We cleaned a closet this weekend. The big closet, the master-bedroom closet, the one we share. We cleaned it because it was a two-person job.
God, what a nightmare. What SHAME. There’s nothing like finding perfectly good shoes you haven’t worn in a decade to make you want to cover yourself in sackcloth and ashes. Then you look at the shoes and think, I never really liked these anyway, which makes you feel even guiltier that you bought them in the first place.
Into the donation pile they go.
At least there wasn’t anything NWT in there — that’s “new with tags,” for those of you who don’t stalk used-clothing websites. I’ve heard those horror stories.
It took half a day to get it all out, sweep, dust, mop the floor with Murphy’s and restock it with about one-third the items. But it honestly made me so happy that the first thing I did Sunday morning after I got out of bed was go to the closet and just admire it for a minute or two.
Then I cleaned the bathrooms, and that felt even better. I’m so bourgeois I can’t stand it.
I have a friend who, when she swaps her clothes seasonally, hangs everything up with the hangers reversed. As she wears things, she rehangs them the correct way. If anything makes it to the end of the season with the hanger still backwards, out it goes. Now that’s discipline. I don’t have it, though.
And with that, you’ve heard the fun of my weekend — Christmas shopping, exercise, dust in my nose. Went to a yoga-class benefit for the 501c3 I serve on, and they gave everyone a gift bag. Sticky-bottom socks, shea butter for your feet, all that stuff. Coupons for stuff like nutritional consultation, etc. I worked in the back row, so I could look at two or three rows of bottoms way firmer than mine in skin-tight leggings. Every time I do yoga, I think I should do it more. Then I get to class and think my ass is the fattest one here.
So, it would seem the the Mueller endgame is here, no? Certainly we have passed a significant milestone. I saw someone say on Twitter that she was expecting a royal flush. Do you? What’s the best intel we have so far? It would seem that he knew all along that Manafort’s lawyers were reporting back to Trump’s lawyers, but he let it go on, so he could feed specific information and manipulate the genius POTUS into certain responses?
Just make it a merry Christmas, Bob.
One bit of bloggage today: Why so many parties? Obviously, because it’s the end of the world.
alex said on December 2, 2018 at 9:59 pm
A hearty thanks to all who whetted my jones for a good boeuf bourguignon in the last thread. I devoted my day to making one. Not the Julia Child recipe, but an Ina Garten cheater version that’s just as good and a whole lot simpler.
Deborah said on December 2, 2018 at 10:04 pm
Make it a Muerry Christmas, for sure.
I went through the clean out phase a couple of weeks ago, of our storage unit in Chicago. I have a big old garbage bag of clothing to get rid of. The big problem is no car to drive it over to the Goodwill. I may just have to take it over in a Lyft, although that seems kind of decadent in a way. I’m also sorry to admit I have one item in the bag with the tags still on and even still in a plastic wrapper that it came in. Shame.
brian stouder said on December 2, 2018 at 11:35 pm
A few weeks ago, a historian named Ron White came to town and delivered a lecture at the Allen County Public Library about US Grant, and I bought his book, and am now about 3/4 through it.
It’s a fresh take, and quite good; and indeed, it offers a bit of cold comfort, with regard to 2018 America.
As ill-equipped (and/or unsuited) as President Trump is for the job he currently holds – the United States has definitely had worse.
President Andrew Johnson ascended to the presidency upon the murder of President Lincoln – and he took office in the most consequential point in our history (aside from our original founding), as we emerged (barely) from a genuinely existential catastrophe – and faced the absolutely daunting task of putting the country back together.
Johnson sucked at this, utterly. If the Civil War had any meaning at all, surely the nation would view Americans who were black as citizens, yes?
Nope (said President Johnson)
What about Native Americans?
President Johnson acted as if the sacrifices and the outcome of the war were pointless; he steered the post-war nation directly into a Constitutional crisis, and was impeached – and acquitted (barely). The country was stuck with his utter incompetence to the end of his term, whereupon we elected US Grant. (I’m 3/4 through the book – up to where Grant wins the presidency)
US Grant acted for the good of the nation, rather than for what was best for him – which is precisely the opposite of how his predecessor (and President Trump) approach decisions.
By way of saying – I find the book oddly comforting, as we watch our current, utterly inept and artless president flip and flop around on the deck.
