The barrel has no bottom.

I guess this is where we are now, right? The president incites a mob to chant “send her back” about an immigrant whose story bears absolutely no resemblance to the one now accepted as fact. The next day, he tells an outright, obvious lie about how bothered he was by the whole incident, how he tried to shut it down immediately, as though the whole incident wasn’t on national television, as though the tape can’t be consulted with a few clicks, and already I’ve seen a couple of apparently intelligent people saying, “He said he disapproves, and tried to shut it down.”

That’s where we are now. The barrel, it has no bottom.

Next month — hell, maybe next week, maybe tomorrow — we’ll be in a different, worse place. Something to look forward to.

With that in mind, we limp to the end of a pretty awful week. Tomorrow it will be in the mid 90s, with humidity to match. When I swam Wednesday, I pulled up wheezing at the end of a piece and said, “I can’t breathe,” and the person in the next lane said, “I thought it was just me.” And this at 6:30 a.m. It’s thick out there.

First, this bit of bloggage: What you have to believe to believe the president.

And this: Why you want to work in a newsroom.

A good weekend, all. Stay cool.

Posted at 8:39 pm in Current events | 34 Comments
 

Sweating gel.

A sweaty weekend. By my reckoning, I sweated through to the ends of my hair about five times over the weekend — a serious Saturday workout, then a bike ride in the early-evening heat, then cleaning the house, the usual — and now, on Sunday, my hair is basically held in place with dried sweat and truth be told, it’s not a terrible look. Maybe these hack-your-biome people are on to something. Once upon a time, it would be a disaster; I’ve always been a little on the oily side, but in my dessicated-crone years, I seem to have reached an equilibrium.

(I hasten to add that I still showered a couple times over the weekend. But I didn’t get my hair wet, because the last thing you want to do on a sweaty weekend is blow hot air on your head.)

And it was a decent weekend, hot, and a little upended. I had plans to do a river swim with a friend today, but we cancelled because police were looking for a drowning victim right where we usually go. Perils of summer, I guess, along with things like the blackout in New York.

What a blast that must have been, with Broadway casts singing in the streets and everybody jolly and helpful. I get the feeling people elsewhere are somehow disappointed when New York fails to disintegrate into a zombie-apocalypse scenario under such conditions, and instead rises to the occasion with grace, humor and generosity. When a water main broke in 1999 in Fort Wayne, cutting off water to a big chunk of the city, there was pushing and shoving in the bottled-water aisles at the grocery stores. And service was restored in just a few hours. Afterward, the tension was chalked up to “concerns about Y2K,” but if I was facing a tense situation, I know where I’d rather be.

Which brings us to the story of the weekend, wherein the president of the United States reveals himself, yet again, to be a racist, and half the nation gapes, appalled, and the other half essentially yawns, shrugs and says, “Portfolio’s doing pretty great. Nobody’s perfect.”

This stupid country. We are so deep into our Good Germans phase we’re soaking in it, and who cares? You do, I do, lots of people do, but not enough.

I want to say one last thing about Jeffrey Epstein, at least until I say the next thing: There’s an idea going around, that if you try to distinguish between “pedophilia” and what Epstein apparently has, i.e. “ephebophilia,” i.e., attraction to post-pubescent adolescents, that this is the hallmark of a creep. I get it, I really do, but I think it’s important to make a distinction, because it goes to the heart of the way young women are treated in this culture.

It’s in the porny way we treat “Lolitas,” and it’s not just people like Epstein and Larry Flynt and other creeps. It’s also evident in the way virginity is prized in evangelical cultures, this idea that women can be “spoiled” by sexual activity outside of marriage. It’s deeply misogynistic.

And it’s far more widespread than we acknowledge. I understand that men will look at beautiful teenage girls and recognize that they are attractive; that’s biology, and it happens. In ancient cultures, women were married off as soon as they were capable of childbearing. And this is what a lot of the don’t-call-it-pedophilia seem to be saying: That this is somehow OK, because it used to be OK for men to sleep with teens. Obviously, that’s not what I’m saying. When adults act on those urges, I think it’s a mistake to call it pedophilia, because that reduces young women to children in the name of protecting them. Of course they still need protection, but it’s different from the way we protect young kids; rather, it’s a way of valuing their potential and the life that lies ahead of them.

