That was a nice break. I needed it, even if it feels like I spent all of it in the kitchen. My back hurts, and I told Alan I need me some carryout for a couple nights this week, or I might just collapse.

Thanksgiving was fine, but I promised two desserts and two sides, which meant: All day in the fucking kitchen. I did sweet potato for the pie and an apple tart, then a green bean thing and a cauliflower thing, and I swear, I only got into the shower in late afternoon. No matter, though — the hostess worked harder and dinner was delicious. My tart would be terrible, I thought; everything went wrong, and it was just so much work for something so slight, and yet, it was a big success, and delicious. Next try I’m doing an ombré variation.

All the cooking left me plenty of time to read the news today, oh boy. This WashPost piece got a lot of attention, deservedly so. I was taken by the full-length photo of Sidney Powell at the notorious RNC presser last week, in which she is wearing what appears to be a leopard-print cardigan with snakeskin boots. It reminded me of an editor I once had, who wore business clothes with strange embellishments — heels encased in gold cages, stuff like that. She said she’d picked it up in Texas, where no one dresses quote-unquote normally. Powell is from Dallas, so it tracks, but it reminded me of…was it Coco Chanel’s advice? Or your mother’s? The bit about getting dressed for the day, putting on all the jewelry you think you need, then taking off one piece.

New rule: You may wear one animal print. Not two. It makes you look crazy, and that you packed very badly.

Anyway, I’m glad my birthday is over and Thanksgiving is over, and the rest of it is just a glide into the holidays. Most of my shopping is done, and all I have to do is wrap and bake, and precious little of that. Man, I am sugared out for a few days. I’ve been thinking of trying soufflé vendome, i.e., a soufflé that’s hiding six poached eggs inside. Maybe in the spring, for Easter? I will think about it.

(Alan: “I don’t like poached eggs.” Me: “You’ll eat it anyway.”)

Every year I consider a buche de Noel. Every year, I think I’d rather stab out my eyes than carve marzipan mushrooms.

Although that’s why the gods gave us the Great British Baking Show, so I’ll watch that. Soon it will be December, the last 1/12th of 2020.

Posted at 8:48 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

73 responses to “Leftovers.”

  1. Dorothy said on November 29, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    I am tired too. Made a delicious lasagna today with gluten free noodles (son has celiac), we had a ‘salad bar’ with the meal, and gluten free Red Lobster biscuits. Took walks with my nearly 4 year old granddaughter who is making up new phases all the time that, after you think about them for a minute, make pretty good sense. This morning she told my son ‘Oh Daddy, you make me so dramatic!’

    Last night we watched the first two episodes of The Mandalorian, and after seeing them I decided I’m going to say “I have spoken!” when I’m done addressing someone and then walk away. And then I’m going to toss over my shoulder ‘…and you make me so dramatic!’ as often as I can get away with it.

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  2. alex said on November 29, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    I’m aching all over too, but from yard work. Cleaned up my parents’ property today and it was perfect weather for it. Three and a half wooded acres but no area for a burn pile. We mulched leaves into a fine powder. Tore tons of euonymus and Virginia creeper off the fast-disintegrating screened porch and deck. Snipped unwelcome saplings to the ground with a hedge trimmer. And it still looks like the neglected home of 90-somethings who don’t give a fuck anymore.

    So ready to retire.

    Also managed to make it through the first eight episodes of Schitt’s Creek. I guess I’m not quite as blown away as some people promised I’d be, but it’s funny, particularly the gay son, who is channeling someone I know. Or maybe that person is channeling the TV character. Anyway, this particular gay stereotype isn’t a stereotype. It’s an archetype.

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  3. Deborah said on November 29, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    Oh Nancy you came through for me again, I thought the exact same thing when I saw the full get up that Sydney Powell was wearing in that WaPo article photo. I had only seen the leopard print cardigan in photos and videos previously but then when I saw the full body photo I was floored. The outfit seemed so inappropriate for the occasion. But she’s a nutcase so whatever.

    I did something I never did before tonight, I burned a book. I’d been reading, a dog eared, scratched up copy of “London Fields” by Martin Amis, for months. I got it in the free bin, and after finally finishing it this evening it seemed fitting to burn it in the wood burning stove. Anyone who has read it may agree. Apparently there is also a movie made in 2018 which Wikipedia says was ghastly, but I kind of want to see it now.

    I finished another book that I’ve been reading for a few months too, Ann Applebaum’s “The Twilight of Democracy”, which I highly recommend. So I’m looking for a new book to read out in the cabin, preferably fiction. If anyone has any recommendations I would greatly appreciate it.

