Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Book review: Flesh and Blood

I read "Flesh and Blood" by Michael Cunningham years ago in a book club in Chicago. Even though I was an English major in college I'd pretty much lost all interest in reading fiction by then -- and still to this day -- preferring instead to bury myself in books about social science and American and European history. But I DEVOURED this book for our book club. Then a couple years later I devoured it again. And for some reason, something reminded me of it last week. Then I had an opportunity to bring it up in a conversation this week. And now I want to devour it a third time. If I still own my original copy, it's currently filed away in one of more boxes than I can count in my climate-controlled storage locker across town. So I just ordered another copy. And I can't wait to devour it again.
In "Flesh and Blood," Cunningham crafts a richly complex family narrative that germinates literally from the imagination of an eight-year-old boy as he plays in his father's garden in pre-war Greece. That boy -- mightily named Constantine Stassos -- eventually emigrates to America, marries an Italian immigrant, and becomes the imperious and by degrees powerless patriarch of an expanding family dynasty whose story is told both as a beautifully messy, eminently human drama and as a faceted metaphor for the American Dream filtered through a prism of post-war immigration, the uncertain but dogged progress of cultural assimilation, and the inconstantly evolving boundaries of familial love and obligation. It's as engrossing as it is complex, and as beautiful as it is essentially American.

Text slutty girls!

Though its $3.50 iPhone app doesn't do jack shit, Blogger.com tells me all kinds of things about my blog: how many hits it gets by day or week, what specific posts are being read and by how many people, what sites are directing traffic to mine ... and what specific search terms people are using when they find me on Google. Like the scholarly, wholesome, respectable search terms listed here:


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Russian salad dressing"? "Stop shaking your head"?

I'm finally home and finally tuning in to today's news. I was hoping to hear about the EPA rollback executive orders and on what planet they'd provide any appreciable job growth. But instead HOLY SHIT.

Racist or not -- and I think he is -- stupid or not -- and he clearly is -- Sean Spicer is almost more puerile and belligerent than our inarticulate man-boy president. He's rude and childish and slow-witted and uninformed and a gaspingly bad liar ... and he's the United States White House PRESS SECRETARY. He's incapable of answering obvious, expected questions from the press in any depth, and he lashes out at the reporters when they do their job of expecting him to do his job. And today -- just for good measure -- he added a whiff of impulsive racism to the festering stench of his professional and intellectual and personal and moral failings.

Sean Spicer is supposed to be conveying detailed information and contextual nuances and geopolitical relevancies from the White House to the Fourth Estate. Not making clumsy condiment references and racist condescensions. He's supposed to be helping shape the news using his informed intelligence. Not making the news because of his lack of it.

He's supposed to help us believe this administration isn't a catastrophically inept international embarrassment. Not prove it.

Monday, March 27, 2017

(Punctuation is my passion

I stole this from someone who no doubt stole it from a long line of other stealers, but I am now and forever in love with the original designer and his or her unmasked clip-art frog.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

My American Nephew

This -- THIS! -- is what I love love love about being the weird corrupting uncle to two smart, clever kids.
Forget the hugs. Forget the pride over choir concerts and sports awards and valedictorianships. Forget the realization that I will gladly do everything in my power to make sure my niece and nephew are always safe and fed and happy and educated and financially secure and able to achieve anything they set their sights on achieving.

The only reason I'm sticking with this uncling gig is to exchange intellectually and socially irresponsible texts as part of my master plan to set a catastrophically bad example for two amazing young adults I've been telling underpants jokes to since Booth totaled his Lincoln.

Respect!

Pssst. Don. "Laughingstock" is one word. Aside from that, your message is totally on point without a whiff of irony. Your inability to spell or capitalize like a big boy notwithstanding.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Loser. Loser loser loser.

There IS no "we will all," Donald. You can't even get your 100% majority rank-and-file to back your biggest campaign platform. You know: The one you've bellowed loudly and repeatedly to be your first-order-of-presidential-business art-of-the-deal priority for well over a year. Yeah, that one.

