Plan B.

There are times when the pizza dough you put together for dinner simply fails. It sits there like a lump in a warm oven, not doing anything, and suddenly it’s 6 p.m. and it’s time for Plan B, which is Indian takeout.

Our TrumpBux arrived this week, so why not a $35 splurge on Indian! STIMULATION, baby!

God, what a week. You’ve probably heard that an entire city – Midland – was inundated this week. This, on top of everything else. I’ve only been to Midland briefly. But man, they didn’t deserve to have two privately owned, oft-cited, badly maintained dams collapse on top of them, for sure. I recall reporting over the years that pointed out there are literally dozens of dams in precarious condition scattered around the state, and it’s only a matter of time before more give way. We used to be a wealthy state; we aren’t anymore.

The photos from the scene are bizarre. When the dams gave way, the lakes they were there to create drained, too. So once-lakefront properties now overlook a mudflat hells cape with a few boats foundering on the bottom like dinosaurs in quicksand. And downstream properties are…not so much lakefront, but lake.

Man, I hate flooding. Fort Wayne taught me that. It’s like having a toilet overflow all over and through your house. Hardly anything survives a flood. And as I’ve said before here, it’s one thing to have your wedding album burn up in a fire, but it’s another thing entirely to find it at the bottom of a sodden pile of garbage, stinking like a sewer. Flooding is worse. There’s more trash to take out, for starters, and it all smells terrible.

So. As we lurch into the unofficial Beginning of Summer, I’m just…not feeling it. All those weeks penned in, a seemingly endless string of 42-degree days, and right now I have my windows open, but nothing feels the way it should. No swimming — pools are closed. All the summer festivals, cancelled. No vacation planned. The one thing I have to look forward to is a friend’s wedding, in October. Unless that venue, too, cannot get started back up again, in which case he’s going to Vegas and who knows, we might go, too.

Hate to leave with that bummer, but there you are. Don’t let it bring you down, though — here’s to a good long weekend, and a better-than-expected summer, just the same.

Posted at 9:58 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

64 responses to “Plan B.”

  1. Mark P said on May 21, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    Have you seen the Clorox commercial where they’re cleaning walls in a house that was flooded? Yeah, right, just wipe a little bleach on the walls and you’re good. In fact, of course, cleaning up walls in a house that has had flood water even a little up the walls means stripping out drywall and insulation, probably AC ducts, and maybe even wiring. You can probably kiss your floors goodbye, too. And you know what happens when flood water gets up higher than sewer lines. Manhole covers pop off and you get sewage geysers. I pity anyone who thinks flood cleanup is just going to require buying a couple of gallons of bleach.

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  2. Sherri said on May 21, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    Everybody here seems to be having a hard time remembering that Monday is a holiday. My daughter said a bunch of meetings got scheduled at her work before they realized, oh yeah, Memorial Day. I had someone from the city trying to schedule a meeting with me before I reminded them that they shouldn’t be working on Memorial Day. Working from home, and with no place to go, it’s hard to distinguish one day from another.

    It’s looking like we’ll probably see some more opening here June 1, though it’s not likely to change much about how I do things. I will probably get a haircut; my hairstylist decided to retire, but keep a handful of clients and work at home. I’m one of the clients she’s keeping, and she’ll be working out on her deck as much as weather permits. I’m not planding on indoor dining at a restaurant anytime soon, just continue takeout. One on one personal training will be able to start up again, and I may go in some for that, but I’ll probably still do a lot of virtual for that, because my trainer will still have a couple of kids at home that she needs to help with school. We may get together with some friends outdoors and each bring food.

    But our vacation to Ashland and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is cancelled, of course, and all the summer events here are cancelled. It’s going to be quite a while before I’d be comfortable competing at or refereeing a powerlifting meet, probably not until after a vaccine.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on May 21, 2020 at 11:13 pm

    We’ve had a small flood in our basement, and also cleaned up a big flood in my mom’s…what Nancy said about the toilet backing up? My mom had years of cat turds in her basement. Fun times!

    But how is it that vital dams holding back so much water are allowed to be in private hands. And I read that one of them failed its inspection last year, but couldn’t find if there were consequences for the company. We know the consequences for the town.

    Got a survey from one of the theater companies in town, who are still planning to go ahead with their show in late June. They wanted to know if we were comfortable with paper programs handed out by ushers, or would prefer a code to read them on our phones. I told them we aren’t going to spend three hours in an auditorium with hundreds of other people. I’m sorry they are losing money, but I care more about loss of life.

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  4. basset said on May 21, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    Our house in Nashville flooded over the counter tops back in May 2010, and several of us here on nn.c now remember that discussion, pictures and all. Cleaned out our shed early in the stay at home time and found a box of donated cleanup supplies we hadn’t used, mostly bleach, sponges, and rubber gloves, also a few masks to protect against mold. Better yet, some of em were N95s.

