Sweating gel.

A sweaty weekend. By my reckoning, I sweated through to the ends of my hair about five times over the weekend — a serious Saturday workout, then a bike ride in the early-evening heat, then cleaning the house, the usual — and now, on Sunday, my hair is basically held in place with dried sweat and truth be told, it’s not a terrible look. Maybe these hack-your-biome people are on to something. Once upon a time, it would be a disaster; I’ve always been a little on the oily side, but in my dessicated-crone years, I seem to have reached an equilibrium.

(I hasten to add that I still showered a couple times over the weekend. But I didn’t get my hair wet, because the last thing you want to do on a sweaty weekend is blow hot air on your head.)

And it was a decent weekend, hot, and a little upended. I had plans to do a river swim with a friend today, but we cancelled because police were looking for a drowning victim right where we usually go. Perils of summer, I guess, along with things like the blackout in New York.

What a blast that must have been, with Broadway casts singing in the streets and everybody jolly and helpful. I get the feeling people elsewhere are somehow disappointed when New York fails to disintegrate into a zombie-apocalypse scenario under such conditions, and instead rises to the occasion with grace, humor and generosity. When a water main broke in 1999 in Fort Wayne, cutting off water to a big chunk of the city, there was pushing and shoving in the bottled-water aisles at the grocery stores. And service was restored in just a few hours. Afterward, the tension was chalked up to “concerns about Y2K,” but if I was facing a tense situation, I know where I’d rather be.

Which brings us to the story of the weekend, wherein the president of the United States reveals himself, yet again, to be a racist, and half the nation gapes, appalled, and the other half essentially yawns, shrugs and says, “Portfolio’s doing pretty great. Nobody’s perfect.”

This stupid country. We are so deep into our Good Germans phase we’re soaking in it, and who cares? You do, I do, lots of people do, but not enough.

I want to say one last thing about Jeffrey Epstein, at least until I say the next thing: There’s an idea going around, that if you try to distinguish between “pedophilia” and what Epstein apparently has, i.e. “ephebophilia,” i.e., attraction to post-pubescent adolescents, that this is the hallmark of a creep. I get it, I really do, but I think it’s important to make a distinction, because it goes to the heart of the way young women are treated in this culture.

It’s in the porny way we treat “Lolitas,” and it’s not just people like Epstein and Larry Flynt and other creeps. It’s also evident in the way virginity is prized in evangelical cultures, this idea that women can be “spoiled” by sexual activity outside of marriage. It’s deeply misogynistic.

And it’s far more widespread than we acknowledge. I understand that men will look at beautiful teenage girls and recognize that they are attractive; that’s biology, and it happens. In ancient cultures, women were married off as soon as they were capable of childbearing. And this is what a lot of the don’t-call-it-pedophilia seem to be saying: That this is somehow OK, because it used to be OK for men to sleep with teens. Obviously, that’s not what I’m saying. When adults act on those urges, I think it’s a mistake to call it pedophilia, because that reduces young women to children in the name of protecting them. Of course they still need protection, but it’s different from the way we protect young kids; rather, it’s a way of valuing their potential and the life that lies ahead of them.

I keep thinking of something I read in the original Miami Herald piece about Epstein that started all this, last fall. One of the girls said she was triggered by the word “pure,” because that’s one Epstein used with her, over and over. I guess when he was done with her, she was no longer pure.

Women are people, and they’re real, not precious glass sculptures that you throw away when one’s leg gets snapped off. They’re not children, either, as much as we want to treat them that way.

OK, time to face the week ahead. Still gonna be hot. I guess it’s preferable to January.

Posted at 9:15 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

29 responses to “Sweating gel.”

  1. Connie said on July 15, 2019 at 8:13 am

    Good a new page. Maybe we can now stop mocking the children of right wing politicians.

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  2. Peter said on July 15, 2019 at 9:25 am

    So, a racist, a pervert, and a conman walk into a bar, and the bartender says “What’ll you have, Mr. President?”

