Day to day.

The Derringer family trip to France is now on day-to-day status. I’m not afraid of navigating the country in a mask, but I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars to see a lot of Closed signs, either. So: Day-to-day. We applied for our Covid passes today — yes, vaccine passports! — and are keeping our fingers crossed.

Fucking Delta. Ah, well. What can you do besides get vaccinated, follow the rules and watch the world collapse because FREEDUMB? And lack of access, true; let’s be fair. Still. God knows what this burning, flooding world will be like by next year. Might as well go to France now. We’ll play the odds, and the odds aren’t bad, at least against getting sick. Seeing the Louvre? That’s still up in the air.

We had another storm yesterday, and another fierce one overnight, and another mini-storm this morning, and there’s a 40 percent chance of more tomorrow. Then we get a break, maybe.

When it comes to climate change, I think we have fucked around, and now we’re finding out.

And yet what other end were we expecting?

The temperature maps are terrifying, the prognosis for the future not much better. So let’s go to France. Maybe Spain next year. I hope I have a trip to Asia in me before my knees give out.

But as the city of Detroit’s motto says (in Latin): We hope for better things.

Between Monday’s power outage and Tuesday’s heat and Wednesday’s heat and Wednesday night’s storms and Thursday morning’s storms and GOD WHAT IS NEXT I’m kinda looking forward to the weekend, how bout you? And I have little to say other than I’m tired.

How about you?

Posted at 8:17 pm in Current events |

83 responses to “Day to day.”

  1. LAMary said on August 12, 2021 at 9:06 pm

    In a now unsurprising and depressing move the “good” temp job ended for me and the other temp. We either both sucked or they got all they needed from us. I’m interviewing with a similar company that’s been discussed here very recently (think they have medicare insurance and healthcare places) and with a chain of hospitals with a so so reputation. Both pay well. At this point that is all I care about. I need to make enough money to pay the bills and the mortgage. That’s it. No vacations, no eating in restaurants, nothing. Just getting back to a regular job. Am I bummed? Yes. Smokey’s demise and all this job shit happened at the same time and I can’t seem to shake the blues from those two events. That and younger son heading off into roadie land makes me realize how much I enjoyed his company during the depths of the lockdown. I miss him and I miss not worrying about every damn thing.

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  2. susan said on August 12, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    LAMary- I just saw this job posted (I get emails from the organization) for an HR position. Not sure if that is up your alley, but it kind of sounds like some of what you do. Except that the company is kind of the opposite of those you’ve been working for.

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  3. susan said on August 12, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    Also, too, the announcement says this:

    This position is based in Seattle but we’re open to remote for just the right candidate. When Recompose opens other locations, some amount of travel (<10%) may be intermittently required to assist other locations on setup or on issues as they arise.

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  4. Scout said on August 12, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    A question for those of you in the know. What is a fair amount to pay a friend who is doing a 20 minute memorial ceremony?

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  5. alex said on August 12, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    A foreign adventure is at least some kind of adventure. Life stateside is pretty predictable, which is to say insanely shocking with every passing day. It’s a wonder Tucker Carlson didn’t forego the lame opening act with Orban’s Hungary and just go straight to Putin’s Russia where he could have endorsed the practice of offing your political rivals with ricin and anthrax. Or maybe he’s saving that for some rainy day when his ratings need a boost and the GOP needs voter turnout.

    If I didn’t feel so imprisoned by my employment I might be taking one last jaunt around the free world myself.

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  6. LAMary said on August 12, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    I appreciate that Susan but I’m not an HR Generalist. I recruit. I source. If you need a left handed Armenian speaking occupational therapy aide with pediatric experience I’ll find one for you and negotiate the salary.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on August 12, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    Scout, is your friend clergy? That is, did they spend eight years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in study, and do they earn so little they have no hope of ever paying off those loans?

    Next, how many times have they met with you or spoken on the phone, planning the service? How long would it take you to prepare a memorial service? Two or three hours?

    Are they traveling and taking time away from their own family or even a precious morning or afternoon off?

    Obviously I’m biased because this is my daughter’s situation, but I’d say a minimum of $300. And $500 would be more equitable.

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  8. alex said on August 12, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    Scout, I put your question to a professional eulogist, an old friend who runs a cremation society. Her response:

    Well catholic priests usually get 200-300 but they dial it in. Rabbis here charge 900 to marry/bury people and are usually more thoughtful.

    I charge $500, but do the work of a rabbi, and then some.

    If this is this person’s first time, maybe $250? If they are also wrangling other eulogists and musicians and planning an entire memorial service, then like $350?

