An earlier Lent.

Well, at least I know now why I was feeling so listless on Sunday. I woke up a few hours later with a mild fever, and spent the next 24 hours feeling thisclose to barfing and swinging between that little fever and waking up in a sweaty tangle of sheets.

I’m better today, but still semi-queasy. It’s paçzki day in Detroit, and I haven’t felt even a whiff of a craving.

Paçzki are, of course, the jelly donuts that Polish folks around here — and everybody else, for that matter — eat on Shrove Tuesday. And I don’t care how many worthless stories are written about them every year, they’re fucking jelly donuts, and you can buy them at Dunkin’ all year long. So I’ll start a Lenten deprivation a little early.

I’ll be back at work tomorrow. I was “at work” Monday and today, but in a diminished fashion. But here I am, getting ready to watch the State of the City address, even though I’d rather watch almost anything else.

(Watching it now. Yep, anything else. No offense to the mayor, it’s just that these things are all the same.)

So, summing up my complaints in a bumper sticker? It just hasn’t been my year. Fortunately, it’s still young. And as my husband points out, it’s not like I have cancer or nothin’. All true.

Man, though, that Michael Jackson documentary? Chilling. Awful. Even worse is the braying from the hashtag-innocent crowd, who are simply rabid. And by rabid, I mean “diseased and crazed.” “There’s no evidence!” they cry. As though direct testimony, voluminous photos, faxes and other ephemera and classic behavior patterns somehow aren’t evidence. I think the squicky feeling I got watching it was not just my brewing stomach bug, but the feeling of…complicity, somehow. How easily the world swallowed that bullshit about the real-life Peter Pan who simply enjoyed the company of children, because he never had a proper childhood himself. Seeing shot after shot of MJ running from a hotel to a limousine, screaming fans an arm’s length away, while a little kid runs a few feet ahead of him — it was so familiar. How often did we see that in the ’80s and ’90s?


The governor unveiled her budget proposal today, too. This happens every year. It’s usually big news when a new gov is doing it for the first time, because there are always tricks up the ol’ sleeve. Without going into the details, which aren’t all that interesting to anyone who doesn’t live there, be advised there’s a big per-gallon gas tax on the table, because our roads are in Third World condition and getting worse. There’s simply no way to finance what it would take to get them to fair — fair! — condition without more revenue. You can already see how the rest of this debate is going to go: Find the waste! No new taxes! As though $2.2 billion dollars, per year, is just sitting around, going to waste. For professional reasons, I can’t say much more, but still: Please.

For once, though, prominent conservatives are saying, essentially, we gotta do it. And if you think there’s so much waste in the system, point it out. I doubt the hashtag warriors will get far this year. But they’ll make her pay in four years. More will be revealed.

So, any bloggage? Is there anything new on the Trump Outrage beat? Well, it’s Tuesday. What do you think?

Time to go see how Ray Donovan’s going to get out of his latest fix. I’m enjoying Showtime for as long as I have it – I think it’ll expire with Kate’s graduation – and it beats Jacko’s abuse narrative.

Carry on, all. It’s Wednesday.

Posted at 8:02 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

83 responses to “An earlier Lent.”

  1. Sherri said on March 5, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    People complain about how much transit is subsidized without any realization of how much car travel is subsidized. My current pet peeve is having to listen to people complain about not enough parking while declaring that they’ll never pay for parking.

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  2. David C. said on March 5, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    I feel bad for any city official when parking comes up. Before we got here, the city tore out all the parking meters on the Main Street business district. The merchants were complaining the parking meters were driving away business. Now Main Street needs maintenance and the merchants are being hit with special assessments. The merchants are complaining that the special assessments are hurting business and that the maintenance should be paid for by… …wait for it… …putting up parking meters. If I was the city manager, I’d just run away and become a chinchilla rancher or something.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on March 5, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    We were in a Polish/Czech community in Iowa and their supposedly authentic paçzki? Meh. But then, I feel the same way about any jelly donut.

    It’s come to the point where anyone rich or powerful is suspect to me. They’re the ones who can surround themselves with enablers and protectors. Anyone who is frequently alone with those more vulnerable, I’m suspecting them. The evidence keeps mounting.

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  4. LAMary said on March 5, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Aside from the general feeling of anger and dread I share with a lot of my countrymen right now I’m having a pretty shitty year. On the day after my birthday I lost my job. That was January 7. I had to fight with that company to get my last expense reimbursement which sucked a lot. It’s big company. Don’t nickel and dime me people. Then I heard from my brother, the one I speak to without an attorney present, and he told me he has stage three cancer of the esophagus and possibly other things going wrong. He’s since lost 50 pounds and can’t make it from the dining room to the kitchen without falling down. He’s fractured a vertebrae from falling. He did a month of chemo and had just started a daily radiation regimen when he fell badly and blacked out for several hours. He lives alone. When he came to he called his doctor who told him to call an ambulance, which he did. So now he’s in the hospital. I’m the only family member he has told. He and I were crying on the phone last night. He’s always been very generous with my kids and with me and he was the only one who really helped me out at a very bad time in my life.
    And now my new cat has gone missing. He’s small and not used to dealing with coyotes. I hope he’s more wily than they are.
    It’s all sucking right now and between my household and my brother I feel like there is some anticipation of an answer or solution or something from me. I’m feeling pretty tapped out.

