Happily ever after.

Every day I’m reminded of how old I am. I get up after half an hour in a chair, and it’s not uncommon to stagger a step or two, as my legs relearn how to move in bipedal motion. I scan Twitter for five minutes and stumble across Americans so stupid I can’t believe they are able to themselves move in bipedal motion, let alone make it to a Trump rally and speak into a microphone. Or I’m sitting in a bar in St. Louis, and ask the bartender, no spring chicken herself, if the Schlafly craft brews on the beer menu are in any way related to Phyllis, or rather Phyllis’ family.


“Phyllis. Phyllis Schlafly.”

“Who’s that?” she asked. She looked at a younger guy sitting a few stools away, evidently a regular. “Do you know?” He shrugged.

Well, that says everything about our brief time on this blue marble, doesn’t it? One day you’re a nationally known helmet-haired antifeminist, founder of the Eagle Forum, the next you’re forgotten in your more-or-less hometown (Phyllis hailed from Alton, Ill., across the river, but part of the metropolitan area).

For the record, Schlafly brewing is related to Phyllis’ family-by-marriage, but she had nothing to do with it, as this story from 2014 details:

Phyllis Schlafly is opposing a federal trademark for the name “Schlafly” for beer made by a St. Louis craft brewery co-founded by her nephew, Tom Schlafly.

The Schlafly beer maker applied for the trademark on the use of the brand name in 2011; Phyllis Schlafly filed a notice of opposition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in September 2012. Settlement talks have failed to produce a resolution, and neither side appears ready to back down.

… Tom Schlafly is a nephew to Phyllis Schlafly by marriage — she married his uncle, the late John Fred Schlafly — but she has no connection to the brewery and never has. The question of whether Phyllis Schlafly has ties to the brewery comes up, however, especially in new markets outside of St. Louis.

Phyllis argued in her case that the name means one thing, and one thing only: Phyllis. And hence:

…“In connection with its usage as a surname, it has the connotation of conservative values, which to millions of Americans (such as Baptists and Mormons) means abstinence from alcohol,” her filing with the trademark office states. “An average consumer in St. Louis and elsewhere would think ‘Schlafly’ is a surname associated with me, and thus the registration of this name as a trademark by applicant should be denied.”

I guess she lost that one, because the name is all over St. Louis, and appears to be more connected to beer, and the branch of the public library near our hotel in the Central West End, than ol’ Phyllis, who croaked in 2016, at age 92. I think there’s a lesson here.

As for our weekend, it was pretty great. We had plenty of time to ourselves, plenty of time with friends, didn’t drink too-too much and all in all was well worth the time and travel investment. Beyond that, here’s some pix. Day one we strolled down to the Cathedral Basilica to see its famous mosaics. Which are…amazing. It’s an overused word, but it’s the only one that really applies. This church is the equal of any we saw in Europe over the last few years.

But that’s not all there is to see in the CWE. There’s also the World Chess Hall of Fame, and its attendant, the World’s Largest Chess Piece, as designated by the Guinness folks:

We didn’t go in – neither of us play – but I visited the gift shop. The HOF exerts a certain cultural influence over the crossroads where it’s located; the Kingside Diner’s children’s menu is designated “for little pawns.”

We found bike rentals nearby and toured Forest Park. It was blazingly hot. Saint Louis’ horse would have fainted, but fortunately he’s bronze:

Friday night, the welcome party, at a beer garden, of course:

The wedding couple are both genetic researchers, a theme reflected in the desserts:

The wedding day was even hotter, so we tried to go from one air-conditioned space to another until it was time to go to the venue, a secular space for a Jewish wedding. The yarmulkes matched the groom’s footwear:

Here I am with my godson, Patrick, as the killer sun retreated for the evening and the outdoors grew pleasantly habitable again:

Blue dresses go well with red shoes:

Of course there was a hora. The groom looks like he’s considering what could happen to all that science in his brain if he happens to be dropped on it.