    So this is the ballpark I guess.

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  9. Dexter Friend said on August 13, 2021 at 12:54 am

    Toledo local TV crews covered the Michigan storms and the Detroit freeway flooding from last night. Interviewed were tent campers who had to hold their tents around them until the storm lessened. One couple were in a camper van and the husband said he was sure the entire camper levitated for a few seconds, from the awful winds. The wife said she just held onto her doggie and her man and thought they were all going to die. Somehow we continue to see this fucked-up weather go south and north of us. 2 nights ago a lightning strike hit the tree that hangs over my house but only loosened a limb that crashed away from my house.
    And even if you hate sports with a passion, you should have watched the Field of Dreams Game from Dyersville, Iowa. A great game on a diamond in a cornfield, Kevin Costner sort of MC-ing the event, in a game between the Yankees and White Sox for the ages. For me and other blubbering baseball sentimentalists, heaven on earth. Not just Iowa, the entire baseball universe. It was great.

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  10. ROGirl said on August 13, 2021 at 7:47 am

    My power is still out. The restoration time frame keeps getting pushed out further. Now they’re saying some customers won’t get power back until next week. My neighbor across the street has a generator and it’s really loud.

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  11. basset said on August 13, 2021 at 8:27 am

    We don’t usually watch baseball, but the Field of Dreams game was interesting both as a game – come from behind win on a walkoff homer – and as a cultural reference back to the days when baseball really was America’s game.
    I liked seeing corn come right up to the edge of the field, even though many of the stalks were propped up with rods stuck in the ground. We should do that at other parks, varying the plants locally… wheat, beans, potatoes, sugar cane, tumbleweeds, cannabis, there are so many options.
    Dexter or anyone else who might know, what was the guy who hit the game-winner doing as he ran the bases, fluttering his fingertips toward his collarbones? Is that some new kind of celebration?

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  12. basset said on August 13, 2021 at 8:45 am

    And now for something totally different: why are we so angry, anyway?

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  13. Deborah said on August 13, 2021 at 8:46 am

    Hallelujah! It’s going to be cooler today, with a high of only 79. It’s still very humid unfortunately but maybe it will dry out later today.

    Sorry to hear about your job falling through LAMary, hang in there. Are you eligible for social security yet?

    A week from tomorrow we’ll be back in dry, dry NM. As much as I hate that there’s a drought, I much prefer low, low humidity. I guess you can’t have one without the other, though.

    I started reading the book “Olive Kitteridge” on the flight back to Chicago, I picked it up in the free bin in the park near our condo in Santa Fe. I had seen the four part series with Frances McDormond on HBO (I think) a while ago, which was excellent. When I finished that book I found out that the author Elizabeth Strout had written a sequal called “Olive Again” which I’m reading now. I wish there was a third book about Olive, because I have to figure out what I’m going to read on the flight to NM now. Any suggestions?

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  14. Mark P said on August 13, 2021 at 8:47 am

    “But what’s the big deal? The temperature goes up a couple of degrees, I’ll just turn down the thermostat. More CO2? That’ll make our corn grow better. No problem!”

    Whoops. Missed that one. Fuxking morons. Too bad we all have to suffer the consequences.

    Oh, and, of course, these are the same morons who won’t get vaccinated or wear masks. And, on that front, a greeter at Walmart was telling (some) people that the CDC recommends wearing a mask, and they have one if you need one. And some people were actually wearing masks. In MTG’s district!

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  15. Bitter Scribe said on August 13, 2021 at 8:55 am

    Is it just me, or has the wingnut response to global warming shifted from “it doesn’t exist” to “it’s no big deal”?

    I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot of that in the years to come. “Mauritania? Be honest. How many of you had ever heard of Mauritania before it sank into the ocean?”

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  16. Deborah said on August 13, 2021 at 9:46 am

    From time to time I read the FB page of someone I know to be quite a Trumper, or at least he was. He often writes about what pisses him off and now it’s the vaccine and wearing masks, he doesn’t even mention Trump anymore, hasn’t for the last couple of months in any of his posts. It’s clear to me that he flits around to whatever the latest emotional outrage is. At first I thought that if he wasn’t complaining about Trump having the election stolen anymore, that he had gone beyond it, I don’t really know, but when I look at all of his posts, and he posts often they’re always ping ponging around to whatever he finds maddening at the moment. There doesn’t seem to be any longterm thought about anything. The Republican strategy seems to be “keep them angry” because there are a lot of people who have hair trigger emotions like this guy and that’s what they’re trying to exploit. The sad thing is this guy has a mother-in-law with some serious health issues and if she gets Covid she’s probably done for after some hellish suffering. I hope he didn’t convince her not to get vaccinated, but knowing their family he probably did. They go out a lot and all the photos show them not wearing masks in their travels etc. I worry that it’s only a matter of time for this poor woman.

