Blue Monday.

Another late-arriving Monday blog. Sorry about that. Yesterday I did a hands-and-knees scrub of my kitchen floor, swung by a local demonstration to take a couple of pictures, swung by the lake to ditto, and then came home and made brown rice pancakes for dinner. (Recipe at the link if you’re so inclined. They sound like hippie crap on the page, but dab a little sour cream on, and they’re right tasty.)

Then I watched two episodes of “Freaks and Geeks,” and no, I did not watch “Farrow v. Allen,” sorry.

In my crone years, I have come to the conclusion that not everything happening on the earth requires me to have an opinion about it, and this includes “Farrow v. Allen.” I have read both sides. I have thought about it, probably more than it deserves. And I think both sides are telling at least a somewhat credible story, and one is telling the truth and one is lying, and maybe it’s a mix of both, and anyway: I can’t say who I believe and so I’m tapping out of this one, and spending the next three nights of this thing watching comedies, which is my preference these days. I’m working my way through “30 Rock,” which I only saw in bits and pieces the first time around, and I’m not sure why, but by the middle of season two I’m basically relying on Tina and Alec to be my friends, because I’m so distant from my own, these days.

(I do think Mia Farrow is a bit tetched, however. I’ve known women like that, who have (or adopt) baby after baby, eventually filling their houses with chaos and bowls of half-eaten Cheerios and unflushed toilets. I know for them it’s all about love, but I think it’s possible to be all about love and not be a kid-hoarder. And yes, this has a bearing on my inability to reach a conclusion in the case at hand. Beyond that, I will say no more.)

So, then. The weekend came, the weekend went and now it’s Monday and a thaw is in progress. Big improvement over last Monday, but it means potholes will be opening all over the area. Good thing I have no need to go anywhere but the grocery store! Because that is my life now: I get up, I exercise in my basement, I prepare, serve and clean up after meals, I work, I watch “30 Rock.” If you sense a thin layer of hysteria to that, you’re not correct; it’s more like depression. A walking-around, non-crying, subclinical depression to be sure, but definitely the mid-to-late-winter doldrums.

I picked up a book this weekend that seems to fit the mood. I was returning books to the library (located next to the grocery store, how about that) and stopped to peruse the giveaway rack. Selected “Stoner” by John Williams, which rang a distant bell in my stressed-out brain, like I read about it somewhere, but couldn’t remember where. Turns out I did, but god knows where — apparently it was republished recently, became a huge hit in Europe and has been bouncing around in cult-favorite and movie-option world ever since. It’s not an uplifting story, and is in fact sad and depressing, but it’s so honest and unsparing that I’ve been devouring it.

I’m glad one of you posted this Slate piece in the comments last week, about Limbaugh, and even gladder that you singled out the passage that most hit home with me, in the final graf:

It’s not that everything bad about American politics today can be traced back to Limbaugh. It’s that the sneering, self-pitying, bad-faith style of argument that he perfected is practiced not just by right-wing media, but by many right-wing politicians, too. Every senator who jumps on television at a moment’s notice to whine about cancel culture even as hundreds of thousands of Americans have died of a virus that many on the right had been loath to admit even existed; every representative who exalts baseless conspiracies while railing against stimulus payments for the unemployed; every governor who cares more about owning the libs than about administering his or her state; every local official who seems not just to misunderstand the role of government but to actively resent it: They are all Limbaugh’s children. The mean, self-pitying illogic he mainstreamed is endemic now. The chief ghoul is gone, but the ghoulishness is here to stay.

A-men. OK, conference call in 20 minutes. Let’s let this week unfold, shall we?

Posted at 12:40 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

64 responses to “Blue Monday.”

  1. Sherri said on February 22, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    A guy who works as a network administrator, not a geologist or a hydrologist or anything like it, has taken it upon himself to mansplain flood plains to me on social media.

    (He’s also run for city council of a neighboring city twice on the platform that the way to solve housing affordability is to stop building, and believes that city councils and planning commissions are controlled by developers. Which is why he’s mansplaining floodplains to me. Progressive NIMBYs are a pain in the ass.)

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  2. LAMary said on February 22, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    Sherri, I’ll see if I can track down an old boyfriend who has two master’s degrees; one in geoology, one in hydrology. Last time we connected he was in Peru so it might take some tracking to find him.
    I saw something saying the Secret Service has changed out all their staff at at the White House in concern for some being Trump loyalists. How effed up is that? I also saw last week that Van der Veen, the embarassment to all Dutch Americans and lawyer to D.Trump at the impeachment, is all shook up because someone spray painted “TRAITOR” on his driveway. Wonder how he’d feel if his family was getting death threats like the Secretary of State of Georgia, Governor of Georgia, Governor of Michigan were.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on February 22, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    When I go through the receipts each month I’ve noticed they are pretty much all for the grocery store, along with one or maybe two gas stations. Such is the reduced quality of our life right now.