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  5. Deborah said on March 5, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    LAMary, hang in there. Hoping for improvement. Sorry to hear you’re having a period of downers.

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  6. LAMary said on March 5, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    Thanks, Deborah. To paraphrase the movie, Airplane, I picked a bad time to quit Ativan.

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  7. alex said on March 5, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    So sorry to hear that LA Mary. I had no idea.

    My military school was in the same boat as Trump’s was. The place was about to go under at about the same time as Trump’s and it sold off a shit ton of its real estate and got some gifts and bought some more time. Must be a thing. Oh, and my parents sent me there because I was a wise guy and they wanted to get me in line.

    My school doesn’t have any alumni on which to capitalize, but surely that place has some great stuff to sell.

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  8. nancy said on March 5, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    Mary, that’s awful. I’m thinking of you.

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  9. LAMary said on March 6, 2019 at 12:09 am

    I appreciate the thoughts which I know are real and not of the politician “thoughts and prayers” variety. This is a bunch of people who don’t bullshit and that’s why I’m here. That and the cool stories.
    We’ve spotted the cat twice in the last hour so we know he still is alive. There’s a big thunderstorm going and I hope that convinces him that home is where the fuzzy throw blankets are.
    Alex, you had no idea because I didn’t want to sound whiny. Today put me over the edge and I had to share. And I really did quit Ativan. THe shrink I was seeing kept giving me more meds and I decided none of them were working and at least two of them were making my brain turn to Swiss cheese. I would rather feel the stress than have a constant urge to nap.

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  10. Dexter Friend said on March 6, 2019 at 12:41 am

    LA Mary, an old online standby, but truly, I am sending positive thoughts west for you, your brother, and the lost one, the cat. At least I see the Cal drought is really, truly over. These stories of atmospheric rivers over The Bay Area are fantastic. When that hillside landslide obliterated Rt. 17 around San Jose it was quite lucky no motorists were killed. ~ nance, for me the two stars of the past season of Ray Donovan were Susan S. and the location finder and the taping directors who worked New York City. The scenery was really great. I actually had never seen street scenes filmed on Staten Island. ~ My daughter Vanessa has returned to work, has just 2 chemo sessions left, and in a few weeks begins radiation. She had a breast removed in November, stage 1 cancer. She has been very strong in attitude as she also gets tired easily, especially after work. We’ll see her Friday. ~ Here, Governor DeWine gave his State of the State, promising to really push for his proposed 18 cents gasoline tax. He may get a lesser tax. He promises to fight for better Ohio roads and infrastructure …hey, I thought Trump promised that the feds were going to do that, “very easy, such an easy thing to do…” On “The Circus”, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said “If the President is a felon then he belongs in prison.” At least SOMEbody is saying it, dammitt. 🙁

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  11. deni menken said on March 6, 2019 at 1:09 am

    Terrible news from you, LA Mary. I am so sorry. Get your kitty back. Try a pie pan with a glob of the worst tuna or wet cat food in it. Sit quietly within grabbing distance. Hoping that hunger will bring him in to you. You need comfort. And for one thing to come together right now. Please keep us in the loop. We worry out here.

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  12. LAMary said on March 6, 2019 at 1:22 am

    Lots of thunder and close by lightning and then a meow at the kitchen door. There was a wet little cat. 15 hours after running away he’s back and he ate a big bowl of cat food. Thank you everyone for the positive thinking. I do really appreciate every one of you.

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  13. Linda said on March 6, 2019 at 4:20 am

    LA Mary, glad you got your kitty back. Hope for the best for you in everything else.

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  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 6, 2019 at 6:09 am

    LAMary, I’m asking for grace and peace to you, your brother, and that darn cat. May he see the wisdom of domesticity! I suspect there’s hopes by his social worker if not your brother than he reside with you for a season, and that’s always a hard decision to make in any direction.

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  15. ROGirl said on March 6, 2019 at 7:27 am

    I’m glad the kitty made it back home, LA Mary, very sorry about your brother and the job situation.

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  16. Heather said on March 6, 2019 at 7:49 am

    LA Mary, glad the cat is back, so sorry about your brother, and I’m sorry about the job. I’ve heard from people who have left my company that they have a hard time getting their last paycheck, which is ridiculous. I’m realizing more and more how toxic even most “non-toxic” organizational environments are for us.

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  17. Suzanne said on March 6, 2019 at 8:16 am

    LAMary, I am so sorry for all the troubles you are facing. So glad the kitty returned! Hugging a warm, fuzzy kitty always helps everything.

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  18. Jolene said on March 6, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Am posting below links to two news stories about a newly approved treatment for depression. Like some others here, I have struggled against it most of my life without much success, despite highly expert and deeply compassionate treatment.

