This year’s models.

The North American International Auto Show Charity Preview is, I am obliged to say, the single largest charity event in the metro area, and raises a small fortune for its various beneficiaries – $5.2 million this year. They do it by not spending much at all — the drinks are included with the $400 ticket price, and I was shocked this year that I was actually able to nab one. In previous years it seemed like they had one bar and a case of mediocre champagne. This year there were multiple bars, and mediocre red and white wine, plus beer. But that’s fine, because it’s for charity, and as they always say, the stars are the cars.

Eh, not so much this year. It was a pretty underwhelming show, which you can see as a just a fallow year or maybe a tipping point. The big talker this year was Ford’s embrace of “mobility,” the buzzword for the city of the future — light rail plus buses plus ride-sharing plus driverless cars plus bikes plus, oh yeah, your own two feet. This is how we’ll get around in denser environments, and for those of you who insist on living elsewhere? Here’s an SUV. So let’s get to the pictures, shall we?

The underwhelming stuff is in the lobby outside the show hall. The guy pimping this whatever-it-is roped me in with an air of desperation. It’s one seat wide, no back seat, and it gets 85 miles per gallon. He told me that three times. Whatever, dude. I can’t imagine how it handles, but it’s your car for getting to the light-rail station, maybe.

We entered at Kia, which unveiled a new fancy-schmancy thing, seen here. I think it’s called a Stinger:

If you’re thinking, yes, the world’s been waiting for a better Camry, then you must be living in my head. But hey, it’s a Kia. And it’s very red and shiny. This, elsewhere in the Kia space, was my fave:

Now those are some damn snow tires. About three or four days a year, I could use the hell out of those.

This matte paint is a trend, I gathered. That’s a vintage …Challenger body (I think) with a brand-new performance engine in it. For the boomer who has everything:

I’m including this picture of a Chrysler concept van for Brian Stouder, and I think he knows exactly why:

It’s actually kind of cool. Called the Portal. It’s a concept, so all the cool shit will be stripped off if it ever hits the road, but that’s why we love concepts.

The Volvo moose. I think it’s promoting their accident-avoidance system:

Here’s something I’m glad we are finally speaking plainly about. Quien es mas macho?

Finally, the new dress. Don’t like this picture; I don’t know what told me to stand with my feet like that, but it’s this year’s model, and probably next year’s, too:

It is always fun to dress up, but man — wearing heels for just a few hours is like getting shitfaced drunk — my feet have a 24-hour hangover at a minimum. (And yeah, I should really have an evening sandal; didn’t get to that chore this year.) Maybe next year I should go floor-length and wear some Chuck Taylors underneath.

And that’s all for 2017, folks. Be safe out there and watch out for the autonomous cars.

Posted at 7:51 pm in Detroit life |

52 responses to “This year’s models.”

  1. Deborah said on January 15, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    the dress is smashing and so are the shoes. You look terrific. I know what you mean about wearing heels, I can’t do it anymore, at least for a long while, after injuring my foot. Right now it’s Doc Martens for me and not much else besides snow boots. I don’t have to go anyplace fancy in the near future, probably the distant future too.

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  2. Joe K said on January 15, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    We may not agree politically,
    But I think Tom&Lorenzo would approve.
    You look great.
    Pilot Joe

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  3. alex said on January 15, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    The matte finish on old vehicles really seems to be a thing. Spray-on truck-bed liner too. They call them doomsday vehicles and they look like the cars (meant to be timeless — and menacing) in the Handmaid’s Tale movie with Faye Dunaway. I saw one today, a mid-’70s Chevy truck outfitted with spectacular LED lights and 6,000-lb. winches and massive antennae (because CBs and police radios will be the only communications when the satellites go down, so says the hillbillies).

    Not sure I’m ready for a Kia with tank wheels. Drunk kids at a neighborhood party could do some serious lawn jobs with one of those.

    And the world’s about to get its new Camry, and not from Kia. It’s got the hourglass Lexus grille in the front and fake vertical vents on the edges of the rear bumper to make it look dated in a few years when some other superfluous design trend takes hold. Says me with my dated cars that came just shy of LED’s encircling the headlamps, then jutting down like the jowl lines on a six pack per day smoker.

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  4. Sherri said on January 15, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    My ankle is still too tender to even think about heels, but your exercise is showing!

    I just lost my trainer, hate having to find a new one.

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  5. susan said on January 15, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Y’all need to get a FordSon snow machine. You can even convert a Chevy into a snow machine. Hate to change a flat, though.