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  4. Colleen said on November 29, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    Watching the Reagan docuseries on Showtime. As he was the president of my high school and college years, I wasn’t really paying attention to politics as I do now. I am learning a lot…mainly how much of the mess we are currently in regarding income inequality, tax breaks for the rich and for corporations, and social programs frequently being cut, can be traced directly back to Reagan era policies. Interesting insights from his son, Ron, as well. And Nancy Reagan…yikes. Social climbing ice queen. Just say no indeed…

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  5. Suzanne said on November 29, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    Fiction recommendations?
    I love anything written by Alice McDermott.
    I am reading Raintree County by Indiana’s own Ross Lockridge, Jr. A long book but it’s pretty amazing.
    Last year my daughter gave me Julia Phillips’ Disappearing Earth which stuck with me.
    Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie mysteries are all wonderful page turners that you can’t put down.
    Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay was exceptional.
    This summer, I read Javier Marias’ The Infatuations which was wonderful.

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  6. Ann said on November 29, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    Someone looking for fiction recommendations? I just finished Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo and it was so good I started over so I could make the connections between the characters. Mostly the British descendants of African or Caribbean immigrants but a wildly diverse and often amusing mix of women (and a few men) of all ages. Not a secret find, because it shared the Man Booker prize last year, but well worth checking out.

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  7. LAMary said on November 29, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    I did the NYT turkey breast roulades and they were terrific. Sour cream mashed potatoes, cornbread and sausage stuffing and greenbeans with thyme and butter. A deep dish apple pie and a pear and cranberry tart and Dexter’s fave, Cafe Verona. All out on the deck, socially distanced from older son and his girlfriend and all of the CasaLAMary crew tested negative. A fine time was had by all.

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  8. Margaret said on November 29, 2020 at 11:02 pm

    I love all those Great Baking shows, and have even been inspired to make a few desserts from them. The Canadian one got me fired up for Nanaimo bars, then the Australian one interested me in ANZAC biscuits. (cookies) They were A+ in taste but my presentation would have gotten me that nasty look from Paul Hollywood. As a retired French teacher I’ve eaten (and prepared) Buches de Noel. Nothing says that you have to do the meringue mushrooms. Just make your frosting look like bark and add some festive decor. 🙂

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  9. Dexter Friend said on November 30, 2020 at 2:40 am

    I have been watching some strange movies on Showtime, Prime, and Netflix. The kind ya couldn’t recall the title even with gun to your temple. The one tonight was called “The Gentlemen” . Hero is a big time weed grower…very odd movie. Matthew McConaughey stars. I have been thinking about “Harriet”, last night’s choice, all day . That’s a great film. Harriet Tubman is the subject matter.
    Our family hasn’t lost anyone lately, so no Covid19 deaths, but The Bug is spreading in the Commercial Point house, daughter’s family’s home. Vanessa, about 3/4 done with her continuing reconstruction surgeries , today was informed: positive Covid19. You all know the nation’s hospitals are nearing capacity, and 56 souls depart this earth every minute. Last night on NBC Evening News a scientist told of how old people in group home settings may be held back from vaccines as “there may be side effects…” Another doctor/scientist told of how slow the process will be to eradicate, mostly, the spread. He said we will be wearing masks ” for at least 2 years.”
    Trump is a raving lunatic these days and nights. He’s ignorant of judicial procedures and wants the SCOTUS to throw out the election and anoint him king, it appears.

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  10. Beobachter said on November 30, 2020 at 3:42 am

    Fiction recommendation?

    Currently enjoying

    Anxious People by Fredrik Backman.

    Some other ideas here:


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  11. David C said on November 30, 2020 at 5:58 am

    I’m reading “The Constant Rabbit” by Jasper Fforde. His books are laugh out loud funny and since I’m a really slow reader it should last a good chunk of the time before January 20.

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  12. Dorothy said on November 30, 2020 at 6:25 am

    I love that there have been no repeats among the book recommendations here (so far!). I really enjoyed The Dutch House by Ann Patchett earlier this year. I fully support buying books, but I also avail myself of the library. Twice this year I recommended books they did not have, and both times they purchased the ones I requested! Currently I’m reading The Promised Land, President Obama’s new book and it’s very good. At 700+ pages it’s going to take me awhile. The pandemic has gotten me back into the habit of reading. I didn’t really abandon it, but knitting or quilting are my preferred spare time occupations. Now I make sure I have a book going, too. I feel more balanced.

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  13. Peter said on November 30, 2020 at 8:00 am

    I think you guys are being very mean to Sydney Powell – when you’re on a podium next to that sharp dresser Rudy Giuliani and you want to be seen, you have to throw caution to the wind.

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  14. Heather said on November 30, 2020 at 9:51 am

    Some books I’ve enjoyed lately:

    Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield (semi-forgotten early 20th century English novel that must have inspired Bridget Jones’ Diary; hilarious)

    My Year of Rest and Relaxation–about a woman who basically drugs herself to avoid life for a while. Very relatable.

    Slade House by David Mitchell–better if you read The Bone Clocks first but still some very good horrorish mystical scifi.

    Imperfect Women–well-done thriller about women’s relationships and their choices.