    This winter has been the worst in several years, and combined with staying home to be safe, it’s been tough for anyone who gets the winter blues, which is exactly what Nancy’s describing. Normally I’d also make two or three trips south every winter to soak up sunlight. Just making it through this year will be a triumph.

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  4. Deborah said on February 22, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    Just what exactly is “cancel culture”? Why is it such an overused talking point by the right wing? Haven’t they been all about RINOs and primarying people that aren’t as rabid as they’d like since forever? Maybe I just don’t get what they really mean by the term. It’s like they get their hands on a phrase and they won’t let go of it. Do they want it to be ambiguous so they can say it means whatever they want it to mean in the heat of the moment? My right wing sister uses it a lot, that and “political correctness”. These are buzz words that are meaningless to me.

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  5. LAMary said on February 22, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    Deborah, I think you got it exactly right. Saying Mitt Romney won’t be able to win an election for dog catcher (something trump said) because he voted against trump would be an example of cancel culture. And the example you gave of threatening to primary people who disagree with him is a perfect example. That actress who got fired from The Mandalorian is screaming cancel culture. She posted something about how Republicans are being treated like the Jews were treated by Nazis and people found that offensive. That was because it is really offensive. And stupid.

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  6. Sherri said on February 22, 2021 at 2:53 pm

    Cancel culture is the new way to say political correctness. It’s getting upset that someone, usually a white man, might be held accountable for his words or deeds.

    LAMary, thanks, but no need to contact your geologist/hydrologist friend. The details of the argument are unimportant. What’s annoying is this guy, who has no subject matter expertise, keeps coming back to lecture me, assuming I know nothing, when my credentials are just as relevant as his. He has an undergraduate degree in physics. Why look, so do I! He works as a network administrator and calls himself a systems engineer. Hey, I was awarded the ACM software system award! Not to mention that I’ve spent over four years actually serving on planning commission.

    If my name were Sherm, I doubt I would have caught the same grief from him, because he would have started from a baseline assumption that I wasn’t an idiot. And this all happened on a local Dems group, from a guy who promotes himself as a progressive, and no doubt considers himself a strong feminist.

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  7. Jenine said on February 22, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    Thanks for the recipe link, Nancy. I love food in pancake form. I use the term fritter because in I once made the mistake of telling small children we were having veggie pancakes for dinner. The cornmeal kale skillet cakes were not what they had envisioned.

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  8. Jeff Borden said on February 22, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    I shudder to think what the 2022 elections will look like. Spurned former Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Billionaire) is fronting and financing a rightwing version of Stacey Abrams’ project, but instead of working to make sure more people can vote, it will focus on “election integrity.” At last count, 28 states largely run by Republicans are crafting new voting rules in advance of the mid-terms. When you are a minority party with toxic political arguments, this is how you win elections. So, from what I’m reading, the chances are very good the QOP will retake the House and –BLAM– the Biden president will be shot to shit. Old Joe had better go big, big, big on his stimulus package and forget about working with the QOP. He has less than two years to remind Americans what can happen when government works. If he fails, more Lauren Boeberts and Marjorie Taylor-Greenes await in the wings. Or, more accurately, in the wingnuts.

    I’m definitely feeling depressed. I go to bed a little earlier every evening and wake up a little later every morning. And I also take an after-lunch nap. But I still feel sluggish and out of it. . .even though we’re only drinking on weekends, so I can’t even blame a good old-fashioned hangover for my torpor.

    The packed Supreme Court failed to intervene in the Orange King’s efforts to hide his taxes. I’m praying this leads to the great unraveling of tRump and his filthy dirty family members. We’re likely to learn the bastards have been doing nothing but laundering Russian, Saudi, etc. money for the past couple of decades.

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  9. Deborah said on February 22, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    OK, I’m starting to see a pattern here online with Republicans and in the right wing branch of my family. Now they’re whining about how unfair it is that they can’t get the vaccine ahead of others or that they can’t find out the second they try, when they’ll be able to get the vaccine. It’s frustrating, yes I know, when you really want to get it and have to wait. But they’ve latched onto this as something to complain about the Biden admin. Let’s see what “catchy” term they can come up with for this. Maybe Theyll say that other people are “Vaccine grabbing” or some such. They seem to think because they’re way more deserving than brown, lazy people, they should get first priority, and treated with kid gloves to boot. You can’t win, they’re either screaming that the vaccine is poison or that they should get first priority to get it. Case in point Nutmeg McCain.