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  6. Suzanne said on January 15, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    You look great!
    I don’t need a new trainer. I need a trainer. No, I need the desire to get a trainer. I hate to work out; really hate it. It does, however, give me new respect for people who hate to read. I know how hard it is to make yourself do something you very much dislike.

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  7. Sherri said on January 15, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    I hate to work out too. That’s why I get a trainer. That way, I have to show up.

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  8. brian stouder said on January 15, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    Well, we have an ’03 Dodge minivan, and indeed – I like to keep abreast of developments…!

    Aside from that, the red dress and the cruel shoes definitely have the ‘VaVoom!’ factor goin!

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  9. Connie said on January 15, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    OUr 03 Dodge Caravan has only just survived its encounter with a deer and is off to the junkyard.

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  10. basset said on January 15, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Back when Car & Driver magazine was still interesting, their main and maybe sole female writer (deliberately leaving the name out here) got one of the manufacturers to let her be a show-bunny for a day and strut around stroking the merchandise and pitching it to visitors. We now have a year to set that up, any volunteers? (Apparently they have to wear irrational amounts of hair spray, that’s the main thing I remember from the story.)

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  11. alex said on January 16, 2017 at 5:37 am

    And what a name it was, Basset.

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  12. Suzanne said on January 16, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Very good discourse on the complexities of repealing and replacing the ACA:

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  13. Deborah said on January 16, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Suzanne, great link. This info needs to come out in mainstream news so more people are aware.

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  14. Julie Robinson said on January 16, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Wow, great guns! Weren’t you cold, though? Since I passed a certain life event, my neck is always, always cold, and the thought of baring that much just makes me shiver. As for the cars, all I care is if it gets me there as cheaply as possible without breaking down. Hubby is eyeing a Tesla, but we all need dreams, right?

    We went to Singin’ in the Rain yesterday on the big screen, and it was just tremendous. I knew Mother and I would enjoy it, but said Tesla dreamer did too, to everyone’s surprise. (I didn’t think he’d even want to, and gave him an out). Setting aside Gene Kelly’s overacting and the “this is Technicolor so make sure you make those costumes COLORFUL”, the dancing was infectious. I left feeling happy, and that’s all I want from a movie in mid-January. I haven’t seen La La Land yet but I hope it doesn’t pale in comparison.

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  15. basset said on January 16, 2017 at 9:38 am

    That’s her, Alex. read her in C&D, then less so in Automobile, and she left there awhile back to do a website I haven’t looked at yet.

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  16. basset said on January 16, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Also… let me recommend the “Jackie” movie to everyone here. Mrs. B and I saw it Saturday… then went across the street for an artisanal grilled cheese sandwich. Couldn’t get in, though, too crowded; it’s an offshoot of a popular food truck and two blocks from Vanderbilt University so it was overflowing with trust fund hipsters but we could see em from the sidewalk loading up on gruyere melts and tater tots.

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  17. basset said on January 16, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Make that $8 cheese sandwiches a d tots starting at $2.75:

    “pepper jack, pulled organic chicken, buffalo sauce, **bleu cheese aioli + pickled celery on country white sourdough”

    We may not be qualified to eat there. Never heard of pickled celery. When our annual quarter of beef shows up next month, though, we’re getting some extra tongues so I can make pickled tongue.

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  18. susan said on January 16, 2017 at 10:06 am

    oh yummmmm, pickled tongue. Our mom would make that every fall, and throw a brisket or two in the brine with them. Big old five gallon crock. I love pickled tongue.

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  19. Connie said on January 16, 2017 at 10:11 am

    bassett, haven’t you told us about exploring this tunnel?

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  20. BItter Scribe said on January 16, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I guess matte paint is a way for newer models to distinguish themselves, now that changes in design are constricted by the need to make car bodies as aerodynamically efficient as possible.

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  21. Peter said on January 16, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    I agree with you on the mate finish- Bitter. I’m an architect and I should like the matte finishes, but I’m old school – I want a finish with enough wax on it that I can see if I’m clean shaven.

    Yesterday the lovely spouse and I saw Silence at the Music Box, and I have to tell you – it really got me to thinking….

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  22. Peter said on January 16, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Edit: I saw “Silence” at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, not “Silence at the Music Box”, which may be a real film, for all I know.

    Possible Spoiler Alert: I was able to use the same review I gave to last year’s Son of Saul: It’s the feel good film of the year!

