Losing it.

The boat launch went fine, thanks for asking. It was freezing — mid-40s — but ah well. The marina is under new ownership, and have deprived the main guy who handles this, Pete, of his assistant, so I had to be there. But no major mishaps.

While Pete and I were pulling the mast this way and that so Alan could attach the shrouds, we talked a little bit about this phase of life. (We’re all the same age, give or take.) He said he and his wife had unloaded a big house on a very nice street, and were now living aboard their boat at the same marina, and liking it more than they ever thought they would.

A big part of it, he emphasized, was “getting rid of all our shit.”

I thought of this while some of you were talking in comments about your own shit, or your parental shit, or all the other shit that gets dumped on you as you age. Pete said nothing felt as good as personal shit-liquidation, selling all the furniture and gewgaws and collectibles and other stuff that once seemed so important. Watching it go out of the house during the estate sale, he said, was liberating. “You don’t know how tied down you are until you get rid of it,” he said.

Caitlin Flanagan, a writer I often find myself at odds with, watched “Nomadland” recently and came up with this observation:

The make-or-break moment for the viewer is right at the top; if you’re the kind of brute who doesn’t enjoy watching a woman in late middle age poke around her storage unit, you should take your leave. Personally, I could have watched an entire movie on that subject alone. You spend your whole life accumulating things, and then they end up in a storage unit, slowly losing their charge of sentiment and memory and transforming into a bunch of junk. Fern is there to pick out what she will bring with her on the journey. In the end, she chooses the least practical thing of all: a box of china, white with a pattern of red leaves on the rim. That’s not the last of that china I’ll be seeing, I thought to myself, and I was spot-on.

Since Alan stopped working, I’ve been on my own smaller-scale shit-liquidation purge, and I’m making progress. Last week I dragged pretty much all my Fort Wayne ephemera to the curb, including all my newspaper clips and, comically, my journalism awards. I saved some photographs, but will probably go through those and pitch a lot of them, too.

But some things cry not yet. The doll bed I played with as a child and Kate, not so much — I can’t get rid of it yet. Some of her crib bedding, ditto. A couple of her favorite stuffed animals.

And god, so many books. Books are one of those things you’re supposed to be happy to purge, but after I cleaned up the basement enough to make it my pandemic gym, I shelved and dusted all the books down there and thought: Can’t get rid of these. I love many of them too much. But on the same shelf are many 78 RPM records from Alan’s dad’s collection, and god knows why we still have those.

For the next move, I guess we’ll grapple with all of this. For now, I’ll settle for slimming down.

Speaking of female writers I often find myself at odds with, do you know how much it pains me to say, “Mona Charen is right?” A lot. And yet:

Today, we stand on the precipice of the House Republican conference ratifying this attempt to subvert American democracy. They are poised to punish Liz Cheney for saying this simple truth: “The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.” In her place, they will elevate Iago in heels, Elise Stefanik, whose claim to leadership consists entirely of her operatic Trump followership.

Let’s be clear: The substitution of Stefanik for Cheney is a tocsin, signaling that the Republican party will no longer be bound by law or custom. In 2020, many Republican office holders, including the otherwise invertebrate Pence, held the line. They did not submit false slates of electors. They did not decertify votes. They did not “find” phantom fraud. But the party has been schooled since then. It has learned that the base—which is deluded by the likes of Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Mark Levin—believes the lies and demands that Republicans fight. As my colleague Amanda Carpenter put it, the 2024 mantra is going to be “Steal It Back.”

If Cheney must be axed because she will not lie, then what will happen if Republicans take control of Congress in 2022 and are called upon to certify the Electoral College in 2024? How many Raffenspergers will there be? How many will insist, as Pence did, that they must do what the Constitution demands? How many will preserve any semblance of the rule of law and the primacy of truth?

Well, if we have to flee, I hope Canada will take us. If not, Mexico is warmer and has livelier food. And there’s always Europe, although I don’t think they can accommodate that many refugees. Maybe we’ll stay here and be the resistance. Works for me.

