Literate men.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter might be familiar with my cover photo, which I never tire of examining — Pete D’Souza’s over-the-shoulder shot of President Obama and his then-speechwriter, Jon Favreau, working on his health-care speech, delivered to Congress in 2009. You can see it here.

I love it because it shows just what sort of writer Obama is — careful, meticulous, not afraid to draft and redraft. Favreau may have done the first one, but he wasn’t going to get away without making sure every word was right, “this has always been our history” revised to “this has always been the history of our progress.” I know Favreau and Obama had a close relationship, the old two-halves-of-one-brain thing, but writing is personal and the president put his personal stamp on his. (This is another reason I guffaw at the idea Obama had a ghost for his two books. Get outta here with that crap.)

Anyway, here’s today’s commander-in-chief and his editing style:

Nice cufflinks, too. I bet they cost a lot, and are of very high quality. The best quality. The best. An incredible pair of cufflinks.

And yes, “collusion” is misspelled. Thanks to MMJeff for finding that one.

I needed a laugh today, after yesterday. I have tried to keep up with all the outrage takes, but I’ve run out of steam. Shock supply: E. It’s all about swatting these distractions away and marching relentlessly toward the next election. Also, I am closing in on the end of “The Americans,” which arrived on Amazon Prime’s video stream in June. I banged through the five available seasons like a junkie, and bought the final one on iTunes. I know how it’s going to end, basically; spoilers are held at bay for maybe 18 hours after a prestige-TV event, and then everybody talks about it. No biggie — I’m still enjoying every hour.

I’m also pleasantly surprised at how much Russian is spoken therein; none of this just-have-them-do-a-Boris-and-Natasha-accent business. Long scenes with subtitles are a lot to ask of an American TV audience. It’s weird how, even though I haven’t studied it in a while, immersion cracks a door open in my brain, and more comes back to me. The characters address one another formally, as Russians in a professional setting would do — first name and patronymic. No courtesy titles in Russian. Schoolchildren address their teachers as Natalia Ivanovna or Sergei Ivanovich. But when two of the characters are rolling around in bed, it’s the diminutives and informal address.

Fun fact: Russians can make diminutives — nicknames, pet names — from almost any word, and especially names, just like us. Mikhail is Misha, Pavel’s friend call him Pasha, you get the idea. Most names have multiple diminutives, just as our Michael might be Mike, Mikey, Mickey, etc. The -ka ending in a diminutive carries an implication of naughtiness, the way your mother called you by first, middle and last name when she was mad at you. When Mikhail is in trouble, his mom might call him Mishka. When Pasha, a troubled teen on “The Americans,” comes home with a black eye, brushes off his mom’s alarm and stomps up to his room, his mother yells up the stairs at him, “Pashenka!” Authentic.

And now you know how the Russian word for water, voda, became vodka.

So, bloggage:

Looks like ol’ Coach Jim Jordan may find himself giving discovery depositions one of these days.

I’m following the discussion in the previous post’s comments, about billionaires setting public policy, in this case Bill Gates and his ideas about education. A few days ago, short-attention-span billionaire Elon Musk took a break from saving the world to tweet that he would slice off another bit of his limited time on earth to do something about the water in Flint. I don’t even have the energy to can’t-even over that one.

So now let’s turn to my next TV commitment, “Fauda” on Netflix, and hold “The Americans” at bay for another day.

Wednesday ahead. Enjoy.

Posted at 9:20 pm in Current events, Television |

63 responses to “Literate men.”

  1. alex said on July 17, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    If vodka is naughty water, then why isn’t a troika a menage?

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  2. Ellen T. said on July 17, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    Highly recommend Fauda seasons 1 & 2. Season 3 was weaker, but still adrenaline-driven. Watched it in Hebrew/Arabic with English subtitles.