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  23. Scout said on January 16, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Great dress, Nancy, and the shoes look perfect with it. I know I couldn’t do those heels, so brava for your fashion sacrifice. And yes, I agree the body work you’ve been doing is paying off *bigly*. I hate working out too, but luckily (depends on the day, ha) my partner is a drill sargent who drags me out for a 3.5 mile walk every other day, with yoga and hand weights on the alternate days. So very Capricorn of her to have the discipline I lack for the both of us.

    Last week I had the opportunity to see Lion, Hidden Figures and Moonlight. I liked them all very much, Lion the most. So often I’m in the mood for a movie (popcorn craving mostly, thus the need for the workouts) and there isn’t one damn thing I’d bother with, so to have three really worthy films at once is a rarity.

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  24. alex said on January 16, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    I miss the old Music Box. Used to go there a lot back in the day when Southport was gritty and un-gentrified, and even after the neighborhood started going yupscale. Moved out of Lakeview in 2004. Can’t believe it has been this long already.

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  25. jcburns said on January 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Nancy, did you get to see the VW ID Buzz, the electric reincarnation of the 60s microbus? I was kind of intrigued, but then again, we just bought a plug-in hybrid, so I suspect we can wait a while to grow what’s left of our hair long and go back to the land. (Although Sammy’s rightfully expressed that rewarding VW for blatant emissions cheating isn’t a great idea.)

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  26. Deborah said on January 16, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    We’re talking about going to see the movie Silence this afternoon. It’s a hideous day in Chicago weather wise though, part of me just wants to stay in and watch a DVD or Netflix. It’s not horribly cold, but rainy and foggy so it feels colder than it is, to the bone cold. The lake hasn’t been this icy for a few years that I can remember anyway.

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  27. Scout said on January 16, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    This is a worthy read from Josh Marshall.

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  28. alex said on January 16, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    More madcap irreverence from Neal Pollack:

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  29. Heather said on January 16, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Guns are out, Nancy!

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  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 16, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Julie, “La La Land” is “Singin’ In the Rain” updated to 2017. You’ll not be disappointed.

    It’s going to take a while before I’d feel up to watching “Silence,” but I have the handicap of having read Endo’s novel, and knowing the history behind it, so no worries about spoilers . . . my problem is knowing too much in advance.

    “Hidden Figures” is great. The white characters are the composites, and the African American ones real to details that you just can’t believe . . . even if most of what “happens” in the story actually occurred during the late 50s. But the class displayed by and actions taken in two episodes by Ohio’s own John Glenn are precisely where and when and how, and give this white boy some hope. You have to stay, though, and see well into the credits all the pics of the actual three women and their roles, juxtaposed with the film’s reassembly of their stories.

    For MLK Day:

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  31. brian stouder said on January 16, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Here’s a pleasant little MLK-day graphic, from Google:

    The fellow second-from-the-right looks to me like Abe Lincoln, wearing a Carhartt jacket and a lime-green tee.

    Oddly affecting, it is

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  32. brian stouder said on January 16, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    And speaking of stuff that’s “oddly affecting”, there’s this –

    which should be a pretty good segment on Rachel’s show tonight.

    an excerpt:

    While the crowd was waiting inside the lobby, singing and chanting, Aurora Police officers are putting up crime scene tape to create a perimeter outside of the library. This allowed (Republican Representative) Coffman to leave secretly at about 3:24 p.m. unbeknownst to those still waiting to see him. The community event was scheduled from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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  33. Jolene said on January 16, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Some good MLK, Jr. reading in today’s overview of news from the WaPo.

    Scroll to the “Social Media Speed Read” at the end to see the instructions given to black people who would be the first riders of the buses in Montgomery, AL after the end of the boycott initiated by Rosa Parks. Incredible to see how concerned the organizers were about courtesy and avoiding any kind of violence–all to ride a bus.

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  34. Deborah said on January 16, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    We ended up going to see Moonlight instead of Silence. It seemed fitting for this day. Excellent movie, I cried at the ending. We’ll see Silence another time. I want to see La La Land and Hidden Figures too. It’s odd these days for me to have this many newish movies that I want to see at the same time.

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  35. basset said on January 16, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Sure did, Connie@19, but it wasn’t really an exploration – I was on a Chessie System (now CSX) tie gang in that area for a few weeks back in 1974 or 75, replacing ties on the Cincinnati to St.Louis main line. We worked out of the Mitchell yard around Tunnelton, Medora, and Fort Ritner; I remember walking in the tunnel, no ghosts though. I was on the crew for less than a month; when we finished our section they asked if I wanted to join the union and go on to the next one but I went back to IU instead. Slinging ties around will definitely put muscles on ya, though.

