Yikes, now that was a weekend. Perfect weather both days, just in time for miserable weather arriving during the week, when we’ll be scraping the bottom of the 90s. Why do I live here, I will ask myself on days like that. The answer:
Blue water, blue skies. That’s why.
That was Saturday. On Sunday, bike ride to John’s Carpet House for some of the blues jam that happens there every Sunday, in season. It’s grown — considerably — since the last time I was there. It’s much more of a place to show out, but still friendly, and that’s what counts. I had a late lunch of two tacos from a place that was selling them for $2 each. The guy asked me what I wanted on them. I asked what he had. Cheese, sour cream, taco sauce, jalapeños or something he called “Kranch.”
“It’s so good on tacos, you won’t believe it,” he said.
OK, then — cheese and Kranch. Which turned out to be ketchup and ranch dressing, but he was right — it wasn’t half-bad, at least when you’re hungry, and I was. Plus two Modelos.
It was necessary to be outside this weekend to shake off the stench of current events. Which leads to some bloggage:
A profile of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that will definitely polish her brand as a possible presidential contender down the road. Washington Post, but the link is a “gift” link, so I’m hoping you all can see it. Anyway:
Whitmer is a woman, but she is also an attractive woman, and her use of executive power, when wielded broadly, seems to deeply trigger her male antagonists. The Republican leader of the state Senate, Mike Shirkey, bragged on a hot mic that he had “spanked her hard on budget, spanked her hard on appointments,” and also contemplated “inviting her to a fistfight on the Capitol lawn.” Another Republican lawmaker, Sen. Ed McBroom, complained that Whitmer had been “neutering” him and his colleagues, the cause of the legislature’s “emasculation.”
At the start of the pandemic, Whitmer urged the federal government to supply more equipment to Michigan. On live television from the White House press briefing room, Trump dismissed her as “the woman from Michigan.” She was in national headlines. Democrats called it a political gift. Joe Biden thought about making her vice president, inviting her to Delaware to talk about the job in secret.
But that’s also when the threats started. Hundreds that don’t make it into the media, she said. And then there were the armed protests. And then there was the hit list with her name on it, belonging to a man who shot and killed a former Wisconsin judge. And then there was the kidnapping plot, a saga that began in the fall of 2020 and stretched on into a trial this year. Four men were charged, their plans and fantasies spelled out in public court filings: hogtying the governor, laying the governor out on a table, shooting the governor in the skull, shooting the governor in her doorway. She tried not to follow the trial coverage, but the headlines always passed by on Twitter and in push alerts. How could she not look? “Like, for weeks that this trial was going … every day,” she said. “So even if I wasn’t reading those articles, I couldn’t get away from them.”
I’m glad she’s talking about it, because most of the state media do not. Whitmer is nakedly ambitious, but this is so obvious.
Here’s more WashPost content, and another gift link, actor John Turturro talking about his grandmother’s illegal abortion:
My mother, Katherine, the fourth of six children, was born in Brooklyn to immigrants from Sicily. Her mother, Rosa, took care of the family and worked as a seamstress from home; her father, Giovanni, earned his living as a shoemaker. They struggled as many poor families did, then and now, to feed and clothe their children. Then Rosa became pregnant with child number seven.
She was 40. She had a baby, a 4-year-old, a 6-year-old, a 7-year-old, an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old. I imagine the method of birth control was rudimentary. Rosa’s older sister Margarita was distraught that Rosa would have another mouth to feed. Margarita persuaded her sister not to bear another child.
She was given a “special drink” by her sister. It didn’t go well:
My grandmother became feverish — most likely from an infection that turned into septic shock that evening — on fire from the poison, burning inside. Pennyroyal, I know now, can be toxic to the liver. My mom watched her mother stand up on her bed, pulling at her hair and asking God, “Why?”
Rosa Inzerillo was taken to Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn on April 18, 1927. She died on April 25 at about 7 a.m.
I’m glad he wrote about this, because we know this is who most often gets an abortion — a woman who already is a mother and is struggling with the ones she has. The column goes on to describe what happens to a poor woman with six children who dies in 1927. It blew up her family, in every way imaginable. I won’t spoil it — just read.
And on a lighter note, ha ha, a NYT magazine story on why the future of opera may be unfolding in? Yes, Detroit. Another gift link. My friends who have seen the productions Yuval Sharon has done so far have raved about them. We’ll have to see one next season, if we can get seats after this.
With that, I believe I’ve got some recovering to do from all this sun. Funny how it knocks you flat, ain’a? But I’m thinking some pizza will be good medicine.
Let the week begin.