Not to jinx it – but I think our current national case of DTs will end along with the current Congressional term (either with his defeat, or his opting out before that point)
FDChief said on December 3, 2018 at 12:12 am
The real problem is that the way the U.S. system is set up a sitting President can’t simply be indicted, convicted in open court, and hauled off to the sneezer. He or she must first be impeached by the House, then convicted by the Senate. Even if a Democratic House provides the articles of impeachment the Senate GOP has made it brutally clear that Orange Foolius could, indeed, shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in broad daylight and they will not convict him of anything. Therefore, regardless of what Mueller eventually produces Trump will remain in office until January 2021.
Whether he will continue to soil the Oval Office beyond that time..? Well, frankly, that depends on We the People. If enough “Americans” are willing to betray their nation on behalf of their party, he will. At that point it will become viciously clear that you can be a good American, or a good Republican.
But not both.
I am not hopeful.
The Big Clean we did today was the refrigerator and freezer. That was…unpleasant. Nothing beginning to reproduce in there, but some pretty nasty looking detritus that was unidentifiable as to what it had originally been part of or attached to. Ugh.
FDChief said on December 3, 2018 at 12:27 am
Brian @ 11:35 – Johnson was appalling, but looking at it with a cold eye the U.S. Presidency has been tenanted by some pretty worthless oxygen-thieves. Most of the 19th Century after Adams (and the Alien and Sedition Acts are not a bright spot on his legacy) was a parade of boobs, lackwits, placemen, or – in the case of Andy Jackson – homicidal assholes. Lincoln himself is bracketed by two of the worst; Buchanan, who sat on his hands in the face of armed treason in defense of slavery, and Johnson, who seems to have approved of the ideals it espoused.
How about Bill McKinley, who never saw a dusky native he didn’t want to rule over? Wilson, pining for the days of pure White Mastery and dragging the nation into one of the world’s most idiotically pointless wars? Or the current POTUS’ Spirit Animal, Warren Harding; lazy, shallow, corrupt (or, at the very least, hospitable to corruption in his Administration), vile on immigration and union-busting…every bit as loathsome as 45.
Taken in view, the American presidency is a terrific argument that the presidential system is one of the worst-designed republican arrangements in history. Almost all the other examples have succumbed to Caesarian treason at one point or another. The current ass sitting on the Oval Office crapper presents us with a real risk of seeing that here.
The fact that resistance depends on people like Mitch McConnell, Joni Ernst, and Lindsey Graham does NOT reassure me…
David C. said on December 3, 2018 at 6:08 am
Today, I’m going to Madison to shout at the sore loser Republican assholes in the lege. We’re taking a bus, so if you hear about outside agitators being bused in, that’ll be me.
alex said on December 3, 2018 at 7:40 am
FDChief, if you read the latest from Lucian Truscott IV in Salon (if the ads don’t crash your computer, anyway) he gives a rather more hopeful prognostication of the Mueller endgame. Both Cohen and Manafort are facing the prospect of hard time and forfeiture of their assets and they don’t have much choice in the matter. Individual #1, on the other hand, will likely be given the option to avoid the same eventual fate if he resigns, and it’s hard to fathom that he wouldn’t.
Sure we’ll be stuck with President Pence for a while and the diehard Trumpians will blow a fucking gasket, but the GOP will be toast in 2020 and for a long time coming.
Julie Robinson said on December 3, 2018 at 8:02 am
Not only is the Mueller end game coming, but Comey is testifying before Congress on Friday. He wanted it to be public but finally agreed it would be private if the transcript would be released right away. Could be interesting.
I actually didn’t pay that much attention to the news this weekend because I baked cookies and fudge for a cookie walk on Sunday. And then after the cookie walk I slapped ornaments on our three-foot Christmas tree while hubby got out the nativity scene, and thus our decorating for the year was finished. Since we’ll be getting home on Jan. 1, we don’t want to face a big cleanup job when we got home.
Just before I started the tree decorating, I learned that the St. Olaf Christmas celebration was streaming live, so I cast it to the TV and cranked up the sound system. They do the music so well and it was a perfect balm to my soul.
The soul needed a little balm after finishing the book by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Small Fry. If you thought Steve Jobs was a brilliant jerk, after you read this book you’ll realize he was also a cruel, mercurial and and cheap jerk. And this from the perspective of a loving daughter!