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  5. beb said on May 22, 2020 at 3:33 am

    At least one of the dams was a hydroelectric plant, so — Business! That plant lost its license to generate electricity year because of deficiencies, noting an inadequate spillway. Why disn’t these dams get shut down or taken over by the State? —“business”

    Why weren’t they forced to bring their dams up to spec? — “Business!”

    And what will happen how that their negligence has exposed them to millions of dollars in liability? They will ask the State for a loan to keep them solvent, because “Business!”

    Government — communities — have been rendered powerless to force businesses to obey the law.

    In other news…. Our favorite Chinese restaurant closed down completely. They’re not even doing carry-out, which is a shame because they always did a lot a carry-out in addition to their dine-in seating.

    I was thinking that failed pizza dough must have been sequestering in place.

    We had a minute if heavy fireworks from the neighbor behind us. Sounded like someone had opened up with several cannons. Scared the bejesus out of us and sent the cats scrambling for the cellar. It’s enough to drive one crazy.

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  6. David C said on May 22, 2020 at 6:45 am

    The dams were still there because business and because all those people with lakefront properties would have bitched something fierce if the impoundment was drawn down. Nothing stops a government official from doing anything like a bunch of (white, relatively well off) people complaining about their property values.

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  7. Deborah said on May 22, 2020 at 8:50 am

    I’ve actually been to Midland, when my sister graduated from the same college I went to, she got a job teaching there and we drove her out there. She only lived there for a year, she got married to her college boyfriend who lived in Minnesota where they have lived ever since. She was miserable in Midland.

    I never had to contend with clean up after a flood, given the places we live I probably will never have to. In Santa Fe, we’re about a block from a river but I can’t imagine that river would ever flood. But I guess you never know.

    I’m in Abiquiu again, we set up my hammock here, it was in Santa Fe, but makes more sense out here. It’s nestled in between a bunch of big juniper bushes for shade. It’s suspended on a frame, we don’t have trees with trunks to hook onto. We lost all of our piñons to the bark beetles a while back.

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  8. Dorothy said on May 22, 2020 at 8:59 am

    Basset I remember you had a flood but ten years ago – ! Wow. It doesn’t seem like ten years since you told us about that.

    As of now, we are still going to proceed with our family vacation at the Outer Banks in July. Six adults and one 3 year old. I’ve made a bunch of masks for the week away so that everyone can grab one for the day and we’ll wash them all every other day or so with the other laundry. Unless there is a spike in cases or if local laws shut down rentals, we’re all very much still planning to go. From the mental health aspect of it, I can’t stress enough how important it is to all of us. As you all can relate.

    I did cancel out flights to San Diego for a wedding in August, though. The wedding is postponed until next year. Did I mention this already? I feel like I haven’t commented here in several days but since I can’t remember, I’ll just repeat it. Our eCredit is good until 9/30/22 which seems amazing. I’m grateful they’re being so generous with the expiration date. For the California wedding next summer we think we might drive one way in a rental car, and then fly home after the big event. We’ve only been as far west as Vegas and that was almost 8 years ago.

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  9. alex said on May 22, 2020 at 9:14 am

    The unraveling of Tara Reade continues. Too bad the mainstream media are so preoccupied with other things.

    Now it’s revealed that her checkered career includes having served as an expert trial witness. Tee-hee. Of course, she falsified her academic and work credentials on her curriculum vitae and also inflated her past position on Biden’s staff, so now lawyers are challenging the verdicts in cases where she gave testimony.


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  10. basset said on May 22, 2020 at 9:24 am

    Sure was, Dorothy, and a dam was involved there too… a little river behind our house flows into the big one that runs through downtown, dam on the big one had to be opened wide so flood water wouldn’t flow over the top and possibly cause it to fail, flood water on the little one had nowhere to go and backed up into a whole bunch of houses.
    Water’s gotten high since then but never anywhere close to that.

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  11. basset said on May 22, 2020 at 9:31 am

    Planned on going to Sweden in August, that’s not happening now… tried pushing back to September and the price of plane tickets tripled, so we’re getting a refund for the wildlife tour we were going on and looking for some way to use credit we have with the airline for the non-refundable tickets.
    Cheapest flight from Nashville to Stockholm right now on our dates, btw, takes 22 hours and goes through Istanbul.

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  12. Heather said on May 22, 2020 at 9:36 am

    I’m friends with my hairstylist, and she offered to cut my hair outside at her house. I decided that with masks on it was an acceptable risk. She said the salon is planning to open soon and was OK about it, even eager, and said they would be doing all this cleaning and sanitizing–but that doesn’t do shit about the virus spreading through HVAC system. However, maybe with masks it’s not so bad. I don’t know. I know I’m not going to go to restaurants even outside– too much close talking. I met virtually with the other people in my monthly restaurant group and none of them were enthusiastic about the idea either.