But no one was hurt, the night went swimmingly and everyone danced to Motown tunes, proof that Detroit’s contributions to the world do not begin and end with cars.

I hope I didn’t slow anyone’s download with all the pix, but right now I’d much rather take a bike ride than sit at a keyboard. Catch you later, all.

Posted at 9:13 am in Same ol' same ol' |

39 responses to “Happily ever after.”

  1. Mark P said on October 2, 2023 at 9:53 am

    I like that Jews, even rabbis, can tell you that they are an atheist and still completely Jewish. That lets the non-god-botherers take part in all the Jewish life without feeling like an outsider.

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  2. JodiP said on October 2, 2023 at 10:11 am

    That cathedral is really stunning! I also love your eyewear.

    I’m just a tad younger than Nancy, but if I’m busy doing stuff at work and forget to get up every hour or so….some part of my body files a complaint insisting on immediate rectification. Stretching, especially the fancy yoga types are a beautiful gift from the universe!

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  3. FDChief said on October 2, 2023 at 10:14 am

    Keep in the back of your mind that all this creakage involves your original parts. Since I have been to the mountaintop, lemme tellya that once you get your lower joints replaced the damn things really forget all that simple stuff like “bend this far and no farther” or “okay, it’s time to bend now”.

    Don’t mistake me; the surcease from pain and soreness is worth it! But this is your legs warming you up for “hello! I’m you at age eighty!”

    OT: as someone who was taken by Matt Taibbi’s work on the scum and villainy behind the Great Recession it’s been painful to watch his descent into wingnut madness. His latest screed (on Fauci as Sulla) is the nadir to date.

    How do all these people (Taibbi, Greenwald, RFK) go from being notionally, at least, critics of money and power to enthusiastically licking the backsides of the grossest money-power icons like Trump and the wingnut Right?

    I mean, RFK is apparently a loon, and Taibbi is on record as being pretty sketchy while in Moscow, but still…if you’re gonna go Full Jackhole, why not go to the Left? Why cozy up to people who, in the kindest estimation, are human spirochetes?

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  4. Dorothy said on October 2, 2023 at 10:59 am

    Jodi beat me to it – I like your glass frames as well.

    I must have done something right about music and my kids. We ate at our son’s house for dinner yesterday, and they were playing Motown tunes on Pandora while we all scarfed his drunken noodles, gluten free doncha know.

    Didn’t get a chance to chime in about St. Louis in the previous thread. Thirteen years ago my daughter and I flew there with the Laura Ingalls Wilder homestead our ultimate destination since she was named after her. We did go to an art museum in STL and it was pretty great. We saw a minor league baseball game too, and I learned how to knit socks that weekend. And we both cried a little bit when we saw Pa’s fiddle in the museum.

    Wait – the groom got to wear Converse but you had to wear pointy heels!? That ain’t fair!

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  5. Deborah said on October 2, 2023 at 11:33 am

    The word when I lived in St. Louis and the Schlafly brewery opened was that it was founded by Phyllis’s gay son. So I guess we were all wrong?

    A few years back Phyllis spoke at Washington University (also in St. Louis) and a large contingent of the audience stood and turned their backs to the stage to protest her. One of our friends used to be the dean of the school of architecture at Wash U, she told us about it, we had already moved to Chicago when that happened.

    Yep, the basilica is stunning. Pope John Paul went there way back in the late 90s, he stayed in the archdiocese residence which was across the street from the highrise building we lived in. We came home from a business trip then in a cab from the airport and couldn’t get to our place because they had blocked off the street (Lindell) for security reasons and we had to walk with our luggage from where the cab let us off a couple of blocks away. We lived a block or so west of the basilica, could clearly see it from our bedroom window.

    St. Louis is very hot and humid in the summer which is now extending into fall as we all know. I grew up in Miami, you’d think I would have been used to it but I disliked summers in St. Louis because of it, although occasionally we would get a day or two of coolness which felt like heaven by comparison.