I keep thinking of something I read in the original Miami Herald piece about Epstein that started all this, last fall. One of the girls said she was triggered by the word “pure,” because that’s one Epstein used with her, over and over. I guess when he was done with her, she was no longer pure.

Women are people, and they’re real, not precious glass sculptures that you throw away when one’s leg gets snapped off. They’re not children, either, as much as we want to treat them that way.

OK, time to face the week ahead. Still gonna be hot. I guess it’s preferable to January.

Posted at 9:15 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 29 Comments
 

Could you repeat that? LOUDER?

I was sitting down to blog last night after dinner when all the house’s various white-noise sounds — refrigerator, ceiling fans — went silent and the internet stopped working, and whaddaya know, we’re having a power outage.

It wasn’t a widespread one, but it meant no blogging, no HBO, limited phone use to preserve battery life. I took the opportunity to go to bed at 10 p.m. — not really; I always go to bed at 10 — after reading until the light was all the way gone. Primitive things, these “books,” but oddly calming at bedtime.

And all was well and I was sweetly slumbering until 11, when the power came back on and my neighbor, who I suspect had been drinking earlier, bellowed THE POWER’S BACK ON while standing in his driveway, more or less directly under my bedroom window, and then I was wide awake until 1 a.m. and that, my friends, is how what started as a pleasant Little House on the Prairie Sunday night turned into a drag-ass Monday.

Why not sleep in? you may be thinking. Can’t do that. I’m signed up to do an open-water swim in about five weeks, and it’s time to put the hammer down, training-wise, and Monday is a swim day, so that’s what I did. Anyway, it’s summer outdoor swimming, and you don’t skip that just because you didn’t sleep well. Here’s the view from the pool deck at 6:21 a.m.:

I’ve been reading about the Jeffrey Epstein case, and have decided I don’t care if Bill Clinton gets his pecker caught in a mousetrap on this one — if he was a part of this, he richly deserves it. A friend posted this New York magazine piece from 2002, and I read it this afternoon. Epstein is close to Leslie Wexner, Columbus’ richest scion and the first billionaire I ever interviewed, maybe the only one, although at the time, he was merely a $600-millionaire. Reader, I cannot lie: I liked him and totally swallowed the story he was peddling, about how he emerged from a haze of work and empire building to become a money-slinging mover/shaker in the early ’80s. It may well be true, I don’t know, but anyone associated with Epstein is suspect by association. Anyway, this passage brought me up short:

“Before Epstein came along in 1988, the financial preparations and groundwork for the New Albany development [a wealthy exurb Wexner conjured out of farmland east of the city] were a total mess,” says Bob Fitrakis, a Columbus-based investigative journalist who has written extensively on Wexner and his finances. “Epstein cleaned everything up, as well as serving Wexner in other capacities – such as facilitating visits to Wexner’s home of the crew from Cats and organizing a Tony Randall song-and-dance show put on in Columbus.” Wexner declines to talk about his relationship with Epstein, but it is clearly one that continues to this day.

I really need to know more about this Tony Randall song-and-dance show, and I’m disappointed no editor asked that question.

I saw a booking photo of Epstein today. Despite (according to NYMag) “an hour and fifteen minutes every day doing advanced yoga with his personal instructor, who travels with him wherever he goes,” he looked quite slope-shouldered. No swimmer, he!

OK, then, with this measly update we start the week.

Posted at 7:16 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 32 Comments
 

A grim holiday.

I’ve lost track of time again, which happens with midweek holidays. I keep thinking it’s Saturday, but it’s not, and I have to work tomorrow, but it’ll be an easy-ish day, so whatever. All I know right now is, it’s hot, and the fireworks are already starting, and Wendy isn’t happy about that at all.

As I’m sure many of you noticed, it’s a terrible Fourth of July this year, what with the shenanigans in Washington and all the rest of it. The wind was non-existent, so no sailing, either. So we did something completely different, and went to a walking tour of downtown, called “Enemies of Freedom: Monuments of Detroit’s Slaveowners.” We walked from statue to historical marker to statue to historical marker, while the guide, who specializes in African-American history, told us which ones owed their wealth to exploitation of human beings. (Spoiler: All of them.)