    But several years ago, I participated in a study at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) assessing the effects of ketamine on treatment-resistant depression, and the results were phenomenal. As fellow-sufferers know, it typically takes weeks to determine whether any given anti-depressant will be effective for any given patient. If any positive effect is observed, physicians will often try to enhance the effect by adjusting dosages or combining the initial drug with ancillary treatments. There are guidelines for the selection of initial treatments and how to combine them with other drugs, but the whole enterprise is well short of settled science. Meanwhile, the patient is struggling at work, in relationships, to get out of bed, to stay alive.

    What makes ketamine (now commercially available as escatamine) different is that its effects are immediate–or almost so. When I was in the NIMH study, I was immediately certain that I was not in the placebo condition, as I felt so much better. The downside is that those immediate effects are not sustained.

    In the intervening years, however, researchers and practitioners have been working to develop protocols for an initial series of treatments with occasional follow-ups that will keep people who respond favorably feeling well.

    Some doctors have already set up clinics where they are administering ketamine intravenously off-label (See for an example.), but because it has not been approved for the treatment of depression, the practice is not widespread, nor is it covered by insurance.

    The new version will be available as a nasal inhalant, and will likely be covered by insurance. Still, it’ll likely be a while before this treatment finds its way into standard practice. Among other things, the immediate effects and the potential for abuse (Because of its euphoria-inducing, hallucinogenic effects, ketamine has sometimes been used as a club drug.), it will have to be administered in doctors’ offices, which means that the typical psychiatrist’s office won’t work as a treatment setting. Doctors will need small clinics where patients get their drugs and rest for a bit before leaving. And, of course, like other drugs, it won’t work for everyone.

    Still, for people who have struggled without success to find effective treatment, this new approach–which relies on a novel neurochemical pathway–offers considerable optimism.

    The links below connect to the WaPo and NYT stories re yesterday’s FDA approval. For more info, there’s google, or, if you are curious about my experience, just ask.

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  19. Jolene said on March 6, 2019 at 8:36 am

    LAMary, I’m so sorry to hear about your brother’s illness and about your job loss. If you can swing it financially, being out of work for a short while might allow you to spend some additional time with him. I wish you the strength to get through this hard time. Your reference to this brother as the only family member you will meet without a lawyer present tells me that your sense of humor, however dark, is intact, so there’s one source of strength.

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  20. Diane said on March 6, 2019 at 9:16 am

    So glad your cat saw the error of his ways. Hoping this is the beginning of a positive turn for everything else as well.

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  21. JodiP said on March 6, 2019 at 9:22 am

    LAMary, I will add my sympathetic ear to your troubles. I am glad you shared here, because, yes, we all really do care about each other. You have my heartfelt wishes for your brother’s treatment being successful, finding new work and my relief at your little stinker finding his way home.

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  22. Deborah said on March 6, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Climate change folks. This will scare the bejesus out of you

    There’s a song that now has become an earworm in my brain, The Cat Came Back. It’s basically about someone trying to get rid of a cat, not find one. Nevertheless it’s stuck in my head. Glad he came back LAMary.

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  23. Bitter Scribe said on March 6, 2019 at 10:05 am

    And I don’t care how many worthless stories are written about them every year, they’re fucking jelly donuts, and you can buy them at Dunkin’ all year long.

    Thank you! I could never understand what the big honking deal about those things were. But then, I’ve never particularly liked jelly donuts to begin with.

    When I was working in newspapers and doing candidate interviews, I swear I was thisclose to slapping the next nitwit who told me that the state’s budget could be balanced if only “waste, fraud and mismanagement” were curtailed. As though there were an Illinois Department of Waste, Fraud and Mismanagement (DWFM), secreted deep in the bowels of the state capitol, with workers who spent their days shoveling cash into furnaces and waiting for someone to burst through the door and yell “Gotcha!”

    EDIT: Just read LA Mary’s post. So sorry for your problems. Maybe the cat will be the beginning of a turnaround.

    Regarding job loss, I’ve been there, a couple of times in the last few years. Just have faith. The break will come when you least expect it.

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  24. Julie Robinson said on March 6, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Mary, I am so sorry, but glad that kitty came home. Praying for that next job to be around the corner and for the miracles of medicine for your brother. In the meantime snuggle up with your furbaby for some calming balm.

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  25. Sherri said on March 6, 2019 at 10:27 am

    LAMary, glad your cat made it back home and so sorry about your brother and job! It’s never whining to share our troubles with friends, and despite having never met any of you in person, that’s what I consider you.

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  26. LAMary said on March 6, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Thank you, everyone, for your kind and caring words. My brother lives in Denver, about 1000 miles away. I’m not sure what sort of logistics we’re looking at.

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  27. Sherri said on March 6, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Brad Delong, a Clinton-era Treasury official and economics professor and self-described neoliberal, understands that it’s time to move left, not try to appeal to the center:

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  28. 4dbirds said on March 6, 2019 at 11:59 am

    So sorry about your brother, Mary. I’m glad he has you.

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  29. Scout said on March 6, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    LAMary, I am so sorry about your job and your brother. That’s a lot to deal with all at once. We are all here for you any time you need to vent or share. I am relieved the little guy came back. You didn’t need one more worry.

