Sticks And Stones Ain’t Got Nothing On This

I recently decided to research the term “Karen” because as an avid fan of YouTube, you could say that I was compelled to deconstruct the mythological expression. You could say that, but this post was mostly just about killing some time. Check that, murdering it. So I consulted Wikipedia, because nothing says “I wanna broaden my horizons with the least amount of effort possible,” like a Wiki search. And man, did I get so much smarter . . I mean dumber. Both.

I learned that the term may have started on Black Twitter, and I’m not gonna lie. I had no idea that was a thing. Does that make me a Terry? Yeah that’s the male equivalent of a Karen and I wasn’t about to research that one any further since my head most certainly would’ve exploded in the doing.

Turns out, Karen has a history. And I’ll refrain from making a snide remark about my own personal Vietnam of a relationship with a woman of the same name. Oh shit, too late! Anyways, the current pejorative is basically an (comm)ode to anyone who specializes in wasting someone else’s time and then makes a federal case out of it. It’s a toot to the bittersweet, a chupa to the cabra . . a laming of the shrew.

The term has become synonymous with drama mamas who insist on talking to a manager and bullying health-care workers and preventing neighbors they never knew existed from entering their apartment building and coughing on strangers and having Target tantrums and otherwise boring us with their inalienable right to be really fucking annoying.  It would, however, take several iterations before “Karen” came to achieve Instagram infamy. Wanna take a quick trip down mercury lane? N’kay . . .

Miss Ann– This term was used in the Jim Crow era. Black people would refer to white people who used their privilege as ‘Miss Ann’. If you ask me, this one would’ve made a really shitty hashtag. Miss Ann sounds like a nanny, or an elementary school teacher. And a virgin at that. Nah.

Barbecue Becky– The term “Becky” was born in the 1992 hip-hop classic Baby Got Back. And it might have stood the test of time if someone hadn’t added Barbecue to it along the way. After which it sounds like something you’d find in the American Girl Doll catalogue.

Cornerstore Caroline– I’m pretty sure this was the name of the bakery run by the final winner of “Cupcake Wars”. Not that I . . uh, ever watched that stupid show.

Permit Patty– Wait, I thought this was Peppermint Patty’s fun loving sister. The one who was written off the show after sleeping with Snoopy.

It was rumored that the 2019 tropical storm Karen possessed hidden meaning, mostly because it was hilarious to assume such a thing. I’m of the belief it was a crazy coincidence, and I’m fairly certain that if the meteorologist who named the storm had been reached for comment, he would have re-iterated as much to the media . . and his ex-wife’s lawyers.

And if you haven’t been sufficiently turned off by the idea that mean people everywhere have successfully  commandeered a common God given name, look whose bob the meme-ologists have decided to pin “Karen” to.

Kate Gosselin Old Hair | Blog Pendidikan

I don’t know about you, but if my name was Karen, I’d be furious at the thought that they’re profiling my ass with Justin Bieber head shots.

Rest assured, the derogatory nature of the term has its fair share of critics. Like for instance, anyone whose name is actually Karen. And anyone who happens to be married to someone whose name is actually Karen. And the Dalai Lama, him too.

Is any of this fair to all the Karens out there who are just trying to live their best lives without feeling the need to resort to using college nicknames when in public? Of course it isn’t. But society has always operated on a whim and a plier, so there’s that. Alls I know is that if some guy named Marc goes viral after pitching a hissy fit in a Whole Foods because his Prime account ain’t being recognized, I’m changing my name. I’ll go with something that is antonymous to controversy of any kind.

Geraldo . . yeah, that’s it.

 

 

 

 

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The Sorryless Non-Refundable 2021 MLB Season Preview!

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Since I’m still trying to figure a way in to the Magic Dance Sunday series, I decided to change things up this week and go with something completely different. With spring training on the horizon, Imma summon my creative fastball with a 2021 preview of what to expect from the MLB this coming season. And as always, if you decide to place a wager based on these predictions, seek help . . immediately.

The season begins on April Fools Day, and the results are in keeping . . .

Newly acquired slugger George Springer hits a record five home runs in his Blue Jays debut as Toronto beats Gerrit Cole and the Yankees 21-18. New York signs NFL place-kicker Sam Ficken after the loss. In Colorado, the defending champion Dodgers score so many runs that the scoreboard operator resorts to Roman numerals after the fifth inning. Final score: Dodgers XXVIII- Rockies II. The New York Mets win their opener over the Nationals, after which the New York papers declare the NL East Race to be over. The Chicago White Sox club the home team Angels so badly that Mike Trout asks to be traded to a playoff contender. He is promptly dealt to the Rams for five first round draft picks.