What's that playground word you can't stop using because you're too stupid to know any other words? Oh, yeah: Loser.

It's surprisingly difficult to find the right shirt and shoes to match your new faggy red jeans

Friday, March 24, 2017

Who's the "loser" now?

I just got home from rehearsal to find our petulant, inarticulate man-boy president going on record on the national "fake news" he whines pathetically about but he knows he'd die without to call the Democrats "losers" because HE couldn't get his dangerously hasty piece-of-shit legislation passed by his own rank-and-file majority party.

Unless he's claiming credit for momentum from Obama's economy, nothing is ever his fault. His entire fake presidency has been a bubbling swamp of failure, blame, desperation, hyperbole, ignorance, lies, diplomatic embarrassment and narcissistic waste of taxpayer money.

Still proud of your Trump vote, anyone?

The Art of the Fail

GOP House. GOP Senate. GOP "President." Eight years of whining and criticizing and blaming and grandstanding in which they had ridiculously abundant time to craft viable, bipartisan legislation to replace the whipping-boy Affordable Care Act that their hatred for has nothing to do with the fact that Barack Obama is black nope nothing at all.

Instead they sat on their whiny, incapable hands for eight years and in the 26 days between their dear leader declaring that "nobody knew that health care could be so complicated" and today's GOP-controlled Art-of-the-Deal flaccidly-aborted-at-the-last-minute non-vote, they hastily cobbled together a criminally and intellectually and morally incompetent replacement proposal whose most celebrated feature was that it used less paper than the Affordable Care Act did.

THEY FAILED. CATASTROPHICALLY. AT THE ASTRONOMICAL EXPENSE OF OUR CONFIDENCE AND OUR RESPECT AND OUR TAX DOLLARS. They wasted almost a decade of time and resources and money and bipartisan goodwill and public trust whining impotently about how (they barbarically hoped and prayed) the Affordable Care Act was failing and solemnly lying that they were going to "fix" it.

And our petulant, inarticulate man-boy president immediately -- IMMEDIATELY! -- blamed the Democrats for his controlling party's catastrophic failures today and dismissed this entire colossal waste of time and money and potentially lives as an inchoately threatening lesson in "a lot about loyalty."

He's been an Art of the Failure at almost everything he's done in his pampered, self-aggrandizing life. And now he's dragging our entire country down his narcissistic, intellectually bankrupt rabbit hole with him. And there's very little of consequence we can do but wait until he uses his favorite big-boy word and implodes. And it's looking to be an excruciatingly long, painfully slow self-immolation.

The Art of the Deal

How tall ya feeling NOW, Paul? How big are your ignoble accomplishments? How towering is your integrity? Where do you stand in the public's estimation? Why is your hat on backwards?


Flashback Friday: Name This Theatre Edition

When I lived in Chicago, my office in the Loop looked down on the marquee for the Bank of America Theatre, which was built in 1906 as the Majestic Theatre -- where I saw zero shows -- then renamed in 1945 as the Sam Shubert Theatre -- where I saw Broadway national tour of Cats in the 1980s with my family but we were seated so far away in the top balcony that my dad complained it should have been called Kittens -- then renamed in 2006 as the LaSalle Bank Theatre -- where I totally sided with Cherry Jones in Doubt -- then renamed in 2008 as the Bank of America Theatre -- where I got to sing Happy Birthday to Dolly Parton when she was there for the Chicago premiere of 9 to 5 -- then renamed in 2015 as the PrivateBank Theatre -- which was right after I moved away so I didn't get a chance to proofread the marquee and point out that it was missing a space but now the damage is done so whatcanyoudo?

While I worked across the street from the theater and could look right out my window to watch happy theatergoers enter the theater as I toiled away making money so I could keep going to the theater myself, I witnessed the entire seated runs of Jersey Boys -- still one of my dream shows to be in -- and Book of Mormon -- and I have my tap shoes with me at all times in case I get the call that I've been cast as a Broadway elder. Ahem.