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  3. Julie Robinson said on July 15, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Just came in from watering and am soaked through with sweat. But I picked the first zucchini and green beans of the year, and cherry tomatoes are almost ready, so it’s a happy sweat. That’s all I’ve got today; too busy playing catch up from being gone.

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  4. Connie said on July 15, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Julie, I had a surprise in my lunch bag one day last week. A ziploc bag that contained one cherry tomato with a handwritten note that said: first tomato.

    Our neighbor is in the hospital and we are picking his green beans and sugar snap peas for him.

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  5. Chris said on July 15, 2019 at 11:49 am

    So, a racist, a pervert, and a conman walk into a bar, and the bartender says “What’ll you have, Mr. President?”

    and when he leaves, the bastard doesn’t pay his tab.

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  6. Sherri said on July 15, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Women are people, with agency and autonomy. Maybe someday, we’ll be treated as such, not as objects, wombs, liars, and less valuable than men.


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  7. Deborah said on July 15, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    In the lobby of the place we stayed in Le Thor, there was a pillow that had this message cross stitched on it: “women don’t have hot flashes, they have power surges”

    We’re in a cab on our way from the train station, after returning from Monet’s garden in Giverny. I’m typing this to distract myself from looking up because it’s rush hour and the traffic is terrifying.

    Monet’s garden was absolutely fantastically beautiful.

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  8. basset said on July 15, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Inspection of the new house is set for this afternoon, then the termite check, and if those go well we’re out of excuses, gotta get on with it. Should be an interesting next few days.

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  9. brian stouder said on July 15, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    Congratulations, Basset! You’re a braver man than I am…!

    Guranteed chuckle: click on “Hula Girl” in today in nn.c history (I’m still smiling!)

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  10. JodiP said on July 15, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    From the Hula Girl post, regarding the Republican party: “It can still get far, far worse, like, when Ditka opts to keep his hat on his head and the next name we hear is Ted Nugent.” God, what innocents we were!

    But the picture of the hula girl is worth clicking on!

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  11. MarkH said on July 15, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Don’t know if this was posted here previously. Yes, I know it’s Youngstown, yes, I know it’s the Vindicator. But, still…RIP.


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  12. Suzanne said on July 15, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    How reality has been vanishing for years

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  13. basset said on July 16, 2019 at 6:23 am

    The inspection didn’t go well. Termites, fungus, water leaks, many signs of maintenance left undone, no deal and the search continues. That’s why you pay inspectors.

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  14. alex said on July 16, 2019 at 7:33 am

    Basset, I’m seeing a whole lot of contingent offers in the overheated real estate market in my neck of the woods and guessing that a lot of it’s negotiations over inspection-related findings.

    I know some buyers who found a house they loved and got into a bidding war for it. Now the bank won’t give them a loan consistent with the price they offered and they’ve been told they’ll have to make up the difference in cash. Then the inspectors found that the AC is 23 years old and about to take a dump, which will mean another $8K out of pocket unless the owner is willing to come down even further. And they have two weeks remaining to get out of their current house which sold quickly. They were originally worried about having two mortgages. Now they’ll have none and will probably have to put their stuff in storage and move into an apartment while continuing their house hunt.

    In my neighborhood there’s a second brand-new McMansion going in and it’s not even on the lake side of the road. This is happening among a bunch of 1950s cracker box ranches. So I’m sitting tight until someone offers me a shit-ton of money for my double lot on the lake.

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  15. Jeff Borden said on July 16, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Just remember. . .53% of white women voted for tRump in 2016. Remember that photo of one of his grinning cult followers with a customized white T-shirt, which she had painted with a big red arrow pointing to her crotch and words to the effect of, “You can go ahead and grab my pussy?” Hardy de har har har. I keep hearing suburban white women will return to their senses in 2020 and vote against this douchenozzle. Will they?

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  16. Sherri said on July 16, 2019 at 10:06 am

    It was more like 47%, when you look beyond exit polls, Jeff, but I guess you’re assuming that there’s no chance that the 62% of white men who voted for trump will come to their senses. Please tell the Dem establishment this so they can stop trying to win them over! We keep hearing of the dangers of the Dems running someone so radical (i.e. not white and male) that white men will be forced to vote for trump!