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  6. Heather said on October 2, 2023 at 12:07 pm

    After I went from feeling pretty decent to a creaky little old lady in the span of about a month recently, I asked some friends on FB about a sudden onset of joint pain. Seems to be a pretty typical perimenopause thing. I got some good advice and am feeling better, although my knees are still quite noisy.

    I have a good example of a cultural reference that’s lost on the young. I gave my credit card to a bartender about a year ago. To be fair it’s hard to see my name on it. At the end of the night, she couldn’t find my card. I said it’s a Bank of America card. She said that the only BoA card she could find was for someone named Merrill Lynch.

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  7. susan said on October 2, 2023 at 12:07 pm

    Ooooof. Those pointy red “shoes” don’t belong on anyone’s feet! How do you walk in them? How can you run in them if you need to get away quickly? What do your toes look like after four hours squished into them?

    I guess they’re good for kicking someone in the balls. There’s that.

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  8. Mark P said on October 2, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    About those pointy-toed shoes … they remind me of my first rule of life: Never wear shoes you can’t walk home in. I learned that when I had to drive a young undergrad way out beyond the Atlanta perimeter from close to Georgia Tech during one of our rare, sudden blizzards. She was walking about 10 miles home through six inches of snow wearing dressy, open shoes like that. But they’re pretty. Did you try clicking your heels together?

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  9. tajalli said on October 2, 2023 at 12:52 pm

    What great pictures! A bit of vicarious travel thrill for us. Thanks, Nancy. Were these snapped with a smartphone?

    Vibrant! is the word since my internal “amazing” and “stunning” are already on record. The stained glass clerestory and altar windows along with the bone deep organ music and singing were the centerpiece of what I considered religion as a child. When I reached the age of reason, I bowed out. If there were a compulsory religion requirement, I’d pick Judaism for its thoughtfulness and compassion, if Buddhism weren’t on the approved list.

    My deal-breaker requirement for shoes is that I have to be able to run in them. Of course, these days I scuttle more than run. But that red! Wah!

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  10. Robert said on October 2, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    Loved the basilica pix and the DNA cupcakes

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  11. ROGirl said on October 2, 2023 at 2:40 pm

    The shiny gold beanies are a trip.

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  12. jcburns said on October 2, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    I got my shiny gold beanie autographed by the bride and groom after the ceremony. Please don’t tell the religious authorities.

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  13. tajalli said on October 2, 2023 at 3:56 pm

    Okay, what’s not to like, Laphonza will be terrific and, as a bonus, will irritate the haters beaucoup, and is young enough to have a really good run.


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  14. Deborah said on October 2, 2023 at 4:12 pm

    JC, were you at that wedding too? Did I miss something?

    Nancy Pelosi is how old, and she wears tippy toed pointy stilettos all the time. She said the suede ones feel like house slippers.

    Last spring in NYC at the Guggenheim opening of an exhibit my sister in law had 2 pieces from her collection in, I wore high-ish heels and by the end of the evening I was crippled. I left the shoes in the hotel room when we left and they were expensive Stuart Weismann shoes in perfect condition but I hadn’t worn them for 12 years or so before that, I knew I would never wear them again.

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  15. nancy said on October 2, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    That’s JC in the beer-garden pic with me. Oh, and those shoes are fairly comfortable, as heels go. Three-inch heels, comfortable for roughly three-four hours. Then the dogs start barking.

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  16. alex said on October 2, 2023 at 4:51 pm

    Phyllis Schlafly is the one who gave the Schlafly name a bad name. The brewmeister should have countersued and demanded that she cease and desist from being a crotchety neo-fascist harridan.

    I first saw Schlafly beer in a bar about ten years ago that had Schlafly coasters all over the counter. My musings about old Phyllis were lost on the boomer barkeep even back then. Some people really do live their entire lives knowing nothing about anything.

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  17. Julie Robinson said on October 2, 2023 at 9:55 pm

    So apperently Newsom has royally disappointed Barbara Lee, who was looking forward to serving “long term”. She is 77. WTF? I’m a decade younger and I wouldn’t feel up to being a Senator, either in brain power or energy.