    Speaking of kitties, we adopted #6 yesterday. A three year old homeless little girl, a friend of a friend thing. She is a bitty kitty, only 6 pounds, not skinny, just petite. She’s enjoying the grub and lap snuggles, but is still a bit wary of the herd, who must look like behemoths to her.

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  30. Sherri said on March 6, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Hipster complains that magazine used photo of him in article about how hipsters are all alike:

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  31. Deborah said on March 6, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    That’s hilarious, Sherri.

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  32. basset said on March 6, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Sure is, I have forwarded it several times.

    More ethnic food… St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and for the last few years we have done homemade corned beef for the occasion. Basset Jr. eats no meat, though, so I am reserving some of the brine to make corned tofu. Obviously not going to have the same effect that it would on meat, but once we press the water out of the tofu there’s at least a chance that some of the salt and spices will soak in. Report to come.

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  33. Jenine said on March 6, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    I’ll be curious to hear about the corned tofu. You’ve made me laugh just typing that.
    Here’s a vote for colcannon – mashed potatoes with cabbage or other greens mixed in. It’s Irish, meatless and delicious, at least when made with butter and milk.
    Here’s a recipe with euro measurements, the important ones are 2+ pounds potatoes, 8 to 10 oz. greens, and 2T butter.

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  34. basset said on March 6, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    We’ve tried that and had good results – would be an appropriate side for Jr. and his significant other, we’ll see how it works with nondairy pseudo-milk and vegan butter. For the rest of us, I’ll put some cabbage and carrots and taters in with the meat.

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  35. beb said on March 6, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    I think we’ve reached peak police freak-out… Cleaning one’s yard while black!
    At least HQ is investigating why the field troopers felt they had to intervene.

    The #innocent people whether Michael Jackson or R.Kelly fans have to deal with the reality that the music they enjoy comes from a monster of a person.

    Reading that Gov. Witmer was proposing a 45 cent a gallon gas tax (or was that a $0.45 increase) does make one kind of choke but those roads won’t fix themselves. Of course instead of a hike in gas taxes she could have proposed a business infrastructure tax based on how much industries benefit from roads. There’s no money to fix roads because Republicans keep reducing the taxes on businesses. Without that money something had to be cut and road repairs was it.

    Sherri @1: Some people complain that there is not enough parking, others (atrois (aka Duncan Black) argues that too much space is already given over to parking. (But then he believes that people who live in a city should have to have a car.

    LAMary @4: man that all sucks. Especially your brother.

    Dexter Friend @10 it is nice that someone is saying that if Trump is a crook he belongs in jail. It would be nicer if that were a Republican saying that instead of a Dem. The Trumpian cult of personality is getting incredible intense.

    Deborah @22 — “The Cat Came Back” was made into a video by Canadan animation. It was a really cute video. I’m happy that LAMary’s kitten has returned.

    Bitter Scribe @23 — waste, fraud and mismanagement is the original “smoke and mirrors.” It’s the crack cocaine of Republican budgeting.

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  36. Deborah said on March 6, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    LB has her arthroscopic hip surgery early tomorrow. I got her some forearm crutches yesterday because she has stitches under her arm from some minor surgery she had last week so she can’t use regular crutches. She has been using a cane but her Dr said sihe’ll need crutches. So today we were out doing some errands, I suggested that LB use her new crutches to practice hobbling with them. We pulled into a parking spot at Target and a super rude woman was trying to park next to us, she had the gall to honk at LB because she wasn’t getting out of the car fast enough to suit this bitch. We both glared at her in disbelief. I vowed that if I saw her in the store I would confront her but she walked on by us as fast as she could and when we returned to our car hers was gone. I’m still fuming.

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  37. Little Bird said on March 6, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    I’m also still fuming, we would have parked in the handicapped spots (I have a plaquard) but they were full. Besides, I need to practice a bit. The woman in question (when I posted about this to Facebook I used much stronger language)walked past us as quickly as possible while I loudly talked about her rudeness and how I hoped she was embarrassed for herself. And then as soon as she got into the store she cut off a guy in a scooter. I hope she gets both uncontrollable diahrrea and a sneezing fit at the same time.

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  38. Deggjr said on March 6, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Ditto on the jelly donuts. I thought the same about Krispy Kreme, yes, chocolate, sugar, fat, flour mixed together and fried is very good; we’re just finding this out?

    IIRC, Al Franken wrote in one of his books that George W. Bush was drunk for his Yale entrance interview. I don’t know for sure but that information most likely should not have been leaked. Trump eliminated the possibility of a similar leak.

    If Trump’s academic record had any value he would have released it.

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  39. Sherri said on March 6, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    Beb, generally I’m with Atrios on the parking issue: there’s a lot of land devoted to parking which is often poorly utilized, like huge parking lots for malls built to handle Christmas shopping crowds that are largely empty the rest of the year, or parking lots for companies that sit empty outside of business hours. Zoning requirements regularly impose parking minimums that drive up the cost of building housing and result in spaces that sit empty waiting for someone to use them. We usually require much more demand for transit before we add more than we do for parking. I find people have an expectation that they should be able to park very close to their destination for free anytime; imagine if we had such an expectation about transit? The difference is, we actually see the cost of transit, while the costs of driving and its subsidies are less obvious and direct.

