Snowed in.

Two questions I am tired of:

Why don’t women speak up about these things? Here’s why. And also here.

Where do I want to eat? The answer is the same: Somewhere with vegetables, because we don’t have a kitchen, but we do have a floor:

It’s gray. The countertops will be gray, too, and the walls, a very pale gray. I’m worried about too much gray, but we’ll have white cabinets and white doors/woodwork, so I’m hoping it won’t remind us of a cement factory. If I were describing it in a real estate listing, I would call it a cool, urban gray. Neutral gray. Gray-not-greige. I am losing my shit here. We’re in the midst of a projected 5- to 9-inch snowstorm, I’ve been working my (taupe) bedroom for a week and either Alan or I have blown snow all but one day this week, but I’ll probably have to do it twice more today, so.

At least the guys are back at work on the kitchen, having slogged through the weather like it ain’t no thing. Man, what they say about immigrant labor is true. It’s particularly noticeable as I met a woman the other night who is in her first year of retirement from teaching. At 46 years old. Alan was not pleased to hear this. “Well, teaching is a demanding job,” I said, weakly, and he replied “I HAVE A FUCKING DEMANDING JOB.” Can’t argue with that. She said she began accruing seniority years while still in college, when she worked as a lifeguard at a public-school pool. That’s the old Michigan there, when the cotton was high and the good times went on and on. Over now.

Back to Rob Porter for a minute, the nice Mormon White House staff secretary who likes to abuse women. What is Hope Hicks doing with this loser? And before this, she was with Corey Lewandowski? You’d think a beautiful young woman with the world at her feet might choose more wisely. But of course, then she wouldn’t have the world at her feet. And she may yet end up learning legal terms like allocution and time served. So there’s that.

Sorry for this thin gruel today, but I am stir-crazy and should maybe write something else. Have a good weekend, everyone.

Posted at 9:45 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

78 responses to “Snowed in.”

  1. adrianne said on February 9, 2018 at 10:07 am

    The treatment of Rob Porter by the enablers like John Kelly, et al, is not surprising at all. A friend of mine used to run the agency to help abused women and she’s heard every excuse out there. It’s all so depressing.

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  2. alex said on February 9, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Wish I could be home for the snowstorm. Instead today I’m getting a heart catheterization and maybe stents. Can’t eat anything or smoke and can’t sleep worth a damn in this fucking hospital. And when my cell phone dies, no internet.

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  3. Judybusy said on February 9, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Alex, I hope all turns out well. I’d be begging for a charger ’bout now.

    I heard abouT this book on Marketplace, about the awful culture in tech.

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  4. Deborah said on February 9, 2018 at 10:47 am

    We’re in the car heading toward Chicago. Things were fine before we hit Schaumburg, the roads north of that were such that we could safely go 60, and not because it hadn’t snowed, but they had kept up with it. South of that line it was obvious that not much had been done previously. Thanks Gov Rauner. We’ve been on the road an hour and 45 mins, usually a 2 hr trip from door to door. But we expected this. It’s hard to tell but it looks like it snowed 5” or so, more to come later in the day.

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  5. Jolene said on February 9, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Ann Telnaes has a great cartoon that captures John Kelly’s attitudes about women—a mixture of old-fashioned Catholicism and sexism.

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  6. Heather said on February 9, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Alex, hope everything goes smoothly with a minimum of discomfort! I am thinking of you.

    Nancy, I love the floor! And I love gray. My bedroom is painted gray and I love it. Yellow and orange are good accent colors.

    RE Kelly: This incident is showing how devalued women are, writ large. I keep thinking of a friend’s experience with her father-in-law recently. She, her husband, and the FIL were discussing some allegations against someone for hitting his wife. The FIL said, “Well, how many times did he hit her?” My friend and her husband were aghast. The FIL is not a bad guy, but it shows the mindset a lot of people are in.

    This is all very painful but I do think it’s going to ultimately be good to have all this stuff out in the open so we can finally acknowledge how prevalent and abhorrent these beliefs are.

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  7. Deborah said on February 9, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    I can not believe this just happened: we returned our rental car to the hotel a couple blocks away from our place, walked home in the snow and ice then I realized I left my brand new $800 glasses in the car. I walked back to the hotel after calling first to make sure they had found my glasses, they had. When I get to the rental car desk I’m informed that the person who had my glasses had taken them with them to another car that a customer picked up with my glasses in them. So they called and the customer said they would bring them back but we don’t know when. So I got some coffee and I’m going to wait a bit. This customer must be royally pissed because the streets are terrible. They should knock some $ off of their rental bill or I’m going to give those poor people some $ myself.

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  8. Deborah said on February 9, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Sorry Alex, I just read your comment. Wishing you good health soon. Can someone get you a charger?

    I was just handed my glasses!!!!