    Cher Ami and Major Whittlesley–fictional account of a famous WWI homing pigeon (true story). Just started this one and I have to say the pre-battle foreboding is hitting pretty hard right now.

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  15. LAMary said on November 30, 2020 at 10:27 am

    You got that right, Peter. I think she was trying to out-crazy him too. She didn’t have the right delivery, though. Not enough edgy “throw everything at the wall until something sticks but nothing ever does stick” tone. You know how at different times in your life you’ve had to deal with someone higher up the food chain strikes you as incompetent and crazy? You wonder how they got there? We’re living that on a national scale now.

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  16. Jeff Borden said on November 30, 2020 at 10:56 am

    The best fiction book we’ve read in awhile is “News of the World,” which I understand already has been filmed with Tom Hanks in the lead. It’s a great tale.

    I’m in the Vietnam years of “A People’s History of the United States”by Howard Zinn, a very lefty view of American history that encompasses much more of the grim business of manifest destiny and global hegemony than other history books, starting with the arrival of the Europeans and the decimation of indigenous people. Native Americans should’ve built a wall.

    We had nice days Saturday and Sunday, so I did all the yard work, took down screens, stored outdoor furniture and put up some holiday decorations. Like several of you above, I am hurting in a dozen places. I haven’t been to the health club since March 11 and it shows.

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  17. Julie Robinson said on November 30, 2020 at 11:04 am

    Everything Ms. Powell wore clashed. So there’s that too.

    I’ll echo The Dutch House and add The Daughters of Erietown by Connie Schultz and The Queen’s Gambit. I read that in anticipation of the Netflix series but haven’t had a chance to watch yet.

    With all the heavy stuff I’ve been reading and studying this year, fiction has been a struggle. I’ve been looking for something lighter but am unsatisfied with fluff. Still looking for the happy medium; perhaps someone has already mentioned it.

    Deborah, if you want memoirs I can suggest several.

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  18. Indiana Jack said on November 30, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Lots of good fiction recommendations to be found here.
    I can add a few to the list.
    The Awkward Black Man, a collection of short stories by Walter Moseley.
    Farewell, Ghosts by Nadia Terranova, first novel by this young Italian author to be translated into English.
    The Searcher by Tana French, a highly atmospheric thriller set in the west of Ireland.
    As to non-fiction, I can recommend both Kindred, an authoritative look at what we now know about Neanderthals, and How Baseball Happened, which provides tremendous cultural and racial context to the origins of the game in the early 19th century.

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  19. candlepick said on November 30, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    An unknown book you haven’t read before: The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi. Tudor/Elizabethan fantasy/dystopian literary novel/mystery with gorgeous writing. A 14-year-old orphan finds her way in an utterly unforgiving world. I know about this book because I know the author, whose debut fell into the beginning of the pandemic. I hand-sell it at the bookstore where I’m an adult buyer because it’s great.

    And speaking of bookstores, support your local one. If you don’t have a local one, support Bookshop.com or Libro.fm–the much-needed Amazon alternative for book- and audiobook-buying.

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  20. Lana LeSieur said on November 30, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    I just finished The Other Bennett Sister, by Janice Hadlow. It’s the story of Mary Bennett, the only unmarried Bennett sister at the end of Pride and Prejudice. If you’re an Austen fan, I highly recommend it.

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  21. Sherri said on November 30, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    I’ve been dipping back into science fiction again lately, some light, some less so. I read NK Jemison’s triple Hugo winning Broken Earth trilogy, which is very deep and moving, and now, I’m on the second book of K Eason’s Thorne Chronicles. If you think science fiction is still Heinlen and Asimov era boys with toys in space, it is most definitely not anymore, much to the dismay of a subset of fans. NK Jemison’s Hugo win set off a protest of Sad Puppies that overlapped with Gamergate but was mostly fought off in the science fiction world. Science Fiction today is much more diverse and literary and interesting than it was in the so-called Golden Age.

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  22. Dorothy said on November 30, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    I picked up a Penn Station Subs sandwich at lunch time – I ordered inside because the drive through line was long and I knew I’d get my food faster if I went inside. A very charming guy came in after me to pick up his online order. I could see the back of his neon orange sweat shirt with its very large design. On top, a large earth moving machine. Below that, this statement:

    If you don’t like heavy equipment, boobs, beer or Donald Trump, you probably won’t like me either, and I’m okay with that.

    I chose not to say anything to the jerk but you can just use your imagination to think of everything I strongly WANTED to say to him.

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  23. beb said on November 30, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    Nancy’s already working the leftovers from Thanksgiving while we;re still waiting for our turkey to thaw. The refrigerator had been set too cold… Of course for us the left-overs is the best part — carcass soup, Impossible pie (a Bisquick recipe), turkey sandwiches and so on.

    Don’t have any reading recommendations.