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  3. brian stouder said on July 17, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    Pammy binge-watched the Russian-spy show a year (or so) ago; and the series about the Australian sisters (had to love the accents!); and the one about the Scottish folks and the time-travelling woman (ditto on the accents – but she cheated on that one and turned on the subtitles, so we could make out what they were saying) – and my favorite binge-series – the one with the guy who runs the diner, and the gal whose young daughter goes to Harvard (thanks to wealthy grandpa/grandma), etc etc

    My main TV watching is news (MSNBC/Rachel is my fave; Katy Tur, too), but Pam pulls me into her shows every so-often

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  4. brian stouder said on July 18, 2018 at 12:05 am

    Gilmore Girls! (loved that one)

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  5. Deborah said on July 18, 2018 at 12:09 am

    LB and I are watching Sharp Objects on HBO, so far 2 episodes, I’m hooked but I’ll be out of town for a few episodes. Sunday we start our rambling roadtrip to Chicago by way of Yellowstone. There’s a birthday bash for uncle J that we’re working up to in northern Illinois at the end of the month. We will have about a day and a half back at our place in Chicago. Then back to NM.

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  6. Dexter Friend said on July 18, 2018 at 3:48 am

    A few years ago nance wrote of the alarming number of murders and cop shoot-outs and shit like that in Waterloo, Indiana, where I moved at age 9 and left after high school, 50 years ago. Well guess what…the “You’re From Waterloo If…” Facebook page lit up when it was revealed killer/rapist John Miller spent much of his early life in good old Waterloo, son of Bob Miller who owned the Ford dealership for many years. A bunch of folks younger than me are posting remembrances of young John Miller on that page. Just another brick in the wall…the story never ends. ~
    Netflix released “How it Ends”, a sorta-sci-fi film that starts off like hey, this is gonna be good, then immediately turns into a dog of a film, so bad you’ll squirm in your seat just praying this POS ends. Geez…horrible.

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  7. Dexter Friend said on July 18, 2018 at 4:20 am

    She thought she wanted to be a TV journo but her life took a different turn, my nephew’s wife’s write-up, Chicago:

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  8. Joe Kobiela said on July 18, 2018 at 7:30 am

    Currently re watching NYPD BLUE, on Amazon. It holds up well.
    Pilot Joe

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  9. ROGirl said on July 18, 2018 at 7:46 am

    I never got past the first few episodes of the Americans. When new shows start I usually wait until a few episodes have aired, then if I like it I can binge watch until I catch up.

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  10. Suzanne said on July 18, 2018 at 9:10 am

    The news of the past few days has left me completely depressed. Add to that, hearing a politician from Ohio interviewed this morning and go full on with Trump (he misspoke, sure Russia spies but we all do, he’s doing wonderful things for the economy, he’s got this country back on track) and a woman that runs a business in the small town near us telling my husband how thankful she is that there is finally a godly man in the oval office. Also, I am reading a book written by an escapee from N Korea and the brainwashing parallels hit too close to home.
    When the happiest news of the week is that the local cops finally caught a disgusting pervert after 30 years, it’s not a good week.

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  11. Mark P said on July 18, 2018 at 9:11 am

    I’m pretty sure that tomorrow Trump will issue a clarification. When he wrote “There was no colusion”, what he really meant to write was “There was no collision.”

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  12. Icarus said on July 18, 2018 at 9:24 am

    if you want a good laugh, read the comments on many of these posts…she is getting trolled, and rightfully so.

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  13. JodiP said on July 18, 2018 at 9:28 am

    These days, I just am enjoying summer and am watching little on the screen. We’ve had a break in the heat, so I’m gardening more. Having friends over for dinner, or going to happy hours. Tomorrow evening I’ll be going on the “just for volunteers” tour of the master gardener gardens which the public viewed on Saturday. It ends with a potluck at the last garden.

    Next week we’ll be heading to MA to celebrate the 80th birthday of my wife’s godmother. Lots of fun packed into 4 days!