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  36. Jolene said on January 16, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Forgot to say: Great guns, great dress, great shoes, Nancy. You look terrific–and younger than you’ve told us that you are.

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  37. Sherri said on January 16, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    I’m back from Olympia, where we had about 6500 people rally for education funding. After the rally, we broke into legislative districts to see our representatives. The two state Reps, both Dems, from my district welcomed us warmly, talked with us, took a picture with us, but are already on our side. Our state senator, on the other hand…

    We were on our way to his office when we saw him get into an elevator. We caught up to him and told him we were hoping to talk to him. He said “you’re late, you were supposed to be here 15 minutes ago” and let the elevator door close in our faces. I’ve never been treated so rudely by anybody holding office before.

    He’s a Republican, appointed to the seat to fill out the term of the Republican who died in office, and he’s not going to run for the seat, but he’s far from a political neophyte. Not only has he held this particular office before, he ran for governor and lost in a very close race after two recounts. Speculation is that he still harbors political ambitions and might try for Patty Murray’s Senate seat in 6 years if she doesn’t run.

    He, with the Republicans and the one turncoat Dem who control the Senate, refuses to consider raising taxes. My guess is that he didn’t want to talk to us, because he knew why we were there. Since he doesn’t need our votes, he doesn’t care. The only leverage I know to use then is to embarrass him, so I plan on a letter to the editor expressing my dismay that my senator ran away rather than engage his constituents even for 30 seconds.

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  38. susan said on January 16, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Sherri, Rossi has no shame, just like most other Republicans. I doubt you could embarrass him.

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  39. Sherri said on January 16, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    I know Rossi has no shame, but if he has any hopes of ever winning a state wide race in Washington, he has to pick up 40% of the vote in King County, and if I can convince the white suburbanites that he was rude to white subarban moms over education, maybe it will have a tiny bit of impact. It’s the only tool I have.

    I didn’t agree with the late Andy Hill, but he was at least pleasant. That was what made him so hard to beat.

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  40. David C. said on January 16, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Is the three-wheeled thing an Elio? I know a guy who actually put his money down to get on the waiting list, so he presumably wants one. Calling it a waiting list is probably a bit grand, though.

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  41. alex said on January 16, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Sure is, David C. For that kind of money you could have something practical like a Kubota, which I think are a lot niftier than the golf carts and 4-wheelers people are using around the lakes these days.

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  42. Julie Robinson said on January 16, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Jefftmmo, re Singin’ in the Rain/La La Land, I’m a Broadway and music snob and I’ve heard the LLL soundtrack so I already know that neither the music nor the singing are as good. Why they can’t cast movie musicals with legit Broadway actors is beyond me. Not really, it’s because they wouldn’t get a broad enough audience. Anyone here seen or even heard of The Last Five Years? With Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick?

    It is unusual to have so many movies out that I’m interested in, though. I read Hidden Figures and also want to see that. It’s a story that almost got lost. The author’s parents were church friends with some of the real-life women, and she was chatting with a few of them during a visit home when the import of the story struck her.

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  43. David C. said on January 17, 2017 at 6:13 am

    A guy like this one (Mayor of Warren, MI) who looks like he hasn’t taken a shit in 6 months ought not be disparaging of other’s looks.

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 17, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Oh, I’d tell you to see “Hidden Figures” first, for sure; you’re right, the singing of the two leads in “La La” is not B’way level, but the dance numbers were stellar, and the singing was naturalistic enough in and where it happened to satisfy. It’s not a match of the 50s era productions, but it partakes of their spirit. And there are some interesting and apt critiques of the “whiteness” problem woven into the story’s main conflict, but my wife and I were thinking about that issue even before I read them, and my thought is — you could have made the same set of tensions out of Sebastian wanting to bring back “real animation, hand-drawn and painted cels . . .” or “cinematography with natural lighting, cinema verite with found footage” and so on, and those passions would just not have been as narratively or visually interesting as jazz. The director’s arc in three films now with obsessive protagonists and their awkwardness in dealing with women in general, let alone strong women . . . he’s gonna have to find a new plot device if he makes a fourth film!