The constant struggle in American history, with one army giving way to another, an ocean of blood drenching the ground, a million little tragedies adding up to a paragraph in a history book — I guess this is what you call the long view. And it helped on a day when the short view is so gruesome.

Only one person fainted in the heat, a young girl. Her mother carried her into the Church of Scientology building, where she recovered quickly. The Scientology building had a marker on it identifying it as the original site of Sainte Anne’s Catholic Church, located in the original French fort. Its first pastor, this marker claimed, Rev. Nicholas Constantine De L’Halle, was killed by Indians in 1706, making him the first Christian martyr in Detroit. The guide added that the Indians were upset because one of their number had been shot by the French, after he kicked a soldier’s dog who was bothering him. So they retaliated by shooting the priest. But history is written by the victors, and so: Christian martyr.

The girl was fine, once she drank some water and cooled off. We ended up peeling off ourselves — the tour was already running 45 minutes over, it was 88 degrees, the stops were becoming less interesting and we both needed a beer and sandwich. So that’s what we did.

So, a little bloggage? Sure: An interview with John Waters. He’s funny:

Have you ever done drag?
I was only in drag once, and that was as the Wicked Witch at a birthday party when I was 8 years old. That ended my drag career. You have to be so careful of what you say. My friend told me this story, “You know, every gay man once tried on their mother’s shoes.” You did it once; you never did it again. But now, if you have a very liberal mother and they catch you, you have sexual reassignment lessons at 8 years old. And you might not really wanna do that.

I don’t think that would happen.
Well, people have babies. That’s why Trump will win. Because of things like babies, where you don’t tell your child what sex they are until they figure it out themselves when they’re 3 years old, and then you give ’em a party and say, “You’re a girl.” These children will be in mental institutions. Your parents are supposed to tell you what to do. Then later, if you disagree, you rebel and do the opposite. I think that’s a healthy lifestyle.

That’s it for me this week, and you all have a good weekend.

Posted at 9:43 pm in Current events, Detroit life | 62 Comments
 

Send her home.

I know we’ve been over this time and again, but having seen Princess Nepotism’s many appearances at the G20 summit, I’m reduced to spluttering. The gall, etc. Imagine if Obama did this, etc. What if that were Chelsea Clinton, etc.

I’ve been thinking it all weekend, and now I must say it out loud: The day Ivanka does her perp walk in handcuffs will be the best day of my life. I will GIF that moment, load it into a digital frame and mount it on the wall, where it will play for eternity. Just a loop. I’ll stand before it for a few minutes every day. “Hi, Ivanka,” I’ll say. “I hope you’re enjoying federal prison.”

At least Christine Lagarde gets it. She also knows how to dress for such an event, I might add. What TF is that Amish-ass dress Barbie has on? I know it’s Valentino, I know it cost $4,500, but it’s WRONG. The one time it would be OK to show up in a sheath dress, she goes for something with tricksy sleeves.

There HAVE to be other people out there who feel this way. There HAVE to. Otherwise I might just go stark raving mad.

So, then:

I see my Jobbie Nooner piece for Deadline Detroit made it into the comments, but for those who don’t read them, here it is. Apparently we left too early for the nuttiness that followed when a fierce little thunderstorm broke it all up. That’s good, because that was exactly the plan; Michael, whose boat we were in, looked at the towering cumulus clouds forming in the west and said, “Yeah, now would be a good time to go.” I have little sympathy for people who can afford tens of thousands for a cool boat, but cannot spare the brain capacity it would take to learn how to operate it safely, or just to occasionally flick open the weather app on their phones and see what’s coming. Also, you fend off another boat with your feet, not your hands, a lesson Mr. Missing Finger now knows all too well.

That story did well over the weekend, but you know what eclipsed it in a couple hours on Sunday? Three paragraphs and an embedded video of people doing donuts on the Lodge freeway. Online readers, I will never, ever understand your crazy tastes. And apparently this is a thing, thanks to SusanF for passing that video along.