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  17. Suzanne said on July 16, 2019 at 10:33 am

    I’d guess suburban women won’t change. Many of them won’t pay attention enough to know what is going on; others have drunk the Trump poison. What you need to remember about Trump voters is that this isn’t just a vote, it’s an epic battle of good v evil. Trump might be imperfect but he stands on the side of good, they believe, and the alternative is simply to awful to consider. They are looking at the long game. So what if he says racist crap, accosts women, and is tearing down the long held norms of the country? It’s war as they see it and if they allow [what they see as] conservative principles to be tossed into the back of the bus now, there will be no going back, ever. The country will be lost forever.

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  18. susan said on July 16, 2019 at 10:38 am

    JeffB, that 53% (or 47% as Sherri noted) of white women…that is what percentage of the total population? You mean 53%/47% of those white women who voted. That’s a whole different number.

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  19. basset said on July 16, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Alex, we’re not putting our current house on the market till we’ve moved out so that pressure is not there… it’s in disarray now, though, as we declutter and clean out the attic so at least we’re getting that done.

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  20. Sherri said on July 16, 2019 at 11:22 am

    This thread is brilliant.


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  21. Sherri said on July 16, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    Women are people.


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  22. Scout said on July 16, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    bassett, so sorry this one didn’t work out. I’m sure the perfect place for you and mrs b is out there. You’re fortunate you can stay put in your current home until you find the next one, so there’s that.

    Is it just me or is everyone else losing hope that we will ever wake up from the national nightmare? Every day I think we’ve hit bottom only to realize there apparently is no bottom. That 1/3 of this country thinks that demented madman is some kind of a messiah is literally making me sick. I’ve had more health issues in the past several months than I’ve had in my entire life til now. I have a procedure scheduled for Thursday, actually two. Wish me luck.

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  23. susan said on July 16, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Sherri @21 – I like the note at the bottom of the article:

    Editor’s Note: The names of the male historians were misspelled in an earlier version of this story. We regret the error. We have also updated the headline.

    Heh. Surely not intentional.

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  24. Deborah said on July 16, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Sorry to hear your house didn’t come through Basset, there will be more. Also sorry to hear about your health issues Scout, sending you good vibes from Paris.

    This evening we were having our almost nightly picnic in Luxembourg gardens and we listened to the doves cooing in the background. My husband said the sound reminded him of the woo woo part of the Stones Sympathy for the Devil. I couldn’t remember what that sounded like so he found it on his phone and we played it in the garden. Holy cow did the lyrics conjure up Trump
    and Epstein. Funny how that happens these days.

    Tomorrow is our last full day in Paris, we return to Chicago Thursday. God I love this place.

    We went to Corbusier’s apartment just outside of Paris today, it was very interesting for a couple of designers.

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  25. brian stouder said on July 16, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Scout – here’s hoping you get to feeling better (asap!) – regardless of the misfit that We, the People elected

    PS – At this point I still support the Electoral College system, as it makes states (like Indiana) consequential…but, maybe not….

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  26. Andrea said on July 16, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    Thought this was clever:

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  27. Sherri said on July 16, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Why is it important that Indiana be more consequential than the population of the state warrants? What is special about a person in Indiana that they deserve a larger voice in electing the President than a person in California gets?

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  28. diane said on July 17, 2019 at 11:19 am

    What Sherri said!

    Why should a vote in Wyoming be worth so much more than a vote in a populous state?

    The electoral college was designed to protect power.

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  29. Maria said on July 17, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    Deborah, my husband and I visited Giverney last summer, and your description of “absolutely fantastically beautiful” is perfect. I asked our guide if there were any sketches that Monet made of the gardens as he was planning them. She said that he never made preliminary drawings. He would stand and stare at an area, sometimes for hours at a time and then tell the gardeners exactly where he wanted each plant to be placed.

    It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.

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