    They dropped them off so fast and I didn’t see them so I didn’t have a chance to offer them something for their trouble.

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  9. Deborah said on February 9, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    Nancy, I like grey too. Our walls in Chicago are 3 different colors of very light grey, almost white. We have a grey area rug and our woodwork is stained somewhat greyish, I would have liked it to be greyer but we had already approved the sample. I think the grey looks very good with our warm, creamy travertine marble floors which are the best feature in our place.

    It’s snowing like crazy now, I’m glad I’m back home after my glasses fiasco.

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  10. David C. said on February 9, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    I just arrived home from a colonoscopy. I had a positive FIT test a couple of weeks ago, so I had to do the whole thing. They found a polyp, snipped it out, and I’m good to go for ten years. So I’m pleased the FIT test works as advertised.

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  11. Peter said on February 9, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Rob Porter: I can’t help but feel that this is yet another example of how most – if not all – of the WH admin aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer and are easily led astray by a good looking woman.

    To wit – Kelly and McGahn knew Porter had a history of being a wife beater. Depending on your news source, so did Hatch. From what I understand, when the poop was about to hit the fan, Hope Hicks got them to say wonderful things about Porter.

    I don’t care how evil, enabling, or stupid you are, but if your coworker says that they need a statement for the press, wouldn’t you say you’re kind of busy but you’ll get around to it? I mean, how stupid are you to think that a nice statement from you will take care of it?

    Of course, it’s times like these when we should remember about all of the Obama appointees who had to resign because they abused their spouse, or had a conflict of interest…oh that’s right, THERE WEREN’T ANY.

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  12. basset said on February 9, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    54 years ago tonight… the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, their first US performance.

    A few years back the 9th fell on a Sunday so we got some TV dinners and a dvd of the whole show and played it right at 7 pm. Basset Jr and several of his friends were impressed.

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  13. Judybusy said on February 9, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Shoot, too busy multi-tasking above. The book I mentioned is called Brotopia.

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  14. Peter said on February 9, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Oh gosh, I forgot, Alex, good luck and I hope your hospital stay is short.

    Basset, I would hope Basset Jr. was impressed – that was excellent! It reminds me of the scene in That Thing You Do when the Wonders were on the Hollywood Cavalcade of Stars…

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  15. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 9, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Alex, blessings with you and yours; we will try to prevent the apocalypse while you’re under sedation.

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  16. Dorothy said on February 9, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Alex I’m thinking of you, good sir, and hope you’re on the fast route to recovery soon.

    David – you and my husband are twins today! He had a colonoscopy early this morning and we were home by 9:30. All is clear – no ulcers or polyps (he had a severe gastric bleed last year at this time), and the doc said “Come back in five years.” This is excellent news to hear if you’re a colon cancer survivor like he is (7 years ago).

    Our granddaughter is 11 months old today. How can that be?! In a month we’ll be singing Happy Birthday. Her mom tells us that she can feel a tooth on the lower gum FINALLY but the baby won’t let her get a closer look. We’re taking them to lunch tomorrow so maybe Grandma can coax a toothy smile out of her.

    Nancy your kitchen is going to be SMASHING. Can’t wait to see the final project in a month or so (is that overly optimistic??)

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  17. Andrea said on February 9, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Apparently “Pics or it didn’t happen” is both a meme and the White House hiring/promotions policy.

    Alex, hope your procedure goes well.

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  18. Mark P said on February 9, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    David c, when they found polyps during my colonoscopy they said come back in three years.

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  19. David C. said on February 9, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    They told me I should start the FIT test again in five years. I’m good with that. It did what it was supposed to do this time.

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  20. Heather said on February 9, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Wait, wait, wait, Peter @11–are you seriously suggesting that Hope Hicks is the person to blame for the Porter fiasco??? I hope you are being sarcastic. That’s exactly what the WH wants you to think–when all else fails, blame the woman. Don’t blame the people who looked past the abuse in the first place. SMH.

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  21. nancy said on February 9, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    He’s saying she never should have been involved with the statement in the first place. You can’t expect her to be clear-headed about her own boyfriend.

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  22. jcburns said on February 9, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Nancy, did you get the floor tiles that measure your weight and record how smoothly you’re walking/staggering and report that via bluetooth to your refrigerator and the door of your liquor cabinet? No?

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  23. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 9, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Now, at Home Depot. Brought to you by Google! (Don’t be evil . . .)

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  24. Diane said on February 9, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    Alex-good luck!

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  25. Sherri said on February 9, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Hope all goes well, Alex.

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  26. alex said on February 9, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Happy to announce I’m home. The cardiologists added an additional antihypertensive to my regimen. No blockages anywhere. My arteries all look good, including the previously stented one. Thank you for all the well wishes. It’s working!

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  27. Colleen said on February 9, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Alex, that is good news!

