One day at a time.

Maybe some of you with nothing better to do are wondering whether I embarked on the Whole30, and if so, how it’s going. I did, and OK so far. I probably wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t have two friends who are doing it as well. We got together for dinner on New Year’s Eve, the night before the launch. The first course would be entirely Whole30 “compliant,” as they say:

shrimp

That’s barbecued prawns with portobello mushroom caps. Mmmm.

And the main course was certainly compliant:

tenderloin

Mmm, beef tenderloin.

But you don’t go on a 30-day sugar/grain/legume/dairy/booze purge without one last fling. Which was dessert:

dessert

For the last few days, we now text one another pictures of our meals. To be supportive, you know.

Breakfast:

breakfast

Lunch:

lunch

And dinner:

dinner

I have but this to say: I miss bread. I don’t miss booze. I don’t miss sugar (too much — the fruit helps). But man, that lunch would have been better as a sandwich.

One day at a time. And if I give it up, no biggie. It’s all about learning.

Is there anything as boring as another person’s chow? No. But that was a lovely, delicious chocolate-Chambord mousse. February isn’t so far away.

So, the tree is now at the curb, the ornaments are back in their boxes, Kate is back at school and I’m back at work. Threw some stuff out, sent a million emails, did a bit of spadework for the next eight weeks of assignments. Ate that grim lunch at my desk and tried to explain the Oregon situation to Kate on the drive to Ann Arbor. Honestly, I think the Onion nailed it:

What are the protesters’ demands?

$5 million in cash and safe passage to 1874.

Deconstructing the semiotics of Bill Cosby’s grandpa sweater.

I also slept terribly last night, so I think I’m going to turn in early. Have a great Tuesday, all.

Posted at 9:06 pm in Same ol' same ol' | 72 Comments
 

How we got here.

Well, happy new year to y’all, too. I hope you had a pleasant pair of long weekends, or in my case, TWO SOLID WEEKS of not having to think about work (too much). I had a particularly fine time reading the comments on the last entry, about how so many of you made it here, and why you stick around.

To clear up some points made there, which I might as well do now, because I’m not sure when, precisely, this blog began, although J.C. probably does:

NN.c was born out of boredom, restlessness and a sense that things were changing in my business, and some skills in the new era might be useful. J.C. had already launched his own site — and that’s what we called them, just websites or “personal websites” — which was updated then more often than it is now. I always looked forward to reading it, and in his always-encouraging way, he urged me to try it myself. At least secure your name.com, he said, so I did, at Network Solutions, for something like $25. I only got the .com, because $75 to secure the .net and .org seemed like a lot of money to spend on something I might not ever even do.

On one of J.C.’s swings through town, he showed me how to work Adobe GoLive in sort of an all-thumbs, basic way, and in about 10 minutes, mocked up the first NN.c. Dominant color: Blue. He showed me how to make new pages, how to upload to the server. I understood what a server was. And so I tapped out a tentative first entry, introducing myself and telling the world that I now had a personal website. There were pages devoted to my scary-clown news clippings, and my postcard collection, links to sites I regularly visited, and that was about it. All this was in January 2001.

I sent emails to everyone I know, saying hey, I now have a website. And I told my editors, just in case there was a conflict. They decided there wouldn’t be, as long as I didn’t try to sell anything that might be construed as competing with the paper. Everyone looked at Day One, patted me on the head and said, “Isn’t that nice” and went back to putting out the paper.

I believe I got 104 visits that day. Clicks, anyway. Google analytics didn’t exist yet.

As Day One drew to a close, I called up my page and looked at it. The question “now what?” seemed to announce itself. Guess I should write something new, I thought, starting the first weekly archive page, pasting the first day’s content to that and starting anew in the now-blank box on the home page.

On that second day, I considered a few things when at the keyboard. First, that one of my great regrets in life is that I haven’t kept a regular journal, and large swaths of my life are only committed to my increasingly faulty memory. Another is that I couldn’t keep a real journal on a site that was called by my real name, because it’s the internet and I don’t want everyone reading the intimate details of our household, or that my boss was a jerk that day, or whatever. So I fell into a style that had become familiar to me over the years, in my long-running correspondence with my best friend, who now lives in Milwaukee: A letter to a friend. Sort of easy and breezy and a report on the day’s events, trivial and less-so. A journal with some intimacy, but not total access. And that’s really how it went, for quite a while.