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  40. LAMary said on March 6, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    I think I’ve told this story before, but I was pregnant with son number two and was carrying a sleeping three year old as I spotted the one and only shopping cart in the Costco parking lot. I was heading for it as fast as a very pregnant person carrying a good sized preschooler could move and a guy saw me. He ran to the cart and took it and had the nerve to look at me and shrug and smile. I eventually found another cart and followed that SOB around Costco running into the back of his ankles with my cart as many times and possible. If he turned around to see who hit him I shrugged and smiled.

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  41. Deborah said on March 6, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Love it LA Mary. I was prepared to explain to everyone around that the woman had honked at my disabled daughter because she wasn’t getting out of our car fast enough with her crutches. I was really looking forward to running into her in the store.

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  42. Julie Robinson said on March 6, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    LB and Debra that’s awful, but people are so self-entitled anymore. When I’m having a bad day I force myself to slow down, smile at people, open doors for others, and let them out of driveways when I could just drive on. It’s amazing what a difference it makes in my own attitude.

    A couple of years ago I was flying with my mom, and she was a little slow at gathering up her bag, coat, and cane. The guy who came through security after us kept trying to reach over her to get his bag, and she was losing her balance as a result. I really thought she was going to fall. The TSA agent spoke to him very firmly about not reaching over, and indeed Mother and I were able to gather her things much faster without the interference. As we stepped away, I smiled at him sweetly and said, “God willing, some day you will be 84.”

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  43. Deborah said on March 6, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Good one Julie Robinson.

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  44. Deborah said on March 6, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Even when I am alerted or remember it’s happening I’m always surprised by the first person I see on Ash Wednesday with ashes on their forehead. Every time I saw one today my first impulse was to get closer and check out their face tattoo.

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  45. Dorothy said on March 6, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    I wish I had checked in here earlier today. I already knew about Mary’s kitty and it’s return thanks to Facebook, but all the other stuff is brand new to me now. I’m sad for Mary’s brother and about her job loss, but I’m now smiling at Deborah and the Ash Wednesday face tattoos. That’s funny!

    We should do a whole comment section about things we’ve said to strangers in hopes of putting them in their place, or words to that effect. Now I have to put my thinking cap on and try to remember some. I don’t do it often but when I unload on someone, I don’t hold back.

    Not to bring the mood down in one fell swoop, but I have a story about a co-worker’s dad. I’m telling it in hopes that it reminds all of us here, most of whom are not terribly young anymore, not to get on ladders after a certain age. Or at the very least, without someone around to ‘spot’ for you. My friend’s father was trying to remove ice from his roof on Sunday. He’s 77, lives in upstate New York. He lives in the country. He fell off the ladder, and broke his leg at the knee in two places. Bone was sticking out in both places. It took him TWO HOURS to drag himself out to the road and saints preserve us, my friend’s cousin happened by and found him. She flew out Monday to be with him (her mom died some time ago and he’s widowed). He had a rod put on the leg and is going to a rehab place. He’s facing surgeries in two weeks, then eventually will have a knee replacement and cannot put any weight on his leg for 3 months minimum. So take this with a grain of salt (not ice). Don’t get on a ladder, period, if you’re home alone. His cell phone was in the house, of course. He’s damn lucky to be alive.

    My granddaughter turns 2 on Saturday. She had her first popsicle at the allergist’s office last Friday. Wish I could share the video of her tasting such a cold treat and the way she reacted. She’d lick it, and then pull back, shaking her head and eventually just wiped at her tongue with her one hand, almost as if she wanted to push away the cold sensation. I think it was a treat because of them having to do the scratch testing. She ‘reads’ books to us when we FaceTime – much of it is gibberish but she’s so sincere and demonstrative. Her current fave is the ‘No, David!” book. We got her Paw Patrol little plastic bowling pins that light up when the ball hits them. She’s going to LOVE them!

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  46. Suzanne said on March 6, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    “I hope she gets both uncontrollable diahrrea and a sneezing fit at the same time.” Little Bird you made me laugh out loud with that one! I hope I can remember the phrase when the opportunity arises.

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  47. Linda said on March 7, 2019 at 4:55 am

    Dorothy: My sis says all ladders should have a warning: If you are over 60, stay off this thing.

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  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 7, 2019 at 6:44 am

    “Old Farmer Johnson had a problem of his own; he had a black cat that wouldn’t leave him alone. Tried and he tried, to give that cat away; each time he tried it came back the next day! But…”

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  49. BigHank53 said on March 7, 2019 at 7:43 am

    True story about ladders: if I’m at work and my feet are three feet off the ground I have to have a spotter. If my feet are more than five feet off the ground we have to rent a lift platform or a bucket truck. Either of those options is probably going to run about a thousand bucks.

    That’s how dangerous ladders are.