    We’ve been raising a kitten for the last two months. Found her in our garage when she was about four weeks old. She has vaguely Siamese markings. Right now she’s a bit rambunctious and a little nippy. We’re hoping she’ll grow out of that. The other cats are putting up with her so far. My wife has found the kitten to be a big soothing influence after all the crap this year.

    On another blog I ran across the comment, “How 2020 is this?” referring to the the Denver Bronco’s having all their quarterbacks quarantined for covid but it seems like the perfect phrase for when things go seriously off the rails.

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  24. basset said on November 30, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Just finished the extended edition of Mark Lewisohn’s “Tune In” Beatles history, working now on Kenneth Womack’s “Solid State,” about the making of “Abbey Road” and events around it.
    Fiction? I’d recommend George Macdonald Fraser’s “Flashman” series or anything by John Biggins.

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  25. brian stouder said on November 30, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Dorothy, you’re a better person than I am!
    I think I’d have been tempted to observe that he must like really, really BIG boobs, if he likes the Donald!

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  26. Suzanne said on November 30, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    Sherri, I am curious what you think of the Thorne books. I read How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse for a book club and nobody in the club was very impressed with it.

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  27. Sherri said on November 30, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Apparently, the full story of the Broncos quarteback situation is so very 2020.

    The Broncos have 4 quarterbacks on their roster, including practice squad. On a scheduled off day, all 4 quarterbacks decided to come into the facility for an inperson meeting and lunch and film study, despite such meetings being discouraged. They didn’t wear the trackers that are required to be worn anytime they are in the facility, and mask use protocol was not followed. That was a Tuesday.

    On Thursday morning, one of the four, Jeff Driskel, was told he had a positive COVID test. As per protocol, the other three were interviewed by the NFL, but they didn’t tell the NFL about the Tuesday meeting, and so were cleared as not being close contacts, based on tracking data and interviews.

    Friday, someone in the organization told the Broncos compliance office about the meeting, and that there was building video that would show it and the lack of adherence to mask protocol. The compliance office looked at the video, and sent it to the NFL.

    On Saturday, the NFL called the Broncos, who were in a practice, and told them to pull all three quarterbacks from the practice. Later that day, the NFL informed them that all three were now considered close contacts, and had to isolate and would not be eligible for Sunday.

    I’m not completely clear on this, but I believe that had the other quarterbacks been forthcoming about their contact with Driskell to begin with, they could have cleared the isolation protocol in time to be eligible for Sunday, assuming no further positive tests. The Broncos on Saturday asked for a postponement of the game to Monday so that the quarterbacks could play, so that says to me that Sunday could have been possible with early candor.

    The Broncos could not bring in somebody new from the outside, because COVID protocols require 5 days of negative tests before a new player can join a team. So, they ended up playing a practice squad wide receiver who had never played in an NFL game and had played 4 games at quarterback at Wake Forest as their quarterback.

    It did not go well.

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  28. mouse said on November 30, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    Julie,the Queen’s Gambit Netflix series is just the best.I immediately fell in love with the lead actress,I’ve always had a thing for redheads anyways!!

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  29. LAMary said on November 30, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    I’ve retrieved all my Best Short Stories of (whatever year) books from my son and I’m reading the stuff I didn’t read before. Haven’t made it to reading best of 2019 yet and although it is available I haven’t got the best of 2020. You can usually find previous year’s collection on Amazon in the used column for pretty cheap. Several of mine were sold used by Goodwill on Amazon.

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  30. brian stouder said on November 30, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Mouse – AGREED!!!! My lovely wife got me watching it, and you end up fully immersed, in no time. I WILL say that, at first, I was quite put off with the lonely old guy in the basement of the all-girl school….’what could go wrong?” – eh; but then I came to trust that the makers of the miniseries weren’t going down that road….quite a relief!

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  31. Julie Robinson said on November 30, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    Incidentally, that red hair is a wig. I don’t know why I haven’t started it yet, except that there’s been a lot of family drama lately and I guess I’ve needed lighter fare. I’ve been watching The Repair Shop instead. Has anyone else seen it? It’s also on Netflix.

    First, it’s British, with those wonderful accents I love so much. People bring in their broken heirlooms and experts fix them. Such a simple premise, but the stories of the heirlooms are touching and the experts all work together and pull out amazing transformations. I find it charming that everyone looks very British, which is to say goofy hair and teeth that have never met an orthodontist.

    It’s gentle and restorative, and strikes just the right note for me.

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  32. Jenine said on November 30, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    @Candlepick: Sin Eater sounds like a wonderful recommendation, thanks!!
    My favorite recently read books were My Life as a Goddess: A Memoir through (Un) Popular Culture by Guy Branum; and The Library Book by Susan Orlean.

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  33. Bitter Scribe said on November 30, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    Melania’s last Christmas decorations at the White House aren’t quite as weird as previous years (remember those creepy bare branches?), but they’re plenty weird enough. Who decorates a Christmas tree with fresh roses?