But then a couple things happened: 9/11, which was followed by an explosion of these things called weblogs, or blogs for short (a horrible word, in my opinion). Most of them were atrocious and rightly died a swift death, but they led to a shift in the conversation about websites that weren’t established and maintained by an institution, but by an individual. New tools — Blogger, Typepad, et al. — made it easy to get your own version of NN.c up and running in a matter of minutes. Suddenly it wasn’t just me and J.C. and a few others. It was everyone.

The other thing that happened was the Humiliation and Firing of Mr. Bob Greene, which happened over a weekend. I saw the news via Jim Romenesko, probably, and dashed off a column-length piece about it. I announced what every young woman who’d ever passed within 10 yards of the guy knew — that he was a horndog, a fact so widely known in media circles that it hardly even counted as gossip. I also said he was a hack, and had been for some time, another observation that barely rises above Duh. And I mentioned his stupid toupees, because are they not a metaphor for his hackitude and desperate need to paw women? They are. I uploaded it and went to bed.

The next morning, I looked at my email. “Great rant,” said someone with an address from thenewyorker.com — a staff writer. More continued to arrive through the next few days, one from none other than Lucianne Goldberg. It turned out I’d been linked by Romenesko, and then by Slate, and then by many other blogs and publications and whatnot. Newsweek magazine quoted me. A Japanese magazine writer conducted a phone interview, in halting English, through a bad phone connection. For the first time, I was Internet Famous.

I told the executive editor, expecting an explosion of whatthefuck, but got little more than the that’s-nice head-pat he’d given me on day one. And that, more than anything, exposed a few things in sharp relief. First, that the newspaper business had no idea what was coming for it, and second, that if I wanted to be known outside Fort Wayne, Indiana, I should stop trying to get carried by the Knight-Ridder wire service (which had turned me down more than once) and start writing more stuff like 700 dashed-off words about Bob Greene. If it’s true that on the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog, it’s equally true that no one knows you’re a nobody toiling for a fading daily in the Hoosier state.

I’ve said it many times, in many places: Every good thing that’s happened in my writing life has happened because of this site. I was routinely ignored by hiring K-R editors who passed through the Fort, but here? Here’s where I met Laura Lippman, and her husband Mr. Lippman. Here’s where Ben Yagoda found me, and put me in a textbook about finding your writing voice. (Take that, stupid hiring editors!) This here place is what I wrote about in the essay that got me a Knight Wallace Fellowship. Here’s where the career of Tim Goeglein, White House aide, went up in flames. (And Tim? I am pissed I didn’t get mentioned in your book. Not once.)

And here’s where I met all of you guys. Because after 15 years, frankly, there are days when I sit in front of my blinking cursor and can barely think of one thing to say. Now that I’m a working reporter again, I have to be more circumspect in what I write here, and that chafes sometimes, believe me. But I know that if I put up just a little something, someone here will take it and run with it, or will introduce something else and go in another direction.

Something else I’ve said many times: This place, and its commentariat, is the world’s greatest and friendliest bar. Some people teetotal, some cry into their beer, some fall off their stools (a moment of silence for Prospero here). If “Cheers” had a bigger set and cast, it would be like this site. Which is really one of the things the internet did for everyone, right? If you were a lonely gay boy in Nowhere, Nebraska, you could find other gay boys out there. If you collected paintings of chickens and only chickens, somewhere out there someone is keeping a blog for you. Not all of these communities have been good and healthy ones, but this one? It’s pretty good. After all, it has Coozledad, who not only amuses us here, but also at his own site. (Read that one — it’s pretty good. I so wish he’d write a book.)

And just now, looking at my word count, I’m struck by the horrible feeling I’ve written this thing before, probably many times.

Anyway, today isn’t the anniversary of the blog. That was either the 14th or 21st, maybe? Those dates stick in my head. But I’ll take today to say, once again, how happy I am to have you guys in my life, even on days when I feel like pulling the plug. Because a writer without readers is just shouting into the void, and a writer with readers who can talk back and contribute is lucky indeed.

On to the links:

What the hell is going on in Oregon? Discuss.

If Boston Globe reporters and editors were going to moonlight as carriers, they should have just done it and kept it to themselves. This just comes off as self-aggrandizement, to me.

One of the trainers at my gym just announced she’s planning to attend one of these learn-to-surf camps this summer, to commemorate her 50th birthday, and invited others to come with her. I cannot. Get it OUT. Of my mind. Someone talk me out of spending a September week in San Onofre, Calif. making a fool of myself. But I cannot deny, being able to get even one ride on a surfboard would be a total bucket-list item for me.

Here’s to 2016, all. It can be a pretty great one, if we make it so.