    Some friends of mine want to go to the beach in Michigan this weekend (driving separately and social distancing), but I’m not thrilled about that either. Those pictures of crowded beaches in Florida are pretty terrifying, plus public bathrooms are supposed to be potential areas of higher transmission. Dan Sinker on Twitter asked, “Anyone else feeling sad that they are the killjoy of their friend group?” and I’m feeling that.

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  13. Jeff Borden said on May 22, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Dams are going to fail all over the U.S. because our infrastructure is approaching Third World levels. The only campaign promise I agreed with –the only fucking one– made by tRump was to spend $1 trillion on repairs and upgrades to our outmoded infrastructure. Naturally, that’s the one he never pursued. It would have generated hundreds of thousands of jobs and left a lasting legacy. Instead, he and the GOP ladled out trillions to the donor class in the bogus 2017 tax break that did virtually nothing for the 95%.

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  14. Snarkworth said on May 22, 2020 at 9:50 am

    I’m not clear how owning a dam makes you any money. Hydroelectric power? Municipal water supply?

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    • nancy said on May 22, 2020 at 10:18 am

      Hydroelectric, yes. Although it wasn’t much of a generator, he was able to sell to the grid.

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  15. Julie Robinson said on May 22, 2020 at 9:59 am

    Re public restrooms: I read that the virus lives in your intestinal system for a month after you’ve recovered, so if someone has flushed and it’s aerosolized you can easily breathe it in. This is not good for Ms. Tiny Bladder here.

    So, another grocery pickup order today amid day umpteen of rain and cold.

    And in yet one more instance of why we can’t have nice things, I joined a Facebook group for sewing masks. There were lots of great tips and better patterns than what I was using, then yesterday it turned ugly. It’s not even important what it was about, but it started with an innocent question and turned into a whole lot of nasty bashing, and me, I am out.

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  16. Deborah said on May 22, 2020 at 10:48 am

    We were supposed to go to France the second week of June for our design project, that’s been canceled obviously, not the project though, thankfully that’s on hold. I’m thinking it won’t start up again for a year but not really sure.

    My husband is driving to Chicago June 3rd, will be there and in the town 2 hours north where his uncle lives. He’ll stay there for 2 weeks. Then his granddaughter is coming out to Abiquiu from CA with her other grandparents, in an RV that they own. They’ll stay on our land with the RV for about 3 days. We’re so happy to get to see the granddaughter again.

    After that we’re planning to rent a small RV and drive out to Tempe, AZ to IKEA to get a shelving unit with doors for the Santa Fe kitchen. We’ll stop and see some sights along the way.

    Of course none of this will happen if we have a big national virus spike.

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  17. Jim said on May 22, 2020 at 10:58 am

    Damn Nancy’s last sentence!

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  18. Mark P said on May 22, 2020 at 11:32 am

    We shop at Walmart fairly regularly, going inside because the order-online, pickup-in-the-parking lot option seems not to have all the items we need, even if they’re in the store. What I noticed a few weeks ago was that probably more than 50 percent of the people wore masks. When we went in Thursday night, very, very few were wearing masks. I blame that on Trump and Ga “Governor” Kemp, whose message is that we should forget about the virus and go ahead as if things were normal. We’ll see how that turns out.

    People seem to look at the rate of infections per day, and if that goes down, then hooray! We’re back to normal. They don’t look at cumulative cases and notice that that number is steadily increasing. We reached that point by all the measures that the Trump crowd is complaining about. If we stop those measures, there is no good reason to think that the numbers won’t start to climb more steeply again. The coronavirus has not gone away.

    About masks — I read that there have been some informal studies about the effectiveness of masks like N95 after washing (so, not one-use, disposable masks). Apparently they lose a significant amount of their filtering ability with washing. The recommendation was to essentially rest the mask to let any viruses on it die, and reuse without washing. Setting it out in sunlight should be an effective way to disinfect it. Once it gets too nasty, throw it away. I don’t know how that applies to home-made masks, or even how effect they are at catching virus-laden droplets in the first place.

    Unfortunately, I can’t point you to the studies, because I think they were done within a manufacturer’s facility and weren’t published.

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  19. Charlotte said on May 22, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    Popped over to Bozeman to pick up some garden rebuild supplies from the so-called curbside service. Had to go in. Big space, so that was okay — but NO ONE wearing masks who wasn’t an employee. Tried both Walmart and Target looking for sodastream cannisters — also NO ONE in masks.

    Parking lots full of out-of-state cars. No one taking precautions. Whole vibe was “well! thank goodness that’s over!”

    Bozeman had the biggest outbreak in the state. Expect round 2 in 14 days. And I will not be teaching on campus, if at all, next year at MSU.