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  34. David C said on November 30, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    Julie, what channel other than Netflix has The Repair Shop and do they have more than two seasons? I understand they’ve made five of six seasons total but for some reason only the first two made it to Netflix. I love watching them so much. Well, other than they’re a little heavy on putting stuffing back in dolls.

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  35. LAMary said on November 30, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    I watched all the episodes of Queen’s Gambit and was pretty sucked in but at the end I felt it was a little too Hollywood endingish for me. So sue me. I thought it sort of cheesed out at the end. I too thought the old guy in the basement would go wrong but he didn’t and I thought the main character would get fed up with her mom being drunk and sponging off her but she didn’t. All the ending needed was tossing a tam o’shanter in the air. At least that’s the vibe I got. It was a little meh for me.

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  36. Pam said on November 30, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    Personally, I think the tendency to wear animal skin clothing is genetic. It usually goes with the wearing of too much strong perfume and lots of gold. Home decor follows as well.

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  37. Mouse said on November 30, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    Guess I’m just a sentimental old fool,I loved the ending Hollywoodish or not.Guess I was so much in love with Beth I just wanted the best for her.I thought her stopping by to play chess with the old Russians was a nice touch.

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  38. Julie Robinson said on November 30, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    David, the third season is dropping this week on Netflix. After that your guess is as good as mine. When it comes to the dollies, I got a little verklempt when they told the one lady about how they tucked the original body fabric “in her tummy”.

    Did anyone see that Melania used Be Best ornaments? Those have a short shelf life.

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  39. Dorothy said on November 30, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    Our daughter recommended The Repair Shop to us and we’ve seen maybe 6 or 7 episodes. I know I’ve gotten teary-eyed at least three times while watching it. Some of the stories are very touching. There are just so many things to watch these days that we can’t get to them all. We liked The Queen’s Gambit but I too felt the ending was just kind of odd. We started the current season of The Crown but I’m reading so many tweets and mentions about it online that I almost don’t want to watch the rest of the episodes. She died on my 40th birthday, 23 years ago, and I used to read up on her a good deal. So I was already aware of what a shit Charles was to her. This should not be a surprise to anyone viewing today, and also when did people start to think this was a documentary and not a theorized telling of their very private lives?

    Moving on – anyone have a guess on how much disinfectant it’s going to take to get the Trump stink out of the White House before the Bidens move in? I know I read somewhere (that tell all book her friend wrote…?) that Melania would not move in until the toilets the Obamas used were all replaced. Be Best my ass!

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  40. susan said on November 30, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    Dorothy— Many, many, many passes.

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  41. alex said on November 30, 2020 at 10:33 pm

    Trump’s gonna leave some bad juju all over that joint. His stank should be the least of the Bidens’ worries.

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  42. beb said on November 30, 2020 at 11:31 pm

    He’ll make a point of crapping in every toilet and not flushing. He might even try to steal the handles off the sinks.

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  43. Deborah said on December 1, 2020 at 3:05 am

    Is anybody else as glad November is over as I am? I’m so happy it is December I can’t tell you. Finally the last month of 2020 is here. All of this election crap has been exhausting onward to January 20!

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  44. Dexter Friend said on December 1, 2020 at 4:20 am

    I went retro and watched “The Birds”, then started “Trumbo” but got sleepy so that’s for tomorrow . Tippi Hedren, (Melanie Griffith’s mom) was continually sexually hit on by Hitchcock, she refused, so Hitch sort of ended her acting career after “Marnie”, when it got really bad with the suggestions. Tippi is 90 now.

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  45. Dexter Friend said on December 1, 2020 at 4:26 am

    Sherri, Eagles fans must be going nutso at home in their recliners. Wentz is a proven winner but nothing’s working for him; he must be losing confidence. He has that backup pacing around just waiting to take over. The backup did go in for 2 plays , probably just to shake Wentz up. Seattle wasn’t as impressive last night as they have been in previous years but Russell had enough last night to kill that clock for the road win. But in that crazy East, Philly is still in the playoff hunt, at 3-8.

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  46. Dorothy said on December 1, 2020 at 7:36 am

    I know Hitchcock made a cameo in each of the movies he directed. I have seen Rear Window bunches of times, but I think I never knew where the cameo in that movie happened. A couple days ago I finally spotted it – when Jimmy Stewart is looking over at his neighbors’ activities, one guy is sitting at a piano and behind him was a guy winding a clock. Bingo – Hitch was the clock winder! I also watched Torn Curtain for the first time, with Paul Newman and Julie Andrews. It didn’t knock my socks off.

    Deborah I’m with you about it being December. I can’t wait to have 2020 in my rear view window.

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  47. Mark P said on December 1, 2020 at 8:39 am

    The election here in Georgia is not over. The campaign ads seem continuous. The Perdue and Loeffler ads are all pure lies. It’s amazing but not surprising. I sincerely hope Trump’s election fraud lies come back to bite the Republicans on the ass. The RNC chair (I think) was in Georgia trying to explain to a crowd of Republican morons how the presidential election was all fraud but the senate runoffs won’t be so please please please vote.

