Sobriety doesn’t suck.

How does the song go? “How dry I am,” something like that. Approaching the 48th hour of alcohol-free living, I’m starting to feel more or less like a teetotaler, even though I slept horribly last night. A nice early bedtime doesn’t pay off if you wake up at 1 a.m. and don’t get back to sleep until after 3. But that will pay off in a good sleep tonight, I devoutly hope.

HBO has some sort of series up on its streaming service – “Risky Drinking,” or some such. It’s not as good as it could have been, but the 20 minutes or so I watched wasn’t bad. Subject: Problem drinkers. Spoiler: There are a lot of them out there. My main takeaway was how many adults old enough to know better still drink like college students, with the multiple rounds of Fireball shots, the mixing of beer and vodka and all sorts of vile crap, all served in plastic cups in horrible bars.

My second takeaway is that there’s nothing more boring, and intolerable, as a drunk. I’ve known a few, and that glassy-eyed stare they get brings back unpleasant memories.

I respect you recovering alcoholics in the readership, for sure. I only wonder what is so appealing about drinking that much in the first place. All addictions are ugly, but they start out in something like beauty, at least for the addict.

The barfing always turned me off.

Not much bloggage today, because I worked and didn’t do much sniffing around the internet. But there’s this: Intellectuals for Trump. Yep.

Happy Tuesdaying, all.

Posted at 9:49 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

62 responses to “Sobriety doesn’t suck.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 2, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Read the New Yorker piece earlier today, and all I can say is “good luck with that.”

    Twitter tells me the new Apprentice catch-phrase is, stunningly, “You’re terminated.” Thanks, Ahnuld.

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  2. basset said on January 2, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    From yesterday’s thread: Alex, it’s not about who’s calling who something, do you not see that? Meanwhile, Joe and I have even more in common than I thought.

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  3. basset said on January 2, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    And to the Proprietress’s question, “I only wonder what is so appealing about drinking that much in the first place” – well, your troubles go away for awhile. That’s about it. They come back, sometimes in a different form, but you can just get everything to shut the hell up for a few minutes, and for a limited time that’s worth it.

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  4. alex said on January 2, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Intellectuals for Trump. Reminds me of Intellectuals for the Roswell UFO, one of whom who used to stalk the proprietress.

    Basset, I wasn’t sure what the fuck they were measuring. They got me all wrong. Didn’t eat in any of those chain restaurants. Didn’t watch any of those movies. But I smoked like a chimney.

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  5. alex said on January 2, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Amen Basset at 4. Having my hair of the dog nightcap to celebrate the end of a holiday weekend before heading into Drynuary.

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  6. Deborah said on January 2, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    I normally do the dry January thing but since I will be in NM until Jan 10, I will start after that. Who knows how long I will take it. We’ll see.

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  7. Andrea said on January 2, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    I start Dryuary on Jan. 2 and go through Feb. 1. So far, so good, but it’s the first day…. I did OK last year, though, so am hoping for the same this year. A lot of people give up alcohol for Lent also, and that’s longer.

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  8. alex said on January 2, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Thank God I’m a heathen. I’m not giving it up for Lent.

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  9. Julie Robinson said on January 2, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    About 15 years ago I started taking a pain med that said no alcohol, so I stopped drinking, and that was that. I’ve stopped taking the med, and thought I’d join my hubby in a glass of wine, but–meh. Didn’t enjoy it, didn’t feel relaxed. Why bother?

    Sugar, though, that stuff is crack.

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  10. MichaelG said on January 2, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    I’m sorry, Brian. I hope the year picks up.

    Never heard of the dry January thing. I’ve quit drinking several times for months at a time over the last couple of years because of my illness. I just didn’t feel like drinking. Tonight I’m sipping a nice zinfandel.

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  11. Kerry said on January 3, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Inspired by NN’s mention of Whole30 – two years in a row, if memory serves – my daughter and I have embarked on the dark journey into alcohol-lessness and sugarlessness. Will let you know if we survive until February.

