Happy new year.

As always, thanks for hanging around here when the postings get a little sparse. As the summer ends, I realize I’ve taken off more days than I intended, and I don’t really have much of an excuse other than: I did it because I could. As the new year — and September is the new year, as far as I’m concerned — I need to do more non-work writing. If only to keep myself off Twitter and whatever is falling apart in the world at the moment.

At this moment, it’s the Florida coast, as an enormous storm comes ever-closer, at a crawling speed, which has of course pushed the leadership of the country into Command Centers, where they’re closely monitoring the hurricane’s progress, in contact with local relief agencies, ready at a moment’s notice to step in to help save lives and mitigate misery, and…

…never mind, he’s tweeting again:

I can’t let any more of this nonsense keep me away from doing the stuff I enjoy — reading and writing.

It was a good weekend. Some pictures? Sure.

This was Saturday, for Shadow Show’s final appearance before next year. That’s because Kate leaves for California tomorrow, and I told her not to get homesick and come running back. Stay. Stay as long as the job and the money holds out, for cryin’ out loud.

In the distance: Sign in Arabic, because Hamtramck, and a pretty good crowd. This AC/DC tribute band (Icey Dicey) wasn’t doing quite as well, but they were just getting started:

I think they were playing “TNT” when I took that. Can’t remember.

And then on Sunday, we had a sendoff for Kate at a friend’s house. We had a hot dog/not dog bar, which was GENIUS (because everybody gets what they want, and all you have to do is set out a bunch of toppings), and I brought a pie and a cherry tart. Wendy got to spend some time with her favorite uncle:

Then we all discussed our funeral playlists and put each other in charge of carrying out our wishes. Yes, beer was involved.

Today it was a long bike ride in beautiful weather, and now I’m getting ready to dip back into “The Sheltering Sky” for the remainder of the afternoon.

One last pic: The Bassets meet the Dorothys for dinner in Dayton. Someone didn’t finish their onion rings:

And so the New Year commences! Let’s make it a good one.

Posted at 2:43 pm in Current events, Friends and family, Same ol' same ol' |

42 responses to “Happy new year.”

  1. beb said on September 2, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    You didn’t say but I assume the gentleman on the left is basset and the woman on the right is Dorothy.

    The family went to see Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen. Not as big as it needs to be but infinitely better than on TV. My wife said it would be a 3 hour movie, which is a lot. Turned out to be 4 hours and yet seemed to end abruptly. Turned out to be a fascinating but disturbing movie about a fascinating but disturbing man. I’m glad I went.

    Speaking of disturbing, there’s Trump decision, during the greatest hurricane he never knew could exist, that it was important to lambaste Debra Messing. Someone should remind him that women never call men ‘sir.’ It’s a dead giveaway that he’s making things up.

    (OK, in the military, yes, but Messing isn’t military.

    777 chars

  2. David C. said on September 2, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    I want proper dirges at my funeral. I won’t be very happy about dying, so why should I have them play some neat song so anybody can think “I haven’t heard that song in a while. I’m glad Dave croaked so I could hear it again”.

    225 chars

  3. Suzanne said on September 2, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    I have never seen Lawrence of Arabia but would like to. I will have to keep my eyes open for it showing in my area. I know very little about him but enough to be intrigued. Between what I know of what was Arabia and how it was dissected post WWI and what I am reading in the book I keep mentioning “The Family”, truly, the demons from the past are rising up and haunting us.

    But, Happy Labor Day everyone!

    412 chars

  4. Julie Robinson said on September 2, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    The real man was fascinating in a disturbing way. He had no respect for human lives, especially indigenous lives. Churchill was the same in his time in Africa. Sometimes it’s not good to know your heroes.

    Anyway, we are still waiting to see what Dorian brings. I’ve been harvesting veggies and loading up the dehydrator. Picked a huge bowl of Roselle Hibiscus for tea. Etc,etc.

    The sky looks so innocent, it’s hard to believe there’s a life-altering storm out there. I’ve been contemplating the lives of the ancients, and the terror they must have felt when hurricanes came, without the early warning systems of today.

    In the meantime we’re not forgetting we’re on vacation, and I’ve been getting in lots of pool time.

    All the good wishes possible for Kate’s next adventure!

