Twelve steps.

Anyone who’s ever been a young man, or been the sex partner of a young man, knows one obvious fact: Young men like to have a lot of sex. (So do young women, but a young man will outdistance her almost every time.) Three, four, five times a day is not unheard of, if only for the honeymoon period before abrasion or urinary tract infections (usually in the partner) kick in.

So tell me that a 21-year-old man considers himself a “sex addict,” and that killing prostitutes will “remove temptation,” at least in his mind, is lunacy. A pair of sunny-side-up eggs on a plate will buzz his nuts. Get the hell out of here with that crap. Someone put that idea in his head, that somehow a normal sex drive constitutes “addiction.” The racism too, most likely.

There’s a vigorous school of thought that holds there is no such thing as sex addiction. I’m not a therapist, so I speak only from my own observation, but I’m not entirely sure about that. If you define addiction as a form of compulsive behavior that interferes with the course of one’s daily life, then I’ve certainly seen and heard a few cases that suggest it does. Men with perfectly willing and receptive partners who masturbate incessantly or hire prostitutes, to the point they get fired or arrested, mostly. Women who use anonymous sex to fill a bottomless well of affirmation, need, whatever. Compulsive sex that doesn’t just put your relationship in peril, but also breaks the law, or endangers others — that’s addiction, to me. And I realize my assessment may be entirely wrong.

I’ve also heard of people who are essentially just assholes use S.A. to excuse bad behavior. So there’s that.

What I do know is, this guy in Atlanta is full of shit. Of course, a man who shoots and kills eight people, then lights out for another state to kill more, all in the name of squelching temptation, isn’t playing with a full deck. But to hear police dispassionately relate his stated motivation at a press conference, followed by “he had a bad day, and this is what he did,” is maddening. Brother, I thought, you need a better comms team. Police aren’t hired for their communications skills, but by the time you’re the guy behind the podium giving the briefing, you should know better.

Some things that aren’t getting talked about much:

Have you noticed how many media outlets are still referring to these places as “spas?” And tiptoeing around the idea that they’re places where sex work happens? And while I am absolutely down with “sex work is work” and that women who do it willingly should have their choices respected (assuming they made the choice), I don’t see it as a career path, for a million obvious, common-sense reasons. How much better it would be if young female immigrants got the language and job training they need, in order to get work that doesn’t involve giving hand jobs. There’s not a lot of work you can do fresh off the boat that will pay as well as prostitution, if you’re young and even moderately pretty. And it doesn’t pay all that well, once the house gets its cut.

And for all the talk about the race of the victims, there hasn’t been much, at least as of today, about this detail: Authorities also said that Long legally purchased a 9mm handgun gun he used in the killings on Tuesday. I long, long, looooong ago lost my patience with people who can’t support so-called common sense gun laws, but if this isn’t a case for them, I don’t know what is. Impulse purchase, impulse murder, “addiction” excuse. I can’t fucking stand it.

Oh well. Not a good mood to take into the weekend. Especially now that I am half-vaccinated. Halfcinated, if you will. Hope spring eternal. I feel like maybe we’ll be OK, if we can stay away from sex addicts.

Posted at 8:46 pm in Current events |
 

92 responses to “Twelve steps.”

  1. alex said on March 18, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    Well there’s the other kind of hand job, and you get it at the nail spa/salon, and the Asians who own those live in high-end subdivisions and send their children off to med school and law school.

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  2. Sherri said on March 18, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    I doubt the young mass murderer is a sex addict. He’s a young man who has been told that there’s something wrong with him because he feels perfectly normal sexual urges, and that he should not lust in his heart.

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  3. alex said on March 18, 2021 at 10:10 pm

    Or he’s an incel — perhaps not self-identified as such — who has to pay for sex because he’s incapable of forming normal relationships. That would explain the violent attitude toward women.

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  4. Sherri said on March 19, 2021 at 1:54 am

    The NCAA made a decision months ago that the men’s basketball tournament would be held entirely in Indianapolis, which was originally scheduled to host this year’s men’s Final Four, and the women’s tournament would be held entirely in San Antonio, originally the host of the women’s Final Four. So, they’ve been planning for some time to have 64 teams (68, in the case of the men) in a bubble at those sites for the length of the tournament, with teams leaving as they were eliminated.

    Because the teams are bubbled, the NCAA had to provide workout facilities for the teams; they will be there in between games and not allowed to leave. The men’s tournament workout facility was well-supplied with dumbbells, bars, weights, benches, racks – way more than your average commercial gym.

    The women, not so much. Not so much at all. In apparent violation of Title IX, the women were provided with a tree of dumbbells up to 30 lbs. oh, and a pile of sanitized yoga mats. Once three-quarters of the teams were eliminated, then the NCAA planned to bring in a rack, a couple of bars, some plates, a couple of benches, and dumbbells up to 50 lbs.

    Friends, my home gym in my garage is better equipped, and I’m just an old lady, not a Division I athlete on scholarship. It’s absurd that someone in the NCAA in this day and age said, sure, that’s fine, on the plan to give these women such second-class facilities.

    And I’m supposed to accept that football players can’t be paid because then women’s basketball would die? These crumbs aren’t worth it.

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  5. Dexter Friend said on March 19, 2021 at 2:11 am

    Being old and “in touch” with the world via what I hear and see on electronic devices only, I have only known what an incel is for maybe the past 5 years or so. So from what I heard, this internet grab sort of explains it. I first heard about incels when a story surfaced about Japanese declining birth rates, so much so that the government was worried. Most of the young men were watching porn and that goofy anime porn to the extent they would be sexually satisfied by masturbating to all that stuff they were watching, and dating women seemed way to time-consuming. “Kissless, touchless, hugless, handholdless, friendless, virgin. Each of these is a status marker in the incel community.”
    Emphasis on ‘virgin’. Incels don’t pay for human to human sex at all. But I am not a know-it-all, maybe Hoosiers define incels differently. Just like the word “cuckold” has different meanings depending on where you are…another time.
    Sex addiction , again, my opinion, is very real. In the 1970’s, Fort Wayne was a hotbed of whorehouses calling themselves health spas. It’s debatable if the many married men I knew who flocked to them regularly were sex addicts or something else. However, a beautiful woman of about 28 I knew would change partners every week; we’d see her with a new man around town that often. I believe she was a sex addict of some degree.
    Most people I knew would never run to a whorehouse or sneak around with another woman’s husband, so I guess they were “happy”, whatever that meant to them. Maybe those people are the lucky ones.
    If a young man asked me for friendly advice, I would just say to him not to marry a young woman. My first wife had barely turned 19 when we married. Biggest fucking mistake I ever made. She was NOT ready for marriage. My 2 cents right there.