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  20. Suzanne said on May 22, 2020 at 3:03 pm
    “ To view Trump as a useful wrecking ball, or a flawed vessel for an otherwise sound nationalism, with his critics being the real problem, is to be set adrift morally and intellectually. You take your bearings less from what you believe than what you oppose; if it provokes cosmopolitan elites, then there must be some value to it.”

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  21. Julie Robinson said on May 22, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    When we went to pick up our grocery order the parking lot of the store was packed. Looks like everyone’s out buying for their holiday parties. Of course, half our order couldn’t be filled, they shorted us an item, gave us smashed buns that expire today, a limp stalk of celery, etc., so I understand the desire to shop in person.

    Today’s mail had the letter Trump sent out to those who got their extra money via direct deposit. It makes me so angry every time I see it. Who can write me some parody lyrics to Hamilton’s “Burn”? I would love to do a video setting it on fire.

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  22. Jeff Borden said on May 22, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    We also received our stimulus check. I’m using a good portion of my share to donate to Amy McGrath and Jamie Harrison, who are running against Moscow Mitch and Leningrad Lindsey. Perhaps I’ll also donate to Planned Parenthood in Mike Dense’s name or the ACLU in the name of Mike Pompeo. (I realize we’re blessed to be able to use the money this way when so many of our fellow citizens are in dire need.)

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  23. David C said on May 22, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    I thought the tRump letter might have come in handy if the toilet paper shortage persisted.

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  24. Sherri said on May 22, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    Exponential transmission. People really don’t grasp what that means.

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  25. beb said on May 22, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    If a “gaffe” is saying the truth out loud, then I guess Joe Biden made a graffe when he said if you can’t make up your mind whether to vote for him or Trump “you ain’t black.”

    I’ve noticed that Trump has stopped arguing with the reporter Acosta and has been strictly going after women reporters, governors, Congresswomen, women State Attorneys, etc. What a man. /snark.

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  26. Sherri said on May 22, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    One thing is for sure – not a single person refusing to wear a mask, or advocating opening businesses because we need to save the economy, or arguing that it should be a personal choice what you do in response to the pandemic, has any claim to the label pro-life and should never be listened to on the topic of abortion again.

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  27. LAMary said on May 22, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    I agree that people don’t get the concept of exponential transmission. But then there are a lot of concepts they don’t get. Not realizing that this virus is worldwide is one. It’s not power move by your mayor/governor/Fauci/Gates to take over, people. It’s on every continent except Antarctica.

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  28. Deborah said on May 22, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    This blurb from an article by Andrew Sullivan was on Twitter. I can’t click on the link to the full article because Abiquiu. I think it’s spot on, “The more Trump brazenly lies, the more Republicans support him. The more incoherent he is, the more insistent they are. Even in an epidemic. We seem to be reaching the Jonestown phase of the Trump cult.”

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  29. susan said on May 22, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    Andrew Sullivan is talking about himself,, then. He helped create this Republican monster. I love the way these Republican a$$holes try to distance themselves from their people. ƒü¢k Andrew Sullivan.

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  30. beb said on May 22, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Kudos, Susan for learning how to spell the f-word so artfully.

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  31. Dexter Friend said on May 23, 2020 at 3:30 am

    Double-masked, I went inside Walmart for the first time in 10 weeks. I needed cat and dog food, scored a big jug of hand soap, got my necessary Metamucil ( 43 years on the stuff now) , got some fruit and waited 35 minutes for an attended lane because I wanted to pay via paper check. The clerk sits in a wheelchair, and for some goddam reason got into a verbal fight with a woman of about 32; she bought a stack of re-usable bags which she wanted to put her groceries in, and the process fucked-up the disabled clerk’s M.O. Finally, with the woman jawing at him through the whole process, she left. The supervisor arrived then and I heard the man’s side of the story…he was cool, but was complaining about mean people. I didn’t even check for meat because I had heard they were out of it. The deli had one poor woman attendant and many people queued up…no dice for me. The double-masking technique was suppressing my oxygen intake and I was feeling uncomfortable. I am doing OK with the whole situation other than that.

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  32. ROGirl said on May 23, 2020 at 4:40 am

    Looks like another 2 weeks of WFH, through the 12th. We were supposed to go back on the 1st.

    I didn’t pay attention to the news yesterday, we had the day off (and Monday) for the holiday. Had my grocery shopping run, then binge watched “Belgravia,” by the Downton Abbey creative team. Lots of scheming, long-held secrets, upstairs/downstairs drama, fabulous dinner parties, forbidden love… If you’re a Downton fan it’s a decent watch, and it’s only 6 episodes.