    We have gray tile and grayish countertops with white cabinets. Doesn’t look bad at all.

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  28. Deborah said on February 9, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Good to know, Alex, thanks for telling us your better news.

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  29. Suzanne said on February 9, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Just read that a WH speechwriter just resigned. Wife said he ran over her foot with a car, put out cigarettes on her head, and fun stuff like that. Good God.

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  30. Icarus said on February 9, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    glad to hear it Alex. I don’t know if you have before, but if you are willing, please share you age (for perspective purposes)

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  31. Suzanne said on February 9, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    Good news, Alex!

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  32. beb said on February 9, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Dahlia Lithwick has a good column on Rob Porter

    Wednesday, when Detroit had it’s first hard snow, I had to go to jury duty. The freeway crept along at 5 mph. No plows, no salting. I had allowed an hour for what in better days would be a 20 minute drive. I was still late. I don’t think I was the last one to show up either. By noon everyone had settled out of court and we were dismissed. Amazingly, the streets were clear. What a difference four hours make.

    I snow blowed Thursday morning, Again this morning and will again Saturday morning. Winter sucks.

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  33. basset said on February 9, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Had some stress arrive today which shows up every five or ten years… invitation to the high school reunion, number 45 this time. I go back and forth between “fuck you, those were the worst years of my life and you all made it that way” and trying to get some closure.

    Maybe it’ll be like the one party I got invited to in all of high school, I’ll get there and the building will be dark with nobody around. The hotel where it’s being held wants $179 for a room so actually that’s quite likely.

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  34. brian stouder said on February 9, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    Alex – marvelous news!

    Our Proprietress’s kitchen renovation strikes me as one of those wonderful touch-stones that positively highlight one’s lifetime…even as I agree with Basset that class reunions strike me as….something else.

    Re Trump and the Wife Beaters – truly – I believe one of the pillars of the Donald’s personality (and indeed, his administration) is proud/unapologetic/definitive/pronounced hostility toward uppity woman…wherein we define “uppity” as any woman that is educated/capable/beautiful/independent/confident (any combination).

    I used to say you couldn’t throw a dead cat in the Trump White House, and fail to hit a Russian agent…and it is even more true to say you can’t throw a dead cat in the Trump cabinet room, and not hit a wife beater.

    Don’t forget that disgrace of a human being who the president stuck on the National Security Council (Bannon), or the misogynistic burger-flipper (Puzder), or the tough-guy campaign manager (Lewendowski) before we ever even got to the damned secretary who just resigned….and not mentioning the president himself, who thinks he has every right to grab a woman’s crotch – because “they’ll let you do it when you’re a celebrity”

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  35. Dexter said on February 10, 2018 at 3:20 am

    It’s clean livin’, Alex…all those home-grown vegetables…had me worried early, happy to hear your report late.
    I had to go to the V.A. in south Toledo for a blood draw a couple days ago and Friday I had an “oh-for-fuck’s sake” moment when I realized I had forgotten to order a medicine for mail delivery, so I had to go again to pick it up at the pharmacy. The roads were perfect, time for the old shake-down test of the new/old van. US 24 is a dream to drive on; it makes the former pain-de-ass trek to Toledo a calming joy. I took it up to 85mph to check for shakes and rattles; it is quiet and smooth as a new Mercedes. (It’s a Chrysler.)
    Carla Lee only has 5 days until her transpo to Cleveland Clinic for the re-do. Her doctor is a well-respected surgeon and anticipates no problems. We really want this to go well. She is ready to come home soon and is badgering me to keep this house of ours clean. I am, unfortunately, the Oscar Madison type…cleaning house…not my strong suit at all. I keep a ship-shape kitchen, never a dirty plate or cup anywhere, but I hate running the sweeper and that noisy goddam carpet scrubber. I HATE that fucking thing.

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  36. Deggjr said on February 10, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Re Hope Hicks: “The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

    That stuff goes back a long way.

    Basset, one vote here for going. Reasons upon request.

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  37. basset said on February 10, 2018 at 8:58 am


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  38. Icarus said on February 10, 2018 at 9:27 am

    basset @ 33

    In Heaven and at High School reunions, most of the interesting people are missing.

    I go to a virtual high school reunion almost every day. It’s called Facebook. That said, I think everyone should go to one of their reunions, just not everyone. Skip the early ones (5, 10 year) and the later ones (40th and beyond).

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  39. alex said on February 10, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Icarus, I’m 56. Had a stent placed at 49, at which time they upped my statin and put me on blood thinners, and evidently the pills are doing their job. On the other hand, my blood sugars and blood pressure are harder to control. For my part, I know I need more exercise and less red meat, and to once and for all quit cigarettes and stay quit, and learn to like wine instead of whiskey.