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  6. Dexter Friend said on March 19, 2021 at 2:21 am

    I watched NCAA Men’s games in Bloomington and West Lafayette, and later today games are being held at Hinkle Fieldhouse, Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, some place I never heard of, and I believe at the IUPUI campus. Testing Thursday showed 8 positives out of 77 tests at one of these bubble environments, so keeping all the teams in the tourney is a challenge. I thought all games were going to be played at Lucas Oil Stadium, but for sure not the first round. Anyway, the goddam Spartans of Michigan State were edged out by UCLA which made me smile. One heluva great game.

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  7. alex said on March 19, 2021 at 7:00 am

    Dex, my understanding of incels is that they are “involuntary celibates” who have formed a sort of support group/hate group on social media. Anime fetishists in Japan might be one variation on it. What I’m suggesting is that the Atlanta killer seems to fit the profile of the sort of man who is drawn to incel groups — misogynistic and harboring deep-seated rage toward women because of rejection by women. Being raised in a toxically masculine milieu could certainly be a contributing factor in his case.

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  8. john (not mccain) said on March 19, 2021 at 8:28 am

    If the first thing you think when you hear about a racist with sex hangups is “Baptist”, you definitely grew up around rednecks.

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  9. Suzanne said on March 19, 2021 at 8:38 am

    The young murderer may well be an incel but being raised in a religious environment that adheres to purity culture thinking is a huge part of it. There have been several books on the detrimental aspects of it (Pure by Linda Kay Klein is one) and the guy who had the bestseller titled “I Kissed Dating Good-bye” has disavowed his premise.
    This murderer may be a sex addict but I suspect he thinks of any sexual feelings that he acts on as addiction. Being steeped in purity culture, he would have no way to understand these urges except that they are evil, a tool of Satan, and that the women at these spas led him to sin. In the culture he grew up in, it is always the woman’s responsibility to not tempt the men, never the man’s responsibility to not act on those urges. If he went into one of those spas for anything other than a nice relaxing back massage, he would see it as the lure of Satan, pulling him in, so the way to stop being tempted is to remove the temptation by killing the women.

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  10. Deborah said on March 19, 2021 at 8:48 am

    I’m probably woefully naive but I thought offering sex for money in spas was illegal. Didn’t that football team owner friend of the 2x impeached former guy get arrested at one in a raid in FL? Maybe GA allows it, or maybe it’s just one of those things everyone knows and nobody does anything about, wink wink. But what do I know.

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    • nancy said on March 19, 2021 at 10:06 am

      Of course it’s illegal, Deborah. If it weren’t, they’d be called names like Lotus Flower’s House of Handjobs. But for years now, vice cops and small-time sex workers have been playing a cat-and-mouse game around entrapment and sex-for-money offers. You pay one price for the “massage” but are expected to pay more, up front, for the happy ending. If a client explicitly asks for it, it’s entrapment. If she explicitly offers sex for money, it’s a crime. But if he pulls $20 from his wallet and puts her hand on his dick, it’s still illegal, but who’s going to file a complaint?

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  11. LAMary said on March 19, 2021 at 9:09 am

    The obnoxious evangelical woman I used to work with was very proud of the fact that she and her husband were virgins when they got married and her sons were both virgins and would remain so until marriage. They didn’t even masturbate, she said. She was very critical of Samantha Guthrie of all people because she was pregnant when she got married and that she was not removed from the Today show for that. I pointed out that Nancy Reagan was pregnant when she got married but got no response.

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  12. alex said on March 19, 2021 at 9:12 am

    Even if someone is raised in hellfire and brimstone religious culture, I find it hard to fathom that a person would buy a gun and set out to kill “temptation.” It seems more likely to me that this emotionally stunted individual may have asked these women to date him outside of their work, felt wounded by being spurned and sought revenge. The “temptation” stuff strikes me as a justification more than a motivation.

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  13. Mark P said on March 19, 2021 at 9:26 am

    There are often multiple behaviors such that if you see one type, you often see the others, like smoking and alcoholism. I suspect that if the
    Atlanta shooter actually has some type of sex disorder that manifests as hated of women, he probably also is a racist. He could well be a fundamentalist with their perverse relationship to sex, and is almost certainly a T***pist who is influenced by T***p’s China bashing.

    The gun problem is just another symptom of our collective madness. We see a problem caused by unfettered access to firearms and start talking about adding “hate crime” to murder by gun as a solution. It’s possible we may come to our senses, but I don’t see any strong indications of it.

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  14. David C said on March 19, 2021 at 10:20 am

    I just got my vaccine appointment on the 25th. It’s the J&J one and done which I don’t mind. They’re saying the effectiveness being lower is probably because it was tested in more challenging environments in South Africa and Brazil. It was still 100% effective in preventing hospitalizations. I’ll take that.

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  15. ROGirl said on March 19, 2021 at 11:08 am

    I don’t get the fetishism and attraction to guns and the devotion to harsh and punishing religious teaching and practices.

    I registered for my vaccine. Not scheduled yet, but in the mix for when I’m eligible, supplies are available, etc.

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  16. Bitter Scribe said on March 19, 2021 at 11:48 am

    I don’t understand the reluctance to charge this guy with a hate crime. According to some accounts I read, witnesses said he yelled anti-Asian slurs while shooting.

    Oh, and to Donald Trump and everyone else who threw around references to “the China virus” and “kung flu”: Get fucked.