Happy Wednesday. A pic in parting, as another boating season begins:

Posted at 4:02 pm in Current events, Movies, Same ol' same ol', Stuff reduction | 23 Comments
 

Word games.

Boxing is a dying sport (but MMA is thriving, go figure) and there may come a day soon when it will no longer exist, but what will we do with all the language it’s given us?

Throw in the towel, hit the canvas, come out swinging, neutral corner, down for the count — if I had a day to think of all the common expressions that come out of the squared circle, I probably wouldn’t get them all. Sailing is another sport hardly anyone practices, and yet just today I sent a peevish-sounding text to my colleagues, after changing “jive” to “jibe” in a long-published story. To jibe with something is to be in agreement: His story doesn’t jibe with what we already know, etc. And if I had a dollar for every time I saw “tact” where the writer should have used “tack” (it’s a point of sail, and refers to the zigzag pattern you have to make to go into the wind; you “take another tack” when you have to adjust your direction to get closer to where you’re headed), well, I’d be in France right now, not in a few months.

Don’t get me started on fox hunting. There are a few from there, too. I will instead go to ground.

I don’t know why I’m thinking about this. Probably because I saw someone write “here, here” and I snapped.

And another week limps into port. I spent a couple hours this morning listening to Naomi Wolf, D-Crazytown, testify to the Michigan legislature on vaccine passports, which no one’s yet proposed but the leg wants to pass a bill preemptively banning. I’m trying to work out my thoughts on this for a column, but right now all I can come up with is: That chick crazy.

Are you ready for this week to end? I am. So let’s do it.

Posted at 8:13 pm in Same ol' same ol' | 45 Comments
 

Tossed salad, but no scrambled eggs.

And another week draws to a close. Cold rain all day Thursday, and I don’t believe I left the house even once. In fact, in a while someone will expect me to put a couple of sausages on the grill outdoors, and I’m not even into that. But I will, because it’s what I do. Or, as a hashtag our local school district tried to get going a while back, #ThisIsWhatWeDoHere.

(Wow, so edgy!)

Lately, the district is having a teacher sickout, because they changed the criteria for mandatory Covid quarantine, because it was sending too many kids out and threatening F2F education, and mercy me I had to count my blessings on that one. Our blessings during this pandemic have been too numerous to count, but the biggest one has to be: I don’t have a child in school — any school — right now. I honestly don’t know how parents of younger kids are keeping it together, and likewise for college students, many of whom are remote learning from very expensive off-campus apartments right now. Why not at home? Because deposits were put down months ago and no landlord is refunding anything right now. (My doctor’s daughter, showing a great deal of her parents’ smarts, took the term off and is hiking the Appalachian Trail, which strikes me as a fantastic idea.)

And here sit the Derringers, planning a trip to France. Lucky, lucky, lucky.

Right now, we’re thinking two weeks in Paris, two weeks in Aix en Provence, but that is very tentative and only a starting place. But what a great starting place.

Today, I banged out a screed on Daylight Saving Time that, when it finally drops, will be very familiar to you Hoosiers. I’ll post when it does. A bill is advancing in the state legislature — it won’t get much further, though — to do what Indiana did for decades, i.e., stop changing time twice a year and fix the state permanently on Daylight Saving Time. Spoiler alert: This is a bad idea. But you wait; I’ll have it when it’s done.

I didn’t watch the president last night. For four years, I’ve been longing for the day when a president could give a major speech, I could read about it the following day, and I wouldn’t fear for the future of my country. So I enjoyed it. Sounds as though he laid out a plan, but everything, and I do mean everything, will rest on the midterms at this point. So don’t let up. It’s important.

God, I am falling into the weekend’s embrace like greeting an old lover. Which I guess every weekend is.

Posted at 6:44 pm in Same ol' same ol' | 45 Comments
 

Warm nights.