    But I can forgive him a great deal for “La La Land.” I’ve never been to California, have little investment in film per se, and the story just plain swept me away, and made me happy in a [spoiler-ish alert] bittersweet way. And I left humming snatches of tunes, which “Pitch Perfect” hasn’t ever done for me.

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  45. nancy said on January 17, 2017 at 8:14 am

    David C., one of my colleagues said he looked like the sort of funeral director who has sex with the corpses. He is a real piece of work — dates women decades younger, as his entertaining comments indicate. (As a woman 11, no…10 months short of being a dried-up hag of 60, I had to laugh, as I wouldn’t touch that geezer with a 20-foot pole.)

    And my prediction is: He outlives this one. As he did the last one, which was about the mentally disabled.

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  46. Kim said on January 17, 2017 at 9:38 am

    My neighborhood was the de facto company town for NACA, which became NASA. Last night the ‘hood book club met to discuss Hidden Figures and two of the white “computers” attended, along with the librarian from the author’s high school days (all three live in the neighborhood – as I said, company town). Gotta say it was so interesting and has me thinking about race and culture and science in a way I never have. The book is very straightforward and puts in context many of Virginia’s shameful milestones, especially Massive Resistance. It’s past time the country considered this front and center.

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  47. Dorothy said on January 17, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I’ve seen a few new movies lately but not Hidden Figures – yet. It’s on my list. I LOVED Moonlight and it made me cry too, Deborah. And I have to agree with Tom and Lorenzo, and my husband and daughter – we all thought La La Land was overrated. It was pleasant enough, but I wasn’t swept away. It was lovely to look at but I wasn’t wowed by it by a long shot. We saw and enjoyed Rogue One and Fences.

    Nancy you really look great in that dress! I’m not being a suck-up, I swear, when I say you certainly look much younger than almost 60. Like 20 years younger!

    We had a nice baby shower this past weekend for my daughter-in-law. The weather forecast sure scared away most of the guests, though. We had 23 RSVP that they were coming but only 8 came. Add me, the other grandma, the guest of honor and my daughter from Virginia and we were 12 around the tables. SO much food – it killed me to have so much leftover. Oh well, we’re having some of the chicken for dinner tonight so why am I complaining?! The baby is due in two months – and yesterday I bought a car seat base for our vehicles so these grandparents are nearly ready for this baby to come! I just have to find something for her to sleep in when they visit our house. I’m not a garage sale kind of person, and it’s not the right time of year for that anyway. I might have to look around used baby furniture stores. There are several in Dayton.

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  48. Julie Robinson said on January 17, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    So glad for you, Dorothy. I think we’re just going to have to borrow grandchildren.

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  49. Deborah said on January 17, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    This isn’t completely off topic, what with the photo of Nancy in her lovely party dress and shoes. It’s about “fashion”, I took a waltz through Neiman Marcus on my way home from the grocery store this afternoon and was horrified by the two mannequins that were on display at the Michigan ave entry. They were made up like bag ladies, wearing a conglomeration of prints and stripes and dresses and jackets and sweaters and coats that were all mismatched layers and looked ridiculous. Yet there they were as the latest fashion trend, one of the sweaters had Stella McCartney emblazoned across it. Is this the new way to dress??? Then I remembered someone here linking to a photo of Helena Bonham Carter on the street going somewhere looking like a crazy lady OK, she can get away with it, but the average suburban matron can not. No way. I wish I could find a photo of those mannequins to link to so you could see how silly they were. Nancy looks so sophisticated in her attire in the photo above, why would you not want to to look great like that?

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  50. alex said on January 17, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Yesteryear’s Models:

    Marla Maples tries to get comped for her “appearance” at the inauguration, pleads that she’s soon to be penurious when Tiffany leaves the nest (although at least she should have insurance coverage until age 26 if her dad can be taken at his word).

    If what she says is true, the Donald has more to fear from Marla than from Russia methinks.

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  51. lisa said on January 17, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    you look GREAT! I love the dress and the shoes! Just a fabulous photo.

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  52. Colleen said on January 17, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    I’ll echo the “you look great” comments from the others. You always look so nice when you’re headed to Auto Prom.

    I want to see “Tower”…good to know it is on iTunes. My cousin’s boyfriend was involved in the animation process. I also want to see “Hidden Figures”. I have heard nothing but good stuff about it.

    We moved to FL this weekend. Totally stressed while the movers were in our house doing their thing. we’re staying with my parents for a month or six weeks until our house is done. Should be interesting. But one day in I am lovin’ the weather.

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