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  10. Jakash said on February 22, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    Re: the TV report. We watched all of “30 Rock” as it was broadcast, so no need to binge that. (Though we loved it and it would certainly warrant re-watching.)

    I had long heard about “Freaks and Geeks” but had never seen it. So, we’ve embarked on that, like the proprietress. Only one season — that’s a plus! — but, it was evidently an hour show when I’d assumed it was a half-hour — bummer! It’s fun, though. A bonus is seeing familiar faces show up. Hey, there’s that blonde from that Courteney Cox show. Hey, there’s Rashida Jones from before “The Office.” Hey, there’s Aunt Lydia from *way* before “The Handmaid’s Tale”…

    We are watching “Allen v. Farrow” though NN’s ordering of the title would seem to make more sense. Like her, I’ve pretty much read all this before, but unlike her I’m watching anyway. Like her, I’ve thought about it more than I’ve any reason to, without adopting an unshakeable conclusion.

    If you’re looking for “sad and depressing,” yet “honest and unsparing,” there’s “Nomadland” which just showed up on Hulu. I could have used a “Freaks and Geeks” chaser after that, but it was time for bed!

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  11. LAMary said on February 22, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Trump is all cranky about the Supremes finding against him about his taxes. Cry me a river, asshole.

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  12. David C said on February 22, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    It’s almost as if the former guy has something in his taxes he wants to hide.

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  13. LAMary said on February 22, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    You mean the twice impeached ex guy? Yeah. Maybe he’s been a little sketchy on the facts on his taxes. He has been claiming for years that he lives on floors 65-68 of trump tower which only had 58 floors.

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  14. Deborah said on February 22, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    I very much want to see Nomadland but don’t have Hulu and don’t want to get another streaming deal.

    I’m in a crabby mood today. I just put together a chicken pie and when I was all done putting the crust on top beautifully I realized I forgot to put the chicken in. I should have left it as a vegetable pie, but no, I tried folding back the crust and putting the chicken in and now it looks hideous. The whole point was to use up left over chicken. It’s not about how it looks, I know, but it’s so rare for me to have the crust on top turn out flawlessly. Now it looks like my normal pies.

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  15. LAMary said on February 22, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    The geologist-hydrolgist is still in Peru, still at the same work email address. I’ve stayed friendly with two old boyfriends from the distant past. I tend to have very long term friends. Not sure if that’s good or that it means I can’t make new friends. One of my friends I’ve known since we were 4 years old. Another since we were 5.

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  16. Sherri said on February 22, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    My mansplainer came back, objecting to my calling out his mansplaining, saying he was just science-splaining!

    I asked why he assumed I knew nothing of science, pointed out that my background was at least as science-heavy as is, and that it sure felt like mansplaining.

    He then responded that he was done, that there was “no effective response to the accusation.”

    I would have graciously accepted an apology, but he obviously thought I was the unreasonable party.

    This is someone who thinks he’s very progressive, certainly believes himself to be more progressive than me.

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  17. Scout said on February 22, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    We watched I Care A Lot on Netflix last night. It was wild and I’m still thinking about it. It is based on true events which I didn’t realize while watching it. Rosamond Pike is flawless in it, I can’t think of anyone more perfect for the role.

    We have one episode left of Bridgerton, we’ve been taking our time and not bingeing it.

    I too will give Farrow v Allen a pass. I need escapism for my constant low grade depression.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on February 22, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    Scout, I’m with you. The heaviest thing I’ve been able to watch is Henry Louis Gates’ Finding Your Roots. I got about 45 minutes into The Black Church and even that was too much for me. So no Farrow v. Allen for me either; I’ve read a fair bit already and that’s enough. We came to 30 Rock late, so like Nance enjoyed watching the whole series from the start.

    Sherri, I’m sorry you have to put up with that kind of crap. Increasingly I simply don’t engage. I’m feeling very self-protective lately.

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  19. Sherri said on February 22, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    Usually, I don’t engage. This guy, though.

    He made a comment about developers running city councils and planning commissions. Without tagging him, I commented that I was tired of that claim, that it wasn’t true, and mentioned my experience on the Redmond PC.

    He tagged me came back with the claim that you could tell it was true because Redmond was being built up on a flood plain. Now, we take water pretty seriously, because most of our drinking water comes from an aquifer that is in some areas only a foot below the surface, so I’ve spent a lot of time looking at reports about water and where it goes. I didn’t go into all that, just said that his claim was wrong and asked that he stop spreading misinformation.