Well, what a night. What a day. Dawned in the 40s, sunset in the 70s. I’m not sure where this warm air came from, but it’s welcome. I can hear loud mufflers out on I-94, and I suspect the Hellcats will be at play tonight, Dodge being the street racer’s muscle-car choice of the moment. A friend of mine wants to photograph them some night, but why bother when they have their own Instagram accounts?

I was down in a fairly deserted part of the city a couple-three weeks ago, and a swarm of kids — young teens, not little kids — pulled out in front of me on bicycles, popping wheelies and not getting out of the way. Most cities have “twelve o’clock boys” now, kids on ATVs and dirt bikes who do the same thing, but this was the first time I saw the human-powered version. I think they were waiting for me to go Karen on them, but I just poked along behind and admired their technique. When I finally could pass, I offered a fist pump because I could never, even in my youth, pop a wheelie and maintain it for a whole block.

One of the dirt-bike boys passed me on a four-lane road last year, perfectly balanced on his back tire, and maintained it for about half a mile, his non-throttle hand dangling at his side like oh yeah I don’t need this one at the moment.

Not much to report so far. The big news here is, Michigan will lose a Congressional seat after the census, but everyone expected that, so maybe not such big news. Texas gains two, and yet, Axios today says the Sunbelt “underperformed,” so why do I even bother reading the news? Better to listen to the Hellcats.

Today is David Reilly’s funeral, which will be live-streamed. I think I’ll watch it. You enjoy Wednesday.

Posted at 8:44 am in Same ol' same ol' | 34 Comments
 

David. Or Lance.

Well, this was a terrible day. For those of you who don’t read the comments, my longtime friend David Reilly, who some of you know as the blogger Lance Mannion, died unexpectedly last night. It was quite a shock, although it probably shouldn’t have been. He’s been in terrible back pain for a few years now, and was diagnosed with diabetes a while back, too.

The D will do all kinds of bad things to your vital organs, but I thought one got a little more warning.

As those who followed him online know at least a little about, David’s main job in recent years has been taking care of his wife, Adrianne. She had a huge benign brain tumor removed a few years ago, and hasn’t been the same since. She’s basically OK, but still suffers bouts of confusion and is permanently disabled. (Was getting so designated by our wonderful federal safety net easy? Oh, hell no. They had to apply multiple times.) I don’t know who will do this job now; her sons, I expect.

Everyone dies, of course, and some go sooner than they should. (Dick Cheney’s blackened machinery, meanwhile, churns ever-on.) But sometimes a death comes with extra misery, and this is one of them.

I’ve spent much of today remembering the David I knew when we were all much younger, in the ’80s, when he came from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop to live with his college girlfriend Adrianne, who was hired in Fort Wayne the same time I was. Tall, rangy, blonde, whip-smart, a die-hard Democrat to his bones — that was David. It was his idea for us all to go the Stratford Festival for a little Shakespeare every fall, and we did, for a long time. David knew all the plays forward and backward, and could, and did, explain them all over dessert and coffee afterward. He had done some acting in college, and carried himself with a certain physical confidence I always associate with actors. I once saw him leap-frog over a parking meter with inches to spare, so it was a shock to see him, years later, hobbling on a cane because of his back problems.

But he was always up for a phone call, to answer my questions when I was trying to noodle through a column or a blog or something else. “David,” I’d say. “I watched ‘The Crying Game’ and was totally fooled until the big reveal, and I tried to watch it again the other day and it’s just so obvious. How did they manage that trick?”

He’d explain that by making the audience the proxy for Stephen Rea’s character, we see Jaye Davidson the way he did. We fall in love with her, too. It’s Theater/Screenwriting 101, and then he’d deliver an extemporaneous lecture spinning off from this — David worked off and on as a college teacher — and I’d hang up 30 minutes later, smarter.