    789 chars

  5. Dorothy said on September 2, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Beb guessed correctly! It was so fun to meet another Nancier. If I’m remembering correctly, today is Mr. Basset’s birthday so HB2U friend! I was born 1 year and 363 days after he was. We’re practically Irish twins. Offer stands for anyone else coming through Dayton to meet for gabbing and goodies. I might suggest a different location next time, though. I love Jimmy’s Ladder 11 but the spaghetti was sad.

    Just once I’d love to hear/see a reporter call out Trump on his bullsh** pronouncements. “I’ve never even heard of a Category 5 hurricane before!” he said. But his twitter history says otherwise. At what point do we call in the armed guards to escort him from the property?

    705 chars

  6. Jeff Borden said on September 2, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    I’ve always said I want the song from “Life of Brian” played at my funeral. You know, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Then again, since we’re planning on being cremated, maybe there won’t even be a gathering. When my wife’s mom passed at age 92, the turnout was limited to nieces, nephews and cousins. She’d outlived all her friends. Not likely in my case, but knows? Perhaps beer and bourbon are life-lengthening potions.

    I’m back in the classroom again, which makes me happy. The students always make me feel better about the future. . .if we leave them enough of an environment to flourish. I’m teaching “Ethics in Communication,” rather than my usual public speaking gigs. Much more work. Much more intense. And my largest class with 35 students. But it’s already starting to click and it gets me out of the house and away from cable TV and the Internet, though it’s difficult to see how we will discuss ethics without eventually veering toward the raging manbaby who allegedly leads our nation.

    1012 chars

  7. LAMary said on September 2, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    I want “I Shall Be Released” and “Bird on a Wire.” As of last night when I was going 70 at 11 pm on the 110 freeway with zero traffic, I also want the Vehicle remix of Bobby Blue Bland singing “Your Love Light.” It was on KCRW and it’s the perfect screaming down the freeway music. I was moved to find it online and download it on the Bandcamp site.

    350 chars

  8. basset said on September 2, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Thanks, Dorothy! 64 today and almost home, writing right now from an I-24 rest area on the Ky/Tn line. Been driving way too much.

    Onion rings weren’t that great and I had just consumed a big tenderloin and most of a bowl of pork rinds.

    242 chars

  9. Julie Robinson said on September 2, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    Always Look on the Bright Side is the most popular music at English memorials, according to Eric Idle’s book of the same title. One of my favorite reads last year.

    I want a bunch of good old Lutheran hymns and anthems from John Rutter at my memorial.

    252 chars

  10. Deborah said on September 2, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    I went through a Bobby Blue Bland phase awhile back. I saw him perform at a mostly black club in North St. Louis, you had to be frisked before you were allowed to enter.

    LB and I are at the Sting concert in Taos. People are trampling on our blankets, grrr. We’re way in the back but I don’t care.

    303 chars

  11. Mark P. said on September 2, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    I almost certainly won’t have a funeral when I die.
    If someone, somewhere decides to have one for me
    (I have no idea who that might be),
    I don’t want music.

    I want dynamite.

    180 chars

  12. Brian stouder said on September 2, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Marvelous photos, indeed; always great to see nn.c family. Life moves so quickly, eh?
    Aside from that, here’s a tidbit that made me feel old/out-of-date: our youngest daughter needed a Time Magazine, for a school assignment, so we set off to get one. Do you know what a copy now costs?
    $6.00!!! I was genuinely surprised and taken aback!

    427 chars

  13. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 2, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    My favorite funeral thus far I’ve conducted was a fellow who’d worked things out with me after his wife’s memorial service; he was in his 90s, and the service was all Duke Ellington (we began with “Sophisticated Lady” played by my wife on the piano as a tribute to his deceased spouse), Gershwin and Shearing and and Armstrong, with the closing being a sax player entering the back of the church, playing “When the Saints Go Marching” up to the casket, then leading me and the funeral director rolling George out with everyone following into the parking lot, where the sax played until he couldn’t play anymore and we sang along where we could and clapped when we couldn’t.

    He knew Bing Crosby when he had a drinking problem, “but Dixie scared him off the sauce.” Went on to get a doctorate and became a dean, then had to fight Nazis before coming back to West Virginia to paint his office; after World War II, he had an incident on campus when the town police called him to say a veteran who was a student was shooting out of the windows, and it was a Saturday and they didn’t know what to do (it was ’46 or ’47, he couldn’t recall). So George drove up to campus, met the two police cars blocking the drive up the hill to the college, and nervously walked up listening to the random pops of a rifle being fired, but on the other side of the building. Went to the second floor, edged down the hallway, where the dorm was all but empty for the weekend, and peered around the open door of the room from which the shots were being fired, then called the student’s name.