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  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 19, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    I don’t agree with Jeff Sharlet all the time on everything, but he’s had some very on point things to say about the toxic pursuit of power by certain elements of evangelical Christianity, and on the issues around so-called sex addiction* I think he’s got it summed up well in this thread:

    https://twitter.com/JeffSharlet/status/1372608977624793090

    *I’m not a clinician, but I’m a skeptic here as others have noted, except to say that OCD is real, and it can manifest as handwashing, scratching, and I’m sure the scratching of other itches. Mix in some narcissism and I’m sure you have a version of what might be called “sex addiction” but certainly does seem to be a diagnosis that gets trotted out when a “name” needs a reason to go to rehab after bad behavior they get caught at in a public way.

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  18. LAMary said on March 19, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Same obnoxious evangelical bitch I worked with? Guns. The whole family had guns, went to shooting ranges to practice so they’d be ready if they had to defend themselves. She was all pissed off when LA county banned the 200 bullet accessory and she and hubby would drive many miles to find a Walmart that carried them. Then Walmart stopped selling them. She complained about that a lot. So the gun/sex/hypereligiosity thing fit her perfectly.

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  19. LAMary said on March 19, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Off the depressing topic:
    I have had this song stuck in my head off and on for two months. I love it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfLom4iv2GE

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  20. LAMary said on March 19, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfLom4iv2GE

    I thought I had posted this already. It’s my recurring earworm but I like it.

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  21. Heather said on March 19, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    I knew a Christian evangelical couple long ago who were virgins when they got married. After their wedding night, they had to buy a book (this was pre-Internet) because they didn’t know quite what to do. I swear this is true.

    Incels are incels because they feel entitled to sex from women (particularly “hot” women) and are angry when it’s not immediately available to them. Women can sense this entitlement and anger and steer clear. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    I’m not against sex work in theory (and I don’t hold sex workers in contempt), but our patriarchal system means that it’s often run by men, and even when women control their own business, they still have to deal with the threat of violence from their patrons and an indifferent law-enforcement system if they are attacked or worse. If we had less shame around sex, I could see it fulfilling an important function. Maybe it should be legal for just this reason. Or if we had less shame around sex, maybe people would feel less need to go to sex workers. Anyway, obviously for the most part it’s a job you do when you don’t have many other choices.

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  22. Jeff Borden said on March 19, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    A few years on the night police beat in Columbus showed me all I’d ever want to know about prostitution, at least at the lower levels. Once a year or so, the CPD would convene media people in a conference room at HQ, then send us out with a public information officer in an unmarked cop car to observe as undercover officers swept these pathetic streetwalkers up in their sting. (One year, the cops procured a Kenilworth semi-tractor with Alabama plates and put a couple of the boys from West Virginny inside to fool the ladies.) Those caught were so indescribably sad. . .alcoholics, junkies, physically and mentally abused. . .I couldn’t imagine how anyone would feel the least bit sexual around them. (Those experiences are why I loathe “Pretty Woman” with the heat of a million suns. There are NO streetwalkers who look like Julia Roberts. Not even close.)

    Maybe the Dutch and the Germans have the right idea: create a district for operations, police it heavily, make sure all participants have access to regular checkups and health care. Yet even in those nations, there is regular debate on where and how the women in the windows came from and whether what they’re doing is by choice. Who would willingly choose such a life?

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  23. Julie Robinson said on March 19, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Our niece is a social worker in NOLA who also works for the legalization and regulation of sex workers. My feelings are mixed, but she makes some very good points that are similar to abortion and drug legalization. It’s going to happen no matter what, so it’s better to keep it safe.

    My family is from the pacifist/guns are too dangerous wing of the church and even avoid war-like hymns like Onward Christian Soldiers.

    On a brighter note, it’s still cold and windy but yesterday’s gray skies and rain are gone, and the weekend looks even better. Florida lowered the vaccination age and our daughter has an appointment for Monday. These are two very good things.

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  24. brian stouder said on March 19, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    And to keep Julie’s postivity, today I’m 5-dozen years old! And as my mom never failed to point out, today is also the day for the swallows to return to Capistrano….which holds up, if you Google it!

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  25. Deborah said on March 19, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    I saw this list of the names and ages of the Korean (Korean American?) women who were killed, Yong A. Yue – 63, Suncha Kim – 69, Hyun J. Grant – 51, Soon C. Park – 74. I’m confused. Are women in their 60s and 70s giving handjobs to 20 year olds?

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  26. Jakash said on March 19, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    Off the depressing topic and onto LAMary’s “song stuck in my head” alternate. A couple days ago, one of the “nn.c history” posts featured the proprietress having embedded this “video” (or one like it), for obvious reasons. Unlike many old links which are defunct these days, that one worked. Result: that song rattling around in my head at 2:30 a.m. last night as I tried to get back to sleep. Observation: though not about seafaring, this tune doesn’t seem far afield from the current sea shanty craze. Recommendation: don’t listen to this song! 😉

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ8lT4aGqh0

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  27. Colleen said on March 19, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    I remember one of the places in Fort Wayne was called “The Doll House—nude modeling and conversation”. For some reason that made me chuckle.

    Sure buy a gun and go commit a mass shooting that day, but if you’re a woman seeking an abortion, you have to have a waiting period to “think about it.” Because we women are too flighty to make that kind of decision.

    I don’t get the gun culture. Lots of people in my neighborhood carry, as they frequently mention on the neighborhood FB page. They seem really tightly wound and distrustful, like at any moment some gang is going to break in. This is not a sketchy neighborhood. It’s a new McNeighborhood, with a diverse population. But a lot of that population seems really…fearful.

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  28. David C said on March 19, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    I love this column on gun culture by Gabrielle Blair. Here’s a snippet but read the whole thing. It’s good.

    https://designmom.com/lets-talk-about-protecting-our-families/

    To me, that’s the same as men bragging about how they’re ready to protect their family. They’re picturing some great thing — having to protect their family at gun point from a clear and present danger. When the actual instructions for protecting the family are simpler, they are no longer interested.

    I was thinking this idea through and imagined several conversations between God and a Man. Take a look (and be aware, I shared this as a thread on Twitter, and the convos are written in my Twitter voice, which is less gentle than my blog voice).

    Conversation #1

    Man: Hey God, I just want you to know I am committed to protecting my family at all costs.