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  33. LAMary said on May 23, 2020 at 9:53 am

    Jeez, Dexter. Order that stuff online. It’s not worth the craziness to go in person for something like Metamucil. The only issues I’ve run into getting groceries online was a stupid shopper who substituted butter for peanut butter when the peanut butter was out of stock and one episode of a big order of groceries being stolen within five minutes of it being dropped off inside my gate. Got my money back btw. We binge watched The Night Manager last night. It’s mostly really good but I found it annoying that all women found the lead guy irresistible. Beautiful women throw themselves at this guy and it always leads to more trouble for him. He never figures out that it’s a bad idea to screw the international gun runner’s mistress or the blabbermouth local girl who keeps showing up at his door. Other than that it’s good.

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  34. Suzanne said on May 23, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Susan @29. You reinforce my strong belief that pundits like Sullivan, who is one among many, never understood that the “real Americans” out here in flyover country would swallow their rhetoric like a fish swallows the bait, hook, line, & sinker. And now they watch in some sense of horror at the monster that has sprung up. Will they admit their part in it? No, because they still can’t grasp what they have wrought.
    My community is full of decent, hard working, caring people, some well educated, but they are not sophisticated, not well read. When they listen to some Fox News bloviator, they have no grasp of it being opinion and not well thought out opinion. They don’t understand the motives behind it. As I have mentioned before, I know so many who could build me a house, rewire the house I am in, take my car apart and put it back together because those are concrete, tangible things. How a virus got here, how it could be so dangerous, and how staying at home and doing nothing Is the best plan to alleviate the sickness are not ideas that are concrete and tangible so they are ripe for the picking by those who provide simple answers. Trump and his enablers provide simple answers: “We have great numbers! The best numbers!” Conspiracies offer equally simplistic answers: “The Chinese are doing this on purpose! Bill Gates wants to microchip everyone by vaccine!”
    Take a deeper look and most of us realize these ideas are insane and would be impossible pull off, but many of the good foot soldiers in these parts would never look deeper. That kind of reflection is generally not something they do.

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  35. Jakash said on May 23, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    “That kind of reflection is generally not something they do.” Which is why their minority of votes nationwide should not be determining who the Supreme Court justices are, nor the other federal justices. So, yeah, we’re screwed.

    Say what you will about Andrew Sullivan, I’ll take him over Dinesh D’Souza, Kellyanne the Con’sWay or Mitch McConnell anytime. I don’t know to what extent he accepts any blame for where his rhetoric has gotten us, but at least he realizes where we are and that it’s not good. And he wholeheartedly supported Obama. That’s the opposite of smart people who should know better carrying the water for Dolt 45 and keeping Cult 45 misinformed and deluded.

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  36. Jeff Borden said on May 23, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    I’ve loathed Andrew Sullivan ever since his support of W’s adventures in Iraq. Sullivan suggested in one column that coastal elites opposing the war might launch a Fifth Column attack. So, fuck him to hell and beyond. BTW, he’s also the knob who heavily touted Charles Murray’s “The Bell Curve,” which argued for IQ disparities based on race. The book has been embraced by racist cretins as scientific proof blacks are intellectually inferior. So, fuck him to hell and beyond for that, too.

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  37. Sherri said on May 23, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Don’t forget that Sullivan promoted Betsy McConaughy’s attacks on Clinton’s attempts at health care reform, giving her a five page cover article in The New Republic to peddle her death panel nonsense. He despises Hillary, and was utterly obsessed with whether Sarah Palin’s youngest child was really hers.

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  38. Deborah said on May 23, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    Ok ok ok, I get that Sullivan is an asshole who was rabidly for the Iraq war etc but I thought comparing where we are now with deaths by Covid as analogous to the Jim Jones kool-aid moment was a good one. I’ve been reading the twitter accounts of lots of former Republican never trumpers and I find it interesting and informative. I read George Conway, Rick Wilson and Tom Nichols etc, I watch the videos they produce for the Lincoln Project. I realize some of them previously are the reason we got here but they’ve sure changed their minds and they’re doing their part to turn things around. Will they ever apologize for what they did previously? Probably not, but I’ll take what they’re doing now to help combat the hideousness of the Trump regime. Better late than never.

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  39. Deborah said on May 23, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    LB and I went to the farmers market in Santa Fe today, everyone was required to wear masks and I saw no one without one. There were a lot of people there and I was not comfortable with that, keeping a 6’ distance was difficult and I was anxious to get the heck out of there.

    We went to Whole Foods after that to get things we couldn’t find at the market, it was way less crowded and they were good about restricting entrance. Most of the Farmers Market was outside so that’s good but it still gave me anxiety.

    Later I had to go to Office Depot for printer ink for my husband. I felt like I had hit my max in public exposure in one day. We go back to Abiquiu tomorrow and I’m so happy to do so. We’re doing a series of 2 day trips out there Instead of 3 day trips because of scheduling complications.