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  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 13, 2021 at 9:47 am

    I will add nothing to the discussion of honoraria for funerals or weddings other than to say that fellow clergy who move to exurban/rural Ohio from other locations are . . . shocked, let’s say, by the usual gift for conducting such events, from family let alone the funeral home. And now that I’m in a position where I could do fill-in funerals for local morticians, all of whom asked me if I were open to that the minute they heard I resigned from my parish ministry full-time job (the answer was no, because of the 92 year old I’m focused on caring for these days), I know how what the best case scenario is in our area when your fee is built into the funeral home bill. It’s better than what they pay the retired guys who hold doors and stand by the guest book, but not by much.

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  18. LAMary said on August 13, 2021 at 9:48 am

    I am eligible for SS but I was hoping to wait until I hit 70. The difference between what my monthly payment would be if I applied now and if I can wait a year and a half is about 500 dollars per month.

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  19. Julie Robinson said on August 13, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Mary you seem to have worked for the scummiest string of companies possible. Please, Universe, may there be a good job for our LAMary?

    Deborah, have you read Megan Rapinoe’s autobiography? She’s a real firecracker and the opposite of a dumb athlete. She’s highly educated and informed, and I hope she runs for office.

    I can look over my lists from the last couple of years if you want other suggestions.

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  20. Jeff Borden said on August 13, 2021 at 10:17 am

    The White Sox player who hit the walk off homer last night is Tim Anderson, a loud, flashy player known for elaborate bat flips and his self confidence bordering on arrogance. He’s the antithesis of “old school.”

    There’s a Mona Charen column in today’s Sun-Times decrying the love American right wingers feel for authoritarians like Orban and Putin and comparing them to leftists who embraced Stalin, Mao, Castro, etc. She ponders whether right wing Americans aren’t actively hoping for a societal collapse so they can play hero with their boom booms. It’s a scary column because it seems so plausible.

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  21. Deborah said on August 13, 2021 at 10:41 am

    I think Bannon has been hoping for societal collapse for years now.

    I’m into fiction over biographies and political books right now, if anyone has any suggestions. I’ve read too many political books lately and as much as they’re informative etc, they’re depressing me and filling me with anxiety. There aren’t any local bookstores anymore that I can walk to so I’m probably going to have to order online.

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  22. Jeff Borden said on August 13, 2021 at 10:54 am

    I highly recommend “Deacon King Kong” by James McBride, a wonderful novel touted by Barack Obama. It’s set on a Brooklyn housing project in 1969 and features beautifully rendered portraits of the residents. It is both hilarious and poignant.

    It’s my favorite of the recent books I’ve read.

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  23. Scout said on August 13, 2021 at 11:07 am

    Thanks all. For clarity, she is a personal friend who was ordained on the internet. She’ll be doing readings provided by the family and then preparing some of her own remarks. The whole thing will be 30 minutes with the first 10 being a military honors ceremony. We were thinking $200?

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  24. ROGirl said on August 13, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Deborah, I recently read another book by Elizabeth Strout, Anything is Possible. She’s a wonderful writer, I finished it by flashlight.

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  25. Julie Robinson said on August 13, 2021 at 11:13 am

    This year I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs because I’ve been finding it difficult to thread the fiction needle between absolute fluff and very heavy. But I enjoyed a couple of cozy stories set in England during WWII, The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan and The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin. If you like potboilers Jake Tapper has written a couple of decent ones.

    Staples and I are through. First they cancelled an order pickup while we were on the way there. Took our money, said they had two in stock, then poof, cancelled with no explanation. So I ordered one that was to be delivered today, only this morning I got an email that it won’t be coming until Monday. Again no explanation. I just cancelled it and told them they aren’t going to get our money every again. Jeez Louise. Obviously we should have moved our file cabinet down from Fort Wayne.

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  26. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 13, 2021 at 11:36 am

    Today, a recipe for you: anyone can make it. Take a tomato, slice it not too thickly. A red onion, peel, slightly thinner slices than the tomatoes. Apply mayonnaise liberally to two slices of bread, gently grind a bit of black pepper onto them. Assemble bread, tomato, onion, eat. [Repeat as necessary.]

