passing along to their own children and the children of others. Are we going to experience wanton vandalism and antisocial treatment as they get older? Are these people so unhinged that they make us out to be total degenerates or something? It’s discomfiting. I swore I’d never be one of the paranoid types who’d place surveillance cams all over the place but now I’m concerned that I’ll need them one day.

    And what hurts most I must confess is that there are neighbors who have gone out of their way to make us feel welcome at the neighborhood picnic, but I’m not sure how sincere it is or whether they just feel like they’re being put upon by some to be politically correct. There is one couple who when they first moved in were very friendly who had been neighbors with a gay friend of ours in their old neighborhood and we used to give them plant starts and had a fairly good rapport, but lately they seem to have been browbeaten by people who dislike us and now only talk to us on the down-low. It’s like schoolyard politics and the bullies rule. Another neighbor has a gay son — in fact wants us to go to his shows at a strip club, and she used to be a stripper herself — but doesn’t want to be associated with us in front of the neighbors. And she thinks Sara Palin is the shit.

    At least there aren’t any Trump signs in our neighborhood. No Hillary signs either. But I’ve been forced to reckon with the fact that I live amongst a bunch of people I don’t respect and who don’t respect me.

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  48. Sherri said on October 31, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    That’s really shitty, Alex. “Real” America sucks sometimes.

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  49. Jolene said on October 31, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Your experience, Alex, though not specifically election-related, is of a piece with the experience I’ve been having throughout this whole long, horrible election season–that is, learning deeply disappointing things about the people I live among. I can’t stand the constant displays of paranoia, ignorance, and hate. Conservatism is one thing. The post-factual Trumposphere is something else.

    As others have said, I’m sorry you had this experience.

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  50. Joe K said on October 31, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Alex buddy thinking good thoughts your way.
    I can get you a Trump sign if you want one.
    Pilot Joe

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  51. Dexter said on November 1, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Danny, Joe Buck is more methodical and John Smoltz is different because he knows all the answers. There has never been a better booth color man. Three man booths are too crowded. I have concluded the McCarver-Buck team was a disaster because of McCarver, because Buck is just great teamed with Smoltz.

    It’s been years since Dr. Gonzo committee suicide in Colorado, and the reason was stated as being the end of the football season, which drove the man into clinical depression , bored to death from loss of his hobby, football gambling.
    When baseball ends, I get a little depressed until hockey and basketball and football get me back into the flow. For me, baseball is coffee and other sports are light de-caf, better than nothing, but just winter fill time until spring.

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  52. Jerry said on November 1, 2016 at 3:39 am

    Yesterday JCBurns asked if any readers weren’t going to vote. Well I’m not- but I’m claiming ineligibility as my excuse.

    As for Halloween: it isn’t nearly as big as over there. In fact when we were young trick and treat didn’t exist. Even when our sons were young it hardly happened. Now most houses with children seem to have pumpkins and one or two decorate – there’s a photo of one on my Flickr account (paid enters). Last night were all set up with sweets and the porch light on; but nobody called! Now we’ve all those sweets to eat.

    Alex, my sympathies to you and your partner. Very distressing.

    And happy birthday, Julie.

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  53. Jerry said on November 1, 2016 at 3:42 am

    Thanks to autocorrect I seem to have been transformed to “paid enters”!

    My Halloween photo can be found at Flickr.com/photos/paidetres

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  54. alex said on November 1, 2016 at 5:53 am

    Beautiful countryside Jerry!

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  55. jerry said on November 1, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Alex, there really is some beautiful countryside round here. We’re very much in suburbia with central London a 25 minute train ride but there are farms within 10 miles.

    Kent is called, or at least used to be, “Th Garden of England”. Nothing dramatic and hard to be very far from a road but lots of orchards and fields and woods and old buildings – the Bull Inn which we last walked t has been an Inn now for almost 350 years. Sometimes I’m jealous of the amount of space and grandeur in parts of America but I think I’ll settle happily for England.

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  56. Suzanne said on November 1, 2016 at 7:09 am

    That does stink, Alex.
    I’d say the enduring legacy of this election is that it has stripped away civility and this is sad. I now look differently at a number of people I used to respect because of their rabid support of Trump. If someone supports him as the least objectionable choice, OK. But I don’t see that. People I know think he is the man to lead us into the promised land and make our lives utopian. People who I thought were sensible & wise. It’s making me question a lot of what I thought I knew about my life.

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  57. Jill said on November 1, 2016 at 7:53 am

    It’s fun to see your photos, Jerry. Seems like an awful lot of missing/stolen dogs there.

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  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 1, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Alex, sorry to hear about your neighborhood. That’s a hard spot to be in, especially knowing it’s not that way everywhere.

    I’ve got a seminary intern this year, and one thing we’ve been talking about is the pastoral challenge of . . . knowing stuff. It changes how you interact with people, and it shouldn’t, but it has to. Both/and. Over time, you learn who is chronically telling you things about their family that aren’t so, which ones you don’t dare get onto certain subjects with or they become a frothing maniac, who has domestic violence charges or court orders against . . . and in all three of those categories, we’re talking about angelic elderly ladies who are the backbone of the church, but also have baggage.

    You learn who says racist stuff as soon as the pastor is out of earshot, and who is kind of uncomfortably “huggy” and who will take things out of your purse if you leave it laying in the wrong places. You learn which couples actually can’t even talk to each other, and seem to come to church largely to tell other people things for them to say to their spouse (50+ years married), and who is in an open marriage (or so one half of the couple says to you, and you really don’t want to check that with the other).

    It’s all stuff you can’t un-learn, and sometimes you almost wish you could, but you can’t. And then you have to figure out what it means to live in community with them anyhow. It’s hard. But not as hard as pretending is, I point out. At least over time.

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  59. Jolene said on November 1, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Jeff, what are commutative prayers?

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