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  40. alex said on May 23, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    I have mixed feelings about Andrew Sullivan. On the one hand, he did a great job of raising consciousness of LGBTQ issues by sticking his own neck out and doing some great writing on the subject, but my problem with Sullivan has always been his circular reasoning in defense of conservatism, which has dropped all pretense of being in any way a principled movement. There went his routine.

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  41. David C said on May 23, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    How can all the people who are willingly tracked everywhere they go because the carry a phone with a sim card be concerned about having a chip injected to track them. Oh well, one man’s paranoia is another man’s business opportunity. I could go to gun shows with a chip detection and deactivation machine. It would be nothing but a bunch of blinking lights and a colander with wires attached to go on peoples heads. They sit on a chair the lights blink and it would give them a mild shock in the hinder to prove it worked. On the way out, I could sell them tRump brand drinking bleach and Brawndo for their plants. I’d clean up.

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  42. beb said on May 23, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Responding to Dexter’s story. We shop at Meijer’s and used to bring reusable bags. We have have had these bags for five years or more. It’s an incredible savings on plastic single-use bags. But when the corona lock down because Meijer was telling people not to bring in their reusable bags. So we have been using the disposable ones. But I finally heard the cavet, If you wanted to bring in reusable bags you had to fill them yourself. There was a great concern at the time that the virus lingers on flat surfaces so reusable bags were a source of possible infection. So, getting back to Dexter’s story, the clerk was probably objecting to having to touch the reusable bags. For which I can’t blame her. It is difficult, though, to get people to understand that their bags might be infectious on their own. It’s hard enough to get people to wear masks.

    Also I have a lot of sympathy towards Dexter’s lack of oxygen from breathing through a mask. It is really hard to breathe through them.

    Jakash is right about Andrew Sullivan. He’s an asshole but he’s not a criminal propagandists like Kellyanne Conway or Dinesh D’Sousa. And like most conservatives he’s only good about things that effect him personally, like LBGT rights.

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  43. Dexter Friend said on May 23, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    beb, the disabled clerk is a jovial calm dude who has been there longer than anyone, and he did not let the mean woman get his goat. She had new bags in her cart she bought, but it was hard for the guy to unfold each flat bag and take off the tags which were threaded through the fabric. Anyway, since I read that my N-95 masks do not protect others because of the vent, I used a cloth mask as well, but boy howdy, it’s hard to suck enough air with my asthma and COPD, which I have had for 17 years now. Another genetic thing I guess…my mom and her dad suffered greatly with asthma…I can still see Grandpa sitting at his wonderful oaken desk inhaling fumes from burning Asthmador , which looked like stringy tobacco with medicine in it, supposed to relieve congestion, and man did Grampa cough up the crap. Mom preferred Asthmador cigarettes…same medicine, rolled into cigarettes…although she never once in her life smoked tobacco.
    Well, it’s been so wet I could not mow, but last night the tall lawn grass killed my mower…too much stress on it. After 40 minutes it started right back up but it was dark . So…back at it. Mowers around town have been buzzing all day around here.
    Give a thought and a nod towards the memory of your war dead. Not a weekend for politics, as I suppose most of our war dead had gallant ideals they died for.

    So open up everything, Covid 19 be damned! ( Yeah…geez…I guess in this climate I should state I am a sarcastic guy at times.)

    LA Mary, thanks for the tip. We did a couple pick-ups from Walmart where the clerks roll it out to a special parking lot…our order was all fucked up last time. But I’d do it again, cuz I B cool in the pandemic. 🙂

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  44. Jakash said on May 23, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Life’s too short to argue about Andrew freaking Sullivan, so I sure hope I’ll stop after this! Unlike most, he actually did a version of a mea culpa for his Iraq War bullshit. The Bell Curve, not so much, alas. He was definitely off the rails about Sarah Palin’s kid. “He despises Hillary,” — true, yet he supported her against Trump in 2016, which is more than the Chicago Tribune editorial board managed to do.

    “I have mixed feelings about Andrew Sullivan.” Sorry, Alex, that’s not allowed. ; )

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  45. Dorothy said on May 23, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    We’re getting a visit from our son, d-i-l and granddaughter tomorrow – in the house, staying for lunch and dinner, and I’m not sure I’m going to sleep tonight, I’m so excited. We’ll let them use the powder room exclusively, we’ll sit apart in the family room (they get the couch, we’ll get the recliners). I’m sure we won’t be 6’ apart the entire time but we’ll be careful. They told us they wanted to see us on Tuesday evening so we’ve had lots of time to think about this. Making food for lots of people is going to be such a treat. The gluten free yellow cake is done, I’m about to poke it and pour strawberry Jello over it, and tomorrow cool whip and fresh strawberries will be plopped on it. On the grill for dinner will be ribs, chicken, shrimp and sausage with peppers.