His blog was like that, too. Is like that. You can still find him there, I expect for some time. He had a great writing voice, and a keen eye for bullshit. Several times I dusted off something he once wrote about Kelsey Grammer, that hypocrite p.o.s., and I paste a chunk of it here:

Grammer doesn’t live anything like a Republican-approved lifestyle. He lives the life of the sort of big city liberal Republicans affect to despise. And as far as I know he’s quite happy with that life and has no plans to change it. He’s not about to move to any place Republicans regard as part of the “real America.” He’s not leaving Hollywood or New York for Topeka, Biloxi, or Wasilla. He’s not about to give up acting to start an oil company, become a hedge fund manager, or a cattle rancher. I don’t know if he goes to church and I don’t care, but it’s pretty hard to imagine him in the front pew at St Patrick’s, although it isn’t hard to imagine him leading the choir at the nearest Baptist mega-church—but that’s Frasier I’m seeing bouncing around in a purple robe and singing it joyfully. Grammer himself? Religion doesn’t seem to be something he’s given much thought lately, an odd thing for a Republican these days.

Now, I don’t believe that any Republican should have to go live in Topeka, Biloxi, Wasilla, or anywhere else on Sarah Palin’s short list of places that count as the real America. But I do believe that happy and contented East and West Coast elitists like Grammer—and conservative members of the punditocracy in Washington—should stop talking as if they believe that the lives lived in places like Topeka, Biloxi, and Wasilla are more “authentically” American than lives lived in Brooklyn, Brookline, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, or San Antonio and that the people in the one set of places are more American than the people living in the other.

And it’s probably too much to ask, but could they acknowledge that the lives they live in the most decadent parts of decadent Blue America have been made possible for them by liberalism?

Oh, fuck it all.

Here’s a picture of us in Stratford — David, Adrianne, Alan with me behind the camera, in the days when you had to buy a special camera to take panorama photos. I’d estimate this as the late ’80s. Justin Bieber’s hometown, although he hadn’t been born yet.

And as long as we’re doing photos, a couple more. We had snow Tuesday night, a rare more-than-flurries late-April snow, and the juxtaposition of bright spring sun, flowering trees, emerald-green grass and snow was a little disorienting the next morning:

Wendy says hi. Later that day, I took her for a mani-pedi. I don’t think she was saying hi here.

I think I might need to eat pizza tonight. I sure as hell ain’t cooking. The hell with that, tonight.

Posted at 4:41 pm in Friends and family, Same ol' same ol' | 40 Comments
 

Jobs for days.

Another week where I thought it might ease up after a while, but didn’t. But no matter — work is better when it’s busy and this week I got to interview Don Was, so that was a cool interlude, although it was on video, which I hate, but oh well that’s where the ad buy is this month.

It’s up, and you can see it here. Please don’t say anything cruel about my hair or makeup.

The weather cooled off this week, and Alan’s been working in the yard. New bushes, transplanting a hydrangea, the usual mulching and cutting back and waiting for spring to really hit the gas, as well as getting the boat ready for the water in a few more weeks. Much of the work we’ve been doing (OK, Alan’s been doing, although I scrub the fucking toilets, so it evens out) around here is stuff we’ve put off for years, which makes me wonder if homeownership is even worth it. It’s wonderful on a summer night when you can go into your back yard, put some cool tunes on the Bluetooth speaker, start a fire in the pit and enjoy it all, but man — keeping even a well-built house in good repair is exhausting.

On the other hand, a friend of mine just bought a house in Ann Arbor, and the prices there are — no other word for it — simply jaw-dropping. Like, over $400 per square foot jaw-dropping. They’re bad here, but there? Ai yi yi. Then I think about people I know who went back to renting after owning, and simply hated it. The noise, the neighbors, dealing with a landlord after being your own, all of it — they couldn’t deal, and bought another house p.d.q. Our own is approaching payoff, and I expect we’ll be here until we can no longer climb steps.