The PrivateBank Theatre currently houses the seated national tour of Hamilton.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Happy birthday, Stephen Sondheim!

Thank you for redefining musical theater. For redefining music. For redefining theater.

Thank you for composing music that's at once asymmetrical and balanced, halting and fluid, atonal and lush, messy and perfect.

Thank you for finding lyrics that explore the outer limits of rhythm and structure and rhyme, that tell a story or define a character or celebrate a moment or break a heart in sometimes just a handful of words, that always seem fresh, that always seem timeless, that always seem effortless.

Thank you for creating an apotheosis of order, design, tension, composition, balance, light and harmony.

Thank you for inspiring as only you can an enraptured little boy to think outside his own thoughts, to feel outside his own feelings, to never stop searching for the perfect word or the lyrical phrase or the essential defining idea in a universe of creative entropy, to always make sure he's proud of how he creates and proud of what he writes.

And thank you for the phrase that I rely on to pull me out of inertia and propel me sometimes through a bipolar fog and sometimes just through my own complacency to run a marathon, broaden my perspective, upgrade to a more challenging tap class, find a solution, emerge unscathed or at least unbroken, or some days to just show up.

Careful the things you say; children will listen. And sometimes they'll turn your words into kick-ass tattoos.

Feel the flow,
Hear what's happening:
We're what's happening!
Long ago
All we had was that funny feeling,
Saying someday we'd send 'em reeling.
Now it looks like we can!
Someday just began.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Happy 332nd birthday, Johann Sebastian Bach part 2!

Fun Bach fact 2: The formal title of every work composed by Bach is followed by a BWV (Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis or Bach-Works-Catalogue) number. First published in 1950 by Wolfgang Schmieder -- who was probably very boring at parties -- the BWW system assigned a unique number to each of the 1,126 known written works of Bach. 

Unlike the far-more-useful-in-my-humble-opinion Köchel catalogue that assigns numbers to every known work of Mozart chronologically, the BWW assigns its numbers by genre. Which isn't even a German word.

Happy 332nd birthday, Johann Sebastian Bach!

Fun Bach fact 1: Johann Sebastian Bach is considered to be one of the definitive composers of the Baroque Period in music, which lasted from 1600 until the year of Bach's death in 1750. Following the Renaissance Period, which explored independent, interweaving melodic lines in a style known as polyphony, Baroque music introduced the concept of tonality, where music was written in an established key. The highly ornamental and often improvised music of the Baroque followed the key-based chord progressions played by the lower instruments of the basso continuo.

And though all symphonic music from the Baroque Period forward is collectively known as "classical music," the official Classical Period as we define it today directly followed the Baroque, lasting from 1750 to 1825. Its definitive composer was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Monday, March 20, 2017

I think it's time for bed. Good night, everyone.


Follies spacing rehearsal! We're running a lot of numbers.

Get your Follies tickets here already

Things to do on the vernal equinox

1. Welcome the first day of spring after surviving a brutal spring-like winter.
2. Tell the crocuses that all that previous warm weather was a cruel false alarm and that it's probably safe to come up now and fill our gardens and lives with white and purple and yellow joy. But especially yellow. Because I like yellow crocuses the best. No offense, lesser white and purple crocuses.
3. Marvel that humankind has figured out the rotation of the planets and the tilting of the earth's axis and the location of the equator and the EXACT FREAKING SECOND that the sun crossed it today as the earth's axis reached its momentary equilibrium and tilted neither toward or away from the sun.
4. Recalibrate -- if necessary -- your internal compasses by observing the due east and due west locations of today's sunrise and sunset. (Equinox nerds only.)
5. Softball "Fascism Forever" club founder, Constitutional "originalist" and declared Constitutional "faithful servant" Neil Gorsuch through confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court appointment that Constitutionally belongs to someone else.
6. Indulge in the sadly-once-a-year crispity, crunchety, maltedy, chocolatey, fatassy, lightly speckled deliciousness of Brach's Malted Milk White Fiesta Eggs.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Attend the tail

Don't laugh but we used to have two sister cats named Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett. I SAID DON'T LAUGH. They were stripey in a gorgeous spectrum of ochres and chestnuts and they totally matched our umber marble sink, where they frequently held court for their Council of Cute Conclaves and were obsessively photographed in adorably languorous poses.