It’s a holiday week, but I still must work it. Enjoy yours.

Posted at 10:28 am in Current events | 66 Comments
 

Yeah, sure.

I’m beginning to think Sherri is not paranoid at all. We are broken. The gerrymandering decision was just one in a series of terrible court rulings that we had best get used to. It’s not going to get better. It might improve a little here and there, but better? Overall better? Not in any way certain, no matter who wins in 2020.

Oddly enough, I am not alarmed by this:

President Trump said Thursday that he is seeking to delay the constitutionally mandated census to give administration officials time to come up with a better explanation for why it should include a citizenship question.

Trump’s announcement, in tweets sent from Japan, came hours after the Supreme Court put on hold his administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, saying it had provided a “contrived” reason for wanting the information.

“Seems totally ridiculous that our government, and indeed Country, cannot ask a basic question of Citizenship in a very expensive, detailed and important Census, in this case for 2020,” Trump wrote in his tweet. “I have asked the lawyers if they can delay the Census, no matter how long, until the United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision on this very critical matter.”

It’s not going to happen. You can’t “delay the census.” But “I’m asking the lawyers to do something” is something that Trump has learned is a bit of a magic phrase that can always strike a little fear into a few hearts: I am calling my lawyers! There will be hell to pay! It’s just one of his bullshit catch phrases, like “that’s fantastic” and “best of luck, I’m sure you’ll do phenomenally,” et fucking al.

Of course, I could be wrong! But it’s a warm summer Thursday, and I’m choosing calm for now.

I wish I were more optimistic today, but it’s been a long hot week and tomorrow I’m headed up to a sandbar party in Lake St. Clair for a story, maybe, and I need some sleep.

Here’s another story on E. Jean Carroll, talking to the friends she told about Trump’s rape, and more about her life. It’s good.

A good weekend to all.

Posted at 9:33 pm in Current events | 54 Comments
 

Of course he did it.

I see you guys pounced on the Carroll story, as I figured you would. I wish I could say I was surprised by the reaction, but I’m not, not at this point, anyway. And the reaction? At least on social media, it boils down to a few main themes:

1) It’s entirely made up by a crazy woman to sell books, I guess because it’s so much fun to interrupt your career as a successful writer to have people sending you death threats.
2) It never happened because she’s so old and ugly. That it happened 20 years ago is still incomprehensible to these people, because she was 52 at the time, and 52? OMG gross, etc. That was even older than Trump at the time, and anyway…
3) …he has a type, and you’re not it, you crazy lying attention-starved crone. That E. Jean Carroll was once young and lovely, and middle-aged and still lovely, is too hard for them to understand, so they have to default to her not being a Trump Type, i.e., Melania/Ivanka/Lara/Kimberly Guilfoyle/Hope Hicks, et al, i.e., long legs and big fake tits and barrel-curled hair.
4) Maybe something happened, but not like that. This last was a one-off, admittedly; I read one comment from an incel who suggested that what really happened was, she actually tried on the lingerie and modeled it for him, capping it off with “probably the last time she was able to have natural lubrication,” which is how I know this guy must be an incel.
5) I’ve been to Bergdorf Goodman, and based on this knowledge I am certain there is no way they could have been alone in the lingerie department. I imagine these people are the ones who examine satellite images of FEMA death camps and blueprints of Comet Ping Pong to find the hidden child-trafficking sex dens.
6) Finally, where’s the evidence, bitch? Because of course a department store keeps tapes — and they would have been tapes, then — of its fitting-room cameras for 20-plus years. And so on.

For the record, I believe her. Because:

1) This fits a pattern, well-established by now and testified to by a couple dozen women — the abrupt push against a wall, the forceful kissing, the fumbling.
2) He grabbed her you-know-what. He’s said he likes to do that.
3) He’s impressed by people who are on TV; that’s how he recognized her.
4) He told her, “you’re in good shape,” more or less precisely what he told the French first lady on one of their meetings. It seems to be how he expresses amazement that a woman older than the man she’s with might actually be appealing.