    He responded that I should ask a geologist, that the land was flat, it was obviously a flood plain.

    I said not all flat land was flood plain, and linked to the flood plain map.

    Then he really went off, trying to teach me the difference between regulatory and geological maps and on and on. None of this was relevant to the original point, it assumed I knew nothing, and I just decided I wasn’t going to ignore that this time. So I dropped the mansplaining bomb, and that really annoyed him.

    Sometimes, I just get tired of ignore this shit, and decide to push back.

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  20. susan said on February 22, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    Sherri, your new friend should take a look at the geology of the Kittitas Valley (Ellensburg), after he stupidly said “the land was flat, it was obviously a flood plain.” That valley is pretty darned flat.

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  21. basset said on February 22, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    On this day in 2005, kids’ sports were the topic and one kid in particular was mentioned on the front page, a basketball player who was being groomed for an early NBA draft. Don’t see a link so I can’t search to see how he did – Nancy, would you know?

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  22. Andrea said on February 22, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    I soured on Woody Allen long before the incest allegations surfaced. His movies were creepy about young girls and women — I noticed it especially because I was a young girl/woman when I started watching him. His movies were presented to me as masterpieces and … ICK. I kept wondering how people were missing what I was seeing in front of me.

    And then he took up with his partner’s young daughter, and more importantly, his children’s sister. It was impossible for me to ignore such a shocking selfishness and disregard for the impact that this would have on his own young children. I decided back then to sever my relationship with Woody Allen, as insignificant as it was, because he did not deserve my patronage or my money. People would say, oh but you must separate the art from the artist! Or, how can you miss out on the brilliance of a Picasso, etc? How far back into history will you go?

    I get it. There are problematic people throughout history — as leaders, as artists, athletes, and so on. Part of what is refreshing to me is to see them now considered in context. Yes, Washington was a great leader AND he was a slaveholder. Why not consider all the aspects here, and avoid elevating people like Woody Allen and Picasso and Washington as heroes without considering the price that others paid or the harm they caused? I am not down with the tortured artist trope. Being good at one thing, brilliant even, is not a license to be an asshole, and to hurt or exploit other people for your own gain. There’s plenty of other people out there who make great films without managing to spread misery.

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  23. Sherri said on February 22, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    The saga of mansplaining dude continues!

    I did something I hate to do, which is I did a credential comparison. Mansplaining dude has an undergrad physics degree, which explains so much, so I trotted out my undergrad physics degree, and my ACM award to trump his systems engineer/network administrator cred. In other words, I showed him mine was bigger than his.

    He totally rolled over and exposed his belly. His tone changed, he backed down on everything, and he *apologized*.

    So ridiculous. I shouldn’t have to trot out my credentials to be treated with respect.

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  24. Deborah said on February 22, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    I lost interest in Woody Allen movies at some point a few years ago, they seemed to have lost the quality I once thought they had.

    Off topic, someone in the building across the street from us (in the building where we used to live) a few floors down from us still has their Christmas tree up. They stopped turning on the lights on it a few weeks ago but it’s still there. It must be fake or it would be a pile of needles on the floor by now. Rear window.

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  25. LAMary said on February 22, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    I wish Finding Your Roots would produce a few more episodes. I feel like I’ve seen most of them twice.

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  26. Beverly Pigott said on February 22, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    My mom still has her Christmas tree up too. This is not unusual. One year I came home for spring break and it was still up. Fortunately the one she has now is artificial.

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  27. Julie Robinson said on February 22, 2021 at 8:22 pm

    My mom still has her tree up too. One year I came home from college for spring break and the tree was still up. Only it was a natural tree.

    It’s a special kind of craziness.

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  28. Sherri said on February 22, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    As Google continues to destroy their AI Ethics program, their diversity initiatives aren’t looking very good either:

    I think a big part of Google’s problem is that they always assume they’re the smartest in the room. Microsoft was once that way. Much less so now.

    Microsoft just announced last week that everybody was getting an extra five days off this year, because of the pandemic. They are trying to be more human. They are also opening an engineering office in Atlanta, because they recognize that it’s difficult to convince Black people to move to the PNW, where very few Black people live.

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  29. Sherri said on February 23, 2021 at 12:11 am

    Another reason I raised such a ruckus with my mansplainer today was because it happened on my local Dem FB group. I’m tired of Dems *cough Joe Manchin cough* who will go right along voting to confirm racist gremlins like Jeff Sessions and misogynists like Brett Kavanaugh, yet balk at people like Neera Tanden and Deb Haaland because they’re too divisive. It’s time for Dems to act like Dems, damnit.