So the obvious takeaway from this memory is that umber marble is easier to say than Irish wristwatch. WHO'S LAUGHING NOW?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

C'mon! Xanadead!

People. This is comedy GOLD here. I'm an international Twitter sensation and THIS is the response I get to my movie title/violent demise mashups? Angela Merkel would show way more respect for Donald Trump's intellectual accomplishments. Assuming he had any intellectual accomplishments. And they deserved any respect. He probably can't even spell eleprosy. Or mashup. Or Merkel. Or integrity. Or weekly golf vacation. But on the off chance he can, I sincerely hope he's spelling it at Malaria-A-Lago.

I'm a sensation!

As you may know, I'm relatively new to Twitter and -- as we new Twitterfolk are wont to do -- I've been clumsily trying to get more followers. I've recently discovered the list of trending hashtags on the home screen and I've thrown a few hopefully clever tweets into those rings in the hopes of maybe finding a few new followers. Or being propelled to Broadway stardom. Whatever. I'm not picky.

So. This morning, something called #igot7selcaday was trending and I couldn't even figure out from the tweets under the hashtag what on earth it meant. My hissing Bitch Kitty picture had gotten a lot of attention on Facebook earlier so just for completely random schizophrenic fun I tweeted it under that hashtag as I walked from my car to the grocery store to buy, of all things, white-meat cat-food pâté for Bitch Kitty's increasingly discerning palate.

Then I didn't log on to Twitter for six hours.
See those little icons directly under our picture? They mean reply, retweet and love. I think. If I'm extremely clever and extremely lucky, I may get a 0,1,1 under those icons for a tweet. Now look at the numbers Bitch Kitty and I got in the last six hours. As one of the replies I got for this tweet said, "congratulations papa UR internationally famous."

OHMYGOD.

I will not lie. There is more than a bit of a thrill involved in being a 15-second international Twitter sensation. Especially at the age of exactly one month shy of 49. And I'm getting comments in languages I don't even recognize -- all from what appear to be quite young fans of what many have explained to me is a kpop band from I have yet to figure out where.

Anyway, it appears I still have the bona fides to be down with the kids, yo. Even though one of them called me papa. And so far I've gotten a whopping seven new followers out of my still-growing international population of 2,500+ retweeters. Which doesn't quite meet my budget goals.

But still. I am as of this writing the international king of kpop kitty tweeting. And it feels kinda kool.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Why I loathe my CPAP

1. It honestly doesn't make me feel any different when I wake up every morning.
2. My bedroom light switch is clear across the room so I have to lay out the headgear on my bed in a way that I can find it and put it on right-side-up in the dark, cross the room to turn the lights out, come back to my bed and feel around for the headgear and put it on right-side-up in the dark, and crawl into bed without inadvertently yanking the whole thing off my head so I have to get up and turn on the lights and start all over.
3. The nose pillows -- as I shit you not regarding what they're called -- rarely form a workable seal on my nostrils so the machine usually ends up sending a tickley jet of air whooshing up my face.
4. Nose pillows.
5. It's impossible to breathe or not feel like I'm being waterboarded when I have a stuffy nose as the nose pillows struggle to obstruct my nostrils.
6. And I really don't want to think about where any stray snot may end up when I jam those nose pillows up into my stuffy nose.
7. Gross. I just thought about it.
8. Nose pillows.
9. Sometimes I wake up in the morning with the headgear around my neck and the nose pillows spraying what I'm sure we can all agree is by now aerosnot all over the sheets.
10. Twice I've awakened with the snot-spraying nose pillows in my mouth.
11. Twice.
12. In. My. Mouth.
13. I bought the bedside table at Gordmans, which we desperate-discount shoppers all know just filed for bankruptcy so of course I can't return it and get my $21.87 back.
14. That fancy Target-brand distilled water cost 97¢. Also unreturnable.
15. Nose pillows.
16. In. My. Mouth.
17. I can't just lie and say I'm using my CPAP when I'm not because the damn thing records every time I turn it on and off, how my breathing pressure changes as I sleep with it on, and how many apnea episodes I have in my sleep. Then every day it sends all that information wirelessly to the woman who sold it to me so she can adjust the pressure remotely and confirm with the insurance company that I'm actually using it.
18. For. Real. Just like a microwave.
19. I wonder if Gordmans has any of their other breakable furniture or prison-track blingy gang attire on clearance yet.
20. Nose pillows. In. My. Mouth.