    God: Gosh, that’s great to hear. One of the main things I need you to do to protect your family is laundry. Tons of laundry.

    You know kids — they’re so susceptible to infections and viruses. Pinworms, athlete’s foot, lice, strep throat, colds and flues. Pneumonia and diarrhea are serious killers of children under five. The list of possible sicknesses is endless. So you’re going to need to do laundry basically daily. Their socks and underwear, their sheets. and put their sneakers through the wash too.

    I can’t emphasize this enough: protecting your family involves a lot of laundry.

    Man: Oh. Um. I was thinking more along the lines of a masked intruder with a gun, at 2:00 in the morning, raping my family.

    God: First of all, stop fantasizing about your family being raped.

    Second, do you know the stats on break-ins? The vast majority happen when no one is home, and only a small percentage are armed. And the number drops even more if you have a dog or a home alarm system. Even if you do end up being the rare house with an armed break-in when you’re home, do you really want to shoot someone for stealing your TV? Wouldn’t you say that’s a ridiculous overreaction?

    Just a reminder: You’re not in the mob. I can assure you (and remember, I’m God), there’s a slim-to-none chance you’ll need to defend your family at gun point. If you really want to protect your family, laundry is where you need to focus.

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  29. Little Bird said on March 19, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    Shamelessly stolen from one of my friends, who stole it from someone on Twitter: Happy One Month Sobriety to Rush Limbaugh!

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  30. nancy said on March 19, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    My guess would be, the older women are the ones out front running things. They would be the first women you see when you walk in.

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  31. Scout said on March 19, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    I call bullshit on the whole sex addict claim. He was advised to say that to avoid hate crime charges, is my bet.

    I’m sitting on the catio ‘working’ on my laptop today. This is the absolute best time of the year here in Phoenix. But take heart, my midwestern friends, tomorrow is the first day of spring!

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  32. LAMary said on March 19, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    The fact that he killed the older women would indicate he didn’t care if they were sexually attractive. He just wanted to kill Asian women.

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  33. Deborah said on March 19, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Bingo, LAMary.

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  34. Deborah said on March 19, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    David C, thanks for the Design Mom link. I used to read that blog years ago but got sidetracked and kind of forgot about it. I spent the entire afternoon catching up with her life. I reread her take on abortion, it’s very good. The fact that she’s a Mormon and mother of 6 kids is kind of amazing.

    Question: I’m looking for some good headphones, any suggestions? One of the downsides of living in a place where we took out the dividing walls between rooms is that we live basically in the same room 24/7. Sometimes I like to listen to podcasts or watch movies on my iPad and the earbuds I have are killing my ears. Especially after my marathon watching the series “The Bureau” recently. My husband has business zoom calls that I don’t want to have to listen to, and he doesn’t want to listen to my stuff. Would appreciate any suggestions, I’m willing to pop $$$ for a good comfortable pair.

    Nice sunny Friday afternoon in Chicago. Cold, but not too bad.

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  35. Bruce Fields said on March 19, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    If you’re willing to spend a few hundred dollars, you can get custom-molded IEMs. They’re like earbuds but the part that goes in your ear is a plastic blob that’s a custom fit for your ear.

    You go to an audiologist and they make a mold of the inside of your ears that’s sent off to the company that makes the IEMs.

    They’re marketed mainly for performers, but they’re comfortable and block out sound well.

    A search for “custom IEM” will turn up lots of alternatives.

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  36. Sherri said on March 19, 2021 at 5:40 pm

    I want to hear about the systems that helped build the shooter. He didn’t come from nowhere. He is not a lone wolf. He might be a predator, but he is one whose worldview was shaped by the culture that raised him — the things he saw celebrated, the things he saw excused, the people who he was taught have value, the people who he was taught have none.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/bad-faith-talk-about-shooter/2021/03/19/17d86fa2-8838-11eb-bfdf-4d36dab83a6d_story.html

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  37. LAMary said on March 19, 2021 at 5:40 pm

    The fact that he killed the older women would indicate he didn’t care if they were sexually attractive. He just wanted to kill Asian women. They were not evil temptresses. Just Asian women.

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  38. Deborah said on March 19, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks Bruce, I’ll look into it, but I’m thinking those clunky headphones that don’t go into your ears, maybe will work better for me. My ears are super itchy where the buds touch, so maybe I need something that envelopes the whole ear? I don’t like the clunky part though. LB had a knit cap with earphones sewn in, I borrowed that from her when I was in Santa Fe and not reading because of my vision issues, I was listening a lot online. But a knit cap in the summer isn’t appealing.

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  39. David C said on March 19, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    Deborah, Gabrielle Blair is one of my Twitter favorites too if you do that.

    If you’re looking for over ear headphones, I use these when I don’t want to disturb Mary with my guitar playing. They sound good and are comfortable to wear. They do get a bit hot after a while though. I think it’s just them holding in body heat but it does make my ears a bit sweaty after a couple of hours.

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HD280Pro–sennheiser-hd-280-pro-closed-back-studio-and-live-monitoring-headphones

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  40. LAMary said on March 19, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    Many of the women in Amsterdam who are sitting in their windows, waiting for customers, are immigrants. A few years ago it was Romania, Ukraine, Russia sending women. Now it’s more Syrians and any other place that has become unlivable. So while it’s legal and their health is monitored, it’s still sad.

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  41. Suzanne said on March 19, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    “Thus, white, cisgender Christian men in pornography addiction recovery programs can admit to being “powerless” over their pornography addiction without actually losing their positions of power.”

    https://religionnews.com/2021/03/19/how-pleading-sexual-addiction-protects-men-evangelical-men-robert-aaron-long-atlanta-shooting/

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  42. Julie Robinson said on March 19, 2021 at 7:36 pm

    Happy five decades to Brian Stouder!

    Deborah, everyone’s ears are very different, but I have consistently found Sony earphones the most comfortable and with very good sound. This is for both wireless and wired. I would order a bunch of styles from a place with full return privileges and just try them out.

    As for the itchy ears, include your ears and outer ear canals when you put on your face lotion for a couple of weeks and see if it makes a difference. It did for me.

