Eve of the eve.

I think the party will probably be OK, but I’m still nervous. I keep repeating my mantra: It’s not the food, it’s the guest list. And we have a good one for this — excellent talkers, good storytellers. If the tenderloin hits the driveway, it’ll be another good story to tell, not a tragedy. We can always call for pizzas, as Alison Roman helpfully points out in one of her books.

But I still have a bit of cleaning and a lot of prep work to do.

You can do me a solid and hit this column of mine, if you like. It’s about (sigh) Mitch Albom. Yes, after I swore I was done picking on him. But this guy — he keeps finding new ways to chap my ass.

OK, then, it’s a rainy Friday and I for one am here for it. Something in my Midwestern nature doesn’t trust too many sunny days in a row, and we had a week of glorious ones, but it’s time to water the earth. As long as it quits by tomorrow evening, and we’re assured it will.

Happy weekend to all.

Posted at 8:07 am in Media, Same ol' same ol' |

29 responses to “Eve of the eve.”

  1. Deborah said on June 18, 2021 at 9:33 am

    One time I was putting together a power point deck for a presentation the Detroit office of the firm I worked for was giving to get a project that had to do with high speed train stations. The client was some former athletic Michigan superstar who was pushing for high speed trains, particularly one between Detroit and Chicago. I picked some colors for the power point design, maroon and gray, they seemed like nice train colors. The design director of the Detroit office had a fit because I had chosen the colors of OSU and the client was a Michigan Alum. I couldn’t believe it, that would be the basis for choosing colors for a power point presentation that had nothing to do with universities or sports.

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 18, 2021 at 9:42 am

    Strongly worded kudos & much praise for Nancy’s column, which really isn’t about Albom (much) but is well summed up with her penultimate observation:

    “When individuals are abused under the umbrella of a powerful institution, the institution’s first and often only move is to protect itself.”

    As a recovering institutionalist myself, I need to keep reading and reflecting on these patterns. The whole essay is important, and not just because Albom should have either owned his role in Bo-botism, or excused himself from writing the column in question. The fact that he did neither is how institutionalism has insidious traits in common with racism. It’s a virus that hides inside us, and does a great job of quietly replicating and spreading itself with our unwitting help. When we know better, step one is to stop helping.

    [Small complaint: now I have a picture of Mitch Albom on my social media feed. Ickkkk.]

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  3. ROGirl said on June 18, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Takedowns of Mitch never get old, especially with his “we’ll never know” bullshit.

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  4. basset said on June 18, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    Do you still have a link to the Woody story?

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    • nancy said on June 18, 2021 at 3:13 pm

      I had links to it once upon a time, but when the Dispatch was sold, the whole website got Gannettized, and everything went pfft. I only have the hard copy now, in an old book of Mike Harden’s collected columns.

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  5. Deborah said on June 18, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    Record high temps in the SW this week. It’s hot in Santa Fe but not that hot, 89 right now. It’ll be 64 in the morning tomorrow. I read that in Tucson it’s 100 by 8am. Yikes. We had to go to Albuquerque this morning, it wasn’t that bad but the high is supposed to be 100 this afternoon.

    We had breakfast at a working lavender farm that has an inn and restaurant, great food and we sat outside, it may have been in the 70s, very comfortable. But we didn’t see any lavender, it’s usually harvested mid July https://lospoblanos.com/organic-lavender-farm/lavender-farm. We lost all of our lavender plants this year, they only last 6-10 years and ours were 9. We may have made it to 10 but this winter was very dry. They were gorgeous last summer, they knew it was their last hurrah I guess. We have one plant that still has a few sad blooms. Now we have to dig them out, and we’re replacing them with Russian Sage. They look a lot like lavender but don’t smell as good. We’re going to plant a couple of lavenders still so we can have that wonderful scent.

    Also Russian Sage is very drought resistant (except in Abiquiu). Yes, even though I said we weren’t going to plant anymore because of the drought, I’m going to try this one more time.

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  6. Deborah said on June 18, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    This is absolutely the kind of thing that will drive people from the church in droves https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/18/us/targeting-biden-catholic-bishops-advance-controversial-communion-plan.html. The outrageous things the church overlooked in the TIFG and then they go and pull this on Biden. Unconscionable. This steams me. I hope they lose a lot of members over this, they deserve it.

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  7. David C said on June 18, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    I thought Papa Francesco told the bishops to knock it the hell off.

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  8. Deggjr said on June 18, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    Yeesh. Is there such a thing as an unforgivable sin? No one knows the mind of God, but this passage suggests to me the answer is no.
    “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”

    Accepting that an abortion is a sin, is Biden responsible for that sin having not committed it himself? I think this passage suggests the answer is no. “The fathers shall not die for the children nor the children for the fathers: but every man shall die for his own sin.”

    I don’t understand the Catholic bishop theology. Rod Dreher would say that ‘2000 years of Catholic Theology’ supercedes the Bible. I don’t get that either.