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  48. diane said on December 1, 2020 at 9:06 am

    Sherri, thanks for the Broncos update. I hadn’t heard about the protocol violations. I am a Ravens fan but have been living in Colorado for 20 years. I have been getting a lot of questions here about why did the Broncos have to play but the Ravens keep getting postponements (the ‘Thanksgiving’ game has been postponed 3 times). I suspect the answer is money but am not sure. I think protocol breaches should be followed by fines and game forfeitures.

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  49. Suzanne said on December 1, 2020 at 9:25 am

    Indiana is special: “Indiana now ranks second in the nation for COVID-19 hospitalizations per capita, according to an IndyStar analysis of available data.”https://www.indystar.com/story/news/health/2020/12/01/indiana-covid-state-2nd-nation-hospitalizations-per-capita/6468779002/?fbclid=IwAR3jUmQFVKv31GxInd2L3uhQi2IvLTZwNoqsp80DH6WtqnFzyz9viEuQPNA

    And yet, I have a cousin who will not wear a mask anywhere it isn’t required because he almost died from heart problems a few years ago and says God got him through that, so he is sure God will get him through this.

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  50. Sherri said on December 1, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Diane, the NFL made a decision and sent a memo to the teams back in early October that games would only be delayed for medical reasons, not competitive reasons. Changes had been made to the practice squad rules and the injured reserve rules to provide a larger pool of available players to address the competitive issues.

    So, no delay for the Broncos, who didn’t have spread of the virus, just ineligibilities to due isolation, but continued delays for the Ravens, because they have had spread and it’s not safe for them to get on the field and play an opponent.

    The NFL has dealt with protocol violations with fines and, most recently, loss of a 7th round draft pick for the Saints. Forfeits are extremely unlikely as a punishment, because that would eliminate the NFL’s obvious biggest priority: providing content to their TV partners. The games will happen.

    I will say that the NFL protocols are probably the best that can be done without going to a bubble. Their problem is, they are playing football in a time of very high community spread, and it’s not even so much the games themselves that are the big problem, it’s that it involves a lot of people.

    At least NFL players are getting paid and have a union representing them. I won’t even watch college sports this year, because I think it’s obscene to put those kids on the field in the middle of a pandemic and not pay them.

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  51. Brian stouder said on December 1, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    And in the world of Formula One, World Champion Louis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID….and the circus is currently in the Middle East. These are definitely distressing times

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  52. Dorothy said on December 1, 2020 at 12:27 pm


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  53. Scout said on December 1, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    We are halfway through The Queen’s Gambit and are loving it. We are savoring it as opposed to bingeing. We’re also watching the latest season of the Great British Baking Show and only have the final left. We were so sad that Hermine biffed what should have been her strongest week.

    I waited for months to get The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett on audio from the library, and then because I was so busy over the last few weeks it went back to the library with only the last hour to go. I was so bummed because now I have to wait another few months to get it back and by then I will have read and listened to many more books and will probably forget what was happening. My own fault for not paying closer attention. But anyway, good story and the reader is excellent. The same thing happened to me with Where The Crawdads Sing and I’m still waiting to get that one back too. I wish there was an option to not let it go back and pay a late fee. I did manage to finish Untamed by Glennon Doyle, read by the author and loved it so much I ordered the hard copy to have and to keep.

    So Covid Christmas has commenced. The house is decorated, the tree is up and the kitten hasn’t destroyed it yet. The first day of my Jacquie Lawson advent calendar awaits. Anyone else get those? My Mom started the tradition and our whole family loves them.

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  54. Jeff Borden said on December 1, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    This year cannot end soon enough.

    I lost two old friends this year to the conspiracy theory wormhole. One, a former Bernie bro in 2016, has morphed into a dyed-in-the-wool MAGAt whose volume level has been set at 11. I’ve ditched all contact. The other has become a “coronavirus is a Democrat plot” zealot, though his predictions the sickness would evaporate after Nov. 3 are sadly unproven. When I challenged him on his conspiracies, he exploded into a rage and labeled me a “liberal elitist.” He also sent me the ugliest email I’ve ever gotten, in which he declared himself a proud American patriot. So, buh-bye.

    If there is a common trait between them –white men with bachelor degrees in their early 60s– it’s a lack of broad range reading. Both have told me over the years they find reading too boring for their high-energy personalities. I wonder if the lack of exposure to other ideas and modes of thinking finally drove them to a point where they see only black and white.

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  55. Suzanne said on December 1, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    We have a beer advent calendar. Today is a German beer.

    Jeff B, I think with your assessment about your former friends applies to a lot of people. I know so many that either don’t read or read only very narrow topics. I am also extremely tired of so-called “high energy” people who run on constant movement that often doesn’t accomplish much but get credit and praise for being hard workers because they are always busy. They ever stop to think about what they are doing, why, or if it’s the right thing, they just do.