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  43. Deborah said on March 19, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    I have been putting calendula gel in my outer ear canal, when it started getting itchy. I keep the the gel in the refrigerator, it feels really good when I put it on burns etc. I learned about calendula when LB was going to a wound clinic, they recommended it to her. It comes in a gel, a cream and an ointment. It does feel better when I use it. It’s a natural concoction, the calendula flower is the basis.

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 19, 2021 at 10:41 pm

    Congrats, Brian Stouder, on reaching five dozen years — I’m right behind you and hoping to reach the same soon.

    Although Ohio State & Purdue seem intent on killing me before I make it. My son is feeling oddly encouraged for Ohio U. on Saturday . . .

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  45. Dexter Friend said on March 19, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    What a mess. Alex, I have never heard of killing temptation like this maniac did. What is next for me to learn?
    Jeff B., I too have seen the sorry side of prostitution. It’s almost too much to believe, because this was sanctioned by the United States Armed Forces, in Vietnam, fifty years ago: older local women shepherded young women into a cattle pen-like area. GIs walked around and selected a sex partner for an hour. The mamasan walked the girl to a checkpoint where IDs were kept by MPs as the girl and soldier went off to wherever for the completion of the business. Any soldier who wanted sex had it delivered to him. That war and it’s by-products were such a mark on the legacy of the USA. Humanity was ignored. Aftermath: my friend, a fellow medic, Dave S. of Bremerton, Washington, was the inoculation specialist there. His job was injecting penicillin into the butts of infected prostitutes, most very young women. He didn’t get any slow days. Lots of johns got the shots for their doses as well. All the crazy shit I lived through over there began to drive me nuts, nervous warts on my hands appeared, psycho-stuff, I guess. Dave the shot-giver? Oh yeah, he shot himself to death when he turned 60. His brother told me. Could his suicide be related to the horrors of that war, I mean, all I related was a slice of all the bullshit and terror of that place back then?

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  46. susan said on March 20, 2021 at 12:31 am

    Dexter, it’s good you occasionally relate the real $h!† that went on during that horrible war. Some I’ve never heard in details like you tell. Those poor women. Disgusting. Disgusting men. Nothing good came from all those lies and ugly aggression. I’ve been ashamed of living in this country for more than 50 years. It’s nothing but one big scam after another. For 400 years.

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  47. Connie Jo Ozinga said on March 20, 2021 at 9:04 am

    I am a big fan of Hinkle Fieldhouse and this has been a great couple of days to follow it in the news and on Twitter. I have wandered through the museum like hallways several times, and sat through a multi-hour graduation in very bad seats.

    Hinkle hosted the first of many Indiana state high school basketball championships beginning in 1928. My favorite rarely mentioned Hinkle story: in that very first high school basketball championship game, the captain of the losing team was John Wooden.

    If you have any interest there are many tours and other videos on YouTube.

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  48. Kim said on March 20, 2021 at 9:12 am

    Apologies for the relative unimportance, which Dexter’s Vietnam recollection puts in full view but I agree with Sherri@3: I hate the NCAA. Its rules are ridiculous; its priorities built for profits.

    This is a tiny thing, but illustrates how petty the org can be even while the women get the dregs. My son, who plays D1 soccer, was recently fined 36$ for “wearing the wrong socks” during NCAA play. I think – but don’t know because he hasn’t been able to get a straight answer – it’s because he cut off the foot portion of the sock to accommodate a brace and tape for his glass ankle (not really glass, just prone to injury) and Nike didn’t like it.

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  49. LAMary said on March 20, 2021 at 9:20 am

    I used to work in Hunt’s Point in the Bronx. The semis full of produce and meat come into the giant market complex from all over the country, and the prosititutes are plentiful. In NYC there’s a hierarchy of prostitutes. Hunt’s Point is the bottom of the ranks. After a hooker is too messed up for the hotels, too strung out for Times square, the Lincoln Tunnel, tenth avenue, they end up at Hunts Point. You would see them naked, in winter, too high to care, waving down the semis. They would jump on to the running board of the cab while the truck was moving. One fell off and went under the wheels of the and was killed outside the office where I worked. We would send one of the warehouse guys out to chase them away from our office because they would give a guy oral while he was leaning on a parked car. Usually a parked car belonging to one of us.

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  50. Deborah said on March 20, 2021 at 9:35 am

    The neighborhood where we (with my ex and LB) first lived in St. Louis was pretty iffy. When we moved in there was a house down the street where a bunch of prostitutes lived with their kids. A limo would pick them up and drive them to hotels. Someone stayed with the kids. The cops all knew about it but didn’t do anything as long as they didn’t work the area. One time one of the women was working a busier street a couple of blocks away, she was wearing quite an outfit when she walked home past our house. LB was in kindergarten when she asked me what a prostitute was. That’s another whole story.

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  51. alex said on March 20, 2021 at 10:33 am

    Last time I saw a fer real street hooker was high noon on a Saturday by Wrigley Field prior to a Cubs game. A friend and I passed through the area on our way to somewhere else with the usual gaggle of hucksters offering us scalped tickets, Cubs swag, gold chains and other doubtless pilfered merchandise, mary jane, etc. It was like a street festival only the vendors weren’t paying anyone rent for their spots along the sidewalks. Amid the action, on the front stoop of an SRO hotel on Sheffield, a rather pitiful woman took out her teeth and beckoned to us “Hey, boys, five bucks’ll do ya.”

    So now it’s being reported that the Georgia shooter spent an hour in the first spa before his rampage began. Security cameras recorded the comings and goings of other customers during that time frame. Evidently he planned to go out with a big bang.

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  52. Deborah said on March 20, 2021 at 11:33 am

    Ok this is getting old, we don’t have hot water in our bathroom today again and it won’t be back on until Tuesday morning they say. It’s a big problem for us because we only have the one bathroom. The kitchen is fine, so I had to do my morning ablution in there, at least the sink has a sprayer. I’ve lived in highrises, mostly older ones, since 1989 and have never had as many plumbing issues as we’ve had here. In fact I can’t remember any plumbing issues before. Sorry to vent here, but my husband had to put up with me venting for a long time this morning. The thing that really pisses me off is when the management office doesn’t warn us ahead of time or give us the full story in an email or something, instead of making us make multiple phone calls to try to find out. Grrrrrrrr.