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  12. brian stouder said on January 3, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Well, alcohol has never held any charms for me (I always had a ‘glass jaw’ – and the stuff made me sick as dog) – but icy cold Diet Pepsi (or Diet Coke, if there’s no option) is generally always a welcome refresher.

    Our major family news from yesterday is, of course, still swirling.

    The Emerald City hospital and its environment and so on is always an adventure. The human beings who work there are (by turns) interesting/amazing/odd/open.

    Aside from that, there are some sparkling stories of genuinely amazing grace and courage and intelligence, on the part of family and others, including a flat-out remarkable exchange student who is living with them.

    Forward we go, eh?

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  13. ROGirl said on January 3, 2017 at 11:01 am

    I’m an amateur drinker, the few times I got really drunk were enough for me. Heard a report on ahnuld’s apprentice tv debut on the radio this am, he got all nazi-ish on Snookie, trying to get her to rat out another contestant. It was pretty repulsive.

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  14. Heather said on January 3, 2017 at 11:05 am

    I can’t do Drynuary–my birthday is on Inauguration Day and I will need the soothing shield of alcohol to blunt the despair. I need to cut down though. I ate a lot of sugar and fat, and drank a lot over the holidays and it’s showing up on my skin (and my waistline).

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  15. Icarus said on January 3, 2017 at 11:59 am

    don’t know if i forgot to hit submit or if i’m in moderation purgatory. I’m doing a 3 day sugar detox, which means no alcoholic nitecaps or after work cocktails.

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  16. Dorothy said on January 3, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Brian I’m so sorry to hear about your brother-in-law.

    We had two deaths in our family last week. First my brother-in-law’s mom died on Christmas Day. Then Mike’s aunt did pass away on Thursday around 4 AM. We were on the way to Pittsburgh to the hospital where she was when we got the call about a half hour later. What a week! My mom is doing well, though, at the hotel where she’s been since the fire. Her apartment was among the first ones cleaned after my sister had gotten her things packed up and placed into the center of the room. Move ins will happen around the middle of the month. I did get to go up to her floor and see that with my own eyes, and the first floor too. What a mess. I can only imagine with the 7th floor looked like (where the fire took place.) She’s very happy she’s getting to move back. She misses her friends. But we are going to have home health aides come in to look after her a couple times a month at a minimum. We stayed across the hallway from her and we got lots of visits in, between appointments with the VA, the undertaker and the lawyer. Plus the funeral we were going in for. Dolores’s funeral will be in July. She’s been cremated. I’m glad she’s not suffering or causing unhappiness for any of the caregivers or roommates she’s alienated since she moved in there more than two years ago.

    I got 52 on that bubble quiz. I lived in a rural community for 7 years, and was brought up in what was lower middle class surroundings. I also knew Branson MO and who Richard Branson was. Couldn’t they have come up with a better question than that?! Does 52 mean I’m more exposed to lots of life situations? I’m not sure how to interpret that number. It almost feels like an insult but then again, how would I know?!

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  17. brian stouder said on January 3, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks Dorothy, and everyone else. Really, my mission all through the weekend was not to say or do anything irretrievably stupid, and not to get in the way. (In this, I think I was successful)

    Pam (and her family) really bore the brunt of the weekend, and did it with her usual grace and intelligence.

    Aside from all that, there’s this – which I found intriguing:

    the lead:

    After a typical “Meet the Press” appearance, I imagine many guests watch their appearances afterwards to see how they did. Were their answers strong? Did their arguments make sense? What did they say on the air that they should try to say differently during the next interview?

    When Donald Trump appears on “Meet the Press,” it’s a little different. Chuck Todd recently told Politico that the president-elect has a peculiar request after his on-air interviews.

    After several of his Sunday appearances as acandidate, Trump would lean back in his chair and request that the control room replay his appearance on a monitor – sans sound.