Pet. My. TUMMY.

Bridget and I both forgot to wear green today but we're partying so hard for St. Patrick's Day that I just engaged in some heavy petting and she totally peed on the lawn.
 

Flashback Friday: Erin Go Bowl Edition

The black lights make it dark-magically delicious.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sean Spicer's high-wire act

Bickering and lashing out when you've gotten yourself trapped in a corner is what toddlers do. And feral dogs. And now, Trump press secretaries. I understand his job is to defend the indefensible and explain the unexplainable, but nobody forced him to take the job, and getting defensive instead of answering questions like he's supposed to do just makes him more intellectually alarming and contemptible by the day. And to think, he gets free healthcare no matter how little he knows, how much he obstructs or how catastrophically he fails at what he does.


    "Sexual stuff"

    Sigh. Christians sure have drained all the courtly romance out of sexually exploiting drug-addicted minors. They've made statutory rape and revolting hypocrisy nothing more than an exercise in cold, unfeeling efficiency. It's just sad.

    Putting the dead in deadlifts. Putting the squa in squats.

    Putting the clutch in shakily.

    Wednesday, March 15, 2017

    He's not gonna climb the ladder to heaven with his hands full of penis

    Via Towleroad: Feign your surprise here

    The Side Salads of March are upon us


    A needle in the haygurl

    I am fully aware that the "people you may know" Facebook feature is not a poor man's Match.com. Nevertheless, I persist at treating it as such and I greedily swipe through it every time it appears on my feed in the hopes of finding the one local age-appropriate reasonably athletic show-tune loving human non-sequitur needle in the cliché-loathing haygurl who I know Facebook will deliver to my screen if I look just THIS ONE LAST TIME.

    But Facebook keeps showing me in random order the same people I clearly after all this time STILL DON'T KNOW: local women, long-bearded undergrads who live 45 miles away, guys in Venezuela I share one friend with, and people who use Nell Carter for their profile photos. Plus my psychiatrist from Chicago who I had to leave for a different psychiatrist because not only was she mortally opposed to the very existence of Diet Coke but she didn't inform me of this fact -- and, granted, she didn't yet have a reason to -- until I brought a large McDonald's Diet Coke to her office and after I learned she really didn't want me even having it in her office I reached over to pick it up so I could pour it in her little office sink but instead I bumped it and spilled it all over her couch, throw pillows, artfully draped pashmina and carpet and neither of us had any way to clean it up except for the box of Kleenex on her table and the sweaty gym clothes in my bag and I was dying by fiery degrees inside as I simultaneously struggled to clean it up, apologized profusely, and marveled at the sheer liquid volume of seepy, drippy horror that a larger-than-I-thought container of delicious carbonated chemicals could inflict in mere seconds across the entirety of this poor woman's office furniture, décor and feng shui. Needless to say, I could never face her again and I began the hunt for a new in-network, geographically desirable psychiatrist almost as soon as I got in her elevator. So yes, Facebook, she technically IS a person I know. Score one for you! But under the circumstances, she is currently a poor dating choice for you to repeatedly offer me in the poor-man's Match.com you so misleadingly call "people you may know."
    Oh -- and aside from any oblique references to show tunes or spilled liquids, the attached picture has almost no relevance to this post. I just thought it was funny. And you should find me a boyfriend.

