We do our part.

I really don’t love weightlifting, although what I do hardly qualifies — call it strength training, say. Sherri’s a weightlifter. I just have to drag my whiny ass to the gym once or twice a week to push around some dumbbells to supplement, and hopefully improve, the other things I do. But I dragged it today, whining all the way, for the first time in a long while (Delta, Omicron) and I can just tell I am going to be so sore tomorrow I may not be able to move. So best get this thing out of the way now, while I’m still capable of keyboard entry.

I’ve been exercising all pandemic, just not with the heavier stuff. But no, I did not feel “in shape” enough to not be sore.

Whine, whine.

So as my time here is limited, here’s what we did last night.

I know many of you are doing the hard work of supporting the Ukrainian people — writing checks, collecting donated goods, all that. The Derringers and their friends the Walshes did their part by going out to eat.

A former Wayne State student of mine, who went on to become the Free Press restaurant critic, is a Slavic emigre who came to this country as a boy. From Lithuania, but his family is Ukrainian. Lately he took the buyout from the paper and became editorial director for a pop-up dining space in Hazel Park. We’ve been there a few times — they do themed dinners with guest chefs, classes, that sort of thing. When I saw they had a Russian dinner planned, I perked up. We’re between Covid waves, we haven’t had a fancy dinner out in ages and what the hell else is your American Express card for, anyway? So we signed up. Then the war started, and the idea of paying tribute to Russia became a record scratch, so the theme was changed to “Slavic Solidarity,” and the profits directed to Ukrainian relief.

So we got dressed up and headed to Hazel Park. Took two bottles of our own and paid the steep corkage, but it was worth it because one bottle was bubbles, and we had that with the first two courses.

Sunflowers on the table, of course. And what else do you drink with caviar but good champagne?

The chef introduced those as “caviar tacos,” and even though I’m not really a caviar girl, it was fabulous with the eggs, the blini, the sour cream, a little squirt of lemon. Yum.

We brought a bottle we got in France, and those Reidel glasses and the candle made it look so purty, I can’t even remember what point Lynn was making here.

The main course? Chicken Kiev, of course:

Surprisingly, that was the only course that wasn’t great. I wanted the butter to squirt, and it didn’t. But it tasted fine, and that’s what counts. Dessert was another blini with a berry compote and whipped cream. Just a lovely dinner on a cold night in the very early spring.

I wondered, as we drove home, if this is what rich people tell themselves after they do one of their over-the-top “fundraisers” for charity — that yes, I ate caviar and drank champagne, but it was for a good cause and I am a good person for doing so. I didn’t feel like a particularly good person, only a well-fed one.

Anyway, that was the highlight of the weekend. There may be more news coming soon, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Signing off, here is the Nall/Derringer co-prosperity sphere, FaceTuned to a near-unrecognizable state, but hey, that’s what digital photography is for, right? Warping reality:

Have a great week ahead, everyone.

Posted at 5:44 pm in Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |

20 responses to “We do our part.”

  1. David C said on March 27, 2022 at 5:55 pm

    I supported Ukraine by drinking beer.

    OSHKOSH – A naked Vladimir Putin sitting on a throne surrounded by images of war isn’t the beer label artwork that Bare Bones Brewery owner Dan Dringoli would have chosen, but it’s worth it if the strong ale inside the cans and on tap raises a couple thousand dollars to help people in Ukraine.

    Bare Bones is brewing Putin Huylo, a dry-hopped strong ale clocking in at 8% ABV following a beer recipe from Pravda Brewery in Lviv, Ukraine.

    The artwork is also from the Ukrainian brewer.


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  2. Jeff Borden said on March 27, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    Johanna and I had lunch 10 days ago at Russian Tea Time, a long-time fixture on Adams Street by the Chicago Art Institute and Symphony Center. One of the Chicago papers had a story on how people were calling up and cursing the owners, but of course, they are Ukrainian. It was lunch and I’m no longer a day drinker, but I had some fine beef stroganoff and Johanna had a vegetarian platter. Next time we’ll go for dinner and sample the flight of Ukrainian vodkas.

    The people of Ukraine ought to shame the holy hell out of the performative “patriots” in this country with their constant whining about masks and vaccines and high gas prices. Jesus, those people are tough.