    So glad to hear your cat returned, LAMary. We had one of ours go missing for nine days in the middle of winter. She was a lot thinner when she got back but otherwise fine; I suspect she got herself locked in someone’s garage while they went out of town for Christmas.

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  50. Connie said on March 7, 2019 at 9:23 am

    The Dutch version of your Irish colcannon dish is Boeskool. (Farmer cabbage). Potatoes cooked with cabbage, throw in some cooked barley, mash it and serve with fried pork steak and dill pickles. As a kid I hated it.

    I have been seeing pictures in the news this a.m. of Nancy Pelosi with an ash smeared forehead.

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  51. Connie said on March 7, 2019 at 9:42 am

    So I spent my day yesterday in live shooter survival training. It was really interesting.

    Some key points: No point in hiding, those big guns shoot through everything. Run or fight. One of the techniques we learned was for all of us together to swarm and disable the gunman. Leader says, you’re probably going to get shot and killed. Might as well do it trying to stop the shooter instead of while you are running away.

    We two deputies in here trying to shoot us with giant nerf guns while we tried the techniques that had been discussed. This morning we have been talking about the various things we shared with our families, and the very serious discussions that were had at home last night with teenagers.

    And as a result of the training we are adding tourniquets to our first aid boxes.

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  52. Deborah said on March 7, 2019 at 9:56 am

    Holy Cow, Connie, that was quite the experience. It’s so sad that our gun culture in this country makes people, especially kids have to go through drills like that.

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  53. Deborah said on March 7, 2019 at 9:59 am

    LB is in surgery right now. It was funny listening to her try to talk after they gave her the initial “cocktail” before they wheeled her out. She’s looking forward to no hip pain after this is over.

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  54. JodiP said on March 7, 2019 at 10:20 am

    People can be so inconsiderate! I love dhow LAMary dealth with that jerk. And I’m stealing LB’s line about diarrhea and sneezing.

    A few years ago my then-74-ish mom was approaching curb-side check-in with my help. A security guard came to tell me to move my car. I bluntly told him “I’m helping my elderly mother check in!” He left us along, but sheesh, read the situation. I did turn to my mom right away and said quietly, “”Sorry for calling you elderly, but I wanted him off our backs….”

    I try to show consideration for people to, especially on the road. Our streets are narrow and bumper-to-bumper at times due to snow, and it can be hard for people at stop signs to get into the busier street. I see a lot of people stopping to let them in. It becomes more like a slow freeway ramp situation. This behavior is contagious, so the more we model, the further it spreads.

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  55. Jolene said on March 7, 2019 at 11:15 am

    The other side of unfortunate interactions with strangers is, of course, unexpected kind things that people do for people they’ve never met and likely won’t see again.

    A few days ago, @Nicole_Cliffe asked her Twitter followers: What is the kindest thing a stranger has done or said to you?

    Many, many responses, including a theme suggesting that kindness to parents traveling with babies and small children is pretty much a ticket to heaven. Those people are stressed, exhausted, and feeling guilty about disturbing others. Anyone who helps or shows compassion is remembered forever.

    Many more stories about people who helped when travel arrangements broke down and the traveler, often young, was alone, maybe afraid, and not sure what to do. And, of course, many more stories related to help given in a time of illness, in relation to a death, or, really, any time the person was at loose ends and was helped by an observant, caring stranger.

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  56. Suzanne said on March 7, 2019 at 11:36 am

    We had an active shooter drill where I work, too. They told us what Connie said. Run. If you can’t run, try to stop the shooter. Throw chairs, computers, anything to distract. If you ca’t get away, barricade yourself in a room, block the door and stay away from it. If the shooter bursts in, again, throw anything you can get your hands on at him.

    I still can’t grasp that for so many people, this is simply the price they are willing to pay for their “freedom” to own any kind of deadly weapon they want. We are all collateral damage and they do not care.

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  57. Deborah said on March 7, 2019 at 11:46 am

    Amen, Suzanne.

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  58. Deborah said on March 7, 2019 at 11:49 am

    This is Twitter at its best: the painter who does those ridiculous paintings of St. Trump has done another one

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  59. Deborah said on March 7, 2019 at 11:58 am

    Speaking of active shooter drills, there’s an active shooter event going on in Rockford, IL where my husband is with uncle J. I just called them and so far everyone we/they know is OK and they didn’t even know about it. I saw it on CNN in the surgery waiting room.

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  60. Deborah said on March 7, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    LB’s surgery is over, everything went fine. She’s still sleeping in recovery, they said they’d let me know in another hour when I can be with her there.

    The active shooter event in Rockford is unclear whether they apprehended the shooter yet. The guy was being served some warrants in an extended stay motel, he shot the Marshall who was serving and then jumped out the second story window, armed. Got away in a vehicle. Not sure of the marshal’s condition. This location isn’t near Uncle J’s place.