    “Then there’s the amount of time he spends after the interview is over, with the sound off. He wants to see what it all looked like. He will watch the whole thing on mute,” Todd told me…. “He’s a very visual guy,” says Todd. “He thinks this way, and look, it’s an important insight in just understanding him. The visual stuff is very real beyond just himself.”

    made me say ‘Huh!’

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  18. Jolene said on January 3, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    James Fallows has written about presidential speeches and debates for years (He was, briefly, a speechwriter for Jimmy Carter.), and he, too, has advocated watching the sound off. Before this past fall’s debates, he wrote about the importance of images in these encounters.

    I wonder what Trump sees when he watches with the sound off. He is not exactly the world’s handsomest guy.

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  19. Jakash said on January 3, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    55 for me on Basset’s “bubble quiz” from yesterday. I imagine I’d still be considered an “elitist” by many in the other bubble, though, because I like classical music, have evolved into being largely indifferent to sports and would rather watch an Oscar-nominated movie or a documentary than the latest car-chase vehicle or addition to Kevin James’ oeuvre. Preferring PBS to reality shows and never having seen “The Apprentice” or its like probably clinches the deal.

    But, I know who BOTH Jimmie Johnsons are, and both Bransons. We watch “Modern Family,” but isn’t that a bubble show, really? Haven’t been to any of those restaurants in the last year, but have in the past, and don’t hate it when we wind up in an Olive Garden or even Cracker Barrel. And we’ve been to Branson, not because we dreamed of vacationing there, but because we’re curious enough folks that when we were in the vicinity, we stopped by to check it out. All in all, a big “Whatevs” to Mr. Murray, in other words.

    As far as Drynuary is concerned, what’s the point of being sober when the nuclear missiles start flying? D’oh! (Granted, I would hope that we at least make it past the end of January. So sue me, I’m an optimist!) ; )

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  20. Deborah said on January 3, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    It’s pretty obvious that appearance is everything to Trump, just look at his entire family. They are always groomed to the max even if they aren’t that attractive (like Eric, the others are exceptionally attractive, especially Ivanka).Trump himself has gotten a bit frumpy as he has aged, but because he is obsessive about his hair and his “tan” it’s obvious it matters a lot to him. We have a friend in Chicago who used to work for Sotheby’s or Christy’s and she can tell from photographs of his dwellings that most of his furnishings are fake. Plus there’s all the gold all over the place, very pretentious. It’s all about image but it comes off as ridiculous, which he seems to be clueless about. Since he surrounds himself with sycophants, he’ll be in denial about his real “image” forever.

    I’m actually optimistic since the reversal of the ethics committee fiasco by the Republicans. The fact that the press jumped on it and it came off looking as ghastly as possible, I’m hoping that will continue to happen to other shenanigans they try to pull off.

    We’re back in Santa Fe, the second day of a road trip back is always a slog.

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  21. Jolene said on January 3, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    The lineup of Trump women is, indeed, amazing. All tall, all thin, and, except for Melania, all blonde. One wonders if, say, a short haircut would precipitate divorce. No question that weight gain would do that.

    Trump complained on Twitter yesterday about CNN’s post-election book, Unprecedented. He hoped it sold well because, you know, ratings, but complained about the photo on the cover.

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  22. Connie said on January 3, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    I so rarely drink that it wouldnt occur to me to take a break.

    Last summer we drove to a far away suburb to meet some friends and watch their son in a Young Americans show. Afterward we were at a nice restaurant that had a beer list that was five pages long single spaced, sorted into categories with which I was unfamiliar. As I pondered my choices, I heard my friend say “gin and tonic.” With relief I said “the same.”

    That was my most recent drink. I do have liquor and wine in the house. And I can actually make a few classic cocktails. My nondrinking stepmother regularly passes on bottles of wine she receives at work. Last week it was a Francis Ford Coppola Claret.