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  30. A. Riley said on February 23, 2021 at 12:54 am

    God, I’m glad to hear I’m not alone in the late-winter, lonesome-pandemic blues. Depression sucks. Medication helps some, but what would help a whole lot more would be a lazy afternoon lounging in the shade by a sunny swimming pool at some chichi resort, with nice people walking around taking drink orders. Yep. That would help a *whole* lot.

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  31. Dexter Friend said on February 23, 2021 at 1:49 am

    I have nearly overdosed on movies. Tonight I watched “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared.” (Netflix) Following that, the sequel, about the 101 year old man who continued on this madcap adventure. The first was reported as being the highest grossing Swedish film in history. These 2 hilarious comedy adventure spy movies are for adults with at least a rudimentary knowledge of The Cold War and Russian-American shenanigans. Totally entertaining, a little bit in English language, but mostly in Swedish with English subtitles.

    Here, it’s hovering around freezing, meaning the snow has frozen into treacherous ice-covering, the most slippery kind, smooth fall-on-yer-dumb-ass kind if you are not extremely careful. I emptied the ice-melt bin getting to the van. In about 5 days it will hit 48F and will begin to reduce this high snow field and melt this goddam fucking ice.

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  32. Sherri said on February 23, 2021 at 2:47 am

    I’ve decided to take the biggest risk with respect to COVID that I’ve taken during the entire pandemic. I’m going to compete in a powerlifting meet on April 17th. The meet will be limited to 58 lifters in two sessions, with everybody cleared out between sessions, no spectators, and masks required at all times. My plan is to compete in one session and ref in the other session, so I’ll be there for probably 15 hours and be exposed to around 100 people. I’ve got some KN95s that I’ll use when I ref, but they’re too hot to compete in, so I’ll probably use the UnderArmour masks then. I’m not having my coach go with me, because she’s been through two rounds of chemo in the last year.

    Everything is in compliance with state requirements at this point. Everyone is excited for me, but I still feel a little guilty.

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  33. Dorothy said on February 23, 2021 at 6:41 am

    For some odd reason I was in a very happy mood yesterday; not all day but starting around lunch time I just kind of felt this shift, and felt lighthearted all day. We Facetimed with our daughter after dinner and we told funny stories on ourselves and the laughter was so great. In my daughter’s case, she explained that the spaces in the apartment parking lot are numbered and residents are supposed to park in their own space. There are a few open spaces; due to the snow build up, some of the numbers on spaces are hidden. The guy next door had been complaining that his space has been hijacked several times because the number is not visible. My daughter is not an extrovert so it surprised even her yesterday when she saw a car back into that space and the guy opened his trunk to reveal lots of boxes. She opened the door and called out ‘Sir – that’s our neighbor’s space. You should not park there!’ and he replied “I’m an Amazon driver just dropping off a few packages!” (Side note – she’s been waiting on a delivery so this guy was probably dropping off something for her.) She was mortified and disappeared as deep into their apartment as she could, according to her partner (J). J said “oooh all of a sudden he’s not going to locate your package!” It was good to tease her and laugh – I feel like we don’t laugh enough these days. The driver DID bring up her package but his face, according to J, was rather peeved and he basically just half slammed it on the ground and stalked away.

    I saw a friend’s recommendation on Facebook to watch “Somebody Feed Phil” on Netflix so we tried it on Saturday night. We were just delighted with the silliness of Phil Rosenthal, who was the producer of Everybody Loves Raymond. In the first episode he went to Rio and tried lots of scrumptious looking food. He was delightfully silly but also so obvious in his enjoyment of what he ate and who he talked with. There was one part that made me tear up. If you try it I hope you like it as much as we did. I’m looking forward to seeing more episodes. Sometimes a 30-40 minute show is more enjoyable than a movie with uncertain qualities. Oooh – have any of you watched The Repair Shop on Netflix either? It’s set in the UK. It’s good, too. Pulls on the heartstrings quite a bit, and the quality of the work of those people is just wonderful.

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  34. Dave said on February 23, 2021 at 8:01 am

    I’m sure we’ve all experienced this, reading or seeing something you never heard of and then seeing it again and again in a matter of days. The book, “Stoner”, by John Williams, is a book I’ve never heard of and yet, there it is for the second time in a week. It was mentioned on the Axios website aimed aimed at the Tampa Bay Area just last week by one of the two writers maintaining the local site. One of them was reading it.

    LA Mary, there have been new episodes of Finding Your Roots on since the first of this year. I believe Roseanne Cash is on tonight and I don’t recall who the other person is.