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  27. Jenine said on August 13, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    @Deborah: if you’re looking for something completely different, I recommend the seafaring novels of Patrick O’Brien. The first one is Master and Commander, published in 1969. The British naval ship’s crew is a village of characters for each book’s story. It’s set in the Napoleonic wars circa 1800.

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  28. LAMary said on August 13, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    I second Master and Commander.

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  29. Bitter Scribe said on August 13, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    Isn’t it true that in those Master & Commander books, the enemy ship is American, but in the movie, they change it to French? Know what side your bread is buttered on, I guess.

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  30. Suzanne said on August 13, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    The Queen’s Gambit which the Netflix show was based on is quite good. I read the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Chabon a while back and it was really exceptional.

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  31. susan said on August 13, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    Jeff @26- You forgot the fresh basil leaves! (I eat this all summer until, well, until the tomatoes stop producing and basil freezes black.)

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  32. Dave said on August 13, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    There is the latest Laura Lippman book, Dream Girl, which I just read, about an author who becomes a victim of his own success, in a matter of speaking. It is somewhat reminiscent of Misery by Stephen King.

    I read the entire series of Aubrey books. It’s one long 20 volume novel, if you stick it out. Bitter Scribe, I can’t remember all of them but I know that it one book, he and his close friend, surgeon Stephen Maturin, are captured by the French.

    In the new census report, I was surprised to read that the fastest growing metropolitan area in the last ten years is Florida’s The Villages.

    Mary, I’m always hoping to read that you have a bit of job security. We recently met a person who my wife knew some fifty years ago, she’s been struggling with jobs, too, and she’s 67. We always find new ways to realize how fortunate we are and I’ve no wish to write that to seem smug.

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  33. Sherri said on August 13, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    We’re facing yet another heat wave, with temps heading to the upper 90s today, and smoke from wildfires added to the mixture, too. Temps in the 90s are supposed to be rare around here. Temps in the 80s used to be rare here, too, but they’ve been the norm this summer. I know lots of people who’ve bought portable a/c units this summer, because window a/c units are not easy here, where casement windows are the norm.

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  34. bethbfromindiana said on August 13, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    Recent reads that I have liked:
    –The Punishment She Deserves (Inspector Lynley/Sgt. Barbara Havers) by Elizabeth George
    –The Good Sister (still not sure who was the good sister by the end) by Sally Hepworth
    –Eternal (Rome before and during WWII, the Italian people in wartime) by Lisa Scottoline [who usually writes Philadelphia-based, all-female law firm legal thrillers]
    –Forest of Vanishing Stars (Underground movement in Poland forests during WWII) by Kristin Harmel
    –The Paris Library (about the Paris library during WWII) by Janet Skeslien Charles

    These are just a few of my recent reads, all fiction. I usually have several going at once–a hardcover or PB, a book on CD, and an audio library title on my phone. Books are my stress-reliever and help take my mind off pain.

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  35. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 13, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    “Master & Commander” is book one of the 20 Aubrey/Maturin novels (and yes, one coherent arc really, with episodes that stand alone well, but starting with “M&C” gives you a good sense of whether you’ll continue or not. The film, which is a sandwich of sharp battle scenes beginning and ending (but with a lovely coda to close) and a series of short sequences that really give you a sense of how close the quarters are on a ship like the H.M.S. Surprise, mines the middle books of the series, which was a bad sign to any of us hoping there’d be a number of O’Brian movies.

    So in a way, yes, the framing device is largely from book ten, “The Far Side of the World” (hence the awkward title) but it’s about the middle third only for the central 75% of the movie. And a few incidents are plucked from earlier and later books. But the ship in “TFSOTW” was an American frigate; there are as I noted pieces of battles with French opponents woven in, but I’m sure Weir never seriously considered making Crowe and Bettany battle the U.S. Navy just out of audience confusion — the French tricolor does look good in the battle colors raised to signal the engagement beginning!

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  36. Deborah said on August 13, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    Ding ding ding, we have a winner. My husband was ordering a book earlier today and we both felt pressure to order immediately to ensure our books arrive by next Friday before our trip. I decided to order another book by Elizabeth Strout since I found her writing quite good and coincidentally I ordered “Anything is Possible” which I saw later that ROgirl had endorsed up thread, so I think I did just fine. Although I must say “Deacon King Kong” sounds excellent (I’m a sucker for an Obama recommendation for sure) and I will get that at one of the two excellent bookstores within walking distance of our condo in Santa Fe for reading while I’m there. I will consider some of the other books listed here for future reading. Thanks a bunch everyone for the recommendations and if you feel like continuing making recommendations please do, I’m always open for good things to read.