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  53. Sherri said on March 20, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    The entire concept of “scholar-athlete” was invented by the NCAA to avoid workmans comp.

    The inequities between the two tournaments go beyond just the weight rooms. During these pandemic tournaments, the players are being tested. The men are being tested with the gold standard, PCR testing. The women are being tested with the cheaper, less accurate, antigen testing,

    A team that wins one game in the men’s tournament wins a $2 million payout for their conference. A team that wins the women’s tournament wins no money. Sure, you argue, TV money. The NCAA doesn’t even try. ESPN is broadcasting every single game of the women’s tournament, but the women’s tournament was sold as a package with 24 other championships. ESPN will be broadcasting all of the games live on 4 networks, just like the men’s early rounds are done, but the NCAA can’t be bothered to pay attention to the women.

    Read Sally Jenkins.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2021/03/19/ncaa-womens-basketball-unequal/

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  54. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 20, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Connie, my wife and I and the church youth group I was in charge of at the time spent two wonderful nights at Hinkle Fieldhouse as they shot the finale of “Hoosiers” there. As crowd extras, there were about 200 of us, we were seated every other row or every third depending on the shot, and spread out strategically, and then moved from place to place to “decorate” the background of the camera shooting the benches, the game play, and even the quartet singing the national anthem under the hanging American flag. The kids learned just how tedious Hollywood glamour could be, and all got (as I recall) $5 after signing a waiver. We were asked to wear period-ish clothing, and there was a fascinating and efficient line we went through downstairs as the costumers and assistant directors reviewed us one at a time, and some were asked to let the hairdressers slick or pouffe their hair, a few were asked to leave a jacket not quite colored right behind in lockers, and some were given a jacket from racks and racks they had ready. Many of the women came in poodle skirts of their own, most of us men in dark narrow ties on solid color shirts and various plain jackets. I came through, and a costumer went “ah ha, a tall one!” and asked if I’d swap my plain jacket for a gabardine one that she’d been wanting to put on someone who could wear a 44XT and I only wish I’d gotten to keep it! But the whole vibe and feel of Hinkle those nights was very time machine-y: you could feel the 50s atmosphere from the flashbulb camera phalanx in the press section and the reporter fedoras to the uniforms on the court. And yes, the kid playing Jimmy Chitwood, Maris Valainis, sank the game winner shot on the first take, we rushed the court as instructed, then they moved the camera set-ups as we went back up, and darn if he didn’t make the second take and we cheered all the louder. Never got within twenty yards of Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper & Barbara Hershey weren’t even there, but it was and is a delightful memory of Hollywood in Indianapolis. And all of us extras there now have a Bacon Number of 3.

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  55. Mark P said on March 20, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    Hoosiers is one of my favorite movies. Ever. And I’m not a basketball
    fan, or even a sports fan at all. The final scenes of the old gym with the championship banner (or whatever it was) was a surprising end. You can imagine those boys looking back at the high point of their lives, and no one else cares.

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  56. Deborah said on March 20, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    Great story, Jeff (tmmo). I had my own experience being in a crowd scene for an Elvis movie which I’ve commented about here many times. I think I saw Hoosier a long time ago, but it doesn’t register as a favorite in my memory. I get it confused with that movie about bicyclists in Bloomington, which I can’t remember the name of.

    Also, Gene Hackman lives in Santa Fe and I’ve seen him at an Art supply store there. He paints and not too badly either. One of my favorite movies of his is “The Conversation”.

    Edit: “Breaking Away” is the name of the movie

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  57. Julie Robinson said on March 20, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    Breaking Away, filmed in Bloomington while I was a student there.

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  58. Connie said on March 20, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    So who was the guy I knew at the time who was involved with “Hoosiers?” I had to look it up on imdb to figure it out. I met, more than once, the writer Angelo Pizzo. His mother was involved with the Indiana Library Association and liked to show him off.

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  59. LAMary said on March 20, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    On my way to work in Encino, 20 years ago or so, NPR mentioned it was Gene Hackman’s birthday. I got my office, went to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf next door, and there was Gene Hackman. I said happy birthday. He smiled and thanked me. I guess to him it wasn’t weird to have a completely random person know it was his birthday.

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  60. LAMary said on March 20, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    I just read that Elsa Peretti died. I always liked her designs and a boyfriend from long ago gave me that open heart necklace that has been copied a lot. I liked the organic shapes of her bangles and earrings too. I should have dated that guy longer.

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  61. Jim said on March 20, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    My Dad was an extra in Hoosiers (same deal) but in the scenes shot in the Knightstown gym. He has a couple of close-ups. Dad passed away, but we still have his picture with Gene Hackman.

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  62. Deborah said on March 20, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    My wedding bands are Elsa Peretti, I love them, very simple thin bands one platinum, one yellow gold, each with a tiny, tiny diamond embedded. I had a few pair of her earnings too, which I loved but lost one, then replaced it, then lost another. I got a pair of new ones, smaller and I have no idea where they are now. I haven’t worn earrings for awhile since the pandemic, my pierced holes have partially closed and it’s a pain to get them operational again. Literally.

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  63. Deborah said on March 20, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    Gah! I had no idea how expensive mattresses have gotten. We have a French made platform bed in Chicago, by the company called Ligne Roset. Our mattress has gotten very lumpy over the years and I’m embarrassed to say how long we’ve had it. We went to Ligna Roset today in River North to find a replacement and it won’t arrive until mid July. It’s a European queen sized and we have loved that size for many (many) years. We like our platform bed frame a lot too but it’s extremely heavy so it doesn’t get moved around much. I don’t like soft foam beds so finding the right fit for us is problematic. We got our full sized mattress that we have in Santa Fe that we got from Ikea 8 years ago, that was about 1/4 the cost and we like that too. But getting an IKEA mattress to Santa Fe at that time involved a U-haul truck and they don’t make that mattress anymore either, of course.