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  23. Sherri said on January 3, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    As I mentioned late in yesterday’s thread, I think there should be other bubble quizzes. I wonder how Charles Murray would do on a bubble quiz about African Americans?

    I have to say, I’m kind of tired of white men with Ivy League degrees, like Murray and JD Vance, telling me about my bubble and how smug and condescending I am to the white working class. I’ll just sit over here with my non-flagship state school degree and keep working to make my community a better place.

    (I had lunch at O’Charley’s today. I’m not sure what that was supposed to teach me about bubbles other than the food was crap, being heavy on food of the fried and over processed variety.)

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  24. brian stouder said on January 3, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Sincerely (and not ‘Dirty Old Man’ly) – the Trump women are the most interesting story.

    How many milliseconds would it take before the Fake News outlets of the world opened their floodgates, if President Obama moved into the White House, and Michelle Obama declared she was NOT coming?

    My opinion of the Donald’s wife leaped up, when I learned she’d as soon live hundreds of miles away from that guy.

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  25. alex said on January 3, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    All tall, all thin, and, except for Melania, all blonde.

    The hell they are. Melania’s the only one who doesn’t bleach hers. Donald was mouse-y brown in his younger days, and so were Ivanna and Marla, and no doubt so are all of their kids.

    I’m sure Melania’s looking forward to having separate living quarters from her abuser where she can strategize how to wrangle the best possible lump-sum alimony.

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  26. MichaelG said on January 3, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Which was the bubble again? High score or low score? Why does one have to be one or the other? I graduated from a state school (SF State) and live in the hood. But then I had lunch at Mulvaney’s today.

    The place is owned by Patrick and Bobbin Mulvaney. It’s a wonderful restaurant with superb food, service and ambiance. A couple of weeks ago we got to talking about cancer and Kaiser and discovered that we knew several people there in common. See the video below. It has some nice Kaiser footage and some nice video of Carlos Perez, the surgeon who operated on me twice. My visits with him always end up lasting a half hour during which we just sit around and bullshit.

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  27. Deborah said on January 3, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I think Melania has had a lot of work done and judging from photos of Ivanka as a teen so has she. It’s hard to tell concerning Tiffany. Trump’s daughters-in-law are attractive too but not as much as Ivanka and Melania. I don’t know, maybe if I had as much money as they do, I’d do the same thing. I’ll never know. I hope not, but who knows.

    Why am I even commenting about those people, it just gives them attention? I need to ignore them all.

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  28. Scout said on January 3, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    For the little I drink, my Drynuary will be more like Nosugarnuary and Nobreadnuary.

    I cannot shake the feeling of doom. I have never been this morose at the turn of a year before. The dread is like tinitis, always this annoying buzz that you cannot ever entirely ignore.

    On the positive side, turns out when a Trump sycophant makes an appeal for people to stop posting unflattering pictures or saying mean things, all kinds of hilarious memes ensue. Hardy har.

    This morning I called my Rep to bitch about the ethics vote. The staffer said they were getting tons of calls and that my congresscritter, Krysten Synema, planned to vote against the rule change. I’m keeping all my Reps on speed dial.

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  29. Jolene said on January 3, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    “The hell they are. Melania’s the only one who doesn’t bleach hers. Donald was mouse-y brown in his younger days, and so were Ivanna and Marla, and no doubt so are all of their kids.”

    Agree. Goes to show how important to be thin and blonde!

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  30. basset said on January 3, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Well, I’m a white man with a degree from a state university (IU Bloomington, took me seven years to work my way through), and I had lunch at Olive Garden yesterday and liked it just fine. Anyone who wants to think less of me for that can kiss my butt.

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  31. Jolene said on January 3, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    On Frontline tonight: President Trump

    Check the listings for your PBS station.