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  56. Jeff Borden said on December 1, 2020 at 2:50 pm


    I’ve been wondering why I never saw this in them. These were not acquaintances but real friends. . .baseball games, dinners out, drinks after work, jazz bars, etc. What’s particularly striking is both were very anti-police. . .snarking on fat cops, dumb cops, crooked cops. . .but they are embracing an authoritarian movement. I guess we all lose people along the way but these shook me because my radar was so clearly wrong about who they really were.

    On the plus side. . .two less cards to address this year.

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  57. Deborah said on December 1, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Well, will wonders never cease: “In an interview with AP, Barr said U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but they’ve uncovered no evidence that would change the outcome of the election.” Billy Barr, folks. Now will senate and house Republicans get on board?

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  58. Suzanne said on December 1, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Jeff B, my son has a couple of friends who voted for Trump both times but said that they would have voted for Bernie if he’d been the Dem nominee. So, yeah.
    I simply do not, cannot, understand some people’s logic, although I do believe there are a great many people out there who see absolutely no connection between who gets their vote and what laws and policies are enacted. They complain that their jobs are going overseas and then vote for the politicians who promote that because better profits. And they never, ever see the connection.

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  59. Dave said on December 1, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    How many minutes until the Orange one tweets out what a mistake it was to make that idiot Barr the AG? Perhaps something along those lines.

    Suzanne, God’s gonna get your cousin, as well as the rest of us. We can help our odds, though, but I’m preaching to the choir here.

    Scout, I lost a book to the library take-back, too, after we quarantined ourselves after giving the senior citizen lady a ride. They called the very next day, I was disappointed. I would pay a fine, too, but that doesn’t really seem so fair to whoever is next in line, it would extend the waiting times we already patiently endure.

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  60. LAMary said on December 1, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    There was a thread in my NextDoor group complaining about the new shutdowns here in LA and multiple people saying they would not follow the masking, distancing, curfew etc. There were frequent references to “this is how they take over, little by little…” and “the people in the Warsaw Ghetto trusted the government until they were rounded up and shipped to the deathcamps…” “It’s like frogs in boiling water…”
    More than one older person, myself included, felt the need to jump all over their shit about comparing the shutdown of manicure parlors and mask requirements to the Holocaust. And these people came back with comments saying, “this is just how it starts.” I guess being 67 and knowing people who were there in Europe during WW2 gave me some perspective. That and these people have never paid any attention to history. LA is pretty shut down again because the spread is way crazy. It sucks for small business owners and for restaurant owners who invested in creating an outdoor dining space and can’t use it now. They need congress to get off their asses and send some cash. But missing your spin class is not comparable to a pogrom. There is no conspiracy to control everyone. Mayor Garcetti seems to be a good guy who is genuinely trying to protect Angelenos. No jack boots in his wardrobe.

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  61. Dorothy said on December 1, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Dammit, we’re a week behind in the British Baking Show. Hermine is gone?! SHOOT!

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  62. Sherri said on December 1, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Santa Clara County, home to the San Francisco 49ers (who don’t play in San Francisco anymore), has shut down all contact sports for at least three weeks, including practices. So the Niners are moving to Glendale, AZ, where there is even greater community spread. Whee!

    There is also a 14 day quarantine for anyone traveling into Santa Clara County from outside a 150 mile radius, so the Stanford football team, scheduled to play Washington in Seattle this weekend and Oregon State in Corvallis next weekend, is leaving for Seattle today and doesn’t plan on returning home anytime soon. The NCAA, always about protecting the student athlete!

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  63. basset said on December 1, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    And we were there. For some of em, anyway:


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  64. Julie Robinson said on December 1, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    Here’s a little secret I learned about audio books from Overdrive. If you download them to your computer, you can transfer them onto another device, such as a phone, tablet, or even my little mp3 player. Voila, the electronic time limit has been removed. I don’t remember how I stumbled on this, but it comes in handy when four books come up at the same time.

    Our library also offers Hoopla, and those can’t be transferred. And I don’t believe there’s any possible way to transfer an ebook. I will also get the book on CD, rip it to my computer, then transfer it to my device, but our library isn’t buying many of these anymore.

    Signed, Julie, the library’s biggest fan.

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  65. Sherri said on December 1, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    Julie, you’d have to strip the DRM off the ebook. It can be done, but you need a program to do it.

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  66. Jakash said on December 1, 2020 at 7:08 pm

    America, evidently Great Again!

    “Percent of wages currently subsidized by governments due to COVID:
    Japan: 100% for small businesses; 80% for large firms
    Netherlands: Up to 90%
    Norway: Up to 90%
    Germany: Up to 87%
    France: Up to 84%
    Italy: 80%
    United Kingdom: Up to 80%
    Canada: Up to 75%

    United States: 0%”


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  67. Connie said on December 1, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    Here’s a tip for that last hour of your library audio book. Turn your wifi off. They cant come and take it from you then. Or so I have heard.