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  64. Deborah said on March 20, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Since some of you have commented with your ear worms https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-Vnk_j1iKMA I know it because of the first season of “the Bureau” a french television series which is fantastic. I’m not exactly sure why this is relevant to the series about the French equivalent to the CIA but it’s hauntingly beautiful. The lyrics and the video describe the pain of a young boy who feels he is a girl, and doesn’t have the ability to cope with that. It’s melancholic and timely.

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  65. Julie Robinson said on March 20, 2021 at 7:36 pm

    Hoo boy. We’ve been having family drama and today it intensified. A family member has been rotating from home/hospital/rehab/nursing home for the last six months. Numerous medical issues, many related to previous treatments, unclear path to recovery–all of us have been through this or something like it. Issues with spouse not taking proper care/filling meds/leaving person alone/not spending a dime for help. At some point Covid entered the equation.

    Yesterday this person went home again and today D got a call that spouse, who was upstairs, was not answering phone; could he come? When he got there he found spouse at the bottom of the basement stairs, bleeding from a head wound.

    Spouse is being admitted to the hospital with two skull fractures and a brain bleed. D and another family member are there trying to clean up the mess/arrange care/find out if any care had previously been arranged/what the hell spouse was doing. Family member is too large to be easily moved and everyone has back/neck/shoulder issues just waiting to be reinjured. Rinse/lather/repeat.

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  66. Deborah said on March 20, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    OMG! I got to take a hot shower just now. Not sure what prompted me to turn the shower on and see if the water was hot, but I did and it was and it was glorious.

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  67. Icarus said on March 20, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    Deborah, have you considered a Tuff & Needle? Best mattress we have found in a long time.

    Dexter, how do you feel about the Lions trading Stafford for Goff? Most Bears fans have been on pins and needles this week and for good Reason.

    There was a time after the super bowl that I’d look forward to next season but now I realize that means 3/4 the year has past and I’m not getting any younger. I can wait now.

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  68. Jakash said on March 21, 2021 at 1:17 am

    Vernal Equinox Chicagohenge:

    https://twitter.com/barrybutler9/status/1373433988610719744

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  69. Deborah said on March 21, 2021 at 3:08 am

    Icarus, part of the problem is the mattress on our bed is European queen size 63” wide by 79” long, it nestles into a surrounding platform. American queen size is 60” x 80” so it doesn’t work. We didn’t realize this when we bought the bed.

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  70. Dexter Friend said on March 21, 2021 at 4:05 am

    Icarus…I feel the same way I did when Gretsky left Winnipeg for LA Kings…good deal, let him go to a huge market city and get rich selling merch and probably getting a much larger contract. Now Stafford is already getting like $34M per season, so he’s set, and I say let him go, as much as I loved his play, let him go to a place where maybe he can win a playoff game. That was never happening in The D. Goff will be alright, but the Lions aren’t ever going to be a team any sports shows even mention. They don’t draft well and they can’t even hire a coach that’s worth a shit. Not since Wayne-O Fontes have they been fun.

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  71. Dexter Friend said on March 21, 2021 at 4:22 am

    LA Mary, about 10 years ago there was a TV cable documentary about Hunt’s Point whores.
    The first time I saw anything like that was when I was 17, and our high school senior class was walking from our 57th St. hotel in Manhattan to Radio City Music Hall to see The Rockettes and a movie there. There was a line of maybe 20 hookers up against a building talking shit to us, laughing at our youth. Our class sponsor was going spastic. We just walked on by, like Jeff Lebowski did as he left Bunny, to look for a cash machine. ( I am a “The Big Lebowski” movie nut)

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  72. Icarus said on March 21, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Deborah @ 69: wonder if moving on to another bed frame would be a better solution?

    I assume you’ve considered putting 1×4 planks across the width to hold a standard mattress? I would assume an inch could be squeezed in for the length.

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  73. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 21, 2021 at 9:37 am

    Julie, my prayers and complete sympathies are with you all in that cluster of a situation. There are so many of them on the cusp of becoming something like that which you describe all around us. My wife and I are trying to figure out what our Plan B (okay, Plan R7 at this point) is beyond the current homeostasis we’re in. But the nursing home care for a senior with no assets other than Social Security and Medicaid and no other care givers in their lives is atrocious, and it’s not going to be better now that we’ve killed off a significant percentage of residents with the COVID tsunami through those halls.

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  74. Deborah said on March 21, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Icarus, we love our bed frame, it’s this one http://www.metroretrofurniture.com/cgi-bin/store.pl?item=12136&cameFrom=322 (scroll down) except ours is all black. The cushions that form the headboard can be moved to any position around the bed, to the sides or foot, it’s very practical. The platform around it is good for putting books and magazines while reading in bed. We’re just going to wait to get our new mattress in July from the company that makes the bed, it’s coming from Europe. We’ll be in NM the beginning of May and then will be back in Chicago in July for a week or so then back to NM until Sept. So waiting for it isn’t going to be that painful

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  75. Julie Robinson said on March 21, 2021 at 10:23 am

    Thank you, Jeff, and know that I have been praying for you all along. D is traumatized and despondent because he and other family have been trying to stabilize and plan for the last six months. It’s bad, really bad.

    All kinds of PTSD for me too, from experiences with my sister. I could write a book but it would be too depressing for anyone to read.

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  76. Mark P said on March 21, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    Well, the 2022 election campaign has started in Georgia. I just saw an ad lying about Sen Raphael Warnock.

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  77. A. Riley said on March 21, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    Hinkle Fieldhouse . . . my high school bball team wasn’t ever very good, but we all had fun cheering them on. The other day I was telling my workmates about cheer block (God only knows how we got on that subject) and none of them had ever heard of such a thing. I hope you have! A hundred girls wearing white blouses with vests in the school colors — front red, back black — and little mittens red on one side, white on the other. I’m sure all that made quite the visual effect when we did our carefully rehearsed hand choreography. Did your high school do that? (And did your high school have senior cords?)

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  78. Deborah said on March 21, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    64 degrees and sunny in Chicago, took a 6 mile walk. Having a beer and potato chips now. I was going to do laundry today, skipping that.