Posted at 3:09 pm in Housekeeping, Same ol' same ol' | 46 Comments
 

The lazy train.

Another link salad today, because I have been a lazy, reading, organizing, car-less lump today. A persistent rattle in the right front quarter put the ol’ Volvo in the shop, and of course that led to brakes and all I can say is ow-my-wallet. But I finished one book and started another, ain’t nothing wrong with that.

Who’s going to this New Year’s party? Can I go too?

The best White House photos of the year, as selected by the chief WH photog. You’ll be scrolling for an hour. So many wonderful shots.

The folks I buy greens from, most weekends.

Happy new year, all! In a couple weeks, NN.c enters its 15th year. Holy shit, how’d that happen?

Posted at 9:56 pm in Uncategorized | 77 Comments
 

The house, brought down.

All you really need to see today is Aretha Franklin at the Kennedy Center Honors last night.

I think this is the point at which we call upon Coozledad to sketch out a Kennedy Center Honors program under President Trump.

Ta-ta, all. Can’t top Sister A.

Posted at 8:44 am in Current events | 22 Comments
 

This is this, and that is that.

I made split-pea soup yesterday, to use up the Christmas ham and some yellow split peas I found deep in the pantry. While googling the difference between yellow and green splits, just in case cooking times needed to be adjusted, I found this gem — DifferenceBetween.com, a site that does guess-what.

Ranging from the trivial — the difference between pumps and platform (shoes) — to the far less so — the difference between photoelectric effect and photovoltaic effect — it promises hours of time-wasting. Which everyone needs more of, right?

There is no appreciable difference between yellow and green split peas, by the way. The soup was delicious. Gonna eat up my legumes while I can. (Still undecided on Whole30.)

Another bit of bloggage for the day is this pretty direct analysis of how Donald Trump destroyed the modern GOP.

I cleaned the biggest, most overstuffed-and-overdue closet yesterday, and friends? The feeling of accomplishment was astounding. I should have pursued a more task-oriented career, something with a blue collar, maybe. Set the job down before you, do it, send it on down the line. Shoveling snow, maybe. It’s that satisfying.

So, on to the next one. Happy Tuesday.

Posted at 8:42 am in Same ol' same ol' | 36 Comments
 

The interregnum.

Another Christmas in the books. When Kate was younger, I used to think of the Three Hurdles of Autumn — Halloween, birthdays and the holidays. By this point, with Christmas behind us and only the new year and tree-dismantling ahead, I’d feel like a racehorse halfway down the stretch.

It’s not as grueling anymore, so I’m enjoying these last few days. It helps that I don’t have to work, that the past year was a good one, that 2015 brought only the normal wear and tear to me and mine. Still, I have this pipe dream of organizing the house before 1/1/16. We’ll see if I can at least get a couple of rooms done.

Meanwhile, I hope you all got the presents you wanted, and a few you didn’t know you wanted. We all did just fine here.

With the 30 Days of Abstention ahead, I’m wondering if I should go whole-hog and try a Whole 30 in January, too. A friend of mine posted about it on Facebook, saying it got his pre diabetic blood-sugar numbers down in a shockingly short period of time, but I dunno — a whole month without bread, pasta, rice, sugar, dairy AND alcohol? Talk about a shock to the system. On the other hand, if I’m already going to be booze-free… What’s the harm of trying?

Never mind the self-improvement for now. How about the weekend’s pleasures?

Alan got stuck working Christmas Day, so Kate and I took ourselves to “The Big Short,” which I can’t recommend highly enough. Hide all the weaponry in the house, however, lest you be tempted to go out and knife random investment bankers afterward. It’s very entertaining and does a tremendous job explaining some frankly impenetrable financial instruments, although there were moments when I was at sea. It didn’t matter — the narrative carries you through the rough parts, and the fourth-wall breaking is a stroke of genius. Go. You won’t regret it.

Then we came home and watched “Inside Out” on iTunes, and that was equally fine, although in an entirely different kind of way.

This is pretty much all I want to do on this break — lie on the couch, let entertainment wash over me and clean closets.

A little bloggage to start the week, whether you’re working or not:

The worst and stupidest health claims of the year, kicking off with none other than Gwinnie Paltrow:

Gwyneth Paltrow told women to steam clean their vaginas. Don’t do this.

OK, I won’t!

For you Michiganians, a particularly harsh take on the legislature’s year.

And in the Freep, a lovely farewell from one columnist to another, who happens to be his wife. (And isn’t leaving anything other than her job.)