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  37. Suzanne said on August 13, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    I was very impressed with Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton and Olive Kitteridge. I will have to put Anything is Possible on my to-read list!

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  38. Dorothy said on August 13, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    I haven’t read for pleasure for two months since I’m learning lines for the play, and now of course we’re rehearsing a LOT. But I bought The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalilia Harris, and also bought The Plot by Jean Korelitz. I read very positive reviews of both and am so anxious to start them. It’ll be my reward when the show is over the day before Labor Day.

    Nancy I’d wager that even if some things are closed, time spent in France will be infinitely better than doing anything in the USA so I hope you decide to go through with the trip. And I hope your trip is as problem free as possible. We were glad to get away to San Diego last month even if it wasn’t exactly what we had planned to do this year.

    Mary I’ll storm heaven with hopes of you finding a new and fulfilling job very soon. I’m not a church goer anymore, but I have one-way conversations with my parents, aunts, uncles, etc. and I have faith that they pull strings if they can manage that somehow from the beyond.

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  39. Jeff Borden said on August 13, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    I’ve been reading a lot of analysis of the 2020 census, which likely will echo through our politics and public affairs for some time.

    The good news: America is being diversified at an amazing rate with one of the fastest growing segments people who claim at least two racial backgrounds, probably the result of all the mixed racial marriages. Cities grew in population (though Chicago was a mere 2%). A majority of Americans no longer attend church, temple or mosque with Catholics positively bleeding members.

    The bad news: Most growth is in the South and West, where heat and droughts are growing. And, ugh, those states are primarily run by Republicans.

    No wonder far right nationalists like Tucker McNear Swanson Carlson and Rod Dreher are racing toward Putin and Orban. Whitey is in decline in the USA.

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  40. LAMary said on August 13, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    Half listening I think I heard the local NPR station report that LA county is now 35% white. Lots of growth in the Latin and Asian Pacific Islander communities.

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  41. carol said on August 13, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    Stone Diaries by Carol Shields. Go for the timeless classic, about a woman as interesting as OLive but not so prickly.

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  42. annie said on August 13, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    actually, the western states are mostly solidly democratic and have Democratic governors–California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, even Colorado leans Democratic.

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  43. dev said on August 13, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    France seems relatively open for American travelers, according to this current Daily Beast story —

    Since you two are writers, you should browse a bit at the Shakespeare and Company bookstore, which features new and used English-language books, right across the river from Notre Dame.

    Not where Sylvia Beach, the brave original publisher of Ulysses, had her shop, but it’s familialy connected, and way more scenic.

    Last time there, I bought Montaillou, Emmanuel Ladurie’s brilliant history of the Inquisition against the Cathars in southwest France.

    When I paid, the cashier said Ladurie would be there tomorrow for a book chat.

    Alas, we were leaving on a jet plane the next day.

    But it’s the kind of serendipity that’s on offer at this unique bookstore. And elsewhere in France.

    I hope you find some of that.

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  44. Diane said on August 13, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    Right now Colorado is more than leaning Democratic. The Governor, both U.S. Senators and 4 of the 7 U.S. Representatives are Democrats and the state legislature has a Democratic majority. The hold is always tenuous though; there are more unaffiliated voters than members of either party in most counties. And of course Boebert is one of the Republican Reps.

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  45. A. Riley said on August 13, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    I’ll chime in on the O’Brien series about Captain Aubrey — 20 books, all set in the late 18th to early 19th century British navy, with all the adventures, villainy, heroics, and swashbuckling anyone could want, along with romance, politics, music, friendship, botany . . . The battles aren’t just with the French navy, but with pirates, privateers, everyone else’s navy, many people’s armies, all over the world. His ship, the Joyful Surprise, is as much a character as the Enterprise in the Star Trek universe. Once you relax into O’Brien’s prose style, you’re in for a real treat.

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  46. susan said on August 14, 2021 at 12:52 am

    Nanci Griffith died. Damnit. Another good soul gone.

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  47. Sherri said on August 14, 2021 at 3:19 am

    My dad was in the hospital at the beginning of this week for a couple of days while they tried to get a heart arrhythmia under control. With an adjustment of meds, they were able to do it, but it took a couple of days, and he had to be closely monitored for blood clots. There was also concern the meds wouldn’t be sufficient and they’d have to cardiovert him, ie shock him, to restore a normal rhythm. He’s fine and back home, and in the nick of time. If this episode has happened this weekend, it’s not clear there would have been a bed in the hospital available for him, because COVID is filling up all the hospitals, and there is no extra spare hospital system just sitting idle waiting for the heart attacks and the car wrecks.