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  32. Jill said on January 3, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Good thoughts to LB for tomorrow.
    And Brian, I’m sorry for your family. Today I attended my first of two funerals this week and there’s another one out of town I can’t get to. My funeral director friend tells me this is always the busiest time of year.

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  33. Sherri said on January 3, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Spent the day meeting with my MIL financial advisor sorting out her affairs and listening to her husband proclaim that he didn’t want the government to get one red cent.

    This from a man who served in the Navy and then was a public school teacher, now draws a government pension, SS, and Medicare. So far, I’ve kept my mouth shut.

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  34. alex said on January 3, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Anyone who wants to think less of me for that can kiss my butt.

    Well, as long as it doesn’t smell like a type II DM yeast infection.

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  35. Mark P said on January 3, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    A little alcohol goes a long way for me. One beer and I’m nodding off. Other than that it does absolutely nothIng for me. The only reason I ever have a drink (usually a beer, Miller with a splash of orange juice) is my wife likes to have a drink. I could never drink again and wouldn’t miss it a bit. I might want some rum in the bread pudding sauce.

    The survey is another condescending thing like David Brooks’ famous “salad bar at Applebee’s” column.

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  36. Dexter said on January 4, 2017 at 12:46 am

    So why’d ya quit drinkin’? “I was like the monkey fuckin’ the skunk—-I didn’t get all I wanted, but I got all I could stand.” (Old proverb)
    And so after 14 minutes of watching the 28 year old Barbie Dolls get wasted on the booze nance listed, then the seg “star” heading off to the crapper (end result: sing-songy “I got laid twice…”) sheesh…I had my hand on the clicker and then it got interesting. Three more profiles of folks whose lives are being twisted and distorted due to booze and wine and beer but …not once did I hear the word “surrender”…not one of them said they had lost the battle with John Barleycorn and had laid down their sword, nope. They focus (at great cost) on behavior modification and portion control. I laughed when I saw one guy pouring his Crown Royale into a kitchen glass measuring cup . (“They got me doing that”)…as he slopped huge slugs into the one-cup Pyrex. An instant cure for sure!
    One “fact” made me pay attention…we always heard only 2% of drunks who try abstinence after care (post quitting,when desire sets in)make it with zero relapses (slips). These people say 20%. Well, around here, that’s bullshit. They nailed one aspect: people have to keep in mind to use relapse drinking as a learning tool. If ya wanna quit, it’s all ya got.
    However, old-style believer in abstinence for drunks that I am, I applaud the people who find hope and solace in the growing number of secular recovery programs and the ones that get people to slow down their drinking, God bless them, because, man, that must be hell! A drunk goes into a bar , has a few, the buzz in the ears, the good-feelin’…and oh yeah, that fucking program says I gotta switch to club soda or leave! Well (see what I mean? And that s why some people can’t drink a goddam drop whatsoever) Bottoms up! Just, please? Get a room! Rippin’ one off in the shitter, that’s just disgusting! ( I know…that’s the club-life.)

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  37. Andrea said on January 4, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Do y’all actually think Melania is pretty? I mean, I know we are not supposed to value a woman for their looks alone and all, but since it seems like that’s the only reason she is there… Honestly, I don’t. Aside from the hot bod, I think she looks kinda scary, what with the heavy makeup, angry furrowed brow, squinty eyes, and hair hanging all around her face. She never smiles. Can you picture her in a pony tail and no makeup? I can’t. She seems more like an animated sex robot, what with the constant “bedroom eyes” pouty face. I guess to each his own… But she is not my standard of feminine beauty.

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  38. Judybusy said on January 4, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Good morning all. Many of you will recall the resplendent Maggie Jochild, who briefly participated in this community. She has long had difficulties with her health, and all of us fear she is now leaving for the morning stars, as one friend eloquently stated. Her partner, Margot was in Austin for a visit, and Maggie became so ill she was hospitalized. She is now in the ICU, and a palliative care team is working with her. Please keep Maggie and Margot in your hearts. If you wish to comment, I will let Margot know she can check here for even more love and support. I know Maggie loved the hell out of this blog, and the community of smart, respectful people who hang out here.