    I keep up on the news, but I think I was more impacted last year. I didn’t garden that much, just felt blah. I of course have a baseline of fear and concern, but am very intentional about seeking joy and beauty every day. It will keep me in the fight much longer.

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  14. Deborah said on July 18, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Trump’s attempts to walk back his catastrophe presser in Helsinki are pathetic. What a buffoon.

    I mentioned here a few days back that we put in a new patio at the Santa Fe condo building. We had an extra umbrella so we dug a hole, put in a tube that we happened to have, wrapped the tube in wire with pieces of it sticking out for reinforcement, poured Quikrete around it and voila we have a freestanding umbrella stand. My husband dug the hole, which is hard work around here once you get down to the caliche which is like cement.

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  15. FlaJim said on July 18, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Fun fact about The Americans I noticed in the credits: Masha Gessen translates the Russian dialogue.

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  16. Bitter Scribe said on July 18, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Fascinating stuff about the Russian language, Nancy. I never suspected that first name-patronymic took the place of “Mr.” or “Mrs.”

    I might have had a tiny kernel of empathy for Jim Jordan—when confronted with something so outlandishly outrageous, denial is the natural human response. But he’s been so thunderously self-righteous about demanding accountability from everyone involved in the Trump/Russia investigation (and before that, Benghazi, IIRC). He made this big fucking deal about how so-and-so had an office “a few doors down” from Rod Rosenstein’s, so why didn’t Rosenstein know about every little thing so-and-so did, said and signed? Well, it turns out that the pervy doc had a locker right next to Jordan’s (and what the hell was a team doctor doing with a locker in the first place? Wasn’t his office big enough to store his stethoscope in?), and Jordan is now doing the Sergeant Schultz defense. Not only that, but claiming that everyone who says they told him about the abuse is a liar. Fuck him.

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  17. Suzanne said on July 18, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Bitter, you mean Gym Jordan, right?
    I’ll tell you, if I had known about the vile things that Republicans tell us is said in locker rooms, I would never, ever have allowed my son to take physical ed classes or join a sports team.

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  18. Bitter Scribe said on July 18, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Suzanne, that “locker-room talk” stuff is a lot of hooey. I was never a great athlete in high school, but I did my share of hanging out in locker rooms, and I never heard anything like that. (And I went to an all-boys school!) It’s just a lame Republican excuse when they get caught disrespecting women.

    In any case, it’s what Republicans do (or allow others to do) in locker rooms that concerns me.

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  19. Jakash said on July 18, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Uh oh, I posted here a couple hours after the finale of The Americans, not even waiting “for maybe 18 hours after a prestige-TV event.” I knew better than to do that, but was giddy about actually watching something like that as it aired. Sorry/Not Sorry, I believe is the expression!

    I agree that your remarks about the Russian language are very interesting, NN. Vodka — that’s a good one.

    Re: Netflix — has anybody plowed through “C in C getting C” yet? We did, and, though I’ve been a big fan of Mr. Seinfeld’s since *before* “Seinfeld,” I gotta agree with Nancy’s buddy Hank Stuever’s analysis. While there were certainly fun episodes and good moments, his calling it “just one more streaming-entertainment chore” is kinda on-point. As a bonus, he takes a tangential shot at “Carpool Karaoke.” A win-win, IMHO.

    “‘What’s next in lazy, car-based, non-comedy?’ Galifianakis asks. It’s mock cruelty, but it’s also a good question.”

    And he’s right, I was amazed that the John Mulaney episode was such a dud, and that the Ellen Degeneres one seemed so awkward. They both seem pretty engaging for those episodes to fall flat. Disagree about the Dave Chapelle installment, though — that seemed to me to be one of the good ones.–but-is-that-seinfelds-fault/2018/07/08/687094fe-8132-11e8-b658-4f4d2a1aeef1_story.html?