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  48. Dexter Friend said on August 14, 2021 at 4:04 am

    Tim Anderson’s finger waving around his neck puzzles me too. Is it a take-off on the feed-me-with-a-spoon gimmick players did for a few years?
    I just finished the Netflix episode about the “Malice at the Palace” game 17 years ago. More footage than I had ever seen before, lots of commentary from Metta World Peace and others who participated in the mayhem, instigated by a fan who threw a cup of been on Ron Artest (now Metta) , infuriating the complex Artest to the extent he went into the stands and punched a fan, then all hell broke loose. I saw it in real time on TV that night. It was just horrible. The series is by the Way brothers and is called “Untold”. There is an episode about Caitlin Jenner and how she remembers Bruce, who , I think, she regards as a separate person, sorta. I have not seen it yet.

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  49. basset said on August 14, 2021 at 9:22 am

    Feed me with a spoon? Missed that one.

    Just finished “Stoner” by John Williams, 1965 novel about a farm boy turned academic.

    And I would recommend John Biggins’ series of four novels following Otto Prohaska, an Austrian-Hungarian naval officer, through the early years of the 20th century and WW1, beginning with “A Sailor of Austria.”

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  50. Suzanne said on August 14, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Basset, I read Stoner a few months ago. What an exceptional novel.

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  51. Diane said on August 14, 2021 at 10:29 am

    They do the ‘feed me’ thing in the NFL, particularly younger players. If someone has done a particularly good catch or run, they make an spooning/eating type motion (sort of an imaginary spoon in their hand, going to their mouth) essentially to say, I can do this, you can feed me the ball more.

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  52. basset said on August 14, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    Exceptional indeed, and what an account of frustration and lost potential. Don’t remember how I heard about it, somehow it showed up on the list of books to read that I keep on my phone… checked the library order queue and there it was.

    Feed me the ball, sheeeesh… I don’t follow sports enough to really know, but didn’t some famous coach say once that when you get into the end zone you should act like you’ve been there before and not show off?

    Mrs. B. now wants to go to Oatman, Arizona, a tourist town which has wild donkeys roaming the streets… you can buy carrots and hay pellets for them in the shops. Closest major airport is Las Vegas, if we’d known about Oatman when we went to LV a few years ago we could have gone there instead of standing around Hoover Dam.

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  53. Jeff Borden said on August 14, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    I know the western states are largely blue these days. My point was it may not be such a great idea for Phoenix, Vegas, etc. to be growing at a time of great increases in heat and drought.

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  54. LAMary said on August 14, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    Not to creep you out, Deborah, but I’m watching an old episode of Law and Order and there’s a murder victim with to your name. Did you do anything to piss off Dick Wolf in the nineties?

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  55. Deborah said on August 14, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Lol LAMary, I don’t know Dick Wolf and glad I don’t, what a name.

    Beautiful, beautiful day in Chicago, makes up for all of the shmuggy weather we’ve had. We didn’t even have to turn the fan on, spent most of it walking outside. I’m always astounded by how many young people there are in Chicago compared to Northern NM. So much for young people here, jobs, activities, events, social life. It’s invigorating to be around them, even just passing them by on the streets and the lake shore. I never noticed this as much before.

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  56. LAMary said on August 14, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    There’s a guy in my neighborhood who used to be the attorney of the Writers Guild. He has an unusual surname. Dick Wolf has given this surname to more than one shady character on Law and Order, Law and Order SVU.

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  57. Dexter Friend said on August 14, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    We saw the Red Rock wild burros in 2016.

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  58. ROGirl said on August 15, 2021 at 7:56 am

    The power was finally restored in my neighborhood after 6 pm yesterday; it had out for over 72 hours. I just took a look at the outage map and there are still a lot of clusters in my area that haven’t been restored yet. What a shit show. One storm knocked out over 20% of customers in the region. I’m lucky, this is the first time mine went out this summer, but over the years it has happened a lot. My candle supply is running low again. At one point they came through and trimmed the trees, but that hasn’t happened in a long time. I thought the rate increases were supposed to cover that.

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  59. basset said on August 15, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Hmmm, might have to stop & see the Red Rocks burros too. Not quite ready to take one home yet, though.

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  60. Suzanne said on August 15, 2021 at 10:21 am

    Watching the events unfold in Afghanistan, I am crushed. It’s Saigon 1975 all over again. This will be a stain on Biden’s legacy forever and his enemies will capitalize on it. Afghanistan has always been a debacle, but it will be blamed on Biden. Afghanistan is lost but I now truly fear we have just lost our country as well.