    In other family news, we got the best possible kind of text message around 8 AM today. My niece is expecting for the first time, and it’s twins! She’s due in early December. Within a month or two they hope to know the gender. They DO know they’re fraternal since there are two placentas. My knitting needles will be fired up to make some hats for newborns, and eventually two quilts will be in production as well. Oh happy day, when we know there are babies on the way!

    FYI – nothing on social media about the twins to those I’m friends with on Facebook!

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  46. Deborah said on May 23, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Is this a holiday weekend? I’m so out of it regarding dates and times.

    I have an uncle who died in WW2 when he was stationed on an island in the pacific that was invaded by the Japanese. All I know is that it was hopeless and he basically swam out to sea to either end it all or be rescued somehow. I never met the guy obviously but my dad’s family was devastated by it.

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  47. susan said on May 23, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    WWII 1944 —–> 2014

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  48. Connie said on May 24, 2020 at 7:39 am

    Dexter, my daughter wears a N95 mask at work, and I have made/sewn some fabric covers for it. Lets you keep the valve open and still be safe. Patterns are on the internet, let me know if you want the link.

    As to floods Brian Stouder (where are you Brian?) also had a flood, I believe his was due to a busted laundry room pipe when no one was home. The memorable part was he and his wife and kids temporarily living in a residence type hotel, seemed like for quite a while.

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  49. basset said on May 24, 2020 at 10:49 am

    We spent five months in an apartment while our house was rebuilt after the flood. We are too old for apartment life.

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  50. Julie Robinson said on May 24, 2020 at 11:27 am

    Too old for apartment life? I’m loving it! I’ve written about all the birds and other critters who entertain us, we’ve been making friends at a social distance, I’ve potted enough plants to cover the front patio, and we have a washer and dryer in the bathroom. I wrapped solar lights around the fence and tree out front and since it’s a senior complex, I found a bug with a solar light up butt. Life doesn’t get much better than that!

    Actually, we’re starting to prepare for our move to Orlando and are jumping through municipal hoops to add a couple of rooms to the house. We have no plan B but so far it’s looking positive.

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  51. basset said on May 24, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Too old for that particular apartment, then. Definitely too old for the weekly Vietnamese disco night right across the hallway. Probably should have traded the Dakota for a high-mileage Accord with a loud muffler and little tiny tires, too.

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  52. Deborah said on May 24, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    When I first got married in my former life we lived in an apartment for a year, hated it. It was one of those sprawling 2 story developments, we had a tiny one bedroom with a pretend balcony. The rent was $145 a month and we thought that was exorbitant. I’ve lived in a couple of single family homes and then high rises. Our Santa Fe condo has 5 units, only 4 are occupied. I guess I’m used to living where you can hear your neighbors flush their toilet. We had a neighbor upstairs in Santa Fe for a while that we could hear having sex, the husband was a creep so that was gross. They got divorced which was no surprise.

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  53. Dexter Friend said on May 24, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    I once lived in a new townhouse that was really nice. The next door neighbor had a boyfriend that would come over late at night and the walls were not thin at all but we could hear every grunt and word he yelled out in coitus. I was a young man and I had no filter, and I told a friend at work that story. It spread quickly around, person to person, and the boyfriend , who was cool, I knew him and all, calmly told me to mind my fucking business from now on. He drew a lot of water in the workplace and I was embarrassed that I had embarrassed him. Stay tuned tomorrow for MORE soap opera stuff. ( Maybe not)

    Connie, thanks for the offer but my wife has ordered some more cloth masks. 🙂

    I lived in so many apartments I could bore you all day with odd stories, but many of you have your own stories and well, been there done that.

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  54. Brian stouder said on May 24, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Connie – Yes indeed; we returned from a weekend away visiting extended family, and upon returning noted water streaming into the street from our driveway…and upon entering the house, found the whole place swamped. This all had a happy ending (not least because we have a tremendous insurance agent, who took care of the situation) and we inhabited a genuinely nice place for some extended period of time. I could get used to regular access to an in-door pool just down the hallway!

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  55. Brian stouder said on May 24, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Dex – years ago Pammy and I lived in an apartment with thin walls, and we referred to our neighbor as ‘The Giggler’. When her significant other was over, and they got busy, you’d hear chuckles, cackles, guffaws, then continuous laughter interspersed with intense appeals to God! (Presumeably the guy was supremely confident that this signified approval, and not dismissal, or a critical performance review!)

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  56. Dexter Friend said on May 24, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    Brian you DO have a way with words You painted quite a picture there, HA! I have never accidentally caught a couple in flagrante delicto or just plain going at it. I embarrassed a guy in the army when I walked to his bunk (open bay barracks) to see if wanted to get chow…he had a magazine open and he had a fistfull of….