    Here’s hoping everyone looks that happy after our son’s wedding this weekend. Shoes have been a major consideration; since my broken ankle I don’t fit into most of mine and have been wearing my fugly Stegmann clogs with occasional forays into tennis shoes. I finally found a pair of Dansko Mary Janes, but I may just schlep the clogs along as an insurance policy. My dress is floor length and should hide them, right?

    In my mind Phyllis Schafley and Marabel Morgan are linked–remember The Total Woman? Always greet your husband at the end of the day in a clean, pressed dress, makeup and jewelry impeccable, and holding a cocktail. Then when you really want to spice things up, wrap your naked self in saran wrap. Puh-lease!

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  18. alex said on October 2, 2023 at 10:02 pm

    Marabel was the woman that Phyllis wanted every woman to be. Phyllis was the castrating bitch that every Marabel really wanted to be.

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  19. Sherri said on October 2, 2023 at 10:34 pm

    Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman shared the Nobel Prize today for their work on mRNA which made possible the Covid vaccine. The kicker to the story is that Karikó worked on this for years at Penn, but progress was too slow to satisfy her bosses there, who demoted her to non-tenure track and cut her salary. She eventually left for a biotech company, but Penn holds the patent on her work.


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  20. LAMary said on October 2, 2023 at 11:09 pm

    Julie, consider Naturalizer ballet flats. I had a pair I’d keep in my desk drawer at a job where the owner’s bitchy wife wanted all the female employees to dress up for the job. I was commuting by light rail and I was wearing sneakers. If I got the heads up from the receptionist that the wife was in the building I’d put on the nice shoes. They are actually comfortable and not bad looking. They come in different widths.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on October 3, 2023 at 9:13 am

    Alex for the thread win!

    Mary, thanks for the suggestion. I’ll try those if the Danskos don’t work, but it looks like they don’t have removeable insoles? Ecxept for my clogs, I always take out the insole to make space for my orthotics. Sexy, no?

    First family member arrives today and is staying here despite my saying no guests. Said family member invited self on phone call with mild-mannered better half who doesn’t know how to say no. I still have to go to my volunteer job because this week is payroll. 91 yo mother goes into hysterics at the idea of removing boxes from her hallway. Fun times!

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  22. Jeff Borden said on October 3, 2023 at 1:11 pm

    I’m finding it hilarious that the orange cancer’s case will be decided by a judge rather than a jury because his 5th-rate lawyer forgot to seek one. You get what you pay for, sucker. No real attorney will work for the addled old deadbeat.

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  23. brian stouder said on October 3, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    Marvelous photos! ‘Course, I don’t think a bad photo of our Proprietress is possible, so there’s that

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  24. Jeff Borden said on October 3, 2023 at 3:47 pm

    Oh, my. The judge in tRump’s fraud trial in NYC has issued a gag order prohibiting the orange cancer from commenting on the judge or court staff. Since tRump cannot ever keep his pie hole shut, how long before he’s found in contempt?

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  25. David C said on October 3, 2023 at 4:58 pm

    It’ll last until he gets his 2:00 AM adderall hit.

    Qevin has been removed from the speakership. Now the really interesting part begins.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on October 3, 2023 at 5:05 pm

    McCarthy is a eunuch whose fate was sealed when he gave into the toddlers of the Freedumb Caucus. He may yet return to the speakership, but at the moment, the House cannot conduct business. Of course, all those worthless assholes will still get paid.

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  27. Jeff Borden said on October 3, 2023 at 7:06 pm

    Wow. Kevin McEunuch says he will not run for speaker again. The loonies are truly in charge now.

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  28. Julie Robinson said on October 3, 2023 at 7:12 pm

    Somewhere I read a wag saying Matt Gaetz has finally screwed someone over the age of 18. Let me know if that’s an only in Florida joke.

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  29. brian stouder said on October 3, 2023 at 9:09 pm

    I move that Julie wins the thread by unanimous consent! (I’m still chuckling!)