As for her old-ass looks — ooh, gross! a woman over FIFTY? — not only is E. Jean Carroll still quite striking, in her youth she was — and I have this on good authority — an absolute knockout. Tall, slim, beautiful.

You know what? Fuck this guy, and fuck all the guys who defend him, and then set fire to the whole pile of them. The fat between their ears should make for a nice blaze. Reading that article ruined my Friday afternoon. I was in a bad mood for hours. A beautiful young girl got on the #31 a few stops after me that morning, and I got to watch the so-called male gaze, as many turned to look at her as she passed. That’s never a good feeling to be on the opposite end of, and not much fun to watch. I know men will always look — it’s their nature — but it’s one thing to shift your eyes, and quite another to turn your head and bug out your eyes like something in a Tex Avery cartoon. Practice the first kind.

Palate-cleanser: I got my hair cut this weekend, and as I came in, a man was checking out with two exquisitely groomed standard poodles, both white. Neither had the full Westminster Kennel Club clip with the strategically placed little balls, but they looked like they got their hair did about every five minutes. I petted one, and he left. Asked my stylist what-the, as the salon only handles human heads. She said he comes in every few weeks with both dogs. For a pedicure, or rather, to have their nails painted. No, I didn’t notice the color.

I’m reading a wonderful novel now, too — “Fleishman is in Trouble,” by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, an NYT magazine staff writer, and one of those bylines I always turn to with pleasure. It’s fantastic, but I’m not done yet. A fuller review when I am, but if you’re looking for something to read on vacation, you won’t be disappointed.

It’s been a lovely weekend, but it’s coming to an end. Time to start thinking about children in concentration camps again. Not to bum you out.

Posted at 6:55 pm in Current events, Media | 64 Comments
 

Too much about vacuums.

A productive weekend, all things considered. Nothing like all-weekend clouds and rain to get your errands run. Grocery, dry cleaner, drugstore and — because the weather was at least warmish on Saturday — a bicycle run to handle those chores that never seem to get done, like a stop at the vacuum store to get bags. I got two packages of three, which means I won’t have to do this one again for quite some time, nor make small talk about my Kenmore vacuum, and the declining quality of the old Sears brands.

I also started a new novel — about which I’ll have more to say, once I finish it, but it was written by an infrequent member of our commenting community — and did some yoga on the bedroom floor. Got up covered with dog hair, so I vacuumed, but with the upstairs vacuum, which doesn’t use bags (a Dyson, bought secondhand, and a steal).

Why not take the upstairs vacuum downstairs, you might ask? Because I like the downstairs vacuum, too, and it’s kinda heavy, so a pain to lug up and down the stairs. When a friend offered to sell me her recently restored super-lightweight Dyson for a very good price, well, no-brainer. My upstairs rugs are cleaner than ever, but I still have a dog that sheds.

I live in a community where people have second-floor laundry rooms, master suites with wet bars and fireplaces, spare bedrooms converted into closets with dress forms to rehearse outfit combinations and all sorts of luxury foofrahs. I refuse to feel guilty for having two vacuums.

(Jeff Borden has a bedroom-turned-closet, said the tattletale. He calls it “Imelda’s Room,” and I totally approve. They don’t have kids, and when you can see everything you own, clothing-wise, you get more wear out of it.)

In a while I will finish this blog and paint my toenails, and my weekend chore list will be over. I just got a call from a pollster, testing my attitude toward the 2020 U.S. Senate race here, as well as the presidency. I portrayed myself as an independent of moderate political attitudes who wants Joe Biden to reconsider how he wants tp spend the latter years of his eighth decade.

(Now Wendy, sleeping next to me, is having a dream. Her hackles are raised, and she is wagging her tail furiously. This must be some kinda dream. Maybe a pollster called her subconscious.)

So on to bloggage, so I can get back to my book:

I’m not a fan of online video, but in 60 seconds, you can learn everything you need to know about Marianne Williamson. And then never think about her again.