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  20. nancy said on July 18, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Interesting about Masha Gessen. I’ve noticed the translations are very colloquial; in those exchanges I can follow, the English is rendered the way English speakers would say it, not as a strict translation. That’s good work.

    I also notice that when the leads, Kerry Russell and Matthew Rhys, are thrown into scenes where they have to speak a few words of their native tongue, they don’t say much. Other characters blab at them, while they nod and utter a few perfunctory phrases. Neither one speaks Russian.

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  21. Connie said on July 18, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    So I got a message about my wordpress password being compromised. My reaction was huh? So turns out if you have an avatar from gravator you have a wordpress password and it got compromised.

    Only a few of us have gravatars besides the quilt blocks, but now you know.

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  22. Charlotte said on July 18, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Good piece at the New Yorker about Masha Gessen translating for the Americans — because she left Russia at about the time the series is set, they wanted her for her fossilized slang …

    And Suzanne — if you’re reading the Yeonmi Park book, my very dear friend Maryanne Vollers wrote it (she’s about 3 years into an epic writing project with Billie Jean King right now).

    Not much TV for me these days — working a lot this summer — a girl needs a new roof. Writing about network security which is only making me more terrified for our nation … ugh.

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  23. Suzanne said on July 18, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    Charlotte, the book I am reading is called A River In Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa. It’s chilling.

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  24. Mark P said on July 18, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Bitter Scribe, I went to a boys’ school , too. Like you I was not an athlete, but we had to take a sport, so I spent time in locker rooms, too. I never heard that kind of talk. Not once.

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  25. Bitter Scribe said on July 18, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Anyone remember a 1984 movie called “Moscow On the Hudson”? It starred Robin Williams as a Soviet musician who defects to the West. The first 15 minutes or so are set in Russia with everyone speaking Russian, including Williams, who learned it for the role.

    Damn, that’s dedication. I don’t know Russian, but his accent sounded perfectly good to me—at least, I couldn’t tell any difference between him and the other actors, who were all native Russian speakers. Williams always was a great mimic, so I guess mastering a foreign accent would have been second nature to him.

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  26. Jenine said on July 18, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    As far as Comedians in Cars… I disagree about the Mulaney and Degeneres episodes, I liked them and laughed during both. Some awkwardness, sure, it’s a very odd interview format. I don’t agree with everything that comes out of JS’s mouth but I love that show. It feels very escapist for me.

    Anyone else like Drunk History? That’s another comfort watch I’ve been working through. The vulgar comedy is only enhanced by Derek Waters’ soulful eyes and the caretaking of the storytellers. The New Yorker article is even more smitten than I am.

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  27. Jenine said on July 18, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    As far as Comedians in Cars… I disagree about the Mulaney and Degeneres episodes, I liked them and laughed during both. Some awkwardness, sure, it’s a very odd interview format. I don’t agree with everything that comes out of JS’s mouth but I love that show. It feels very escapist for me.

    Anyone else like Drunk History? That’s another comfort watch I’ve been working through. The vulgar comedy is only enhanced by Derek Waters’ soulful eyes and the caretaking of the storytellers. The New Yorker article is even more smitten than I am.

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  28. alex said on July 18, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Anyone remember a 1984 movie called “Moscow On the Hudson”?

    Yes. Especially that classic line in broken English where he is trying to tell people under his breath so that his Soviet handlers don’t overhear him: “I want to defecate!”

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  29. David C. said on July 18, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    I saw “Moscow on the Hudson” with my Uncle Don when I visited him in New York City. He was completely grossed out by Robin Williams’ fur. Don always had a delicate stomach. When he would have breakfast in a diner and someone would put ketchup on his eggs he’d move to another table. I miss him so much.

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  30. Sherri said on July 18, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Charlotte, what are you writing about network security? Yes, it is a scary topic. I see way too much obvious lazy security design not to be worried about the underlying issues.

    Speaking of obvious lazy security design, the leading vendor of vote tabulation systems used to ship pcAnywhere on their product. Cheap and easier way of providing tech support, but these systems should never even be on a network or a modem, much less controllable remotely.