More laziness in the week ahead. Enjoy yours, eh?

Posted at 8:08 pm in Movies, Same ol' same ol' | 42 Comments
 

Keep swimming.

You know, even if you have the holidays handled, even if you completed your shopping and so forth well ahead of the deadline, even if you have money in your pocket and a smile on your face, the last days before Christmas are always a grind. Is that toilet scrubbed? No. Scrub it, then. Did you remember to tip the newspaper carriers? Oops, go get some crisp bills at the bank. Is there gas in the car? You never know when there will be a catastrophe and you’ll have to flee the metro area, so you better have at least half a tank, preferably more.

All of these things involve long lines. Except the toilet-scrubbing. You’re always the only one volunteering for that job.

At times like this, to keep the blog from collapsing into a spiral of capital-B Boring, I cast around for material. Here’s the last photo I took with my phone:

keepswimming

Those are Kate’s hands. She’s performing her final-exam project for her digital-music class, a piece she composed and performed for the class. It’s untitled. That glowing board is a controller for a program called Ableton Push; if you’re into techno or EDM, you probably know about it, or at least have heard music created with it. She borrowed the controller from a guy in Windsor, as the single one owned by the University was signed out at the beginning of the semester and kept, well, all semester. But she got an A+, so booyah; it must have had good mojo, as it was last used by some big-deal techno guy for his latest album. Final factoid: The piece contained a sample from “Finding Nemo,” Dory saying, “Just keep swimming.”

That’s good advice in many things, I’ve found, particularly swimming; oftentimes those first few laps just don’t feel great. Keep swimming, and you loosen up. What do we do, we swim.

We also scrub toilets. Can you tell what job I’m putting off right now?

So, a little bit of bloggage:

As this is the season when lots of people who don’t think about religion get themselves into a church for at least a little while, a thoughtful piece about President Obama’s faith. It won’t change anything; the people who think he’s a Muslim will continue to think so, and believe this is another snow job by the liberal media, and those who think highly of him will think, perhaps, a little more highly. But it’s still a good piece, encapsulated in these nut grafs:

Obama did not grow up in a religious household and became a practicing Christian as an adult. He has written more extensively about his spiritual awakening than almost any other modern president, addressing it in two books before he was elected to the White House and in more than a dozen speeches since.

His faith had been central to his identity as a new kind of Democrat who would bring civility to the country’s political debates by appealing to Republicans through the shared language of their Judeo-Christian values.

With just one year left in his second term, Obama now holds a different distinction: No modern president has had his faith more routinely questioned and disparaged. Recent polls show that 29 percent of Americans and nearly 45 percent of Republicans say he is a Muslim.

Everybody’s seen this by now, but it’s so perfect, let’s all watch it again: Meet your second wife! Tina Fey, can we be best friends?

Finally, while this screenshot says much…

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 5.18.37 PM

…including the update on the Bridge story about the homeless EMU student — you can see his financial situation is much improved — I think what we really want to know about is that stabbing, right?

Well, here ya go. The girl was not seriously injured.

Tidings of comfort and joy! Off to buy tamales tomorrow, my last-promise-last errand of the holiday. Now to scrub the damn toilet.

Posted at 5:24 pm in Same ol' same ol' | 91 Comments
 

A nation of dummies.

So, in re Friday’s post, I read this over the weekend, the announcement of the final installment of What Was Fake, a Washington Post column devoted to debunking Internet rumors and so forth. It’s not that the author has run out of material, but rather, it’s more she’s run out of hope of ever improving things, mainly because of the rise of fake-news sites.

I try to curate my friend list, and subsequent news feed, so a lot of these things don’t get through. So I was a little surprised to click a link within that story and find this one, about a fake-news entrepreneur who consistently fools credulous readers. This would normally be a reminder that some people simply don’t understand satire, but I found this passage depressing:

Where debunking an Internet fake once involved some research, it’s now often as simple as clicking around for an “about” or “disclaimer” page. And where a willingness to believe hoaxes once seemed to come from a place of honest ignorance or misunderstanding, that’s frequently no longer the case. Headlines like “Casey Anthony found dismembered in truck” go viral via old-fashioned schadenfreude — even hate.

There’s a simple, economic explanation for this shift: If you’re a hoaxer, it’s more profitable. Since early 2014, a series of Internet entrepreneurs have realized that not much drives traffic as effectively as stories that vindicate and/or inflame the biases of their readers. Where many once wrote celebrity death hoaxes or “satires,” they now run entire, successful websites that do nothing but troll convenient minorities or exploit gross stereotypes. Paul Horner, the proprietor of Nbc.com.co and a string of other very profitable fake-news sites, once told me he specifically tries to invent stories that will provoke strong reactions in middle-aged conservatives. They share a lot on Facebook, he explained; they’re the ideal audience.