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  35. Deborah said on February 23, 2021 at 8:24 am

    For those suffering the winter doldrums maybe this will cheer you up: in about 2 1/2 weeks daylight savings time starts – March 14, and less than a week after that is the first official day of spring – March 20 (the equinox)! Yay!

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  36. Suzanne said on February 23, 2021 at 9:12 am

    I, too, am in the midst of doldrums. I have not seen my out of state kids in a year and I am trying to deal with the feelings of betrayal by people who I thought were kind and caring but refuse to stay home and/or wear masks. When I am under stress or feeling depressed, I want to be left alone to process but my husband is the opposite. I know he is stressed to the max, too, but I can’t deal with keeping him afloat, dealing with my elderly mother, listening to my children who mourn their loss of normal life, one of my siblings who has had ongoing drug issues with one of his kids, not to mention workplace drama. I am tired of being the sounding board. I have never so badly wanted to be a hermit.

    I will have to check out the “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared.” The book was delightful! The book “Stoner” has been on my To-Read list for a number of years. Maybe I will finally delve in.

    It’s above freezing for the 2nd day in a row and there is sunshine! Woo hoo!!!

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  37. Diane said on February 23, 2021 at 9:32 am

    Dorothy, I second your recommendation of The Repair Shop. My husband and I loved it and are sad that only one season seems available on Netflix. The are other seasons but they don’t seem to be available in the US. Have you found access to more than one season?
    We also watched an episode of Somebody Feed Phil. We watched the Vietnam episode because we loved our trip there so much. It was okay but just didn’t click for us. I’m not sure why, it had all the simple, nice and low demand qualities that I am devouring in entertainment these days.

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  38. Icarus said on February 23, 2021 at 9:46 am

    Deborah @ 35: while springing forward is better than falling back, I absolutely detest DST (most parents with small children do). I wish we would just pick one and stick with it. DST has no discernable benefit whatsoever but we humans just cannot get rid of an institution once it exists.

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  39. Julie Robinson said on February 23, 2021 at 9:52 am

    Today is a good day. Indiana opened up the Covid 19 vaccinations to those 60 and over, and I have an appointment. I’m so grateful. Like Suzanne, I haven’t seen my kids in a year and it hurts.

    I unreservedly love The Repair Shop. Netflix had seasons 1 & 2 and took them down before I quite finished. Guess this means I should hurry up with this season. We have several streaming services and haven’t found it anywhere. I even checked our library but they don’t have it either.

    According to the AP, 40% of those under 25 in Europe are unemployed. No wonder the far right there is growing so fast.

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  40. Dorothy said on February 23, 2021 at 9:53 am

    Diane I don’t think we have completed season 1 of The Repair Shop yet, but our daughter is able to see more than season 1. I’m not sure where she accesses it but I’ll ask her next time we chat. When we visited her in December for her thyroid surgery, we played one or two episodes from Season 2 or 3, I can’t recall which.

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  41. Deborah said on February 23, 2021 at 9:54 am

    DST isn’t as thrilling to me as it was before I retired. I loved the first few weeks of walking home from work when it was still light.

    Most of the ice has melted on the lake and the sun is shining in Chicago this morning. Piles of snow still making for slushy walking though.

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  42. Suzanne said on February 23, 2021 at 10:19 am

    THANK YOU JULIE ROBINSON! I didn’t know the 60+ was up and running. Went right to the site and have an appointment for March 12! Woo hoo!!

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  43. Julie Robinson said on February 23, 2021 at 11:27 am

    You’re very welcome, Suzanne. I was expecting it to be announced tomorrow for Friday signup, as has been the previous pattern. Then I got an email this morning. I don’t recall signing up for those, but who cares, (semi)freedom awaits!

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  44. Scout said on February 23, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    I don’t know why exactly, but this cheered me up immensely.

    A few months ago I tried to share* that my daughters are Covid deniers of the first order. “It’s just the flu” “Death statistics are actually low” “Masks are just a choice” etc. They have actually made a point of telling my 82 y/o mother and me that their 92 y/o paternal grandfather, who lives in PA, has chosen to visit with his grands there because he has already lived a long life and he’d rather take the chance because it’s ok if he dies. When this was said to us we both knew they were implying that we were being selfish because we are choosing to be cautious and stay alive rather than risk our lives to gather with them in all their unmasked glory for Christmas.

    Last week I found out from my grandson that my younger daughter’s Trump loving, mask denying in-laws both have Covid, and her father-in-law is on oxygen. My daughter didn’t even have the guts to tell me or my mom about it.

    The willful and dangerous denial and politicization of Covid and masking by TheFormerGuy has killed a half a million people now, plus wrecked countless families and friendships. I only wish he could be held responsible for his criminal mishandling of this crisis.