What’s going on in the news? Afghanistan, the world’s tar baby, claims another victim. It’s the Venus flytrap of quagmires, to mangle a metaphor. And someone asked about Covid in Michigan. It’s…complicated. The governor is resisting further restrictions, and pushing vaccination instead, but the acceptance rates are insanely low. I can’t explain it. Unburned forest, i.e., large numbers of uninfected? Yes. Variants? Yes. Dumbasses who won’t get the shot? Also yes. We’re carrying on, and fully vaccinated. Doesn’t look like a month in Europe will be in the cards this fall, though, as I had hoped. Sigh.

On the other hand, children are still being shot to death by police, so. Things could be worse.

Happy weekend? Yes, happy weekend. I’m going to watch the new Bob Odenkirk movie and be an extra in a video — not for Kate’s band, another one. Tell you more after.

Posted at 8:22 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 34 Comments
 

The iron heirlooms.

Now this was a weekend to enjoy. Busy, but not too. Productive, but not too. Saw friends. Weather was nice. Started on my latest project — restoring my grandmother’s old cast-iron Dutch oven. It’s currently in the garage, bathing for 24 hours in Easy-Off. Fingers crossed.

Sometimes I wonder if projects like this are worth it, then I think, what else am I going to do — throw it away? Unthinkable. In the Thomas Harris novel “Hannibal,” aka the book where the “Silence of the Lambs”/Hannibal Lecter legend really goes off the rails and ends up in Crazytown, he has this passage, in a letter Hannibal writes to Clarice Starling, telling her to buck up after a professional disgrace:

Do you have a black iron skillet? You are a southern mountain girl, I can’t imagine you would not. Put it on the kitchen table. Turn on the overhead lights.

Look into the skillet, Clarice. Lean over it and look down. If this were your mother’s skillet, and it well may be, it would hold among its molecules the vibrations of all the conversations ever held in its presence. All the exchanges, the petty irritations, the deadly revelations, the flat announcements of disaster, the grunts and poetry of love.

Sit down at the table, Clarice. Look into the skillet. If it is well cured, it’s a black pool, isn’t it? It’s like looking down a well. Your detailed reflection is not at the bottom, but you loom there, don’t you? The light behind you, there you are in a blackface, with a corona like your hair on fire.

We are elaborations of carbon, Clarice. You and the skillet and Daddy dead in the ground, cold as the skillet. It’s all still there. Listen.

I remember reading that and thinking wtf, Dr. Lecter? Maybe some of you who understand science better than I do can explain how those molecules are hanging on to the vibrations of me saying, “Whoever said you should never wash cast iron cookware in soap obviously never made a pineapple upside-down cake two days after cooking onions in one.”

Anyway, for those of you interested in these things, here’s Before:

Also for those keeping score at home, I’m now 72 hours-plus from my second Pfizer vax, and felt nothing worse than a sore arm, so I guess I’m one of the lucky ones.

Let’s keep it light in this week’s bloggage: Everything you ever wanted to know about findom, or financial domination:

“It’s controlling someone through their wallet,” said Mistress Marley. (The Times agreed to identify her only by her professional name to prevent stalkers from finding her.) “I love waking up every day realizing that submissive men pay all my bills and I don’t spend a dime.”

Trysts take place mostly online, though there can be in-person encounters. And the humiliation could be as fleeting as a few moments, or persist for hours during so-called draining sessions, when the dominatrix hurls a barrage of insults and demands that ends only when a monetary cap is reached or a finsub’s bank account hits zero — whichever comes first.

In its purest form, financial domination is not transactional. Sending money is the kink, and finsubs offer tributes without expecting anything in return. “The arousal is in the act,” said Phillip Hammack, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the director of its Sexual and Gender Diversity Laboratory. “It’s about that loss of control.”

Man, I missed my calling on this one. (And I know some ex-wives who could give Mistress Marley a run for her, um, money.) I met a woman here in Detroit who does fetish videos on customer demand. Nothing really gross, though; she said she specializes in Mommy.