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  39. Sherri said on January 4, 2017 at 8:36 am

    I wish peace for Maggie and Margot on this journey. I often thought of Maggie during the election, and missed her contributions to this community.

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  40. Heather said on January 4, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Thanks for passing that along, Judybusy. I’m wishing Maggie a good journey.

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  41. Dorothy said on January 4, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Anytime Maggie graced us with her presence she always spoke with force and eloquence. I hope she’s going to be okay but will certainly be thinking of her a good bit this morning, and hope that she is not suffering.

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  42. Julie Robinson said on January 4, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Grace and peace to Maggie and Margot as you face what sounds like a very difficult time. As my Quaker friend says, I will hold you in the light.

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  43. brian stouder said on January 4, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Judybusy – I can only echo what Sherri and Heather said.

    Over the years, this place has been endlessly interesting.

    Certainly, our Proprietress has created a great environment – something like a current-events farm. We thrive on various current-event ‘fertilizers’ (our new president will be an endless supply of manure, I’d guess), and occasionally we get a little weedy (that’s where I come in! And – I’m resisting the easy ‘hoe’ jokes, at this point!)

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  44. Deborah said on January 4, 2017 at 10:16 am

    I’ll be thinking about Maggie and Margot, hoping for the best it can be.

    Little Bird was supposed to go in for surgery at 1:30 today in Albuquerque, they just called and asked if we can be there 3 hours earlier, so all of the chores we planned to do before the surgery are out the window. We are 60 miles from Albuquerque so it takes some planning. At least it will be over sooner than we thought.

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  45. Suzanne said on January 4, 2017 at 10:21 am

    So sorry to hear about Maggie. Do pass on my thoughts of comfort and grace.

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  46. Judybusy said on January 4, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Best wishes to Little Bird today! I hope the surgery goes smoothly!

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  47. Dave said on January 4, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Melania looks mad all the time, to me, in a subdued sort of way. She looks like she thought she’d done it for the money but she never thought she’d have this happen. No doubt, there was a pre-nup and she’s stuck.

    So sorry to learn of Maggie’s health woes, it seems like it’s been a bad few weeks for relatives of regulars here and now one of the posters, too. So sad, as a long term reader, it’s always sad to me when we lose one of our own.

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  48. Scout said on January 4, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Sending best wishes and healing light to Maggie and Margot. And best of luck to Little Bird as well; may her procedure be quick and her healing time short.

    Andrea @37 – I agree completely. She looks plastic and completely miserable.

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  49. brian stouder said on January 4, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    I agree with Scout that Ms Trump doesn’t look happy…but she has the power now.

    She could dump him, and become a reclusive mega-star…. bigger than Jackie

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  50. nancy said on January 4, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Oh, please. Jackie Kennedy was appealing because she opened her mouth once in a while, and when she did, the words that came out were her own.

    Also, she had cute little kids.

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  51. LAMary said on January 4, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    I think Melania’s face is stuck in Blue Steel mode. I also think she isn’t all that bright and she is on a short leash. I remember her little interview with Matt Lauer before she made her speech at the GOP convention. She said that she had a little help but she had really written most of her speech herself. The Donald was nodding in approval and emphasizing that yes, she had written it herself.

    I’m a reformed drinker. I hadn’t hit bottom or even close to it, but I knew I had to stop drinking. Too many hard core alcoholics in my family had hit bottom or sloshed around in general area of bottom for years. A couple of thing told me I was probably on my way to the same place. I wasn’t a barfer when I drank, ever. I either was or was convinced I was coherent when everyone else around who was drinking was passing out. I drank every day, sometimes at lunch. Quitting wasn’t bad. I actually quit the same way Julie did. I was on a prescription that didn’t mix with booze so I stopped. There were a few nights of bad sleep, but after that I was ok and I’ve never slipped or had the urge to.