    Some good news – we finally found a vaccine appointment for my 65 y/o wife. Her first dose is tomorrow. I myself am not quite old enough yet to qualify for the vaccine, even though I’ve been deemed old enough to be ok to die waiting.

    *After typing up a whole long story about this, the comment vanished into the ether. I did not have the energy to rewrite it at the time.

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  45. JodiP said on February 23, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    I am tearing up seeing Julie and Suzanne getting appointments! That is such great news!

    I am working in an office today. Right outside my window there is a flag at half mast; I assume to remind everyone of the 500,000 deaths. It’s been making me so sad, but I want the light so I will keep the blinds up.

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  46. Suzanne said on February 23, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    Scout, I know so many with that same “I’m willing to take the risk to do what I want” mentality and it makes me so angry because, as we know, COVID is very communicable. Those that are willing to take the risk for themselves are also taking the risk for everyone they come into contact with. So incredibly selfish!
    I wear a mask when I go into a store, etc. so I don’t spread the virus to someone vulnerable, not so much so I don’t catch it. It’s such a simple thing and caring thing to do.

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  47. Jeff Borden said on February 23, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    It’s great hearing about people getting their vaccination appointments. We’re still waiting. I’ve signed up for every drug store/supermarket pharmacy alert, ZocDoc, Northwestern Memorial, etc. etc. etc. Still nothing. I don’t mind it for myself as much as Johanna, who has COPD and chronic bronchitis.

    The last *administration couldn’t have messed up the coronavirus response any worse if they’d set out to fail. A half-million dead Americans –more than WW I, WW II and Vietnam combined– and still there are asshole politicians and their asshole followers who pooh-pooh this virus.

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  48. LAMary said on February 23, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    The Lancet had an article about a week ago that said that at least 40 percent of the deaths in the US were preventable if trump had done what he should have done. I think they were basing that on a Harvard study. I think that’s being kind. I would say he’s responsible for at least two thirds. Not just by his lack of leadership and inaction but by his denial of how deadly the virus is and his ridicule of mask wearers, lockdowns, social distancing. I wonder how many people who attended his stupid rallies died from covid they caught at the super spreader rally. Just the event introducing Amy Comey Barrett infected 33 people, and that wasn’t a big event. We’ve had four years of a lot of bad shit, but mostly it was a time that encouraged misinformation, disdain for science, facts, humanity.

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  49. Jeff Borden said on February 23, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    Quite right, LAMary. Maybe the biggest issue was his assholery regarding face masks, one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread. By politicizing it to his raging band of mouth-breathing morons, he signed the death warrants of tens of thousands of Americans.

    And the motherfuckers want to reelect him. God, this country.

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  50. LAMary said on February 23, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    And speaking of assholes, when Rush Limbaugh ridiculed Michael J. Fox it was becase Fox was speaking out in favor of stem cell research as a treatment for Parkinsons, spinal injury, and other things. Rush characterized that as medicine made from babies. Fast forward thirty years or so and trump triumphantly ripping off his mask on a balcony after getting out of the hospital, probably owes his life to Regeneron, a treatment from stem cells. It wasn’t Remdesivir. It was the treatment not available to 99.9% of the population who can’t afford it. Taxpayers picked up the tab for it. Lucky Don.

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  51. Jeff Borden said on February 23, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    There is no hypocrite quite like a conservative hypocrite.

    From Charles P. Pierce of Esquire on the death toll reaching a half million: One helpful calculation is that it would take a nearly 100-mile caravan of buses to carry that many of our fellow citizens, a line of buses on top of which the president could walk all the way from the White House back to his home state of Delaware. But the most signifying one to me is the calculation that, had there been a half-million American casualties during the Vietnam War, the Vietnam Memorial on the National Mall would be a wall 87-feet high. It would require doubling the size of Arlington National Cemetery in order to bury that many dead.

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  52. susan said on February 23, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    jeff borden @51— Here’s the graphic, from WaPo.

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  53. Deborah said on February 23, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    Jeff B, those kinds of visualizations are so effective in helping people grasp the magnitude of the numbers.

    My wealthy SiL and BiL in law who live in Pasadena both got Regeneron when they had Covid. Lucky them, they’re fine now as far as I know.

    Took a walk to the loop area, it’s 48 degrees. I had to unzip my coat, I was too hot. But I got my 10,000 steps in, it’s been weeks since I’ve been able to do that. I saw a couple of guys in T-shirts but didn’t see any shorts surprisingly, or flip flops but then it’s too slushy for flip flops.