“Like, mean mommy?” I asked.

“Oh no, I’m nice mommy,” she replied. She dresses like June Cleaver and smiles a lot, tells her clients that they’re good boys and make mommy very, very proud and happy.

My head, it whirls.

Seems like a good place to stop. And the week begins!

Posted at 4:55 pm in Same ol' same ol' | 80 Comments
 

Empty boxes.

I interviewed a futurist today. (Such a job title. I ask you. “Hi, Bob, what’s your game?” “I’m a futurist, Ken.”) Although he was a very nice man, and our conversation was interesting. As part of my prep, I listened to a radio interview he did, and they went off on a tangent about the pandemic’s effect on retail.

This is nothing new, the observation that retail is at a crossroads. Even before Covid, malls were on shaky ground, and those stores that thrived in them likewise, well before. Most of us are old enough to remember the mall era, its glory days. I remember being in one with my sister and little preschool Kate, and I said, “Wasn’t there a Bath & Body Works on the third level?”

My sister replied, “There are two. Bath & Body Works thrives on impulse shoppers, so they put two in one mall, to maximize the chances people will pop in and buy something.”

Me: Mind blown.

Anyway, the pandemic is adding a turbo boost to the death of malls, the death of the big box store, the changing of everything. Back to the interview:

“So our challenge is, what do we do with the infrastructure?”

Ah, there’s the rub.

If it were up to me, we’d nuke them and turn it back to farmland, but that’s, shall we say, not feasible. Probably the best solution for urban areas is medium- or high-density housing, but for rural? Eh, hard to say. A lot become things like laser-tag venues or indoor go-karts, or whatever — a definite comedown.

So what do we do with the empty big boxes? Question for the room while I phone in yet another week. Sorry to miss Wednesday, but it just happened.

So accept a little bloggage:

A nice kinda-sorta appreciation of G. Gordon Liddy, hell’s newest resident.

Let’s also have a big laugh over Matt Gaetz, too. Because no one deserves it more.

Good weekend, all.

Posted at 8:43 pm in Same ol' same ol' | 66 Comments
 

Shiny new surfaces.

A productive weekend, on the House Overhaul project. Alan took most of two days to clean out the garage, and the number of heavy-duty trash bags at the curb — oy. Me, I handled a Problem Closet, and added one bag to the lineup, and also did some basement tidying, so while I didn’t pull my weight equally, I did my part.

In between, I came up with little chores to do. Like finally taking some copper polish to the bowl I bought at an estate sale a couple years ago:

I was so amazed, I looked it up online, because the polishing revealed a previously undetectable maker’s mark; that’s a $200 beating bowl, made in France. I got it and another saucepan for around $15, as I recall. Surround yourself with beautiful, functional things, if you can. You don’t need a lot — one or two will do.

In other news at this hour, I cooled on “Genius: Aretha” as it went on. It did do an interesting job with the central relationship of her life — with her father — but like so many of these things, it was too damn long and the dialogue could grate. The last episode or two was all OK time to wrap this up, so we’ll put the actress in a fat suit and give her some needlessly expository speeches. Why is it so hard for screenwriters to listen to the way people talk and then try to duplicate it? And watching the animations of the song titles rising to the top of the charts were…ugh.

Now I’m just waiting for some inspiration to strike, and allow me to progress with my day, which is mostly filled with chores, but oh well. Fortunately, I have some bloggage:

Mother of six fatally shot in road-rage attack. Yeah, this is perfectly normal and just collateral damage from all this freedumb:

Officials said they responded around noon to a report of a person shot on Interstate 95 in Lumberton, N.C., about 125 miles from Charlotte, N.C.

They discovered Julie Eberly, 47, of Manheim, Pa., had been shot through the passenger door of the vehicle her husband, Ryan, had been driving. She was taken to Southeastern Health in Lumberton, where she later died, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office said. Mr. Eberly was not injured.