Once the season gets its legs kicking, form wins out. In the National League, the Dodgers go undefeated until mid-July and end up beating out the San Diego Padres for the NL West. The Mets win the East going away, prompting owner Steve Cohen to ask for public money to build an exact replica of The Colosseum. For the first time in baseball history, an entire division- the NL Central- is eliminated from postseason play.

In the American League, the Yankees win the East but decide to sit out the playoffs since more than half the team is on the injured list. “We would have to call A-Rod back into service, and I’d much rather hold on to the soul the good Lord gave me,” Says manager Aaron Boone. The White Sox win the AL Central but are upstaged by the Chicago Bears trade for DeShaun Watson so the team announces it will be moving to the cornfields of Iowa in 2022. The Houston Astros win the AL Central despite playing in a literal dump, after MLB removes every trash can from Minute Maid Park.

The postseason is where things get carazy with a capital Ice-T.

The Dodgers fall flat after going 151-3 in the regular season, losing in three straight to the Mets, after which they attempt to trade for the Rams Mike Trout but are thwarted since LA is undefeated thanks in large part to the running back’s MVP caliber season. The Mets then lose a hard fought classic to the Padres in seven games, when Fernando Tatis hits a pennant clinching home run in extra innings. The Mets lodge a protest claiming they led for the first three innings and thus should be awarded the game but the case goes nowhere since the GOP already tried that in the 2020 Presidential election.

In the American League, with the Yankees out, the Tampa Bay Rays stand in for them and proceed to sweep the Astros out of the playoffs. Houston promises to bring a pennant back to Houston next season, after the city’s health department orders the team to house trash cans in their stadium by 2022. The Rays are then swept out themselves by the White Sox, after which the team enters into discussions with the city of Tampa to build a tax-payer funded stadium for the team . . in Montreal.

The World Series is a winner for baseball fans, even if the networks complain that a San Diego/Chicago World Series is a ratings killer on the level of The Alliance of American Football. Fox Sports President Mark Silverman petitions to have the teams replaced with New York and Los Angeles and Commissioner Rob Manfred suggests two World Series be played. The idea goes nowhere since daytime World Series games would have to be played in order to pull it off, and no network worth its gravy is going to forfeit prime time ratings, sorry kids.

With the series locked at three games apiece, the deciding game is played in a snowstorm. It’s the first such storm to hit San Diego in more than fifty years. Illinois GOP Chairman Don Tracy calls it a “Gift from God” but is refuted by California Governor Gavin Newsom who proclaims it to be a byproduct of climate change. Feeling right at home in the elements, the White Sox push five runs across the board and hold serve through the first seven innings before the Padres answer with three runs of their own after replacing their cleats with snowshoes. The game goes to the bottom of the ninth inning with the White Sox clinging to a 5-4 lead when Fernando Tatis comes to the plate with one man on and two outs.

“Tom Brady is one swing away from delivering San Diego its first Stanley Cup ever!” Says a clearly inebriated Joe Buck. The Fox announcer will later admit he played a drinking game in which he downed a shot of tequila every time a batter struck out in Game 7. To the great entertainment of Fox viewers, the teams combine to strike out a record forty six times.

Tatis quickly falls behind 0-2 and appears to tweak his left shoulder, which forces him to finish his at bat from the left side. A Fox Graph follows, grimly predicting the Padres chances of winning to be less than Hilary Clinton’s in a Presidential election. Somehow, Tatis works the count to 3-2 as Joe Buck is replaced in the booth by the legendary Vin Scully, who tucks the baseball season to bed.

“And Tatis has sustained every punch the odds have thrown his way, from the frigid snowflakes out of Currier and Ives to the fiery bullets being served up by Sox closer Alex Colome. Add in the fact that Tatis is batting from the left side for the first time since his days as a prospect in the Dominican League. And now El Nino, as befitting a name in these conditions as Henry Thoreau could muster, is being asked to pen a Cinderella ending for the Friars . . .”

” . . . Colome will be pitching from the windup here with the whole of October in the offing. And now the pitch . . . hit deep down the right field line, if it’s fair its gone . . . it iiiiiiiiiis GONE!” 

And then Scully does something remarkable. He lets the scene play out without injecting a single, solitary adjective. He lets the tapestry of joy and heartbreak play out on its own, and he allows the viewers . . to view. Three minutes worth of watching men transform themselves into little boys again. Stomping through a miracle ending on the way to baseball nirvana. Inside this moment, the world settles into a most agreeable place, where magic and reality intertwine before the season gets lost to winter. And in the dark confines of the losing dugout can be heard that most dignified appraisal of not just baseball, but life itself.

Wait till next year.

 

Heroes Of The Week!

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It’s been a big week in space, what with the Perseverance rover landing on Mars. The only downfall to this historic landing is that it didn’t take the last guy to occupy the White House with it. But I’m guessing when you’re travelling 292.5 million miles, gross tonnage is a huge consideration. Emphasis on gross . . . and tonnage. But seriously speaking, they best dish up a thank you note to the Godfather of this Star Trekian accomplishment, David Bowie. The legendary singer wrote up the blueprint for this trip more than fifty years ago, so there’s that. And it’ll be easy to find him, seeing as he’s already there.