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  54. David C said on February 23, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    One measure of how contagious Covid is and how effective masks are is the number of influenza cases. There isn’t a single state in the Union with anything but minimal flu activity and it’s been that way all through the season.

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  55. LAMary said on February 23, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    I heard there were 164 hospitalizations nationwide for flu. I can tell you from years of working in a hospital that’s a tiny number. The execs in hospitals half heartedly joke that they hope there’s a bad flu year to bring in some revenue. They’re kidding, really. One good sized hospital in city could easily expect 164 flu patients in a flu season. Of course there are idiots out there saying that the number is so low because those greedy doctors call everything covid so they get that extra covid bonus that idiots believe in.

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  56. LAMary said on February 23, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    Lawrence Ferlinghetti died. I thought he had been dead for years. He was 101.

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  57. Colleen said on February 23, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    I have been fully vaccinated, and my parents have as well…so I am going to visit them on Friday, after nearly a year. What I am reading and hearing is that it is not terribly risky, given our vaccine status.

    My 68 year old husband has yet to get a shot…governor Deathsantis has FUBARed distribution and Steve is unable to find a place and an appointment. At last check, he is on waiting lists.

    Florida winters have been much better for me than Indiana winters, but I will admit to feeling meh. Part of it’s my work schedule, since I have two jobs and work 60 hours a week. I have rearranged some hours and hope that will help. I think seeing my parents will help too.

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  58. Julie Robinson said on February 23, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    Oh man, Colleen, 60 hours a week is brutal. Hope you have a great visit with your folks, and that Steve can find a vaccine soon. Our daughter keeps trying to get her parishioners signed up, so I’m familiar with the issues in Florida.

    Here new locations have been opened up at grocery stores, but you still go to only one website to find times at them. By contrast, the Publix in Orlando are opening up now, but it’s a separate site from the state and you have to try on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for shots distributed the following two days.

    Before Publix opened up, Orange County (where Orlando is) had only one location, at the downtown convention center. The highways you have to use to get there are pretty scary traffic-wise, and Sarah knew her folks weren’t going to be safe driving on them.

    She also told us that to sign up for a shot you have to create an account with username and password so they can email you information. Most of her old dears don’t have email, computer, internet, or even smart phones.

    Florida, making Indiana look good.

    On edit: I almost forgot to leave this link, for the Art Institute of Chicago, where they have a good part of their collection. When you click on an artwork it takes you to a page with additional information. You can even download them if you want. Lots of fun!

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  59. David C said on February 23, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    Wisconsin is finally rolling out their vaccine registry next week. I don’t know what’s taken them so long but my guess is our gerrymandered legislature was slow approving the money for it because they want Governor Evers to be a one termer.

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  60. Colleen said on February 23, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    Julie, the schedule is …a lot. But I truly love what I do, or I couldn’t be working like this. Plus both employers are great to work for. And the money doesn’t’s like an extra paycheck from my full time job every month. We may rethink this arrangement if significant student loan forgiveness happens. We have really noticed a difference with the payment holiday due to Covid.

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  61. Dexter Friend said on February 23, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    LA Mary…the City Lights are dim up in North Beach. And it was 44F here today in NW Ohio, and I saw a kid of about 15, a boy, in a tank top, backwards MAGA hat, cargos and sockless tennies riding one of those little bicycles teen boys favor. I guess it was a harbinger?

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  62. LAMary said on February 23, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    Like seeing the first Robin of spring, Dexter.

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  63. Dorothy said on February 23, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    We have an indoor/outdoor screen thermostat fancy gizmo and it said it was 51 degrees around 3 PM today. It felt wonderful! So much snow in our yard is melted, revealing all the places Nestle did her business and I didn’t bother to clean it up cuz I didn’t want to traipse through snow when I was just outside in tennies (Dexter thanks for using that word!) or bedroom slippers when I took her out. I’ll be out there in my galoshes tomorrow picking up every deposit Nes made. We are religious about picking them when she goes – there’s not much worse than running around in the yard with your dog, tossing a plastic toy or ball and then stamping your foot into dog doo.

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  64. susan said on February 23, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    I heard, and then saw, my first marmot on my walk this morning. That means spring around here! And two days ago, an Anna’s hummingbird. Since nothing is in bloom, she was catching gnats that congregate in clouds when the sun is out. I’ve seen hummers four times this winter, which strikes me as so not right. They were never here in the winter, except where people kept feeders out. But that was a commitment, to make sure you had feeders out ALL winter, and made sure they didn’t freeze up. Because the hummers would surely starve to death. But now, there seems to be enough insects for them to survive.

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