The couple celebrated their anniversary this week, Sheriff Burnis Wilkins of Robeson County said on Facebook. They were headed to Hilton Head Island, S.C., for a getaway, the sheriff said.

The story says they had a close call during a merge, so the other driver came around to the passenger side, rolled down his window and let fly. No suspects yet.

The Man With Ohio’s Most Punchable Face, Josh Mandel, was a participant in this so-called “Hunger Games” competition for the favor of the Lord of Mar-a-Lago as the Buckeye State’s Senate race heats up:

The contenders — former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, former state GOP Chair Jane Timken, technology company executive Bernie Moreno and investment banker Mike Gibbons — had flown (to Mar-a-Lago) to attend the fundraiser to benefit a Trump-endorsed Ohio candidate looking to oust one of the 10 House Republicans who backed his impeachment. As the candidates mingled during a pre-dinner cocktail reception, one of the president’s aides signaled to them that Trump wanted to huddle with them in a room just off the lobby.

What ensued was a 15-minute backroom backbiting session reminiscent of Trump’s reality TV show. Mandel said he was “crushing” Timken in polling. Timken touted her support on the ground thanks to her time as state party chair. Gibbons mentioned how he’d helped Trump’s campaign financially. Moreno noted that his daughter had worked on Trump’s 2020 campaign.

The scene illustrated what has become a central dynamic in the nascent 2022 race. In virtually every Republican primary, candidates are jockeying, auditioning and fighting for the former president’s backing. Trump has received overtures from a multitude of candidates desperate for his endorsement, something that top Republicans say gives him all-encompassing power to make-or-break the outcome of primaries.

And the former president, as was so often the case during his presidency, has seemed to relish pitting people against one another.

Of course he does. He’s that kind of asshole.

Posted at 8:45 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 96 Comments
 

Leftovers.

Well, midweek kinda got away from me, didn’t it? A burst of work and…more work, so no Wednesday blog. Also, Alan was out of town for a couple nights (fishing), and I decided to CUT LOOSE and do stuff like eat a single hot dog for dinner, standing up at the sink, then go out and see friends.

So that’s what I did. So no blog.

Now I’m lurching toward the end of the week, with still a lot to do, but the hump is passed. Alan got Shot Numero Dos today. Mine is April 8. Watch out, end of April, because I’m going OUT.

How’s everyone? Anyone else watching “Genius: Aretha” on …I guess we watch it on Hulu, one day behind its premiere on the…National Geographic channel? There’s a National Geographic channel? Who knew.

Anyway, we’re watching. I’m enjoying it at the 25 percent mark, so I’m taking that as a good sign. I normally don’t care for music biopics, because they’re all essentially a 98-minute version of “Behind the Music.” But this one is different, at least so far. I think they’re doing a nice job exploring her relationship with her father, which was…complicated, to say the least. And with several hours to fill, they can play around with those complications more than most biopics would.

The dialogue is too expository at times, though. Hate that.

But we’ll see.

Here, watch this. You’ll dig it:

And the only thing I have to recommend is this amusing essay about the big ship stuck in the Suez Canal:

Let’s put it this way: When someone joked that we’re five minutes away from learning “all of our vaccines were being stored on the big ship stuck in the Suez Canal for some reason,” it took an uncomfortably long second to realize that’s fiction. The whole thing feels so absurd, so ridiculous, so perfectly on-brand for the state of the world that it crossed the bridge from “heinous” to “hilarious.”

Instead of wondering how on Earth does a boat get stuck in the canal that sees almost 20,000 ships a year, everyone just thought: Well, duh. There’s nothing the sadistic screenwriters of our current reality can throw at us to faze us anymore. Instead, we delight in the disaster. What else can we do?

Yes, what can we do? Maybe start the weekend.

Posted at 8:20 pm in Same ol' same ol' | 74 Comments