    Tuesday, March 14, 2017

    I wish saying it three times would summon an economist

    Melania plagiarized Michelle Obama's speech. Man-boy might as well plagiarize Barack Obama's economy.

    Solution-oriented jewelry. No, really. Solution-oriented jewelry.


    To provide a solution, you first have to define a problem. Not that linear thought has ever been in the Trump family logic arsenal. I've been in the industry of writing corporate-speak for 30 years, often to clients who insist their products and services are best defined by staggeringly craptastic corporate-speak. But "solution-oriented jewelry" outcraps anything I've ever written and holds a place of honor in a bucket of crap at the peak of the pile.

    Monday, March 13, 2017

    White-shaming. No, really. White-shaming.

    It's not "listening" when you tell people what to say

    Clearly, "regurgitating" is too hard to spell for you and your crackerjack research team.
    Does anyone else smell the frantic, catastrophic stink of desperation here? Our puerile, inarticulate man-boy president can't make up delusional lies fast enough to defend the so-far indefensible Trumpcare so he's actively recruiting people to do it for him.

    And not just any people. He's recruiting people who don't find any red flags in the unambiguous statement that man-boy "held a listening session" SOLELY with "Americans who have experienced significant hardship" from the Affordable Care Act. People who think "share your Obamacare disaster story" is an objectively balanced way to confirm or deny man-boy's assertion that the Affordable Care Act is a "complete failure."

    He's "polling" his base as a pretense for telling it what to think. It's spiral-down-the-drain circular stupidity. It's manipulative demagoguery for the willfully ignorant. And it's driving the discussion in terrifyingly real time about the future of our nation's healthcare.

    If it's Monday, it must be microwaves


    Gather around. I've got a story to tell.

    You gotta ring them bells, you gotta ring them bells.
    You gotta make 'em sing and really ring them bells.
    It's such a happy thing to hear 'em ting-a-ling.
    You gotta Ring! Them! Bells!

    Whining about rudeness

    Projection? Duh. Distraction? Duh. A tacit admission that he has neither the foundational knowledge nor the intellectual firepower to coherently address anything more complicated than an envelope?

    Sadly, horrifyingly, rudely duh
    .

    Steve King's race to the bottom of the shithole


    Steve King does not represent white people, does not represent Iowans and does not represent rational thought on any level.

    Despite the environment of prejudice and contempt and malice that he and his crawling-out-of-the-woodwork ilk are working overtime to establish, we -- the educated, benevolent, magnanimous class -- have allies of every color and every nationality who celebrate and treasure and nurture the diversity that turns our differences into a gloriously multifaceted ONE. We strive to see color and nationality and race (though I always hesitate to use that word because from my perspective it seems to be an artificial construct invented specifically to create an intellectual and cultural barrier between white Europeans and black Africans to justify slavery and cruelty and the belief that black people were in some measurable way inferior to white people) for what it brings to our larger humanity while we also strive to look past it and just to see people instead of color and nationality and (despite the previous parenthetical I still always feel like I need to explain myself when I use this word) race.
    To me, the genuinely inferior people are those who -- especially in the Information Age -- are surrounded by facts and knowledge and good, decent, intelligent, live-by-example people but still choose to be racist. And when they stand tall and loud and proud in their racism like Steve King, they reveal themselves to be the low and empty and subhuman feculence they claim to hate in other people.

    NEVER put foil in the microwave

    Are you people trying to kill us all?

    Wait. Don't answer that.

    The Bowling Green Microwave


    First of all, I begrudgingly give her points for knowing that "surveil" is a legitimate verb. But she has spouted so many lies and dodged so many questions and defended so much borderline-to-actual treasonous stupidity that she's pre-emptively undermined everything she ever has or will say on any topic real or delusional and I see her as little more than the end of a sewer pipe. So all earned points -- begrudging or not -- are hereby revoked on principle, in perpetuity.

    Now. "Microwaves that turn into cameras."