    Tonight going ahead with a dinner party as planned. Neighbors are bringing over steaks. I’m preparing appetizers, salad and a side. They love to guzzle liquor but I’m going to stick to something light like vermouth over ice, what the Europeans call a martini. People look at you like you’re nuts if you order it in a bar here, but it’s really quite common in much of the rest of the world and much easier on the system.

    Love the new kitchen floor, Nance. Trying to get inspired to redo our bathrooms. The tile we intend to use has been taking up space in the garage for a couple of years. We were going to push through with it back when we redid the rest of the house but lost our mojo after five months of living in a construction zone. Maybe this year, although the exterior needs repainting and the driveway needs repaved and those tasks don’t seem half as daunting.

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  40. Dorothy said on February 10, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Dexter as long as you don’t invite any lumberjacks with muddy boots to stomp all over your carpets while Carla is out of the house, I’m pretty sure you won’t have to touch the carpet scrubber.

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  41. basset said on February 10, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Dinner here tonight as well, although it wouldn’t qualify as a “dinner party” on your level… we get a few of the neighbors together now and then to eat and watch an old movie, tonight it’ll probably be “Hell’s Angels” from 1930 with Jean Harlow. Found a new meatloaf recipe too, yes, we are boring.

    So we’ll make four… one with Mrs. B’s standard recipe, one from the NY Times cooking site’s weekly “what to cook this week” email, recipe allegedly came from the designer Bill Blass and includes beef, pork, veal, sour cream, parsley and I forget what else… another of that one with chili sauce… and a veggie loaf from a Seventh Day Adventist cookbook for veggie B Jr. and his vegan girlfriend.

    About that reunion… they said they couldn’t find me for a couple of the early ones, I went to maybe the 10 and the 20 and I was invisible just like I was back in the day. Didn’t play ball or go to the games so I was nobody, this doesn’t sound like much but unless you’ve gone to high school in rural Indiana you can’t appreciate just how important basketball is to the local ego or how far off track you are if you don’t participate in some way. B Jr. was not a star athlete and I didn’t make foreman at the naval ordnance plant or the gypsum mine so I can’t go back claiming to be any kind of big success… I dunno, it’s only about four hours away so I may just wait till the day of and see how I feel.

    Gotta go do some painting, patched a few places last weekend and Home Depot got the color wrong so I’ll try a new one while I have time for it to dry before tonight.

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  42. Julie Robinson said on February 10, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Alex, I’m so glad you don’t need surgical intervention, and hope you can get the other stuff in order too. Booze and tobacco hold no attraction for me, but I’m almost hopelessly addicted to chocolate, so I get how hard it is to quit. I engaged in chocolate therapy after my sister died to the tune of 10 pounds, which I have only just taken off after six weeks of hard work.

    Dexter, hire a cleaner before Carla comes home.

    basset, there were people I disliked in high school that I’ve become friends with through reunions and Facebook. I’ve learned that the sources of my resentments mostly didn’t exist, and that we’ve all matured and grown and forgiven and forgotten.

    There is much to be said about a cohort that experiences things together at the same age. For a few years my message box was full of menopause conversations, and I expect soon to be hearing about husbands’ prostate issues. We’re a virtual support group in a way that friends 10 years either side of my age can’t be.

    The latest out of Washington is horrifying. How much lower can they get? Which is why I’m happy to sate myself with Olympic figure skating for the next two weeks. I’d rather snipe about costumes and under rotated jumps and poor music choices.

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  43. basset said on February 10, 2018 at 10:54 am

    I dunno, Julie, when all the conversations are about remembering stuff I wasn’t part of the event kinda loses its attraction. Wasn’t about disliking anyone, I wasn’t connected enough to have any feelings about em. Not even sure what kind of closure I’m looking for… can’t be a reunion if there wasn’t a union to start with.

    Said I was gonna go paint, gotta get off the computer and do it. “Crisp Linen” is our shade of the day.

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  44. Sherri said on February 10, 2018 at 11:02 am

    I went to my 20th HS reunion, haven’t bothered since. I don’t need closure, and haven’t kept in touch with anybody from my high school class, plus I’ve lived on the other side of the country since 10 years out of high school.

    Alex, I don’t drink or smoke, I exercise a lot, I eat a very healthy diet, but the one thing I haven’t been able to bring under control is my blood pressure. I had to increase my bp meds, and my bp is still not consistently under control, so I suspect my doctor is going to want to do something when I see her Friday.

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  45. LAMary said on February 10, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Anyone else think that Kim Jong Un’s sister was kicking the back of Mike Pence’s seat last night?

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  46. Heather said on February 10, 2018 at 11:13 am

    I haven’t been to any of my high school reunions, but I went to my 25th college reunion this summer, my first reunion of any kind, and I was pleasantly surprised. Like someone said above, most of the interesting people don’t go, but enough of them did that I had a good time for a few hours.