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  68. Suzanne said on December 1, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    Turning off WiFi to keep a library e-book does not work. I tried it, carefully keeping my iPad’s WiFi turned off so I could finish a book. Nope! It disappeared in mid-sentence.

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  69. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 1, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Back in Ohio, after feeling a bit disreputable, but bear with me. My wife & I go every other weekend to spend 3 or 4 nights with her father, who is 91, deaf as a post, walks with a cane, upstairs 14 steps to bed and to the basement to do laundry another twelve. No, he won’t move here, nor will he move to a one-level let alone assisted living. Since COVID, after an initial struggle on the subject, he’s accepted since early April that he can’t go walk at Walmart or wander at Pep Boys or get daily coffee at the VP — but he can’t do online ordering himself, and communicating is by text, which my wife does each morning and evening with him while we’re here, three and a half hours away.

    Truth be told, he can’t keep the house clean, and there are odd details of housekeeping as it is that seem to be a mix of willfulness, confusion, and a whiff of possible dementia. He has taken against the dishwasher (“it could run over if the drain clogs”) and the sinkerator, and the oven being used fills him with anxiety that comes out as unpleasantness (to be kind). He has, sadly, outlived everyone in his family, his wife died five years ago after two years of decline that set the stage for the current challenges, and he really knows no one in Indy at all, but it’s the only home he’s known and the current house for nearly 45 years. He can drive, and seems fairly safe on side streets and non-merging situations, but next year the license renewal is a debate we’re already having (he has two cars, both of which he drives around the block once each week).

    So we traveled, not for Thanksgiving but on Sunday, back tonight, five hours this time as it often is. Fortunately my wife can work mostly remotely (she spent a month there in April when we started sorting out the challenges on stocking and cooking and eating), and I resigned my full-time job in August, so we are making this work for now. With me along, we can both go, clean the three restrooms and the rest of the house biweekly as she does the online order and we do the contactless pickup (delivery is fraught with complications not worth getting into, but we’ve used it in a pinch).

    The hard part, though, is when my wife has Zoom staff meetings I’m sitting with him as we watch MeTV’s current offering (no cable, he wouldn’t touch it, it’s been interesting), and while he doesn’t see Fox due to not having it, he does watch evening news and gets his American Legion national & state publications. And he peppers me with argumentative statements about how Trump has been a good president, how racism ended when he was a young man in the 1950s (it’s a long argument), and how everyone is spoiled and soft and entitled . . . as his daughter & her husband come and make his life as it’s been possible, and he’s pretty much oblivious to that irony, and . . . well, you know. Arguing with a man who has to have each statement repeated three times or more at increasing volume allows me to feel the satisfaction of yelling at him, without actually doing so. My points when they register in response are dismissed by my lack of life experience, and at 59 I’d accept that but my 61 year old wife is in tears regularly over such retorts about “you just don’t know.”

    Since we are in our own bubble now here in Ohio, and he doesn’t see anyone but us, and Perry Mason, we consider our travel legit, but if the COVID numbers rise to where they literally stop people at state lines, I don’t know what we’ll do. We went through this in March as it was almost done in some areas as my sister and I were trying to get our mom back from Texas, but we had a recent death as our reason to travel, and it ended up not going that far. This time, I think it could get that far — and part of me would love to let my father-in-law just explore his pantry right down to the last jar of Harvard beets, but . . . I should close this venting qua confession by noting that he did not vote in the last election, mostly because he didn’t think to ask us to facilitate doing so. We had debated the previous couple trips back and forth (a couple can cover much ground in 4 hours or so at a time) if we should, or if it was a moral choice to discard it having gotten him the ballot, but he saved us the ethical dilemma by never bringing it up.

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  70. LinGin said on December 1, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    Dexter Friend @43 – The Metropolitan Opera presented an opera of MARNIE which they had commissioned. On opening night, after the cast had taken their bows, Isabel Leonard, who sang the title role, walked to stage right and led Tippi Hedren onto the stage. Enormous cheers and huge applause for her. It was a sweet moment.

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  71. beb said on December 1, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    Nancy has written a good article on a signage issue in the Pointes for Deadline Detroit
    When is a sign too large and when is a sign too political.

    And Oh, my-y-y-y! — An investigation into a bribery-for-pardon plot.
    If this isn’t an impeachable offense I don;t know what is?

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  72. LAMary said on December 1, 2020 at 11:04 pm

    So much winning, Jakash.

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  73. Jenine said on December 2, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    @ Jtmmo: Coming back to acknowledge your comment. You and your wife are doing a lot for a person who doesn’t appreciate it much. Things will change because they always do and it’s hard to tell when the next change is coming. I hope you both can decide how much of this you have in you and make a few plans for the next phase. Reminds me of my BIL saying of his mother ‘she’ll live in that house until she breaks a hip’.

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