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  9. Julie Robinson said on June 18, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    Dejjr if you literally interpret Matthew, Mark & Luke, the only unforgiveable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Kind of a head scratcher for me, why would you even want to?

    I can’t even begin to talk about the work it’s been to find a large and climate controlled storage unit in Orlando that is somewhat close to our house. Today we finally achieved that, AND found a home for the tuba. We have a strong lead on the piano, and the new tenant of our apartment wants several of the large pieces of furniture that were gonna be a pain to find homes for. We’re exhausted beyond belief but beginning to feel hopeful.

    Plus good progress on the house. Did I mention strawberry pie made from local berries? That helped too.

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  10. gretchen said on June 19, 2021 at 12:02 am

    We are into the “it’s never going to rain here again” timeline here in Kansas. 100 degrees yesterday and today.

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  11. Dexter Friend said on June 19, 2021 at 2:42 am

    The only place I heard of that closed for the new national holiday of Juneteenth (they chose Friday instead of the 19th because of the weekend date) was the Franklin County Dog Shelter.(My daughter posts dogs-for-adoption for them) I thought I heard that the post office was going to deliver mail but I got no mail. Biden signing it was a given, but I guess people weren’t going to shut down on such short notice. I know I was always pissed off when I had to work on Veterans Day unless I deducted a day from my vacation. I suppose only the fed-workers will get a paid holiday unless other unions bargain for the paid holiday. Unions. Remember them?
    Las Vegas is roasting along with the rest of the west but daughter Lori loves it at 114F. Death Valley was 128F on Thursday. The world record is 134F I believe. And…proof: “According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the hottest official temperature ever recorded on Earth was also at Death Valley in 1913 when Greenland Ranch hit 134°.”1 day ago

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 19, 2021 at 7:51 am

    So, both John Kass & Mary Schmich took the buyout along with Eric Zorn & Steve Chapman. I’m too far from Chicago in many ways, but can anyone tell me which columnists the Trib has left? That’s quite a loss of talent and institutional memory all at once.

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

    The Trib losing John Kass isn’t a loss of talent. But yeah.

    Deborah, I’ve planted both Russian sage and lavender in our community association beds precisely for their drought tolerance and I’m sorry to learn that lavender eventually dies out. I also planted blanketflower, false indigo and butterfly bush. All are supposed to be able to handle dry conditions, which will be necessary here because there is no way to water the stuff except by taking water to it, which is why the beds lay fallow for years and nobody wanted to take care of them.

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  14. Julie Robinson said on June 19, 2021 at 9:58 am

    It’s probably too late to pivot on dessert for the dinner party, but we had strawberry pie last night that was just divine. Not sophisticated or proof of culinary skills, but seasonal eating at its best. We didn’t even have to make it; D took local strawberries over to a homebound relative and the next day she called back to say there was pie waiting for us.

    We’re hoping to get one more batch before we leave, as strawberry season is long over in Florida.

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  15. Deborah said on June 19, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Alex, Russian sage does very well in Santa Fe compared to Abiquiu, Abiquiu only gets 11.3″ of rainfall per year and 15.2″ of snow, Santa Fe gets 15.1″ rainfall and 26.2″ snow (averages). The last couple of years I brought water out to sprinkle over the Russian sage I planted there, but have given up on doing that and the weird thing is they don’t look worse, just the same, puny. During the day in Abiquiu it’s usually a couple of degrees hotter than SF, but it’s cooler at night in Abiquiu. So I guess that makes all the difference. The other thing I love about Russian Sage is that the growing season of it is quite long compared to lavender and it is invasive, which I actually like because it spreads out over more area quickly, nice and full.

    There are watering restrictions in effect in Santa Fe, even though lots of people have lawns of grass which is ridiculous around here. Some people just have to have their grass. Our condo building has pecan shells as ground cover, some people use gravel which makes it hotter, nice in the winter but awful in the summer. We need to do another layer of pecan shells on the yard here but so far I haven’t convinced the other owners to spend the money. LB and I would do all of the spreading, so there wouldn’t be any labor costs for that. But no, they want to wait till the pecan shells are completely disintegrated which they mostly are now. We put path bark on the side yard, which needs to be replenished too.

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  16. Dexter Friend said on June 19, 2021 at 11:28 am

    Yesterday Toledo evening news was telling Dayton residents to take cover as the Torcon number was max…Dorothy, hope you had no trouble or damages.
    With the awful revelations concerning Michigan’s athletic doctor being a predator, and writers tying it all in with Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky at PSU, it’s a fact that twice Joe Paterno was highly recruited to become M’s coach. Once, when Paterno was a fledgling coach, and a missed phone call or a lost letter was interpreted as non-interest by Paterno, and once when AD Don Canham offered Paterno the M job after Paterno was already established at Penn State. Canham adored Paterno, but nothing could pry JoePa from Happy Valley, so Canham hired a Woody Hayes protégé who also had experience at “The Cradle of Coaches”, that being Miami U. of Oxford. Glen “Bo” Schembechler.