    “Dean Turley, hello! I just bought this rifle, and I can’t get it sighted in right. Did you use one of these in Europe?”

    They agreed ultimately that he should probably finish sighting in his hunting rifle a little further out of town. Can you imagine today?

    Not to change the subject, but the local paper did a piece on a good friend I think you’d all enjoy meeting, and it sums her and our work up very nicely, if you’re interested:


    2120 chars

  14. Mark P said on September 3, 2019 at 12:27 am

    My brother arranged his funeral including the eulogy and the music: No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley.

    98 chars

  15. Deborah said on September 3, 2019 at 12:56 am

    The Sting concert was terrific, I danced my ass off. It was dark so I didn’t care. I dance like Elaine on Seinfeld, so I don’t usually dance in public. I’m a private dancer. When LB was little we used to dance around the house to the couple of Sting CDs I had. If I could come back to this world as anything else it would be as a good dancer.

    I want my ashes strewn on our Mesa in Abiquiu when I die. My husband and I have talked about having 2 bronze bowls made with our names engraved in the bottom of each, then have the bowls attached to a foundation. Our ashes would be dumped into each bowl and the wind would disperse them onto the Mesa. I haven’t really thought about music, but now I’m going to give it some thought.

    738 chars

  16. lisa said on September 3, 2019 at 7:06 am

    I think discussing your funeral music choices before death is awesome. I gave my BFF my music list long ago. A friend of my husband died and though I never liked him, he had the best music played at his funeral.
    My husband is having a colonoscopy this morning. We’ve been at the hospital in the surgery waiting room for awhile. It’s quite interesting to people watch at the hospital. You sure do see quite a variety waiting for a surgery.

    444 chars

  17. Icarus said on September 3, 2019 at 10:02 am

    Speaking of what should happen after one’s demise, an unpopular opinion of mine is that as soon as someone dies, every usable organ should be harvested and given to someone on the waiting list.

    When I was a kid, I thought living to 100 would be awesome. Now I’m not so sure. I made my 50th orbit around the sun in May and our twins will be 5 in a couple of weeks, so I need to at least hang around until 70 at the minimum but 75-80 realistically.

    451 chars

  18. Julie Robinson said on September 3, 2019 at 10:12 am

    We are still waiting on this darn storm. It all looks much better, but the cone is still too close for comfort. The center of the path can hit anywhere within that cone, which is different than what I thought before. I’m learning a lot.

    Since we’ve been watching a lot of TV I can also offer you this anchorwoman fashion report: the default dress has changed from a sleeveless sheath to a knit wrap around with longer sleeves and a plunging neckline. And the requisite hair and makeup is Miss America level, with false eyelashes even on the field reporters who are in khakis and Tshirts. Very heavy slap. I feel for them; it looks to me like a two or three hour getting ready process.

    Dennis is supposed to fly out Thursday morning and we are hoping that can still happen. But in case he can’t we’ve booked him a ticket on the Sunday flight, Fort Wayne having such limited airline options as it does (Allegiant, flying twice a week). The alternative would be for him to fly to Indianapolis or Chicago and rent a car, so the $61 flight seems like cheap insurance.

    In the meantime the weather put a little damper on our daughter’s birthday blowout, but there will be cake and ice cream and a few neighbors coming over. That’s the downside of a hurricane season birthday, I guess.

    Edit: agree, Icarus. Use whatever can be used, including skin, eyes, etc.

    1357 chars

  19. Deggjr said on September 3, 2019 at 10:23 am

    We went to Lawrence of Arabia on Sunday as well. I think this link is a guide for tickets. https://www.fathomevents.com/events/tcm2019-lawrence-of-arabia-1962 Apparently the movie will only be shown on September 1st and 4th.

    I saw the movie when I was 8 or 9 at a theater in Chicago. I still remember the experience. It was a wonderful to see the movie on a big screen again.

    The movie is long. The show started at 1:00pm. We walked out of the theater shortly after 5:00pm. There was a 15 minute intermission.