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  47. David C. said on February 10, 2018 at 11:29 am

    For the longest time, I didn’t even get notices of my high school reunions. But my parents started going to a different church and someone in my class recognized them and they ratted me out. Oh well, one more piece of paper for the recycling every five years.

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  48. Heather said on February 10, 2018 at 11:41 am

    LAMary @45–if not, he had to feel the shade she was throwing at the back of his head. That said, I was disgusted that the Pences didn’t stand when the Korean teams came in. Embarrassing and rude–and especially obnoxious when he’s made such a big deal about standing during the national anthem.

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  49. Joe Kobiela said on February 10, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Out in the Bahamas today, can’t seem to give a care about anything, may never come back.
    Maybe switch to flying seaplanes.
    Pilot Joe

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  50. Dave said on February 10, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    I guess I’m in the very small minority here but my 50th high school class reunion is coming up and I’m looking forward to it. Many of those folks I’ve known since I was six years old and I look forward to seeing them. One person I know who won’t be there is one who got into some bad business dealings and narrowly escaped jail and he’s an interesting fellow but still.

    Dexter, all you have to do is start picking up, a little here, a little there, and you’ll have it back in shape. I can relate, however, when my wife was away for an extended period of time helping her mother, I was not the neatest person, I don’t think I was Oscar Madison-grade but not very neat.

    Heather, I totally agree about the Pence couple and I thought they could have turned their loving Christian selves around and greeted the North Korean group. But no. Pence makes me think of Pat Nixon when I see him watching Trump, it’s the same adoring look.

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  51. Julie Robinson said on February 10, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Pence absolutely should have stood up for the united Korean team, just as he should have turned around and greeted the North Koreans sitting RIGHT behind him. How cold. I don’t think I could have ignored them. It’s a lost opportunity for opening conversations.

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  52. Deborah said on February 10, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    I’ve never been to any high school or college reunions, and will never go. I keep in touch with none of my HS or college friends, they can’t find me on FB because I have a name now they don’t know. I’d like to keep it that way. It’s not that I particularly dislike those people, I do look up some of them on FB when I’m really bored or looking for something in particular, like how much plastic surgery they’ve had, out of curiosity. I found that many of them are very right wing, particularly the college ones. I call those days “my former life”. I feel like a completely different person now.

    I agree, the snubbing of the NK dear leader’s sister by Pence was stupid.

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  53. brian stouder said on February 10, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    My lovely wife and I went to exactly one of my high school class reunions – probably 10 years ago or so (I was a ’79 graduate) and it wasn’t terrible, and it wasn’t wonderful.

    On the other hand, we’ve also attended a reunion (or two) of her class, and it was quite pleasant.

    She graduated from a smaller, rural high school – and had pretty much remained in touch with many of her class-mates in any case.

    Bottom line: Meh! – whatever

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  54. brian stouder said on February 10, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    OK – I read this article twice, and I’m not sure what the younger Ms McCain is saying:

    (with emphasis added)

    Jones compared Trump’s rhetoric with the 2008 remarks of then-GOP presidential candidate John McCain, who shut down a supporter calling Barack Obama an “Arab.”
    The younger McCain said she could not “go a day without someone bringing up (that) moment.”
    “I was there when it happened, I remember it incredibly vividly and thinking, ‘This is a moment that you know, he’s really not going to give in to what certain advisers are telling him to,’ ” she said.
    She noted that at the time “there were a lot of people really trying to get my dad to go (against Obama) with … you’re a Muslim, you’re not an American aspect of that,” but that her father had refused.
    “I can remember thinking that it was a morally amazing and beautiful moment, but that maybe there would be people in the Republican Party that would be quite angry,” she said.
    Asked whether that kind of courage could still be found in the Republican Party, McCain replied that she thought it simply “doesn’t win elections anymore.”

    It didn’t win elections back then, certainly – and open racism would not have prevailed against then-Senator Obama….because, although Senator McCain disavowed it, plenty of angry white people (et al) were ‘negatively energized’ by Obama’s (uppity!) presence on the ballot

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  55. Mark P said on February 10, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    I started to say that I went to my 15th high school reunion, and then I remembered that actually I only participated in the race. At that time I still had working knees. I started the race with a year-younger guy who had run track. After about two minutes I told him I was going to go on and essentially lapped the field. My 50th is this year and I have absolutely no interest at all in going. I’m not sure I want to know how many of my classmates have died. I already know of enough.

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  56. beb said on February 10, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Brian Stouder @54: Calling Obama a Muslim was as low, baseless, fraudulent and dishonest as one can be. That McCain objects to that one time was surprising for him because it was the decent thing to do. What the daughter seems to be saying is that being decent doesn’t win elections. So we must conclude that she’s all in for low, baseless, fraudulent and dishonest campaigning as long as it means a Republican Win. In short she’s a Trumper.