    I'm no surveillance expert, so for all I know there is somewhere in some secret-location subterranean server room a vast database of microwave-taken photos of every person in America folding napkins and doing dishes. Except me. Because I hate doing dishes. But again, given Miss Kellyanne's abovementioned in-perpetuity sewer status, this Bowling Green Microwave Incident defines a level of intellectual firepower and imploding integrity that is actually lower than rock-bottom. Fathoms lower. And it's filled with accidentally burned popcorn. And rubbery scrambled eggs. And reheated cinnamon rolls that turn into chewy rocks if you don't eat them in 3.75 seconds. And, though I'm admittedly sometimes immature on this topic, I do try not to make gratuitous insults based on someone's appearance. But microwaves. Cameras. Kellyanne's face. It's all just too irresistible. Now, please pass the popcorn.

    Saturday, March 11, 2017

    Delight savings time

    Remember to turn your clocks ahead tonight to hasten Trump's impeachment by one hour.

    Timber!

    75 days ago, just hours into starting a new bipolar med, I stood up, blacked out, fell Timber! onto the tile floor (which I cracked with my face because go big or go home), shredded my face on my shattered glasses, bit most of the way through my lip, loosened some teeth, got a concussion, landed in the ER, came home covered in stitches and glue and filled eyeballs-to-spine with the headache to end all headaches, and still found a way to take time out of my busy schedule to take a selfie.

    Fast-forward 75 days to today, where I still have scars on my cheek and under my eyebrow and the right side of my upper lip is still so thick with scar tissue that I have a hard time drinking without drooling. And I clearly still need to get in the regular habit of shaving my neck. But I'd do it all over again instead of putting myself through the last hour I spent trying to find a way to put these two photos side by side with reasonably matching head sizes for a single before-and-after image. After googling and clicking and uploading and downloading and iPhotoing with absolutely zero success, I finally just opened the pix side by side in Finder and took a picture of my screen. I might as well have just drawn it all with ox blood and soot on a cave wall.

    Ironically, that new black-out-go-boom bipolar drug seems to be the magic bullet I've been looking for since forever; after the requisite miserable ramp-up period, I've had over a month of overwhelmingly good days. Minus a few blips here or there. And that hasn't happened in probably four years. So if you're so inclined, raise a glass and yell Timber! in my honor. I'm going to the gym. Because for the first month in many years, I'm able to do so. Timber!

    Friday, March 10, 2017

    Do not make fun of Paul Ryan

    The poor man had to make a huge PowerPoint presentation yesterday to prove he doesn't understand insurance. He can't remember if his marathon personal best was "two hour and fifty-something" or 4:01. And he has no idea how not to look like a gym douchebag in a backward bro hat. The man is truly a scholar and an athlete. Except he has really crappy form on his dumbbell curls. Plus there's no telling whether that cocky-head hand gesture he's making is a House gang sign or an indication of the height of his integrity. Either way, DO NOT MAKE FUN OF HIM. That would be as disrespectful as lying to the public about health insurance. Not that anyone would ever do that.


    Momentum trumps inertia

    The catastrophic crash happened in the last year of the George W. Bush presidency. The steady climb of recovery happened over the course of the entire Barack Obama presidency. Our petulant, willfully ignorant man-boy president has been in office six weeks minus golf vacations and has done little to nothing besides ride the Obama momentum.

    Oh, wait. He HAS done something: He just tweeted a graph showing year-by-year how Obama steadily drove the consumer comfort recovery and then implied that he himself had something to do with it.

    So either he's a moron or he thinks you're a moron. I'm going with option 3: He's just in this for the free healthcare.

    Flashback Friday: Armpit Edition

    I interrupt my loathing of our petulant, inarticulate man-boy president -- actually, it seems at this point that nothing could interrupt my loathing of our petulant, inarticulate man-boy president, but this picture of my armpit might at least mitigate the horror for a few sentences -- with this picture of my armpit:

    I've rewarded myself with a tattoo for every marathon I've run. But I've also tucked a compendium tattoo under my armpit -- which, come to think about it, is neither petulant nor inarticulate and therefore is more qualified to be president than man-boy -- that features 26.2 rendered to the best of my creativity in Roman numerals with a dot underneath for every marathon I've run.