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  31. alex said on July 18, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    I saw “Prizzi’s Honor” in Brooklyn with an old friend with benefits. The theater was in the same neighborhood where several scenes from the movie were filmed.

    Saw a lot of cheesy movies in the ‘80s and pretty much swore off Hollywood product after that and TV too.

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  32. Heather said on July 18, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    NY Times reporting that Trump was given detailed intel showing Putin personally ordered cyberattacks to sway the election. Is this what will finally cause him to go down, or will the GOP find some way to justify this too? I’m not optimistic. Lucky you learned some Russian, Nancy.

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  33. Dexter Friend said on July 19, 2018 at 3:17 am

    I love comedy and jim Jeffries’ newly released Netflix concert is a hoot. Going back to when Carson introduced Jerry Seinfeld to the world, I never thought he was funny. So damn pretentious, so obnoxious. I quit going to comedy clubs years ago but with sat-radio and cable shows I see or hear all the major touring comedians. They unanimously praise Jerry Seinfeld, as does just about everybody. I also find his former collaborator Larry David hilarious…it’s just that damn Jerry. Jerry’s show on Netflix with Dave Letterman, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” was just more blowhard Jerry. Now you’d think Howard would be the one like that, but Stern was great with Dave. Yep, it’s just that damn Jerry….

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  34. Jolene said on July 19, 2018 at 6:20 am

    Cool news. Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway show is coming to Netflix later this year.

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  35. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 19, 2018 at 7:22 am

    Queen Elizabeth II is willing to troll a bit, under the right circumstances.

    God save her!

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  36. Suzanne said on July 19, 2018 at 9:07 am

    I know, Jeff! 92 year old queen throwing shade, but in a proper British manner. Gotta love it!

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  37. Sherri said on July 19, 2018 at 11:30 am

    The Flight 93 guy is back, with an op-ed in the WaPo arguing that birthright citizenship is double-plus ungood. It would be nice to see our major papers start to amplify the voices of people other than mediocre white men. Ijeoma Oluo. Patrisse Cullors. Tressie McMillan Cottom.

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  38. Julie Robinson said on July 19, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Love QE2!

    Haven’t gotten anything about my gravatar being comprised.

    I’ve been out of the loop on the news and having a great time. My daughter and I spent three days in Vermont, staying at the ancestral Robinson homestead, built around the time of the Revolutionary War. Three story round barn, the meeting hall they built, and the people we met more than made up for lack of internet or even cell signal.

    Last night we saw the pre-Broadway musical Moulin Rouge in Boston and today we’re doing the Freedom Trail. It’s been epic.

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  39. Deborah said on July 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    There’s a Governors Association convention happening in Santa Fe, only 21 guvs are expected. Scott Walker is one, and Inslee (spelling?) the hub of WA. Also the guv of Kentucky, I can’t remember his name. The big ones like Brown of CA and Kasich of OH aren’t coming. I’m in Abiquiu, so probably won’t see any of them around town. The local paper reported about disgusting corporate sponsorships of the conference which give corporations access to the guvs.

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  40. Connie said on July 19, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Julie, it is probably too late for you to get this for your freedom trail trip. When I did the Freedom Trail I thought the best thing was the tour of USS Constitution. Our longest still commissioned navy ship, order by George Washington. You actually get to go down into the deck levels.

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  41. Jakash said on July 19, 2018 at 1:15 pm


    I still like CCC, I just thought that many of this latest batch were lackluster. The big thing with the Mulaney and Degeneres ones was that I had high expectations that were definitely not met. Whatever they thought might come out of that rug-buying expedition didn’t register with me, and Jerry asking Ellen what she thought about penises, for example, was cringe-worthy. I guess we’ll agree to disagree. : ) I did love how Ellen marveled at how much coffee Jerry was drinking. She’s even funnier about that on this clip from *her* show.