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  79. Deborah said on March 21, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    This is a good article about caring for a sick/aging loved one https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/16/us/caregiving-burnout.html#click=https://t.co/1RtXTSHm7A

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  80. brian stouder said on March 21, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    Well, my lovely wife made the arrangements and we successfully obtained anti-COVID Shot 1 yesterday, and will do Shot 2 in a week. So, you may now blame Pam for my continued haunting of this place….

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  81. Julie Robinson said on March 21, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    Deborah, I can sure relate to that story. It was worse when I was caring for my sister since I was on my own. I would call my husband and spend half an hour just sobbing.

    There are more in his family but they are all at the end of their ropes. As of tonight, though, both the affected are in the hospital, so there is a brief respite from the physicality of it. Not the emotions, not the necessity of figuring out what’s next or how how deal with the uncooperative spouse.

    Brian, good to know! But how do you get a second shot that soon?

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  82. Suzanne said on March 21, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    Brian, aren’t the shots supposed to be 3 weeks apart?

    I had to work today but took a mile long walk when I got home. So gorgeous out. Even better tomorrow but work again awaits. Beautiful spring days like this make me long for retirement. I hate wasting my precious days working.

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  83. David C said on March 21, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    Such a nice day today. It’s pretty windy so we walked down to Lake Winnebago to see how much ice was piled up (not much). But we were pretty hot and it felt good to have the wind blow over the ice and cool us off. The iris reticulata are flowering and the daffys are starting to pop up. If I keep the snow tires on the car another month I should be able to keep the snow mostly away. I like this time of the year.

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  84. Deborah said on March 21, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    Brian, yes as others have said, the shots that I know of are either one time, three weeks apart or four weeks apart depending on which brand you get. I haven’t heard of any that are one week apart?

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  85. Dorothy said on March 21, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    We had our first shot on March 4 and we get the second one this Thursday, March 25.

    Jeff thank you for that fascinating story about being in the crowd while Hoosiers was being filmed! The movie has been running on HBO or Showtime this month and every time I channel surf and find it on, I have to put it on. I love it so – and so does my hubby. I did some diving into IMDB a few days ago and discovered one of the basketball players (Kent Poole/Merle) committed suicide in 2003. The son of one of the other players/actors did a documentary about him and I found that on YouTube. A third player that was being interviewed (Steve Hollar/Rade) in the doc is a dentist now – and Jeff tmmo – he went to DePauw with Alex, the woman we know in common (she’s a parishioner of yours and I worked with her at Kenyon).

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/bobcook/2017/06/26/film-by-son-of-hoosiers-player-spotlights-cast-members-depression-and-suicide/?sh=331de04648bf

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  86. Dave said on March 22, 2021 at 2:27 am

    Yes, I’m waiting to find out what your secret is, too, Brian. We got our first shot on March 3 and the second one on March 24, this Wednesday. We’re waiting to see if we have any ill effects, we’ve heard different stories from different folks.

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  87. Dexter Friend said on March 22, 2021 at 2:56 am

    Varsity basketball seniors at my high school always went to Butler Fieldhouse for the state boys basketball finals. I was very excited to go as Fort Wayne South Side with Jim Wallis, Chuck Nelson, Dan Nolan, Steve Bryant, and Mister Basketball Willie Long were favorites to win the state. But a referee named John Williams began calling fouls on Long and he had to sit. As the 4th quarter began, Long was back in the game. Hilliard Gates described what then happened: on defense Willie Long switched on a play and crossed underneath the basket a full 6 feet from the nearest opponent. Williams the zebra blew the whistle and Long was disqualified. Gates described it as the biggest, crookedest thing he ever witnessed in a broadcast career that went back to the 1930s. Without Long, South Side lost in a close game. And I was doubly disappointed as I had gotten sick with some virus or something that I contracted from playing basketball in a barn that was covered in pigeon poop. I got an ear and chest infection and had to watch the games on TV. I still have never been to old Butler Fieldhouse, which was named Hinkle decades ago. I did attend the Finals held in Bloomington in 1974, when Walter Jordan led FW Northrup to the state championship.

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  88. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 22, 2021 at 7:36 am

    And was straight up racism. People were still talking about that call in 75-76 when we made our run at a state title, falling short one shot at semi-state. I know I’ve told this story here before, but after losing 54-52 on a last second shot that could have put us into the final four in Market Square Arena, we went back to our Holiday Inn for a post-game meal which was eaten very quietly, somewhat morosely, when a busboy ran into the room and said “there’s a tornado out the back door!” All of us feeling fairly resigned to events as it was, the whole team got up and . . . went out the back door. We watched a tornado cross I-65, angling towards us, as the coach coming to his senses started saying “uh, boys, let’s uh, maybe we should . . .” but no one moved, we just kept watching trees and sheds rise off the ground and swirl into the air, until it began to veer off to the east, and then suddenly spun into nothingness.

    So we went back inside and ate our dessert, the conversation level picking back up to the usual dull roar, the semi-state final not forgotten but put somewhat in context.

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  89. Deborah said on March 22, 2021 at 10:52 am

    I must say Dexter and Jeff tmmo have some good basketball stories this morning.

    Lots of us getting vaccines this week, my husband and I get our second ones on Thursday morning too. Two weeks later S (my husband, I’m going to start calling him that here) goes to see his mother who will be 102 in April. So travel is starting up for us again.

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  90. Julie Robinson said on March 22, 2021 at 11:28 am

    Our daughter got her first shot today too. It’s a huge relief to her and to us; as a pastor she has been in a few dicey situations just trying to help parishioners get signed up for their shots. Florida’s signup process is a complete cluster.

    Our slab got poured today too, finally, so there’s much to rejoice about.

    Family member’s spouse was moved to another hospital in a different county and D is trying to track that situation down, talk about a cluster.

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  91. brian stouder said on March 22, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    Y’all were right; looking at the calendar on the ‘fridge, I get a second COVID shot scheduled April 17. One funny aside is that Pam made me a face mask with a Wizard of Oz scene (I love that movie!), and as we advanced through the process we stopped at one yellow-taped line after the other (for social distancing), and got many chuckles from the staffing….!

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