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  57. brian stouder said on February 10, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Beb – I cannot help but agree with you.

    I thought – probably incorrectly – that she meant to say ‘courage in the Republican party’ used to win….but her citation of a time when it clearly didn’t undermines that argument.

    Maybe she meant to say ‘being the better person’ won’t win nowadays, and clearly failed to win in 2008….except then her dad wasn’t “the better candidate” (compared to Senator Obama) – although John McCain was (and remains) orders-of-magnitude better than our current president.

    By way of saying – it comes off like what she wants to communicate is that, if only her dad was a bigger “foul fatberg”*, he’d ‘a won in ’08.

    Personally, almost any previous presidential election (previous to ’08), I’d have been on board for John McCain. He is a genuine American war hero, and he flew off the carrier my dad served aboard (the USS Oriskany – CV-34)…but not versus then-Senator Obama, whose lovely wife shook my hand, when she and their girls visited Fort Wayne, back in the day)


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  58. brian stouder said on February 10, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    btw – I think from now on I’ll refer to our current president as ‘the foul fatberg’.

    That was the funniest (not to say funkiest) thing I read all week!

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  59. Judybusy said on February 10, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    I don’t think I’ll attend any more reunions. My 35th is this year. I grew up a farming community, and I’m actually FB friends with quite a few people. But, it’s a weekend out of an already busy summer, and I have many dear friends that I don’t see enough of, so won’t take time to see what are now virtual strangers. As I’ve gotten older, I’m getting choosier about who I spend time with. I still make new friends, though. I can’t help it!

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  60. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 10, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    I’ve been to two of mine, and the 40th is coming this summer; I almost hope they don’t do anything, and am still not sure if I’ll go . . . they usually put it right after school starts, which is personally and professionally hard for my wife & I (it’s really just a party for those who still live in the area, and travelers-in are kind of peculiarities). Two good friends have died, and one has morphed into an uber-conservative hyper-Christian who mostly sends me emails about how my former home church has gotten intolerably liberal (actually it always was, they just have gotten less cautious about letting that flag fly), so I’m not even sure who I’d be going back to see.

    My parents will be happy if I do, so there’s that. I will be able to go back as a millionaire, though! Recently I did the math, and it adds up that somewhere last year I’ve earned a total of a million bucks since high school graduation.

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  61. brian stouder said on February 10, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Jeff – an interesting bit of math, indeed!

    As of this past December, I’ve worked at my company for 31 years – and indeed, I’ve surely also passed that gross income mark, too….and probably the $2M mark isn’t far ahead…and indeed, if you add my lovely wife’s gross income over the same time period, then our household has probably already crossed the $2M mark.

    And indeed, we’ve brought several human beings into being, and their lives are now launching, and -thankfully – we’ve enjoyed the very great blessing of minimal lifetime drama…and I’d trade away the gross numbers to keep that bit of history.

    ‘Course, having never really had seriously tough economic times contributes greatly to a ‘successful launch’ for the young folks – and being humbly cognizant of that blessing (and thankful for it) seems to be a critical leading indicator of what sort of political bias one will adopt…but we digress!

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  62. Icarus said on February 10, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    Addendum to the whole high school reunion thing: taking your spouse is something else. Unless you married your high school sweetheart,mThey will likely be bored out of their mind as they don’t know any of these people. I wouldn’t do it, or at least would give Nightingale the option to opt out.

    The McCain “defending” Obama thing….IIRC he didn’t go far enough. He should have said “he’s not a Muslim, but even if he were there’s nothing wrong with that”.

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  63. Dexter said on February 10, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    My 50th hs reunion was last June and since Carla Lee had just had knee surgery and couldn’t climb a flight of steep stairs we missed it. Yes, for a reunion for 68 year olds , the organizers booked a banquet hall on the second floor of an ancient restaurant. I guess they figured everybody was going to be able-bodied. I was a bit miffed at the whole thing, as I looked at it as a last chance to see and talk to the kids of my youth. Oh well, we all have bigger fish to fry, eh?

    After today’s thrilling finish to the MSU-PU basketball game, won by MSU in E. Lansing, Coach Izzo was interviewed on TV and tears were running down his face, and the interviewer crassly asked why the emotion here, Coach? Izzo babbled a bit about how much Jud meant to him and he was thinking about Jud (Heathcote, who passed away a while back, Izzo’s predecessor and mentor), but I wondered if maybe Izzo is finally feeling the heat from the investigations at MSU, including the 4 rapist basketball players who were allegedly protected from scrutiny, maybe even to the tune of paying off the rape victims from MSU funds (I speculate here). The whole campus reeks top to bottom over the Nassar fiasco.