    It took three showers to get the stench of horseshit off me after watching the Senate hearings for Judge Jackson. I’d pay good money to watch Marsha Blackburn, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Josh Hawley lowered inch-by-inch into a tank of piranhas, though I would feel terribly sorry for those poor fish.

    When those fucking assholes retake the House and Senate, it’s going to be pie fights and clown shows and mud wrestling 24/7.

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  3. Deborah said on March 27, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    Jeff B, thanks for that info about the Ukrainian owners of that restaurant in Chicago, we will look that up.

    I deposited a bouquet at the Ukrainian consulate a few days ago, but other than that we’ve done nothing for Ukraine, not that that even helps except to send a message to other Chicagoans. We’ll have to get serious about donating to a reputable place soon.

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  4. Peter said on March 27, 2022 at 9:46 pm

    And may I note what a nice photo of a lovely couple.

    I’d put my two cents in about Ukraine and the Senate but I wouldn’t be saying anything that hasn’t been said already.

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  5. Jason T. said on March 27, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    Damn! You kids look great!

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  6. LAMary said on March 27, 2022 at 10:23 pm

    I didn’t check recently but Doctors Without Borders does good work and uses a very high percentage of contributions to do their work, not to pay their executives. I worry because they’re offering swag now. I hope that’s generating more donations. Amnesty International is good too, and Unicef is on the ground there helping families with children. I know a retired Amnesty exec and she assures me most of the bucks go towards helping.

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  7. susan said on March 28, 2022 at 12:04 am

    Here’s a good one to give aid to Ukraine (or anyone else, for that matter).

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  8. Jeff Gill said on March 28, 2022 at 8:48 am

    Looking good, the both’s of ya.

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  9. alex said on March 28, 2022 at 10:05 am

    Didn’t watch the Oscars so missed the big smackdown. I guess the days of roasts are over and brawling like MAGAts is the new normal.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on March 28, 2022 at 11:41 am

    We watched to the bitter end although I don’t know why. Don’t know who half the people are and haven’t seen most of the movies. I told our daughter she was in a room of old farts.

    Chris Rock’s joke was horrible. Making fun of a woman with alopecia, who has bravely made it public? Nope. Inappropriate. But striking a man on national TV is also wrong, wrong, wrong. They’ve both damaged their careers and whatever legacies they had.

    Part of the problem was the set design. The first tier, where the Smith family sat, was only a few feet away from where Rock was standing. No stairs, no podium. This was probably to make it faster for the winners to walk up, but it happened so fast there wasn’t time for security to respond and intervene. I bet they won’t repeat that next year.

    When I’m giving money I check out the financials, especially the percentage that goes to the program as opposed to salaries and fundraising. Charity Navigator now has links to IRS 990s and CEO salaries, and they give star ratings.

    I will say that the numbers don’t always give a full picture. The tiny non-profit where I worked never ranked well because we weren’t paying an outside auditor. We had a CPA on the board who audited for us gratis and who didn’t have any conflict of interest. The amount we would have had to pay was just too much for our miniscule budget, but it didn’t tick the right boxes for some foundations.

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  11. Jeff Borden said on March 28, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    As someone who once considered himself a movie buff, I was surprised to realize this morning I forgot about the Academy Awards last night. So, I missed “the slap.” Generally, I’ve enjoyed Chris Rock’s work, but that was a lameass joke.

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  12. Dexter Friend said on March 28, 2022 at 4:40 pm

    CODA ! My favorite film won. Sure, boilerplate format fashioned after “Mister Holland’s Opus”, but what an incredible movie. I had to walk Pogo right when The Slap happened, so Smith’s slap was missed, making Smith’s tearful apology to The Academy (not to Rock)confused me until after, when I saw the incident re-played constantly. Troy Kotsur winning Best Supporting Actor was amazing. Bringing out Liza in her confused state made some uncomfortable, but let’s celebrate her life when she’s still alive. Her hip surgery didn’t go perfectly years ago, and a couple years ago a bout with viral meningitis nearly KO’d her…she is “shaky” but does not have Parkinson’s. Liza is 76 years old.
    OK, try and watch CODA, if possible. It’s a great movie. A plus, it was filmed around Gloucester, Massachusetts, a cool setting. I took a few vacations around that area.