    The audience was mostly our age. During the intermission we were commenting on how long the movie was so it isn’t just the kids that have short attention spans these days.

    700 chars

  20. Sherri said on September 3, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    This twitter thread has some fascinating insights about the differences in the perceptions of women. Very stark breakdowns showing that the anti-abortion movement is deeply anti-women, no big surprise to anyone familiar with white evangelicals and their theology. (Or Catholic theology, either, for that matter.)


    374 chars

  21. Scout said on September 3, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    My ‘life celebration’ playlist:

    In My Life – The Beatles
    In the Arms of an Angel – Sarah MacLachlan
    Seasons of Love – the cast of Rent
    Into the Mystic – Van Morrison
    Halleluja – Leonard Cohen
    Thank U – Alanis Morrisette
    Stairway to Heaven – Led Zep

    257 chars

  22. LAMary said on September 3, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    Two Leonard Cohen songs making the lists so far.

    48 chars

  23. susan said on September 4, 2019 at 1:01 am

    Play list for the dearly departed? Oy. I don’t think it’s possible. Here’s a start:

    -Mozart String Quintet No. 2 in C Minor, K. 406: I. Allegro
    -Fauré: Dolly Suite, Op.56 – for piano duet – 1. Berceuse
    -Gladys Knight & The Pips – Midnight Train to Georgia
    -Dvorak Suite in A Major, Op. 98a, B. 190 “American”: I. Andante con moto
    -AfroCubism – Cuba Mali
    -Tabu Ley Rochereau – Mokolo Nakokufa
    -The Traveling Wilburys – End Of The Line
    -Sibelius Valse Triste, Op. 44
    -Albéniz: Tango, Op.165, No.2
    -Schubert, Trio op. 100: 2 – Andante con moto
    -Dvorák: String Quartet No.10 in E flat major, Op.51 – B.92 – 1. Allegro ma non troppo
    -Dvorak 4 Romantic Pieces, Op. 75, B. 150: No. 3. Allegro appassionato
    -Beethoven: Piano Trio No.1 In E Flat, Op.1 No.1 – 1. Allegro
    -Beethoven Piano Sonate 30 Op 109
    -Beethoven String Quartet No. 16, Op. 135
    -Ben Webster – The Single Petal of a Rose
    -Art Tatum Body and Soul
    -Brahms Intermezzo op 118
    -Brahms: Piano Trio #1 In B, Op. 8 – 1. Allegro Con Brio
    -Brahms: Piano Trio #3 In C Minor, Op. 101 – 3. Andante Grazioso
    -Barbara Dane – Deportees (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)
    -Lawrence Brown – Do Nothing till you hear from me
    -Nina Simone – Moon Over Alabama
    -Oscar Peterson Trio – Hymn to Freedom
    -Ravel String Quartet F maj
    -Ravel Piano Trio
    -Saint-Saëns Piano Trio No. 1 in F Major, Op. 18
    -Tchaikovsky StringQuart No 1, op 11 – 1 Moderato e Semplice
    -Ella Fitzgerald I loves you Porgy (Ella in Rome: The Birthday Concert album)…

    …Oh hell, it’s not possible. The whole damned iTunes music library, then…all 10.2 days worth. That’ll show ’em. And that doesn’t even include my LPs.

    1667 chars

  24. David C. said on September 4, 2019 at 6:35 am

    JFC. https://twitter.com/GettyImagesNews/status/1168957735620288513

    67 chars

  25. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 4, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Good response to that one, David, was: https://twitter.com/charito_lee/status/1169030157832794112

    97 chars

  26. Jenny Derringer said on September 4, 2019 at 8:53 am

    My funeral songs will be The Beatles “In my Life,” and Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky.”

    94 chars

  27. Suzanne said on September 4, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Looking at that photo of Ivanka and thinking about how her fashion line hasn’t been wildly successful, I understand perfectly cause and effect.

    143 chars

  28. Sherri said on September 4, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Considering all of Ivanka’s fashion choices during her time as a presidential advisor, I conclude a couple of things: she has the sense of self of a middle schooler, and a machine learning algorithm would do a more competent job of picking her clothes than she (or her stylist) is doing. Unless her stylist is intentionally sabotaging her, in which case she’s doing a great job.