Suzanne said on December 3, 2018 at 8:30 am
I just finished Bob Woodward’s Fear. It wasn’t what I expected but interesting. I thought Steve Bannon came across better than I expected (my bar was very low), as well as Tillerson & Gary Cohn (both we’re happy to leave, completely exasperated) and Lindsey Graham worse than I expected (he has been a Trump sycophant from Day 1). What does come across is Trump’s inability to process info and his bullheaded belief that he is never wrong. A Trumper reading it will probably be thrilled because their man Trump spews crap every few pages, you know, “tells it like it is” and won’t listen to the “elites.”
It did I give me pause about the very real possibility of a nuclear attack because Trump doesn’t seem to grasp the concept.
Andrea said on December 3, 2018 at 9:33 am
Our neighborhood has a closed FB group called the —— Free Box. The concept is simple. You take a picture of something you want to get rid of, post it on the FB page with your cross streets, and then the first person to post under the picture gets to claim it. You make pick up arrangements on Messenger. It’s great because you don’t have to box or bag your stuff up and drive it away (I am guilty of driving bags of to-be-donated clothing around for months, long after the season they were designated for.) I have pledged to myself to post something on the Free Box site at least once each weekend, and so far I have done so. It is great to get stuff out of the house, and it goes to someone who wants it. A sampling of the random stuff: a bunch of clothes, a crock pot, a bunch of lightbulbs that did not fit any fixture we own (long story there), a matching winter hat and glove set, some fancy dolls my daughters never played with, etc. I am now keeping a large plastic bin near the front door and tossing stuff into it as I come across it, and then posting it on the weekends. You can post weekdays, of course, but I am not often home very much to make pick up arrangements.
Deborah said on December 3, 2018 at 9:40 am
Whoa, Alex I looked up that Salon article you mentioned, you were sure right about the device crashing ads. I won’t be reading Salon anymore, how annoying. I hope it is the Trump endgame but I’ll beleive it when I see it.
Since a couple of you have mentioned books, I’m still reading the 6th and last book of My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard. I’m at about the halfway point of this ridiculously thick tome, the part I’m reading now is about Hitler’s childhood and it’s facinating. Hitler had an unloving father, a doting mother and a bunch of siblings, most who died very young. He was a horrible student, was rejected twice from entry into an art academy and was poor during most of his youth. He had few friends. I’m not sure how much more the book will go into Hitler’s adult life as he amassed power. Anyway the whole Knausgaard book so far has been good, I’ve enjoyed the whole series.
Icarus said on December 3, 2018 at 9:56 am
@Deborah, I’m guessing the closest Goodwill to you is the one in the West Loop, on Madison? Maybe you could fill one of those roll suitcases with as much as possible and take the bus? Yeah it might take two or more trips but that would still be better than a lyft/uber?
We have to do a major purge ourselves. We have too many toys that the kids don’t really play with but make a mess. We will be heading to Memphis for the holidays and I’d like nothing better than to take a carload with me and drop it on the SIL who has a 9 month old.
I saw something on Twitter that Trump fires, or attempts to fire Mueller around the holidays. I would love an impeachment but I would settle for a backdoor deal where he doesn’t run again.
Nancy did you mean “Bougie”?
Julie Robinson said on December 3, 2018 at 9:58 am
There’s also Freecycle and NextDoor for deaquisition. I haven’t used Freecycle recently but got rid of most of the contents from my sister’s storage unit down in Orlando with NextDoor. You take a picture and post your address, then stick it out on the curb, so not sure how that would work in an apartment building. People were thrilled by her CDs, DVDs, unused appliances, and boxes and boxes of craft projects.
A mother and daughter who are semi-disabled took fabric and crafts, then gifted us ornaments and bowl cozies they’d made. They sell them at holiday bazaars to help support themselves. Win-win.
Bitter Scribe said on December 3, 2018 at 9:58 am
When my sister lived on the Upper East Side of New York, she was by far the poorest person in her apartment building, thanks to snagging a rent-subsidized apartment. She was amazed at what great clothes her neighbors routinely threw out.