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  61. Jeff Borden said on August 15, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Afghanistan is called “the graveyard of empires” for a reason. No outside power has ever tamed it. The U.S. might’ve prevailed, but when Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld decided to invade Iraq on false pretenses, the die was cast.

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  62. alex said on August 15, 2021 at 11:12 am

    It’s been a wonderful weekend here with open-window weather again, a houseguest and a spiffed-up yard that only yesterday was strewn with storm debris. I’m making a roasted tomato and basil soup this morning with a fresh haul from the garden and getting ready for a cookout and booze cruise this evening.

    This is the kind of summer weekend I’ve been waiting for all summer.

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  63. Icarus said on August 15, 2021 at 11:56 am

    Bassett @ 52: I thought it was Barry Sanders but it was, according to Snopes, Joe Paterno.

    The issue is for years the NFL had been inconsistent in enforcing the excessive celebrating rule (I know shocking right). Like literally one player gets a flag for 20 seconds of celebrating but the opposing team’s next touchdown would be allowed to celebrate for much longer. (often black vs white but not often enough to prove).

    So the solution was to encourage everyone to celebrate because the NFL is entertainment after all. or something like that.

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  64. David C said on August 15, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    Afghanistan would have been a debacle no matter what President finally pulled the plug on it. Biden finally had the fortitude to say enough. I believe if he stands up to the usual suspects who were cheer leading this nonsense from the beginning because they love war or love exciting pictures of things blowing up he’ll be OK. Nobody with any sense wants us to be there. If twenty years of training can’t create an Afghan Army that can last even a week it’s pointless to go on for what another twenty years.

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 15, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    I suspect there are generals who talked Trump out of a speedy & complete withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2019 who are thinking today “I should have let him be the one to fall on that grenade. I should have just said ‘okay Mr. President, as you wish.'”

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  66. Deborah said on August 15, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    There are many videos of Trump saying we needed to get out of Afghanistan, and he set the ground work for it to happen, so they won’t have a leg to stand on when they try to blame Biden. It’s the optics of it now though, it doesn’t look good at all. Also when did the right wing ever admit it when Trump did and said things that are clearly on videos etc. Of course they just say what they want and sail on, no matter the facts. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are the ones to blame for the whole mess in Afghanistan and Iraq, but they were Republicans so that’s going down the memory hole too.

    Do earthquakes have any correlation to climate change? If so, yikes.

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  67. Deborah said on August 15, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    So I googled earthquakes and climate change, found this interesting. Seems that droughts may be more connected than warm oceans, excessive rains etc.

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  68. Sherri said on August 15, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    Afghanistan was never winnable. We lost the moment we attacked.

    A bunch of Saudis crash some planes into the twin towers, so we decide the answer is to depose the Taliban? That was a strategy that was doomed to accomplish nothing that would outlast our presence. We came in trying to impose a solution on people at the point of a gun, without any understanding of the people and their lives.

    The mistake was attacking Afghanistan at all. We were trying to punish Afghanistan for bin Laden because Saudi Arabia are our “friends”.

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  69. David C said on August 15, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    That’s a really interesting article, Deborah.

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  70. Suzanne said on August 15, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    There was never going to be a victory in Afghanistan but the US exit appears to have been poorly planned and executed. Defeating a Western superpower will be used as a terrorist recruiting tool for years which China (& likely Russia) will be doing their part to fund.

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  71. David C said on August 15, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    This is a comment from Josh Marshall’s TPM site. It makes a lot of sense to me, too.

    President Biden has a long memory; the events of 2009-10, when then-President Obama was jammed by the military leadership into what proved to be an aimless, futile surge of US forces into Afghanistan, have to be a major factor in his thinking. A more deliberate, better planned withdrawal would have been preferable to what we are seeing now in many respects — notably, to get more of America’s Afghan friends out of the country.

    Had Biden directed a withdrawal of this kind, how would the US military leadership have responded? If Biden suspected the response would have been a months-long campaign of foot-dragging and leaking — to pressure him toward the military’s preferred course of staying in Afghanistan indefinitely — would he have been wrong?

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  72. basset said on August 15, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    Agree with Sherri on that. Never was possible.

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  73. Julie Robinson said on August 15, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    This morning before church I heard a couple of hours of coverage on Afghanistan and it was hard to not be depressed by it. I agree we never should have gone in but how do we get out without abandoning those who helped us. And I can’t help thinking about all the women and children whose already precarious lives will be made even more untenable.