Starts strong, finishes weak, but if you like snark: The Man Who Was Upset, an essay about oh-god-of-course-you-know-who:

The thing about impressiveness, however, is that it resides entirely in the eye of the beholder—and in Trump’s case, he typically invokes it in a crass gambit to annex and manipulate the inner workings of that beholder’s eye and generate maximum ego-gratification for himself. As with most things Trump-related, the form that this ascriptive impressiveness takes can be mapped with laughable ease over whatever failing he is most keen to conceal at that moment. When his marriage was falling apart on the front pages of New York City tabloids, Trump called the editor of the New York Post to vouch, on behalf of his then-girlfriend Marla Maples, that “Marla says with me it’s the best sex she’s ever had.” During his years in the cultural wilderness, Trump reportedly made it a stipulation for film productions that wished to shoot in the properties that he owned that there be a scene in which Trump himself appeared. “Martin Brest had to write something in Scent of a Woman,” Matt Damon told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017. “And the whole crew was in on it. You have to waste an hour of your day with a bullshit shot. Donald Trump walks in and Al Pacino’s like, ‘Hello, Mr. Trump!’—you had to call him by name—and then he exits.”


In 1991, as his divorce and a series of pyrotechnically misconceived business ventures ushered in the beginning of his long tour through our popular culture as an overleveraged punch line, Trump went ahead and just spelled his super-hero aspirations out. The story Trump told the New York Daily News was this: While driving to a Paula Abdul concert in New Jersey with Maples and another couple, Trump had seen “a big man with a big bat” committing a “brutal-looking” mugging. In Trump’s telling, he ordered his limo driver to stop and got out of the vehicle. “The guy with the bat looked at me, and I said, ‘Look, you’ve gotta stop this. Put down the bat,’“ Trump told the Daily News. “I guess he recognized me because he said, ‘Mr. Trump, I didn’t do anything wrong.’ I said, ‘How could you not do anything wrong when you’re whacking a guy with a bat?’ Then he ran away.”

How does a 25-year-old hairstylist clear a quarter-mil a year? This way. I respect the guy; I certainly wouldn’t pay $2,000 for hair extensions, but someone will, and he’s found enough to make it work for him. But this line blew me away:

He studied at Paul Mitchell The School in Sterling Heights on Van Dyke Avenue, near 18 Mile Road. It was about $22,000 total in 2011 for a 10-month program, he said.

That’s cosmetology school, mind you. He started out making $30,000 a year, and I’ll bet almost all of his classmates never go all that much higher. Talk about highway robbery.

Happy week ahead, all. Off to paint my nails.

Posted at 4:23 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 62 Comments
 

Royalty and the family.

Bless me, father, for I have sinned. It has been approximately 45 years since my last confession. Um…I forget the rest, but here’s the deal:

I AM FINDING IT SO VERY, VERY HARD NOT TO SAY MEAN THINGS ABOUT TIFFANY TRUMP, AND ALSO IVANKA AND MELANIA.

I was inclined to cut Tiff a break, but seeing her lined up with the rest of the gang before the state dinner at Buckingham Palace about made me blow a gasket. I was googling for a particular photo, and came across this slideshow (Daily Mail link, be forewarned!!!) of Tiffany “showing off her curves” in a swimsuit, which is apparently British tab-speak for “has gained 40 pounds since last we saw her.” This made me feel bad, then good, because one of the pictures in this insanely big gallery (80-some frames) is of her hair extensions revealing themselves, and while it’s bad to fat-shame women, we still can surely still extension-shame them.

Another question: Is white the protocol color of choice for women attending a state dinner with the queen? Melania wore white, as did Cathy Cambridge and Lilibet herself. Then I went googling for past photos, and found one of Michelle Obama wearing white in the same venue, but also black, so I was confused. Then I rabbit-holed down a bunch of angry tweets from conservatives, yelling about Trump-haters daring to abuse Tiffany, who after all keeps herself out of the family business, except when she doesn’t, like when there’s a chance to have dinner with the queen. Most of the Tiffany abuse wasn’t particularly abusive, at least not compared to the conservative comments about Mrs. Obama, which concerned deep analysis of her trapezius muscles, vis-a-vis their long-held belief that Michelle Obama was born a genetic male.

For the record: Melania’s state-dinner dress was nice, Ivanka’s was weird, Tiffany’s was tragic, Lara’s was bleh. Lucky Barron got the night off, for once.