    I can see how Jerry’s style and attitude might be off-putting to you, but in his early days I didn’t find him obnoxious, just kinda socially awkward in interview situations. Ironic, given that he’s doing an interview show now. But I thought his recent Netflix chat with Dave was swell. The main down-note to me was when he essentially said he’d rather talk about raisins than Trump. Though, really, I can’t blame him much for that, either. Hair Furor is being pretty well covered everywhere else, so why bother?

    What I found interesting is that their main disagreement seemed to be about Jerry heaping praise on Dave as having single-handedly changed comedy in this country with his NBC show and Dave having none of it. Jerry didn’t seem obnoxious to me there. But the kicker was then watching Dave interview Howard Stern on his Netflix show, and heaping the same kind of praise on Howard as Jerry had on him. I’m kinda ambivalent about Stern — there’s a lot there not to like, but he’s certainly funny. I’ve never been a regular listener of his, but I’ve seen many of his appearances on Dave’s shows and the fact that Letterman seems to like the guy and respect his talent so much has always struck me, given how different their public personas seem.

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  42. ROGirl said on July 19, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    I could never understand why David Letterman thought so highly of Howard Stern. One on one on the show with Letterman, Stern was funny, but when I tried to listen to his radio show it was awful, and I had to switch the station pretty quickly.

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  43. Dexter Friend said on July 19, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for the tip-off, Jolene. Here’s the hot skinny on the Bruce Springsteen Broadway tickets. It’s sort of a mail lottery, I suppose an online thing. When your name is selected to buy tickets, you have no choice in what level pricing you want. If there are $800 seats, you buy or decline, if you are a big-spender and you get selected for the $300 cheap seats, you select or pass. I never heard of such a system…any of you folks who are avid theater-goers know about this? I am a huge Boss fan, but only having seen him perform 4 times makes me seem like a casual fan. “Real fans” have seen hundreds of shows. Perhaps only The Grateful Dead ever had such longtime fanatics.

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  44. Deborah said on July 19, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    When I tried to type “guv” above, autocorrect kept changing it to “hub”. I see that I missed correcting one.

    I thought I was a big fan because I’ve been to 2 Springsteen concerts. I’ve been to 3 U2 concerts and went with my husband to 5 or 6 Dylan concerts, he went to a few more without me. I like Dylan’s songs, the earlier ones anyway. My husband is enamored with all of them.

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  45. Suzanne said on July 19, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    I am heartbroken. The brooch story is not true.

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  46. Jakash said on July 19, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    Dammit, Suzanne, way to go ruining the fun! ; )

    I’d say “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” but the ability and willingness of most in The Resistance to both seek out and accept factual information, despite it sometimes not conforming to their fondest wishes, is one of the most crucial characteristics distinguishing them from most in The Compliance, or whatever the clueless passengers on the Trump train are called.

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  47. Deborah said on July 19, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    The news about the red headed spy has all the soap opera ingredients, guns, sex and lies. It will be interesting to see where that all goes.

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  48. David C. said on July 20, 2018 at 6:31 am

    A honey-pot spy named Mariia
    Plied her craft in a shady arena
    She carried out missions
    To bang politicians
    Who all must now fear the subpoena

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  49. alex said on July 20, 2018 at 6:45 am

    Not sure if there’s any method to Trump’s madness in bringing Putin to the U.S. just before this year’s elections, but I bet the GOP establishment is shitting bricks right now. Supposedly John Bolton is the mastermind behind this move. A repeat performance of what happened in Helsinki would be a boon to the Democrats, so I wonder what else might be up his sleeve.

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  50. Julie Robinson said on July 20, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Well, unfortch, as the kids say, we only had about five hours to explore Boston. My exhaustion and plantar fasciitis flared up, and we got back very late from Moulin Rouge because we stage doored it afterwards. All worth it for the joy it brought Sarah when she got a picture of Aaron Tveit and herself. Look him up, ladies and gay gents, he was turning grown women into giddy little girls.