Often she would fish out, say, a blouse, and redo the buttons and trim (she’s crazy handy with needles and thread). Eventually, while wearing the refurbished blouse, she’d run into the original owner in the elevator, who would exclaim, “I used to have a blouse kind of like that, but yours is much nicer.”
Heather said on December 3, 2018 at 11:03 am
I’m impressed you got that done during the holiday season, Nancy. I need to get rid of a bunch of stuff, but it’s all pretty cool and I kinda want to get a little bit of $ for it. But then it just ends up hanging around in bags in my storage space. Also, I have worn things after they’ve hung in my closet for years (also known as “shopping your closet”), so I’m afraid to get rid of the things I’m meh about. I have a lavender satin halter dress I bought maybe 20 years ago in New York for about $20 and never wore–maybe I’ll finally bust it out this year as it’s getting to the point I won’t be able to pull it off.
Icarus said on December 3, 2018 at 12:10 pm
I’ve sold some stuff using an app called Letgo and also on Facebook Marketplace with mixed results. Sometimes I get a fast response and quick sale and it brings about an emotional high. Other times I get someone who really wants to negotiate the price down, even though I’m already selling it for way below market value and priced to move.
One flaw that needs to be worked on is connecting people within close proximity without revealing exact address. No one wants to drive 30 miles for a $5 item. I work around this by putting the address of a nearby Dunkin Donuts in the description and meet people there.
so far I’ve sold baby gates, a garage door opener, a twin sized mattress and a 10 x 14 carpet that we cannot use.
Deborah said on December 3, 2018 at 12:26 pm
I think I have the delivery of my big old bag of no longer wanted or needed clothes to the Goodwill. My husband rents a car every Wednesday afternoon to drive the two hours to uncle J’s house, so on one of those trips we’ll drop the bag off first. My husband’s not crazy about it though.
Have any of you tried one of those services that allows you to use your iPhone in Europe? I’m unclear how it works and all I have to do the research on is my phone here in Santa Fe, I didn’t want to bother to bring my laptop or iPad, which makes it really hard to do the scrolling and comparing. I think I’m going to drive over to the AT&T store to talk to someone face to face about it. Unfortunately we have AT&T for our phones.
Peter said on December 3, 2018 at 12:39 pm
All of your tales of closet cleaning are very inspiring to me.
My lovely wife and I are still planning on downsizing and moving into a downtown condo, but that’s going to take a LOT of purging to get our stuff to fit.
For my last birthday I got a copy of Marie Kondo’s book, and I swore that I would read and live it during the year. I’ve got six days to go, and I swear that book is on my desk somewhere.
Alex, I wish your comment about the GOP being toast for a long time comes true, but I remember that 6 years after Nixon, we got Reagan. OTOH, Reagan spent years working the dinner circuit to keep his name out there in the public, and I think he stayed far away from Nixon so he wasn’t associated with that taint. There were others in ’80 who weren’t guilty by association – Bush, Anderson, etc. – but those guys didn’t have the name recognition of Reagan.
Julie Robinson said on December 3, 2018 at 12:48 pm
Deborah, your provider may vary, but while our daughter was in England she was able to use her cell for $10 per 24 hour period. The other option was $75/month for the international plan. It turned out to be a good choice because she only needed it twice and all the rest of the time she could use it over wifi.
Jakash said on December 3, 2018 at 1:31 pm
Yeah, I was going to post something similar to Peter. I’d love to believe in Alex’s toast theory, but we’ve been through a version of this movie before, and it just didn’t work out that way. There was the “Reagan Revolution” in 1980, of course. But, also, Gerald Ford got 48% of the vote in 1976, *2 years* after Nixon resigned and was pardoned by Ford. Plus, good old Gerro actually won in Illinois, for crying out loud.
It really amazes me how, in this benighted country, so many elections and arguments about issues end up with the voters essentially being split 50 – 50, with turnout and/or voter suppression, or whatever, being the determining factor. You’d think there might be a stronger consensus that, say, one party catering to Nazis and racists is definitely something that patriotic Americans don’t want.
beb said on December 3, 2018 at 1:49 pm
All this talk about house-cleaning makes me feel like I’m being junk-shamed for not not throwing stuff out.