    Once more the 2000 election continues to haunt us.

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  74. Suzanne said on August 15, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    There is this:
    “ The spectacular collapse of Afghanistan’s military that allowed Taliban fighters to reach the gates of Kabul on Sunday despite twenty years of training and billions of dollars in American aid began with a series of deals brokered in rural villages between the militant group and some of the Afghan government’s lowest-ranking officials.
    The deals, initially offered early last year, were often described by Afghan officials as cease-fires, but Taliban leaders were in fact offering money in exchange for government forces to hand over their weapons, according to an Afghan officer and a U.S. official.”
    “The Taliban capitalized on the uncertainty caused by the February 2020 agreement reached in Doha, Qatar, between the militant group and the United States calling for a full American withdrawal from Afghanistan.”

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  75. Deborah said on August 15, 2021 at 3:38 pm This is so depressing yet so understandable.

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  76. Sherri said on August 15, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    There is no leaving without abandoning those who supported us. Imagine if Biden had taken a slower approach and tried to get those who had helped us out: the right wing noise machine would have gone into high gear about how he was importing terrorists.

    The fundamental problem is that we were there propping up something that wasn’t real and didn’t have the support of the Afghanistans. So yes, as soon as we remove the props, it collapses, just like in Vietnam, just like in Iraq. We want to pretend we were doing something different, but we were colonizers and occupiers.

    We come in with guns and pick a faction who tells us what we want to hear, and are surprised when it doesn’t lead to a stable government we can then leave behind when we’re tired of sending out troops there. It never works, but we never learn.

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  77. Jeff Borden said on August 15, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    I’m with Sherri. Saudi Arabia is no ally. It’s as rotten, ruthless and cruel as Iran at its worst. Our dependence on Middle Eastern oil has come at a horrible price. Both parties have made accommodations to regimes that are the antithesis of our purported values.

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  78. susan said on August 15, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    Yes, the Purported United States of America.

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  79. David C said on August 15, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    Game time. Taliban or Republican.×900

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  80. Indiana Jack said on August 15, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    US/NATO policy in Afghanistan has been an exercise in futility for as long as I can remember. In 2011, I did a 2-week project there for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting that was ostensibly providing journalism training. The unspoken truth was that everyone knew in their bones that nothing we did made a difference. ISAF (the International Security and Assistance Force led by the US) made so many irreparable mistakes that it made no difference how many boots were on the ground. And there was a constant churn of manpower and leadership on both the military and diplomatic level. Still, my heart broke when I learned today that Mazar e Sharif, where I had conducted the training, had fallen to the Taliban. A few hours later I read that a young Afghan woman had been shot to death in the ancient city of Balkh because her clothes were “too tight” despite the fact that she was wearing a burkha. A historian once wrote that Afghanistan was, at best, similar to medieval Scotland, where the authority of the ruler diminished with every step away from the throne. It is a bundle of cruel contradictions and crushed dreams. The invasion was foolhardy and arrogant. So were the efforts at nation-building that followed. Once again, the words “failed state” come to mind.

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  81. Deborah said on August 15, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    I’m really not in the know about this but if the US had not shifted to Iraq would that even have made any difference in Afghanistan? And is that maybe why they shifted to Iraq, because they knew they were doomed in Afghanistan no matter what they did? I admit, I’m really ill informed on all of this stuff.

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  82. David C said on August 15, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    It might have with President Gore. Of course, when President Gore was briefed that “Osama bin Laden determine to strike within US” he probably would have done something instead of just saying “OK, you’ve covered your ass”. With President Cheney it was bound to go as it did.

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  83. Dexter Friend said on August 16, 2021 at 1:26 am

    I had forgotten the Haiti quake of 2010 killed 300,000. This one is horrible but not like that last one. Sunday’s aftershocks were also killers.
    All the old generals and admirals on cable news are decrying this pullout from Afghanistan. The same tribe of an earlier vintage told America of the horrible bloodbath that would occur if we ever left Vietnam. 46 years later it’s been sorted in Vietnam and we have been buying Samsung tablets and clothing from there for many years. I read of re-education camps for US supporters during the war, but no stories of massive genocidal massacres by the victors. Vietnam is a vibrant modern manufacturing nation now. The future of Afghanistan seems to be a return to extreme and rigid religious rule by zealots. But what could Biden do? I stand firmly behind Joe Biden is leaving there. 20 years of nation building and the result is catastrophic collapse? Cut and run, and don’t do these damn dumb-ass invasions anymore without a predisposed exit strategy.

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