    So we ended up taking a hop on, hop off bus around town, getting off and seeing a few sites, but the ship wasn’t one of them. Being church geeks, we had a long visit to the Old North Church of Paul Revere fame, then met some friends for dinner. It’s okay because I’ll be back.

    I still haven’t dug in on any news so my outrage level right now is pretty limited. Time enough for that when this trip is over.

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  51. Julie Robinson said on July 20, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Or is it unforch? I am so not cool.

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  52. brian stouder said on July 20, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    What would Paul Revere’s signals be, today?

    One tweet if the Russians are coming by land, two if by sea – and three if our president is leading them?

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  53. Little Bird said on July 20, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Santa Fe has at least one helicopter circling the plaza. I haven’t really looked to see how many it is. Apparently My Pants is in town, and there’s going to be a special “invite only” burning of Zozobras uncle, Tio Coco. It’s some kind of Zozobra light. I’ll be happy when this mess is over and they all go home.

    Oh, and does anyone else think that Time Magazine cover of the blended faces looks like Eric Trump? No? Just me?

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  54. alex said on July 20, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    And now for a fun story out of Washington…

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  55. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 20, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Oh, Suzanne . . . (sniffs).

    Listening to a newly installed washer and dryer run in the laundry/mud room. Let the heavens fall.

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  56. Little Bird said on July 20, 2018 at 4:39 pm
    Just a list of who should be here. Still unsure about My Pants.

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  57. Dexter Friend said on July 21, 2018 at 1:56 am

    In 1977 I had just purchased a little Honda CVCC car and loaded up the wife and little kids and headed for Boston for a vacation. At the last gasoline stop off the Mass Pike I had a small-talk at the pumps with another traveler. “Whatever you do, do not take your car into The Old North End, the streets are too narrow for driving.” I drove straight into The Old North End of Boston and had fun on the tiny streets. The Old North Church left a lasting impression, as did the old women toting long loaves of bread to their homes. We did all the tourist stuff we could in five days’ time, including seeing a game at Fenway Park. I had to drive over to Cambridge and buzz around Harvard just to see it. We never went back into Boston, instead our Mass vacays were out on The Cape and once to Pilgrim land. Lately I have been wanting to go back one more time to Nantasket Beach, but then I remember the outrageous parking fees they charge and all the congestion on the beach. Glad you had yourself a time, Julie R.

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  58. Deborah said on July 21, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Boston is a great city. We were just talking a couple of days ago about how we’d like to go back. Since we mainly go to NM we don’t travel to other places like we used to. Although this past year we also went London, New York and LA, and we’re leaving on our road trip tomorrow. I guess that’s enough travel for one year.

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  59. Brian stouder said on July 21, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Julie, we did the hop-on/hop-off trolley thing in Charleston a summer or two ago, and loved it!

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  60. Julie Robinson said on July 21, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Because Sarah has friends everywhere, we stayed in a lovely home in Andover and took the train in. I think that’s the way to go.

    They went to the shore at Rockport yesterday while I got some more sleep, and then we went to a little jewel of a museum in Andover and finished the day with Thai food.

    We’re waiting for our plane to board back to Orlando, then tomorrow get to see Matt perform in Godspell.

    Oh, and Dexter, my sister had a ’76 CVCC, that was one of the tiniest cars ever. No rear defroster though; not good for her in Michigan.

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  61. Connie said on July 22, 2018 at 8:25 am

    I see my neighbor Sergei is done at Chrysler for health reasons.

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    • nancy said on July 22, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Sergio, that is. I don’t think Fiat Chrysler has been infiltrated by the Russians yet.

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  62. Connie said on July 22, 2018 at 11:27 am

    The house complex supposedly belongs to Fiat Chrysler, so who knows who might live there. The sign out front says Oxonia House.

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