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  64. Deborah said on February 10, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    I went to one of my husband’s high school reunions, before he was my husband actually. I will never do that again, I was miserable, it was beyond awful. He has been to a couple without me, he goes with his friend who lives in Chicago who’s wife also refuses to go. He also says now, that he’s done and won’t ever go to another one again.

    We went to see the Three Billboards movie this evening, all I can say is if Francis McDormand doesn’t win a best actress Oscar for that performance, there is something egregiously wrong with that.

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  65. basset said on February 11, 2018 at 12:24 am

    My first thought was “well, if they’d been my friends then I would have stayed in touch”… then for awhile I figured showing up well-adjusted and happy would be a big f-u to the whole bunch, until I realized that nothing I have done since leaving there counts as much in their world as what happened back when we were teenagers. Finally became clear to me that in that context I will always be a weirdo and I will always be a loser if they remember me at all, and that will never change. I go back and forth between wanting to fade away and to go shove it in their faces.

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  66. Dexter said on February 11, 2018 at 2:18 am

    basset, the angst of teen years for me was agonizing. Youngest in my class, everyone drove before me, and then more bad feelings when my brother wrecked Dad’s Studebaker and Dad banned all kids from ever driving his car again. No big deal if you have public transpo, but in little Indiana towns a fella needed a car. We lived in a series of rental houses and my brother was too ashamed of our meager furniture and old wallpaper and throw rugs that he never had a friend over. I did have friends over to listen to my latest Beatles records and such, but just guys…I balked at asking a girl over for my little listening get-togethers for fear of being judged as a poor kid, which I was, but did not deal with it all that healthily. I was determined to play Indiana High School basketball, and I did, but basically I sat the bench for two seasons, frustrated and mad I wasn’t playing. Baseball, yes, I was good at that and felt great about it, cleanup hitter, all that, but that was summer-only ball, away from what I felt was a pressure cooker: that damn school, mysterious girls, and all that fucking talk about “where ya gonna go to college…” I assumed it would all work out somehow I guess, but dirt-poor kids put themselves through college and I would be damned to waste all my fuck-off youth working for pig farmers or baling hay or slinging heavy steel milk jugs around. I was a baseballer, dammittall. And so…as colleges opened their doors in autumn, 1967, I went to work in a shitty dirty factory right across the RR tracks from my old high school…oh the irony! And I was happy as a lark, I bought a car and had money to drive to Ohio on weekends for beer, life seemed bearable. Then, well, I recently told of how I signed on to play next level baseball, was drafted, went to Vietnam and then did go to college, dropped out with mononucleosis , went broke, back to the factories. So why was I upset about missing that reunion at all? I guess it’s just one of those things, as they say. Hell, basset…lots of us were nerds, fuck-offs, lived under horrible conditions, I had several friends who lived with brutal alcoholic parents, a good friend was homeless when his family home burned down, and a teacher took him in for an entire school year; yessir, teen years were hard times and they were rough times and for gawd’s sake I never once said I wish I could have gone back. Once was enough.

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  67. Sherri said on February 11, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Basset, why give a bunch of people you don’t stay in touch with and don’t want to have a relationship with that kind of power? What difference does it make what they think of you?

    It seems to me going to a high school reunion because you want your old classmates to see you rather than because you want to see them is a setup for disappointment. Maybe you’d be regarded as the conquering hero, and maybe you’d look around and decide you’re better than everybody else there, but so what?

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  68. alex said on February 11, 2018 at 10:54 am

    I never went to a reunion and don’t plan on it. I had few friends, and the one with whom I was closest turned schizophrenic in adulthood and is such a mess I had to cut off contact with her.

    Nice dinner last night with the neighbors. No wonder we hit it off so well. They love telling bawdy stories and scatalogical jokes, even while dining. Not too many people can compartmentalize that way. I know people who get squeamish about such stuff even if there’s no food involved. They also passionately hate Trump even though they generally leaned Republican in the past.

    Homebound today with a sleet storm going on. And a scratchy throat. Hope I didn’t pick up some bug in the hospital.

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  69. LAMary said on February 11, 2018 at 11:08 am

    I was watching the men’s luge yesterday and one guy was described as being 6’3″ and weighing 230. His build, in no way, resembled Trump’s.

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  70. Mark P said on February 11, 2018 at 11:38 am

    I wouldn’t describe Trump as having a “build”. More of a congealing.

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  71. basset said on February 11, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Nothing about a “conquering hero,” Sherri, or deciding I’m better than anybody… by their standards I’m ineligible to be anyone special, and by mine I don’t care. Power, now that’s a point I hadn’t thought about. Looking for closure, I suppose, but exactly what it is I’m not sure.

    Our dinner with the neighbors went well too, we had the “Bill Blass” meatloaf and watched “Hell’s Angels,” a Jean Harlow movie from 1930 – one of us knows movies and provided production insights and the Howard Hughes backstory, most interesting.