    382 chars

  29. basset said on September 4, 2019 at 10:16 am

    “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” for me.
    And referring back to a thread from yesterday… haven’t seen Chris Scruggs at that club yet but we definitely should go. Saw him leading Michael Nesmith’s band at the Franklin Theater awhile back and that was memorable.

    318 chars

  30. Deborah said on September 4, 2019 at 10:42 am

    I actually think Ivanka’s clothes are ok, just inappropriate. The dress she wore in the photo would be better suited for a garden party, than a diplomatic event. And the princess-y dress she wore to that G summit a while ago when she cluelessly embarrassed herself was equally inappropriate.

    291 chars

  31. 4dbirds said on September 4, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    All my kids know my wishes. No funeral, no memorial. I want to be cremated and my inurnment to be in Arlington National Cemetery. If I happen to out west on that final event, Los Angeles National Cemetery (both my parents are there). Simple and low cost.

    258 chars

  32. Brandon said on September 4, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    @basset: Are you thinking of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”?

    93 chars

  33. MarkH said on September 4, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    In mid-August, Trumpsters, including Ivanka and Jared, invaded Teton County for some 2020 fundraising among the moneyed-up republicans here. Who themselves have invaded with the resulting grotesque real estate values and cost of living.

    Speaking of which, one of the things generating ridicule around here was a photo she posted on facebook from her visit under the heading, ‘where the wild things are’. Yes, also where one invasive species meets another. Those purple blooms are weeds, musk thistles in fact, one of the most notorious invasive plants in the West. It would not have taken much for her to find a Lupine or Indian Paintbrush to make the point.


    743 chars

  34. MarkH said on September 4, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    For me, Don McLean’s ‘Castles In The Air’. And ‘Poor Wayfaring Stranger’.

    73 chars

  35. beb said on September 4, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    A friend of friend who died from cancer, had planned her funeral. One song we insisted on was the Stones’ “Satisfaction.” as in ‘you can’t always get what you want…’ but overall I thought the song wasn’t that appropriate. I don’t have any plans for my funeral. I won’t be there to see it after all. Let them do what they will. But if I were to pick two songs that seem to speak to my life I think they would be Alice Cooper’s “No More Mister Nice Guy,” and Ozzy’s “Crazy Train.”

    480 chars

  36. Deborah said on September 4, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Ivanka’s green blousy sleeved garden party dress cost $1,650. That is all.

    76 chars

  37. Scout said on September 4, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    The dress that spawned 1,000 memes…

    99 chars

  38. Dorothy said on September 4, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    Brandon @32 – I LOVE that version of that song! I have it on my iPhone and play it for my 2.5 year old granddaughter. Her mom and dad use it at bedtime when she wants to hear it, and it makes her sleepy and relaxed every time.

    I can’t wait to see all the memes of maps/pictures where people use Sharpie pens in response to Dumpster’s stunt today. How many times does he have to pull that kind of crap until someone in the Republican party speaks up?!

    459 chars

  39. Deborah said on September 4, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Me too, I love that version of “Over the Rainbow”.

    The Queen of the Swamp photoshop of Ivanka in her dress is perfect.

    Tomorrow is a travel day, we have to walk to the train depot at 5am. But the good news is we’ll be back in Chicago by noon (fingers crossed). My husband has had a horrible toothache for the last couple of days, he has a dental appointment at 3pm tomorrow so hopefully there won’t be any flight delays. This tooth problem came out of the blue, he never had any problem with that tooth before. He’s been miserable.

    I’m a little nervous about the 5am walk because we’ve been having skunks coming up from the river again.

    646 chars

  40. Julie Robinson said on September 4, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    Someone else said they were expecting Kermit the Frog rising up in front of Ivanka singing Rainbow Connection.

    Dorian is completely gone and moving north to threaten others. My hubby and daughter took advantage of tourists being gone and went to Disney for some new Star Wars exhibit. They were feeling pleased as punch about seeing it now instead of in six months. I enjoyed more pool time. Everyone was happy.

    414 chars

  41. basset said on September 4, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    No, Brandon@32, don’t care for that version… would prefer the Judy Garland original.

    86 chars

  42. LAMary said on September 4, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    I used to sing Over the Rainbow to my kids to get them to sleep. The other tunes were You Are My Sunshine and Sweet and Low. Bored them right to sleep.

    151 chars