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  61. Dorothy said on March 7, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Jodi your story reminded me of this: in December after we walked around the World Trade Center we were walking back north trying to find a subway station to go back to our hotel on 35th Street. We stopped in the doorway of a large building so I could blow my nose. It was very cold and raining and miserable. Suddenly a young, much shorter than we are, young lady came out in a security guard’s uniform and just stood there looking at us. Our eyes went up and we saw it was the Federal Reserve Bank. Then a car pulled up to the curb! I realized she thought we were suspicious so I said “Oh we’re not standing here long – just long enough for me to blow my nose!” and I shot her a big smile. She halfway smiled and then we skedaddled.

    Other interactions with strangers: Once when I was a skinny young thing and out of high school, but working full time, I was on my lunch break and was walking back quickly to the office. And some guy fell into step with me. “Nice stride!” he said. I didn’t understand him at first so I said “What?” and he repeated it. Then he said “And nice legs, too!” So ever since then, I say compliments out loud to people if I think they look especially nice or spiffy or whatever. It really made my day when he said that. I liked the ‘stride’ comment better than the one about the legs. I already knew I had nice legs!

    So glad to hear about Little Bird, Deborah. When our son broke his arm on his 16th birthday (compound fracture) he had to have surgery. He was on morphine already and as they wheeled him away he was yelling “CAN I KEEP MY BOXERS ON!?!?!”I always think of that when I know people are going into surgery.

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  62. Heather said on March 7, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    When I had surgery last fall the anesthesiologist warned me not to do any Internet shopping the afternoon/evening afterward. She said she had heard many stories of patients who had a ton of packages delivered and no memory of buying stuff.

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  63. LAMary said on March 7, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    While partially anesthetized I took a swing a the gastroenterologist who was doing my colonoscopy. I was having a flashback on NYC subway frottage.

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  64. Icarus said on March 7, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    JodiP @ 54: that reminds me of something I encounter when out running….picture coming to the cross streets. I get one of two types of vehicles (hope I describe this clearly)

    When I’m still too far from the street, a car will stop and wait for me to cross. Nice in theory but there is usually enough time for him to drive on, reverse back and drive forward again before I even reach the street. Meanwhile, another car will come along and go around him because waiting 5 seconds is just not a thing.

    Or I will be close enough that the car coming along will see me about to reach the street and reluctantly stop but be obviously upset because they planned to coast through the stop sign or not even bother with that much.

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  65. Deborah said on March 7, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    LB is a hurtin puppy. For some reason this surgery hit her harder, she wasn’t happy while coming out of anesthesia. They “Molly bolted” the torn labrum to the hip socket and shaved some of the bone (somewhere? ball or socket?) to make it a smoother fit. There are 3 tiny incisions in her thigh front. She should pretty much stay at home for 2 or 3 days, and only walk short distances for a while. She can put some weight on that leg which seems amazing to me that she can do that so soon. But she’s supposed to use crutches until she feels like she doesn’t need them.

    The Dr told me that she’s probably looking at a hip replacement down the road but there are some things she can do in the meantime to ward it off as long as possible. Thank Heavens for Obamacare expanding Medicaid!

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  66. Jolene said on March 7, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Was sorry to hear that Sherrod Brown is not going to run for president. He is probably better suited for the Senate, but, still, I appreciate his good heart, down-to-earth style, and long-standing commitment to making things better for people who aren’t rich.

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  67. Deborah said on March 7, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    Sherrod Brown’s wife Connie Schultz would have made a GREAT first lady. Maybe he has a crack at VP?

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  68. David C. said on March 7, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    I would have loved Sherrod Brown as President too. But if he would have won, he would have been replaced in the Senate by a Republican. That’s not a trade I’d be willing to make. I also think Hickenlooper should be realistic and run for Senate instead of wasting everybody’s time running for President.

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  69. Julie Robinson said on March 7, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    I thought Sherrod Brown would run, but maybe all the money is already tied up? I always figure most of them are really running for VP anyway.

    Deborah, please pass along my good thoughts for Little Bird’s recovery and especially pain relief. Hope you have lots of good books and videos ready since she’s going to be immobile.

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  70. Deborah said on March 7, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    David C, yeah that’s the same problem with Elizabeth Warren, if she were to be elected President, the Mass Republican gov would replace her in the senate with a Republican.

    Waiting with bated breath to hear the Manafort sentencing soon.

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  71. Deborah said on March 7, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    47 months for Manafort. What a joke. No remorse.

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  72. Dave said on March 7, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Does anyone else share my fear that this large class of Democratic candidates will beat each other to a pulp, providing the idiots backing the present occupant of the White House a lot of ammunition, and that orange moron will be re-elected? Oh, wait, he doesn’t need any facts, he’ll make something up.

    Mary, so sorry for all the troubles you’ve suffered lately, and Deborah, may LB continue to heal and have a more comfortable life after the surgery.

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  73. David C. said on March 7, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    At least Manafort is still be be sentenced in DC. The judge in Virginia was playing on Manafort’s tire swing through the whole trial. I don’t think he’ll catch lightning in a bottle twice.

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  74. LAMary said on March 7, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Deborah, I hope LB’s pain eases up soon. It sounds like a tough go. She’s no stranger these things so she probably has her own ways of coping. She’s clearly very brave and strong and she’s lucky to have you helping her through this.