Also, I’m not 100 percent down with the Maggie Haberman-hate that rains down every time she files, but man — pieces like this make it hard:

On this visit, another family opportunity surfaced: The Kennedys have long occupied the American political culture as the unofficial royal family, but this week, the Trumps appeared to present themselves as the 2019 version.

“He’s surrounding himself with his family in this kind of certainly royal family, prince-and-princesses way,” Gwenda Blair, the author of “The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire,” said in an interview. “Just as traditionally crowned heads surrounded themselves with their progeny, he has surrounded himself with his progeny.”

Read it closely, and its claims are held at arms’ length: “appears to present themselves,” etc. But that quote!

Anyway, they’re all back stateside by now, and thank God for that. Camilla was positively dying for a download with a chum and a double gin, you could just tell.

I hope I live to see Charles’ coronation, whenever that happens, should it happen. Camilla is my second-favorite royal, world division. (First is Princess Charlene of Monaco, of course.) Her motto: Whatever “Living is the best revenge” translates to in Latin.

OK, then. Wednesday approaches. My ass is beaten to a pulp by seasonal allergies this week, but I’m carrying on. A note to Brian Stouder: I’m glad you enjoyed the Grand Prix, but be advised, there is a loud and growing group of locals who absolutely HATE it. Not the race itself so much as the set-up and tear-down, which takes one-third of a state park, the city’s best and most unique, out of commission for more than two months, in high season. It’s pretty appalling, but never you mind that. You had fun, and that’s a good thing.

Posted at 6:23 pm in Current events | 84 Comments
 

Long weekend.

Ah, a long weekend to start the season that’s always too short. Fitting.

So far it’s been pretty great. I haven’t done much — errands, shopping, a Movement party, “Booksmart” and still a fair amount of time to relax and finally make some progress in “Streets of Laredo,” which is my bedside read, put aside time and again for other stuff. To be sure, it’s only taken Larry McMurtry 225 pages to really get the plot moving, but it’s moving for sure now, and I’m less inclined to put it down after a page or two because my eyelids are so, so heavy.

In a while, I’m going to do some food prep and then a bike ride. Reading for pleasure is deeply calming, and I need to do more of it. Reason No. 2 billion to despise the commander-in-chief.

By the way, it’s Memorial Day — has he pardoned any war criminals yet?

And yes, Memorial Day. That’s also a good reason to stay off social media. Never mind the confusion with Veterans Day (M-Day is for the dead, V-Day for the still-standing), it’s the memes — those thanking the ones who died “so we could be free.” By my reckoning, WWII was the last war fought for our freedom. I guess “our” could encompass a lot more than Americans, however, so OK, I’m not going to quibble. And I guess the dead are still dead. But holidays are funny; what’s supposed to be solemn is more often a good day to go water skiing, but then again, what is freedom for, if not for choosing to go water skiing?

Actually, the reading-for-pleasure part of the weekend has convinced me that I simply HAVE to put up better barriers in my personal time. It’s a mental-health thing. Every time I open my eyes and see something like this?

One of the best-known but least visible former members of President Trump’s White House staff is facing an existential question: whether to comply with a congressional subpoena in the coming weeks.

My head threatens to explode.

The person in question is Hope Hicks. I did not know that complying with a subpoena was a choice, let alone an existential one. There are legal strategies to fight a subpoena, to be sure, but the question of compliance isn’t an existential question. And the picture! Oh my god. As someone on Twitter remarked, she’s a former assistant to the president, not a moody singer/songwriter with an album called “My Truth” dropping on Tuesday.

Of course, what this tells us is, Hope Hicks has been a very good source for Maggie Haberman, and a soft kiss on the cheek like this — known as a “beat sweetener” — is delivered in the hopes she will remain so. But now we have the New York Times noting casually that compliance with a subpoena is a fucking existential question, and so our democracy degrades just a little bit more.

I can already feel my shoulders tightening. Need to not let that happen anymore. It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining and I should be on my bike. Think that’s what I’ll do.

Posted at 11:09 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 74 Comments