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  52. brian stouder said on January 4, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Nancy – of course you are correct!

    And, not for nothing – but Jackie really was a national hero, if only because of what she endured*, from Dallas to the end of the line.

    But if there’s such a thing as “the art of the deal” – the terms of the deal Ms Trump made seem to have been massively (and unilaterally) restructured.

    Speaking for myself, she’d be Woman of the Year (and of the Century, So Far!) if she dumped that guy – and put the divorce case in front of Indiana’s U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel!

    *quite similar, really, to Mary Lincoln, wherein they literally get blood spattered from the remains of their murdered husbands….and then essentially exiled from the country

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  53. Sherri said on January 4, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    I was never much of a barfer, but my drinking was rapidly becoming a problem at the end. A few too many times getting hammered in inappropriate social situations, showing terribly hungover for responsibilities, and just generally finding that it was 5 o’clock somewhere too often. I concluded that my problem was depression, not alcohol, and went to a therapist, who agreed that I was quite depressed and told me to stop drinking, because it was a depressant. I did, for a year.

    Then, I convinced myself that it would be easier to not drink if I drank occasionally, just to relieve the pressure. I tried selling that concept to my therapist, my husband, and a close friend, none of whom were buying, then got spectacularly drunk, and went to AA and have been sober for almost 15 years.

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  54. john (not mccain) said on January 4, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    “Jackie Kennedy was appealing because she opened her mouth once in a while, and when she did, the words that came out were her own.”

    Also, she had that breathy, finishing-school voice, not that Nico-noise the third Mrs. Trump produces.

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  55. Sherri said on January 4, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    In another example of the overlooked rural white man genre, there’s a discussion going around twitter about reporters not knowing anyone who owns a pickup truck. What I’ve always found more interesting is how difficult it is to talk to people about voter ID laws, because so many white people find it inconceivable that someone might not have a drivers license, or might have difficulty getting to the DMV to get an ID card.

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  56. Deborah said on January 4, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Little Bird just got out of surgery, 3pm mountain time. She didn’t even get wheeled to the OR until nearly 2. This is after they, at the last minute, asked us to arrive 3 hours earlier than the 1pm scheduled time. So we arrived at 10:30am and she was in prep for hours. Everything is fine now. She’ll be sore for a while. She’s in recovery now, they haven’t called me in yet.

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  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 4, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Every blessing the heart can send to Maggie and Margot, and healing mercies to Little Bird . . . and to everyone in recovery, grace and peace. It’s been a horrid first week of the year doing the danse macabre with Childrens Services, so far none on into the abyss, but we’re spending too much time on the edges. I can see where substance abuse starts to seem like a decent trade off for living in the middle of so much pain, but when oblivion leaves kids holding the bag and being the designated adult, we’re stuck having to blow the big whistle and giving everyone a time out.

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  58. David C. said on January 4, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    My wife says Melania looks like she’s always thinking “get that thing away from me”. Sounds about right.

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  59. Charlotte said on January 4, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Jeff @57 — as someone with feckless parents, who was largely raised by their friends (and my formidable grandmother) — thank you for all the kids out there.

    And Maggie and Margot — the Virgin of Guadalupe has been getting a workout at my house lately, but you’re on her list. May the spirits/stars/light be with you both …

    And with Little Bird!

    (jeez — I’m becoming the old lady at the Petitions at Mass with the Very Long List)

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  60. Jenine said on January 5, 2017 at 10:25 am

    And blessings for you and the kids and the parents in distress, JTMMO.

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  61. Minnie said on January 5, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Judybusy, please convey to Maggie my admiration for her fierce dedication and wishes for her well-being, whatever that may mean at this point. And wishes for continued strength and eventually peace to Margo.

    Little Bird, many thoughts for successful surgery and rapid healing go with you into treatment.

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