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  75. Jill B. said on March 7, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    LAMary, glad to hear about the cat’s return. I’m so sorry about your plate being overfull with other issues. I hope the right job comes along fairly soon. I wish the best for your brother and hope that the road you and he take will be clear.

    Also glad LB’s surgery was successful. I hope she’s feeling better quickly.

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  76. Sherri said on March 8, 2019 at 1:17 am

    A while back, we had a discussion here about trans athletes and competitive sports. There’s a documentary out on Netflix now about Janae Kroczaleski, called Transformer, which I watched tonight and found interesting. She was a former male powerlifter and bodybuilder, and she identifies as transgender, non-binary, and genderfluid. I think if you watch the documentary, those categories might begin to make more sense.

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  77. basset said on March 8, 2019 at 9:09 am

    Back to the mundane for a minute… we are shopping for a new washer & dryer. The repairman who said our old washer’s not worth fixing told us LG is the best and to avoid Samsung, we have a Frigidaire but haven’t been particularly impressed with it… anyone have advice or experiences to share?

    Meanwhile, Rachel Maddow had the highest-rated show in all of cable Wednesday night, even beat CBS and Fox broadcast:

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  78. Suzanne said on March 8, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Good for Maddow! I watch her show regularly; she lays out the facts, shows the connections and has knowledgeable guests on. No screaming. I rarely watch MSNBC otherwise. Lawrence O’Donnell kind of annoys me & I usually go to bed after Maddow.

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  79. Icarus said on March 8, 2019 at 10:13 am

    @Basset, two years ago this week we replaced our washer and dryer because the dryer essentially died and we figured we’d have the two on the same lifecycle. I went with Samsung and while I won’t say I regret it, I wish I had had more time to research different models.

    The ones I have work well enough but there are some quirks. For the dryer, the quick dry setting you cannot change the temperature; hot only. Makes no sense. so you have to use regular dry and adjust the temp and them (annoying). Some of the other presets are the same way…makes no sense to me.

    Also, not Samsung but Sears fault…when I ordered I selected the door options such that one could open the washer and unload straight into the dryer without the doors being in the way, as one does.

    Sears sent me the exact opposite so my choices were live with it or send them back and wait until they corrected the problem. With two twin toddlers generating a mess of laundry at the time, guess which way I went.

    @LB: glad your surgery went well.

    @LAMary: also sorry to hear about all your issues. I’ve been there too and it sucks.

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  80. Sherri said on March 8, 2019 at 10:46 am

    We have Fisher&Paykel washer and dryer, and have been happy with it. The Wirecutter is my go-to site for recommendations, and they echo the LG advice, as well as the avoid Samsung advice.

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  81. JodiP said on March 8, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Wow. Just read the first 12 comments under the Maddow story. People suck sometimes.

    Listening to Fresh Air, in which Terry interviews Jane Mayer, who wrote a piece for the New Yorker on the incredibly close ties between the White House and Fox News.

    I hope LB is doing better today!

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  82. Julie Robinson said on March 8, 2019 at 11:23 am

    We have a great appliance repair guy in Orlando and he says to say away from the electronic machines because they’re too expensive to fix. Prior to meeting him we bought a Samsung washer (here in Indiana), the kind that barely uses any water. We haven’t had any issues with it, except that it likes to grow mold around the rubber seal. It’s probably five or six years old, so I may be speaking too soon.

    I usually look at Consumer Reports before a big appliance buy like that. Your library may have them available online; ours does.

    Does anyone have a Roomba? My mom hated vacuuming and thought it would be the answer to her problems, but it never worked all that well, and then died an early death. When I called the company they said it probably needed a new motherboard, and also that their batteries usually need replacement after a year to year and a half. Mail it in and for $110 they would see if it could be fixed, but it probably needed to be replaced. Oh, and their warranty is only for a year. Woohoo for customer service.

    After I’d read forums online, I determined it was a three hour repair time to replace the motherboard, which I could buy for $100 or so. Then I remembered we’d bought it at Costco, so I took it in and explained the issue, and without a blink, they refunded the $350 purchase cost. And now I can truly say woohoo for customer service.

    We ended up finding a companion care company to visit once a week, and the ladies do all the cleaning for her.

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  83. LAMary said on March 11, 2019 at 1:18 am

    Basset, I had a Samsung dishwasher that was a total pos. Samsung kept sending people out to fix it but it kept breaking down so they showed up with a brand new one, an upgrade as well, and installed it. Zero problems since then and it’s been three years. I have a Samsung washing machine that I like a lot. It’s a top loading HE machine so I can leave the door open when I’m not using it and the washing machine doesn’t get smelly. I opted for a pretty basic dryer, not a Samsung, to go with it. As long as I can choose hot, medium, cool and extra cool it’s good. I can also choose not to have a buzzer go off. The washing machine has different sounds to choose from for the cycle end signal. I left it at what it was set to when I got it. It plays the beginning of The Trout by Schubert, which is a favorite of mine. It goes on for about thirty seconds which is nice. In some ways I’m very easily pleased.

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