    I'd run six marathons by the time this pic was taken, but after losing the New York Marathon lottery three times I'd finally gotten in. The race was in November and I was about to embark on my seventh summer of training so I could run my seventh marathon and proudly tuck my seventh dot under my armpit, which was already more accomplished and qualified to be our 45th president.

    I now return to my self-righteous indignation and withering tweets.

    Thursday, March 09, 2017

    Insurance and incompetence in a bro hat


    So there's a vicious, defamatory, hopefully humiliating story circulating about how Paul Ryan (as in Speaker of the House Paul Ryan who not too long ago had glamour shots taken of himself curling Barbie weights with his skinny arms and saggy workout costume and backward bro hat as illustrated in the photo below) made a huge PowerPoint presentation today (where he'd done research and used his economics-major training to form his thesis and taken the time to make slides and charts and graphs and presumably practiced beforehand in the mirror before his child tied his tie for him) where he used a chart with infection red for sick people who leech the economy into catastrophic typhoid implosion and blue-blood blue for non-sick people who are forced against their will to not be sick but still bear the crippling financial burden of having their already-paid insurance money pay for all those infection-red leeches who selfishly choose to be sick to explain point-by-unwavering-point how he (presiding United States Speaker of the House Paul Davis Ryan Jr. who has bachelor's degrees in economics and political science from Miami University and who is proudly called the Republican party's "Great Wonk" presumably for his vast and detailed understanding of even the most obscure details of national policy and economics) quite literally and unquestionably does not -- does NOT -- understand the rudimentary financial elements of health insurance.

    In non-Jakebabble: Paul Ryan today (admirably) explained exactly how insurance works ... as his argument for how insurance doesn't work.

    No, really. In his desperate, not-partisan-at-all effort to discredit the entire Affordable Care Act, he twisted the space-time continuum, mathematically eliminated the entire collective history of global economic learning, and used the very existence of something as immutable proof that it didn't exist.

    Either he's actually too stupid and lazy to know how insurance works or he's engaging in intentionally deceptive demagoguery -- elaborately premeditated lying, actually -- to manipulate other people who are too stupid and lazy to know how insurance works.

    And just in case you've forgotten: Paul Ryan and his family get free healthcare. Which may be the reason he's not too caught up on the nuts and bolts of insurance the way we commonfolk are.

    AND BEFORE I FORGET: Here's Paul Ryan in his saggy workout costume and backward bro hat. Please do not laugh at him derisively. The poor man doesn't understand insurance, much less how not to look like a gym douchebag.

    Sean Spicer is not aware anywhere

    You're the PRESS SECRETARY. It's your job to NOT be "not aware" about major current events that you know damn well you'll be asked about when you actively invite questions from the PRESS at your own PRESS CONFERENCE.

    It's almost like you don't know how to do your job. Or you're hiding something. Or you don't know how to do your job of hiding something convincingly. I'm gonna go with option 4: You're just here for the free healthcare.

    The biggest con job gain "in years"

    To its fleeting credit, Faux News doesn't SPECIFICALLY link job growth to man-boy's sweeping economic-stimulus tweets here. But we've entered a brave new world where Kellyanne Conway unblinkingly wins every Fact Smackdown! lightning round to stay on narrative and Betsy DeVos mathematically eliminates dinosaurs and real news is fake news unless it's actually fake news, which is -- DUH -- real news. And Faux News writes grotesquely misleading tweets that link to grotesquely misleading articles and its willfully ignorant followers provide zero intellectual pushback because IT KEEPS HAPPENING.

    And Donna Karan gets all bunchy and uncomfortable under my boobs but I'm gonna keep wearing it because JOB GROWTH.
    Read the fucking Faux News misleading bullshit article here

    Wednesday, March 08, 2017

    We are only just beginning


    Pathological liar? Delusional simpleton? Crooked demagogue? DeVos valedictorian? My money's on job creator.