This is so dispiriting. The country doesn’t need this much ignorance, especially hate-driven ignorance.

So, now that we are officially On Vacation, and in the grip of the holidays, expect nothing much from here, other than an occasional photo, linkage, whatever — I have a lot to do. Cleaned two bedrooms and a bathroom today, which was about as much as I could manage on a mild hangover. It actually made me look forward to my January teetotaling, which I am serious about this year; one dry month with maybe, maybe one night off for the auto-show gala, but maybe not. Stocking up on Pellegrino and lime, and of course, lots of Diet Coke.

So a quick pop to the bloggage, then:

A nice little feature on Jim Harrison, Charlotte’s neighbor, reported just before his wife of 55 years died.

Looking for something to read on your days off? You’ll absolutely find something in Longform’s best of 2015 roundup of very readable journalism.

Any Raffi fans out there? I am, and #notashamed about it at all. A nice piece on the man and his career in New York magazine.

Let Christmas week commence.

Posted at 9:28 pm in Ancient archives, Current events, Media, Popculch | 38 Comments
 

How to read the news.

I’ve been out of school a long time, so what I have to say now will probably come as a shock to some of you young’uns, but here goes:

Once in elementary school, and again in high school, I had lessons on how to read a newspaper.

Seriously. The teacher pinned a few pages to a bulletin board, and ran down what we needed to know, as little would-be news consumers. The grade-school lesson covered stuff like what we call the big type at the top of the front page, with the newspaper’s name (the flag), how to tell who wrote a particular story, and the difference between a straight news story and a feature, and between a feature and a column.

The high school class got into more specialized skills, including how to judge a story on its merits, the difference between a broadsheet and a tabloid, and a tabloid and a “tabloid.” While this was never stated explicitly, there was a strong bias to what’s come to be called the MSM or mainstream media, in part because there was very little alternative media at the time, the exception being the trashy movie magazines my grandmother favored. I would read them at her house with great relish, goggling over the back-of-the-book ads for Frederick’s of Hollywood and the Mark Eden Bust Developer; it was there I learned that “nervous exhaustion” was a synonym for “drunk,” among other things.

Years later, when I was working for a newspaper, I would get angry calls from readers saying, “This thing you wrote? It’s just your opinion.” And I would explain that yes it was, because I was a columnist and that was the job description. Clearly some of these people did not have the same lessons.

Anyway, that’s the long way around to something I see more often than ever these days, and people, it vexes me: Crap news. Crap news from crap sources. Today’s blog is a lesson in how to read news on the internet.

So. Consider a few headlines:

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 9.22.58 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 9.25.40 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 9.26.37 AM

Every one of these “stories” is, to put it bluntly, bullshit. Each one appeared on a website designed and curated for a particular constituency — in this case, top to bottom, right-to-lifers, organic-food advocates and …Not sure what IfYouOnlyNews.com is about, other than lefty politics and culture. But you knew that, right? Good. That’s the easy part.

Right here is where we talk about the difference between reporting and aggregation. All of the above constitutes aggregation. This blog — most blogs — are aggregation, in the sense that I go out on the web and look at others’ work, then bring it back here and link to it. In my case, I’m looking for two to three stories a day that I think would interest you, presented with and without comment. I think it’s clear that I only write the words around the links, and they’re worth approximately what you paid for them.

Reporting is much harder. It requires getting off your butt (or at least getting on the phone), talking to people, looking stuff up, questioning what you know. Nailing things down. I don’t want to self-aggrandize here, but you get the idea. It’s the difference between going out into the world and bringing home the bacon, and eating the bacon later.

But recent years have seen the rise of aggregation as more Americans’ primary source of news, which is alarming to real journalists. All of the above I found via the social-media accounts of non-insane Americans. The new media model is to Facebook-like or Twitter-follow people who share your basic political outlook or interests, then scroll through your feeds all day and click the stuff that tickles your fancy. It’ll be spun and repackaged to flatter and reinforce your beliefs, which will encourage you to share with your own networks. Viral trumps accuracy, always.