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  17. alex said on June 19, 2021 at 11:35 am

    May today’s festivities be as splendid at the party we had here on this date in 2012:


    It’s a damned shame that Eric Zorn, who still has what it takes to produce fresh and engaging material every day, is out of a job while Mitch Albom will continue to pull down a fat six-figure salary for doing little more than scratching his ass.

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  18. Watson said on June 19, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    Jeff tmmo: Rex Huppke and Clarence Page are the last men standing among the opinion columnists. I think Dahleen Glanton is still around as a news columnist. I’m not sure about sports. I’m glad to see the last of Kass, but this exodus is disastrous for local journalism … someone in the Chicago Tribune Guild tweeted that 25% of the union members took the buyout.

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  19. Deborah said on June 19, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    Sorry to hear that Biden’s dog Champ has died.

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  20. LAMary said on June 19, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    I have lavender that’s at least 15 years old. I realize I’m in a very different climate and that it’s possibly a different variety of lavender. People in my neighborhood use it often on slopes sometimes combined with rosemary. Mine is in a patch with very red geraniums which are perennial here too. I’ve got sunflowers and nasturiums going too. The sunflowers will be annual but the nasturtiums do a good job of reseeding themselves.

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  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 19, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    It sure seems to always be the case that everything in editorial gets cut, from reporters to columnists to desk staff to photographers . . . everyone except for the sports department.

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  22. Icarus said on June 19, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    According to Steinberg’s blog post, Zorn got 8 weeks plus a week of pay for every year. That works out to about a year of pay, even with a slightly higher tax hit, that’s too good to be true when the writing is on the wall. I suspect the others got the same deal.

    We do things wrong in this world. You work until you are 70-80% close to death and then you get to retire, hoping you saved enough money to last you until death, usually while walking around in a meat suit that is only a shell of your younger self.

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  23. Deborah said on June 19, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    I watched all of season 2 of “Lupin” on Netflix this afternoon and tonight. It was mostly preposterous but it kept my attention. I will be surprised if there’s a season 3. Mainly I like that it’s mostly shot in Paris.

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  24. Deborah said on June 20, 2021 at 10:53 am

    I’m waiting to hear how Nancy’s dinner party turned out.

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  25. beb said on June 20, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    Republicans are apparently going nuts over the fact that President Biden shed a tear over the death of their dog, Chief. George Takai twitted “Republicans are mocking Biden for showing grief over the loss of his dog.

    If you lose your dog but feel nothing, you might be a Republican.”

    Aint that the truth.

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  26. Deborah said on June 20, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    I just found out that on top of Father’s Day it’s also the solstice. So dads get an extra long day.

    I’m going nuts trying to find out what the energy codes for replacement windows are in Santa Fe. One of the owners in our condo association prefers aluminum, which is what our current 41 year old windows are. They do make more energy efficient aluminum windows now but they’re not as efficient as vinyl or fiberglass. I don’t want vinyl because they usually don’t come in bronze color and they’re not as durable especially in this climate. Fiberglass seems to be the best option but more costly. We’re in a historic district so we’re supposed to match the look of our windows as close as possible to the original, which are bronze color and we have to get a permit to boot. We’re in for a fight with the problematic owner who has been a pain all along, who wants cheap, white vinyl. She doesn’t care about permits or regulations, she’s a bully and turns everything into a confrontation. She’s horrible about paying her assessments, has had liens on her unit because she’s gone years without paying assessments or taxes. She always manages to pay at the very last minute before she gets foreclosed on. It’s a mess and I’m so tired of dealing with her. Her place has been vacant for 9 years and reportedly it’s completely trashed. If anyone has any advise about how to deal with a condo co-owner like this please let me know. Oh, and she’s very litigious, she uses that to manipulate and intimidate.

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  27. David C said on June 20, 2021 at 6:38 pm

    Every condo association has at least one Deborah. I got dragooned into being President of the association at our previous house. One guy didn’t think he had to pay association dues. The Treasurer showed him the paper he signed at closing agreeing to pay. Luckily, he moved on after just a couple of years and had to pay back dues before he could close. He had a shouting match with the Treasurer after he had to pay the back dues. We never figured out how to deal with him. If he had stayed longer without paying I don’t know what we would have done. How’s the real estate market in your area? Maybe you could get a real estate agent to put a bug in her ear about selling her condo for a nice profit.

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  28. Julie Robinson said on June 20, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    Could you call the Board of Health and have it condemned?

    I’m not actually sure what our wall of windows is made of, but it should be gold for what they cost. They are super energy efficient and wind resistant, and now D wants to replace the wall of windows in the existing house. J wants to do some fun and pretty things elsewhere.

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