Sherri said on December 3, 2018 at 1:58 pm
Bill Gates lists his favorite books of 2018: https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/books/bill-gates-reveals-his-favorite-books-of-2018/
One tidbit: a friend of. One from grad school makes an appearance in Bad Blood. Avie Tevanian is forced off the board after he starts asking questions and challenging the claims that Holmes was making for the company, so good for Avie. Bad for Avie for ever investing to begin with, but at least he corrected his mistake.
Deborah said on December 3, 2018 at 3:07 pm
I went to the AT&T store and talked to a guy who explained it all very carefully to me. I signed my Husband up for a plan that costs $10 a day, like Julie described. You don’t pay for days you don’t use it but it can’t be using any continuous data from apps etc during that “no use” day. I figure we really only need one of our phones to work when we’re out and about, because we’ll be together all of the time. I can still use my phone with WiFi at the hotel, just no calls or texts. That’s fine I can use email in the evenings if I need to communicate with anyone. Really the only reason we need his phone to work is in case there’s an emergency with his uncle who will be with us and his caregivers during the London portion of the trip.
Deborah said on December 3, 2018 at 3:21 pm
LB is making a cream of potato and leek soup for dinner tonight, she made bread for it this morning. We’re having a new friend of hers over for dinner tonight.
I leave New Mexico for Chicago this Weds, then St. Louis on Sunday morning, back to Chicago Tuesday night, then London Weds morning the 12th. I’m not looking forward to the airport parts of the trip but when we go to Paris (and back) we’ll be taking the Chunnel train, I’m very much looking forward to that.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 3, 2018 at 3:43 pm
I’m keeping expectations low, mentally, with suspecting that Individual #1, Jr. is the one heading for jail time, while POTUS DJT will join the ranks of “unindicted co-conspirators.”
But FDChief’s identification of Warren Harding as the closest analog of today’s Current Occupant is spot on. A decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires one admit that, overall, the quality of Presidents has been pretty sub-par. Lots of time-serving mopes on that diner placemat.
alex said on December 3, 2018 at 9:21 pm
All this talk about house-cleaning makes me feel like I’m being junk-shamed for not not throwing stuff out.
You think you got it bad. Diabetes has got me feeling junk-shamed. Peripheral neuropathy doesn’t start with your feet, if you haven’t heard. I suppose that comes next.
LAMary said on December 3, 2018 at 9:43 pm
I know I have three shirts that are nwt in my closet. I bought a linen Ralph Lauren shirt on sale last spring and really liked the way it fit. Then I got a Macy’s coupon for 30 percent off, so I bought two more of the same shirt. Now I have white, navy and pink linen shirts. So far I’ve only worn the pink one, but next business meeting the white one is coming out. These shirts started out at 84 dollars. I paid about 50 for the first one.
basset said on December 4, 2018 at 5:50 am
My library/workroom will be my next reorganization project once deer season is over… looks like hoarders live here. Most recent addition is a Sarkes Tarzian table radio from probably the early 60s, still works too.
Been making venison jerky the last couple evenings, it’s that time of year.
alex said on December 4, 2018 at 7:30 am
An interesting read this morning about the “Che Guevara” of abortion rights.
Dovetails nicely with gin and tacos’ take on the intern economy.
Connie said on December 4, 2018 at 12:21 pm
Reading about Urban Meyer’s retirement announcement wasn’t near as fun as having moved from Ann Arbor to Columbus just in time to see Woody Hayes get fired.
Suzanne said on December 4, 2018 at 2:40 pm
Good grief. The market is taking a nosedive again. It seems everybody realized that Trump’s China tariff deal has no details and is nothing but hot air.
Deborah said on December 4, 2018 at 4:49 pm
Isn’t something supposed to drop today concerning Flynn? Some kind of filing prior to his sentencing. I’m waiting, I don’t think it has happened yet?
Sherri said on December 4, 2018 at 5:02 pm
Something I left of the list for GHWB: his inaction regarding AIDS.
The whole Greatest Generation thing really annoys the hell out of me.
Sherri said on December 4, 2018 at 5:09 pm
“Funeral Like Nixon’s”
Sherri said on December 4, 2018 at 8:22 pm
Urban Meyer should never haven been hired in Columbus, but certainly he should have been fired last summer.
Deborah said on December 4, 2018 at 8:42 pm
So the shoe fell about Flynn and it’s way less than dramatic. More time is needed.