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  30. Sherri said on October 3, 2023 at 9:44 pm

    When I heard that Michael Lewis had embedded with SBF and so had a front row seat as FTX crumbled, I was looking forward to the resulting book. Unfortunately, from the reviews, Lewis seems to have stuck to his original narrative of SBF as boy genius and not let the new facts get in the way of the story he had already started writing.

    I remain baffled that so many seemingly smart people could have been fooled by crypto. Not SBF, he wasn’t fooled, he was a grifter running a Ponzi scheme.

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  31. Julie Robinson said on October 3, 2023 at 9:59 pm

    Capsule review from Jennifer Scalzi at the NYT: “Lewis, who traveled back and forth from the Bahamas, where Bankman-Fried was based, had, in the months leading up to the disaster, a front-row seat — from which he could apparently see nothing.”

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  32. susan said on October 3, 2023 at 11:45 pm

    Julie, the one I saw was that Matt Gaetz has finally screwed someone old enough to drink.

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  33. Dexter Friend said on October 4, 2023 at 2:10 am

    Michael Lewis was clear in describing how SBF was not running a Ponzi scheme.
    From 60 Minutes last Sunday:
    ““This isn’t a Ponzi scheme,” Lewis said. “Like, when you think of a Ponzi scheme, I don’t know, Bernie Madoff, the problem is — there’s no real business there. The dollar coming in is being used to pay the dollar going out. And in this case, they actually had — a great real business.”

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  34. basset said on October 4, 2023 at 9:08 am

    Mrs B and I got our Covid updates at a grocery-store pharmacy yesterday, and the young pharmacist giving the shots was talking with the woman ahead of us in line about how many shots he’s given, how it’s done, and so forth.

    “At my previous store,” he told her, “we used to shoot them out of blowguns.” He claimed to hold that store’s vax distance record… she either played along with it remarkably well or she believed him, and going by her general air of vagueness and credulity I suspect the latter.

    I told someone years ago that Amarillo was so flat and the horizon so distant that on a clear day you could actually see the back of your own head, and he bought it… apparently didn’t notice everyone else in earshot trying not to laugh out loud.

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  35. Suzanne said on October 4, 2023 at 9:39 am

    Dexter, I cringed when Lewis said FTX wasn’t a Ponzi scheme but Madoff’s business was. Both Madoff & Bankman-Fried took money from people under the premise of investing it and then invested it in themselves. I fail to see the difference, no matter what you call it. I have read a number of Lewis’ books and got a lot of information that seemed to be well researched but now I am totally rethinking that.

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  36. Jeff Gill said on October 4, 2023 at 9:44 am

    Amarillo is a place where almost anything is possible.

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  37. FDChief said on October 4, 2023 at 10:28 am

    Samanth Subramanian at the Guardian has a revealing interview with Lewis on the SBF book (along with his approach to his other work) and the takeaway seems to be that Lewis doesn’t do actual “journalism” but PR for his subjects.

    It’s immaterial what SBF intended; what he DID was criminal. Lewis takes the guy at his word, which would be like crediting Trump for Infrastructure Week because word-like objects of that nature came out his piehole.

    I’ve never read the man, and now I don’t need to; that’s just foolish credulity.

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  38. Jeff Borden said on October 4, 2023 at 12:31 pm

    There’s an interesting story out profiling Rep. Patrick McHenry, who is the speaker pro tempore and the guy who tossed Nancy Pelosi out of her office while she’s in California for the funeral of Dianne Feinstein. He also booted another elderly Dem, Steny Hoyer, from his office. Why? Because he can.

    McHenry is a vicious anti-gay bigot. He’s in the pocket of payday lenders, perhaps the sleaziest of all financial institutions. And he’s been described as the rudest member of Congress, an unpleasant little prick who always believes he’s correct. The story attributes much of his twisted personality to his lack of height a.k.a. Napoleon complex. Gosh, he seems nice.

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  39. del said on October 4, 2023 at 7:02 pm

    Good to see JC in the beer garden. Cheers!

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