    (About the meatloaf… it showed up in the NY Times “what to cook this week” email a few weeks ago, apparently this famous fashion designer was known for it: Different and pretty tasty but I just don’t like the idea of veal, particularly when it’s $10 a pound.

    Watching the river rise out back, it’s usually around 2-3 feet this time of year on the gauge just upstream but right now is at 16. Flood stage is 20, the gauge tops out at 37 and it was at least six or eight feet over that when the whole neighborhood flooded back in 2010.

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  72. Deborah said on February 11, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    We are having a white out through our window, it’s not snowing right now but the lake is still completely white from the snow the last couple of days and the sky above the lake is white too, you can’t see a horizon line at all. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before, surely I have but it didn’t make an impression on me as it has today. A friend of ours in Finland said that happens a lot there, while snowmobiling, he says its disorienting to the point that people get confused about what is up or down. I can see now how that might happen out in the open.

    Alex, what a bummer if you picked up a bug in the hospital, that is not uncommon, unfortunately.

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  73. Deborah said on February 11, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Basset, the meatloaf recipe seems scrumptious except I will use ketchup instead of chili sauce on top. I know that’s plebeian but I like it.
    Definitely will be making this soon, with mashed potatoes and a vegetable like green beans. Ahhh, comfort food on a cold winter day.

    Also, first I had typed catsup but autocorrect indicated that was wrong?

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  74. Deborah said on February 11, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    OK, I can’t stop myself from being critical of Hope Hicks. I was surprised to find out she’s only 27, because she looks older than that. While she’s an attractive woman, she wears a lot of make-up. Seems like she would be pretty enough without it. Maybe, she’s aging her looks on purpose to seem more credible? We are seeing lots of photos of her lately because of the Porter business. I know that the heavy makeup routine is normal for Fox News and Huckabee Sanders, so maybe it’s just a conservative thing, women as objects etc.

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  75. brian stouder said on February 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Interesting thoughts on reunions, indeed.

    Dexter – I just finished a book I got for Christmas, JD Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy (I can hear Coozledad’s objections, from here!) – and your experience echoes one of the themes in there.

    Sort of a “This is not for you” (thinking Pearl Jam*) experience – which you (and Vance) over-came, but which many folks don’t.

    I think Basset has the right attitude, in general.

    Aside from that, here’s hoping Alex gets to feeling better,


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  76. Julie Robinson said on February 11, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Teenage years are full of angst and I had that too, but I must have been luckier than a lot of y’all because I had such great friends. We were band/choir/theatre nerds I suppose; not remotely popular but we couldn’t have cared less. We got together to gab or sing along to musicals, and no one needed any mood-altering substances because we were all goofy enough without them.

    A small group of us always gets together for dinner before the reunion and the time goes in a flash. Our husbands have become friends too and most of us also have musician children so we have to hear about what they’re doing.

    Some are right-wing, something that’s even truer of my college friends. We don’t discuss politics when we’re together.

    It really pains me to know so many of you had such a wretched time, and I agree that if it was that bad for you, you shouldn’t revisit it. I’m looking forward to my next reunion.

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  77. Joe Kobiela said on February 11, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Used a couple days vacation and duty offed today, so the wifey flew down to Orlando and I met her today for a few days with the mouse. Currently 80 degree and suppose to stay that way all week. Deb the same thing can happen over the lake in the summer with haze, its the reason John Kennedy flew himself into the water or so they say, I think Mrs Clinton had him shot down.(not really).
    Bassett buddy do what you feel is right, but if you don’t go don’t keep dwelling on it, fuck em life is to short. I have been to all of my reunions always had a good time.
    Pilot Joe

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  78. basset said on February 11, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Joe, you’re right about that… I escaped, I’m gone, piss on em. Correct wording for the response to the invitation letter is gonna be a challenge. No idea why you would want to go anywhere near the Mouse, though.

    Orlando, btw, has an easement I’ve never seen the likes of before… the redevelopment of the former naval training base there included having to deal with a “nuclear weapons easement,” guess they needed to get em in and out back in the day without being disturbed.

    Deborah, about the meatloaf… we did a hasselbeck potato gratin and some stir-fried asparagus, went over really well. also made some little chocolate pot things… excuse me, that’s “ramekin,” not “pot”… and it was an all NYTimes recipe night except for the veggie loaf we did for Jr. and soon to be Mrs. Jr, that one came from a site which I think is somehow connected to the 7th-Day Adventist world, anyway it allows you to plug in various ingredients and get a recipe:

    Interesting, but I have to think it’d get old after awhile… have made several loaves from there and they all taste pretty much the same to me. Maybe someone with more security-breaking experience than me can get in there and change the site… you need a protein, you need a carbohydrate, you need a liquid, you need a petroleum product…

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