But it’s not just sites with obvious points of view that do this anymore. The Washington Post Morning Mix, which seems to be a rewrite desk aiming to catch the eyes of bored commuters staring at their smartphones, recently had this on their page. I’m giving you a screen grab of how it appeared on a typical Facebook post because I want you get the full effect:

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 11.34.56 AM

The sobbing woman, the “state of emergency,” lead in a municipal water supply — how can you not click that? And while every word in the story is accurate, the Washington Post wasn’t in Flint to report it; it’s entirely aggregated from stories written by others, and it lacks the context you need to understand what’s going on. The story of the contamination of Flint’s water is complicated, fraught with idiosyncrasies of Michigan politics and other things that make it difficult to fully understand as a casual reader — like plumbing. The state of emergency the mayor declared is a political move, which she freely admits, if you cared enough to follow the links in the story:

The new mayor asked that the Genesee County Board of Commissioners call a special meeting to take action to support her declaration, that it be forwarded to Gov. Rick Snyder, and potentially President Obama.

The end result of the resolution is not known, but Weaver said the city can’t expect further help from the federal government without it.

“Do we meet the criteria (for a disaster area)? I don’t know,” Weaver said. “I’m going to ask and let them tell us no.”

You might think, reading this headline, that the city is still drinking the Flint River water that led to this slow-motion disaster, and they’re not; they switched back to treated water from Detroit weeks ago. That doesn’t mean the crisis is over, not by a long shot — now the fact-finding and blame assignment begins, as well as the inevitable lawsuits. And there is some concern that the Flint River water may have further corroded pipes, and the water may not be as safe as it was before the initial switch. (The lead in the water comes not from the source, but from leaching from the pipes that carry it, specifically the welds. That’s why some kids got more lead exposure than others — the older the infrastructure serving your house, the more likely you were to have lead in your drinking water.)

Another screen grab:

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 12.36.39 PM

That’s Google on Thursday. Note how many outlets picked it up — NPR, the networks, even other aggregators like the Huffington Post. As of late Thursday, it was still on the top-five most-read list on the Post website. All without a visit by any reporter. It’s really something.

You want to know what’s going on in Flint? Here’s a radio documentary. Here’s a newspaper story (Sunday-length). Here’s a column. All from local sources, backed up by lots of reporting.

So when you look at something that’s being presented to you as journalism, look at the whole picture. Ask yourself: Did the person whose name appears at the top of the story actually get out and talk to the people quoted and cited, or is it filled with phrases like “…told the New York Times,” or “according to this other source,” etc. Is this in a publication that regularly tells me everything I believe is right and true? Most important: If this event happened in Tampa or New Orleans or Los Angeles, is the story I’m reading from a local media source, or is it from an advocacy group based hundreds of miles away? Local is good, and not just for vegetables.

Enough lesson-ing for today. Here’s a great story from Bridge today; you’ll like it. It’s about a homeless college student, and beautifully done.

Here’s another good read, about aggregation, by an aggregator, for a source I see cited ALL THE TIME.

I’ve been giggling over this short clip, which says everything I want to say about “Star Wars.”

Enjoy your weekend! I’m off for a while. But I’ll be here, of course.

Posted at 11:29 pm in Media | 61 Comments
 

West to Washtenaw.

I was at Wallace House today, the Ann Arbor clubhouse of my old fellowship. Of course I took a lap of the first floor, and noticed that a couple of Mike Wallace’s Emmys had been added to the shelf in the library. Is it possible to pass a major award and not pick it up and make a little acceptance speech?

And take a selfie, of course. This one’s blurry, but you can see Mike peeking over my shoulder:

blurryemmy

Since I was in town, I took Kate to lunch to celebrate the near-end of her first semester. She has one final to go, some sort of live performance of an original digital-music composition, so, y’know, no pressure. We went to a noodle bar, of which there are now ten thousand in Ann Arbor. I had the bibimbap I’ve been craving for weeks; Kate had pho. And that was lunch. Because she doesn’t read this blog, I can reveal that I stopped at the MDen and bought her a sweatshirt with her school name on it, for Christmas. I bought it because she showed up for lunch wearing a UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs T-shirt. A friend goes there, and gave it to her at Thanksgiving break.

“Would you wear branded merchandise from your own school?” I asked.

“I guess, but not here.”

“Why?”

“Because everybody knows where you go to school here.”

This girl needs to walk through the Harvard Coop. I bet half their merch goes to non-students.

So. I guess you guys will have something to say about the debate, but I can’t add anything — one of the advantages of cutting the cord is, you don’t have to feel guilty about not watching CNN.

So what happened?

Posted at 9:58 pm in Same ol' same ol' | 67 Comments