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  13. beb said on March 28, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    Your photo reminded me of a recent article somewhere on the Internet about how people not only don’t know how to take photos anymore but can’t take the photos they want because everyone uses their phones and the photos have so many built in enhancements that prevent them from making personal choices.

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  14. LAMary said on March 28, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    Doctors Without Borders gets a four star “exceptional” rating by Charity Navigator. The last time I looked at their rating it was the same. I was impressed because the CEO was making about the same or less than as some not very high level executives I hired.

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  15. alex said on March 29, 2022 at 7:38 am

    Question for the commentariat here. Can’t seem to find any answer by googling.

    Is an interstate highway emblem with the number 403 some kind of right-wing meme?

    Lately I’ve been seeing such stickers on cars and then the other day I got this rather cryptic promo piece in the mail, a glossy paper I-403 highway sign with a QR code on the back. I was afraid to scan it not knowing what it’s about. It promised that highway 43 would be opening soon.

    My guess is that the 403 stands for forbidden access on the internet and that nutters are making it a symbol for the alleged censorship of the right. And the mailer, I presume, is some invitation to some new social media or some such that I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with.

    Anyone else here know what this is about?

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  16. Joe Kobiela said on March 29, 2022 at 8:17 am

    County line church, just north of you Alex, it’s a sermon series for the month of April, no idea what it’s about, and don’t really agree with their teachings.
    Pilot Joe

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  17. Deborah said on March 29, 2022 at 8:49 am

    Alex, from their website I-403 stands for a passage from the Book of Isaiah in the Bible. Isaiah 40:3 states: “Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!”

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  18. alex said on March 29, 2022 at 9:24 am

    Thanks Joe. Makes total sense now. That church does a lot of advertising and promotions and it’s pretty big.

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  19. Julie Robinson said on March 29, 2022 at 10:16 am

    Alex, I’ve been thinking of you and your dad. How’s everyone doing?

    DeathSantis signed the Don’t Say Gay bill into law, surrounded by a bunch of kids at a right wing school. Looking at the picture, I saw several kids I’m guessing will be personally damaged by the kind of thinking it represents. It’s being challenged.

    Which leads me to a disturbing incident Saturday at a play, Shakespeare no less. The director announced that patrons no longer had to wear masks and a cheer went up from a substantial portion of the audience. Ugh. I thought Orlando was the blue part of Florida. It also bothered me because they were requiring masks when we bought the tickets, and it felt a little bait and switch.

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  20. alex said on March 29, 2022 at 10:48 am

    That sounds like quite a bait and switch Julie. I know plenty of people who still mask because they’re protecting immunocompromised family members including children, and they should have announced the change to all ticket buyers prior to the show.

    My dad’s doing alright. He likes being in his house because it reminds him of my mom. He quickly changed his mind about wanting to move in with my brother’s family in Georgia. He spends his days looking at old photo albums and watching videos of family vacations and reflecting on life and seems to be content with that. My brother’s about to take him to Georgia for a couple of weeks in April. I’ve been preparing food for my dad and some neighbors have been pitching in as well. He’s only now just realizing that he should have replaced his driver’s license, which the BMV wouldn’t renew, with a state ID. He was under the impression that once you had a star ID you were good. Nope, if it’s expired it counts for nothing and you need to bring a passport, Social Security card, bills, etc. in order to get an ID.

    The local BMV advertises itself as open on Saturdays. In fact, what’s open is a bunch of electronic kiosks that let you perform most transactions but not the one he needs. He had poo-pooed the idea that the elderly or poor have any difficulty getting IDs for purposes of voting but now he realizes just how difficult it really is.

    And as my brother in Georgia has pointed out, the state GOP supermajority closed license branches in all the majority-Black counties so that people would have to travel far to get an ID.

    So what scales hadn’t fallen from Dad’s eyes have finally done so where the GOP is concerned.

    I’m finding that life is keeping me too damn busy managing stuff to have any meaningful quality time for pure enjoyment. That’s how it’s going here. I’m serious about retiring early if I can swing it financially and my partner getting me onto his employer’s health insurance just might do the trick.

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