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  57. Connie said on May 25, 2020 at 6:01 am

    The neighbors behind us had a chimney fire last Christmas and ended up in the big rental next to us temporarily. The landlord told us those were the best rentals, insurance companies pay anything. There was a dumpster delivered at the damaged place last week, seems like a long time with tarps on the roof.

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  58. Connie said on May 25, 2020 at 6:37 am

    So Michigan is stay at home until mid June while Indiana and Ohio are opening up. So Michiganders are heading to those states to party. And to newly opened Traverse City.

    Traverse area business owners do not seem totally happy about being opened with four days notice. Some will not admit customers from areas where the stay at home is still in force.

    My Flint area inlaws have now held three socially distanced picnics involving my 98 yr old MIL. We have not gone.

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  59. alex said on May 25, 2020 at 8:01 am

    Apartment life…

    It’s been a long time ago, but what I remember most about it is that no matter how meticulously I cleaned and maintained a place, the landlords would always find some lame excuse to deny me the return of my security deposits.

    I owned my apartment when I lived in a hi-rise, but that place had its quirks as well. The walls were so thick you could never hear any sex through them, but when one of my neighbors was smacking his wife around and slamming her into the wall it would make my dishes rattle. I spoke with the building’s security detail and they told me it was a matter for the police. I decided against calling the police because I didn’t want that guy doing to me what he did to his wife. I suspected that he might have been a member of “the outfit.” Fortunately, they lived there for only a short time.

    In the parking garage there was an attendant who had a car like mine but about ten years older and in rough shape. One day I noticed it was sporting a new hood ornament and exhaust tips that had been absent before and those items were suddenly gone from my car. But because I couldn’t prove anything I didn’t press the issue.

    I don’t miss the miasma of cooking smells in the corridors, elevators out of service just when I was desperate to take a mean shit, the mailbox area strewn with mail that had been carelessly shoved into the wrong boxes and left lying on the ground by frustrated people who weren’t the intended recipients, the heartbreaking eviction scenes where peoples’ belongings were dumped along the curb.

    Today I live amongst a bunch of right-wing assholes but at least they’re all at a sufficient enough distance to be sufferable.

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  60. LAMary said on May 25, 2020 at 10:40 am

    The apartment I had in NYC was tiny but with one exception we had very nice neighbors. It was an old brownstone that had been converted to ten apartments. A walk up. I lived on the fourth floor. The woman above me on the fifth floor was a nice special ed teacher, next door was a guy who worked at a ad agency. Below me, however was a very neurotic permanent grad student who kept erratic hours and felt the need to listen to music at high volume when she was awake. Her former boyfriend was an anthropology grad student she kept his records when he left so at three am I would hear Tibetan fumigation music directly below me. There were also Amazonian tribal chants, and a lot of things that I could not identify. She never got over her boyfriend leaving and had this weepy pathetic quality about her for years. When we had a couple burglaries and one insane attempted burglary on my apartment (they tried to chop a whole in the wall when they couldn’t get through the door) and the landlord refused to repair the lock and buzzer system the tenants all kicked in the bucks to get it repaired and upgraded. The weepy neighbor said she couldn’t contribute so I covered her share which was a significant amount for me then. She never paid me back. I went from nicely asking to getting pretty firm with her and she never managed to come up with the cash. She started calling me at all hours to tell me stop pressuring her for the money as if waking me up in the middle of the night weepy and drunk was a good tactic.

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  61. Deborah said on May 25, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    I’ve had mostly good neighbors when I’ve been in multi-family Units. We had one clinker in Santa Fe when the owner of the unit that is vacant now let her mentally ill brother live there for a few months. He walked around naked outside and invited street people in to party with him. His sister who owns the place finally kicked him out when she realized he totally trashed the place. She’s not much better than he is, she lets her assessments lapse into the thousands of $. And she’s a piece of work on conference call meetings. Mostly I can ignore her because her place is empty (and Completely unlivable inside). She keeps saying she’s going to fix the place up and find a renter, but she never does. We don’t know why she doesn’t just sell it and be done with it.

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  62. David C said on May 25, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    Our first apartment was the upstairs of a house. Our main problem was the the bathroom was painted an electric blue. We got the landlord’s permission to paint it. After a coat of primer and three coats of paint it still wasn’t completely covered. At that point we just gave up. Who knows how many times it was repainted over the past 32 years but I wouldn’t be surprised if the electric blue still bleeds through.

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  63. beb said on May 25, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    When my wife and I first got together we lived in an apartment but I don’t recall, at this late date having any really annoying neighbors. In fact we only got annoying neighbors in the past few years while live in a detached home in a Detroit neighborhood. The house next to us seems to attract people with friends with boombox cars. They come to visit, like their sound system on, rattling the windows in our house and fraying my nerves almost beyond endurance.

    From the chill of last week we’ve gone to high 70s today and into the 80s predicted for the rest of the week. AArrggghhh.

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