And now to our heroes . .

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Judging by the image above, you’re probably wondering what in the name of Zoe Kravitz I’m doing, opening this episode with a can of beer. And no, it’s not that impossibly difficult to find good peeps out there. And also no, Michelob Ultra really can’t even be considered beer as per the definition. Hell, there’s more alcohol in most of those kiddie juice boxes  than there is in one of these suckers. Which is why I’m featuring it here. Because Super Bowl winning Tom Brady got waaaaassssted on the stuff last week during a boat parade celebrating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win on February 7th. To watch Brady (here) behave like a frat girl at a rager was almost worth having to listen to all the GOAT talk since. Almost.

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I’ve got a couple of American footballers who may not be Super Bowl champions, but whose good deeds for the folks in Texas are the stuff of champions. First up is Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who helped buy meals for homeless Dallas residents. He had the meals delivered to a convention center in Dallas that was serving as a temporary shelter for people who had been displaced as a result of severe winter storms in the state that have led to numerous power outages. Prescott made sure to keep a light on.

(As a special bonus round hero, big props to Matthew Conaughey who teamed up with Dak in this effort). 

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And then there’s Pierre Desir, an NFL cornerback who is currently looking for a new NFL home but whose perspective is right where it needs to be. The native of Haiti donated 10,000 meals to a Houston food bank to help local residents left without power as a result of winter storms. He’s played for six NFL teams, even if the Texans do not happen to be one of them. To his way of thinking, he didn’t need to have ties to the area when he knew “it was the right thing to do,” He’s a two-time nominee for the Walter Payton Man Of The Year Award, which recognizes a player’s charitable contributions to his community. To peeps like Desir, community doesn’t simply mean one place, it means all of them.

And now for something completely hilarious. Thanks to one of Philly’s best, Will Smith

I wonder if he plans on running for President in 2028 . . .

Jason Schweitzer has a long memory and he recently put it to work, achieving a most beautiful outcome for a woman that he’s come to regard as a member of the family. The Toronto native has been frequenting his local KFC franchise since he was old enough to understand the Maple Leafs suck (for us Americans, that’s about five years old). So we’re talking almost thirty five years worth of visits now, and the one constant- other than that vault recipe- has always been the kindly Emilia. Even the name makes you smile, doesn’t it? Well, for this one time immigrant from Portugal . . smiles are her thing. That’s no small feat considering she’s worked in the restaurant biz for more than forty years. So Schweitzer started a GoFundMe page for the seventy year old Emilia, to make life a little easier for the woman who serves up a smile with every meal. So far, he’s tallied more than $25,000. As far as recipes go, this one is priceless.

And Imma wrap up this week’s episode with an assist from the lovely Dale over at A Dalectable Life. She gifted me a story that will get you feeling the warmth . . figuratively, literally and any other kind of blessed -ly you can think of.

Alex Trebek has met these pages before, and I’ve no doubt he’s going to cross our paths here again at the intersection of Friday and the weekend. Because the beloved host of Jeopardy was so much more than a game show host. That job title was where his sidewalk began, but where it ended? Well, that’s assuming it has an end, because his good deeds just keep on providing.

His philanthropy is the kind of historical record that doesn’t get rated, and that’s the point. Doing good things for the people who need it most isn’t a contest, it’s a mindset. For the people whose goodwill is a matter of habit, acclaim doesn’t matter when you’re busy rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. And as it happens, sometimes the world is blessed by a genealogical descendance that carries it forward.

Alex’s son Matthew is the answer to the question “Who’s next”. The kid is a supporter of The Doe Fund– a non-profit that provides a bridge to a better future for people who have been homeless, incarcerated or struggle with substance abuse. Along with mom Jean, he recently donated some of his father’s wardrobe to the cause, which included 58 dress shirts, 14 suits and 300 neck ties. And there was plenty more where that came from, and now it will go to men who are looking to re-enter the workforce. All those job interviews will have an angel stitched in to the fabric, whose good name will not go quietly into that good night.

Somewhere up there, Bowie just gave Alex a high five.

 

The Rosario Dawson Invitational

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Welcome to the intersection of Hot and Damn! I gotta tell you, putting this ensemble of lovelies together raised the temps on my thermostat so effectively, I had to do a double take when my calendar didn’t come back at me with July. And I blame the lovely Rosario Dawson for this. She’s been delivering up A-list performances since back in the day with no signs of letting up any time soon. And my Godness, if she doesn’t get better looking every day. She was a slam dunk choice to lead my latest cabal of beauties.

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Joy Taylor- The co-host of The Herd with Colin Cowherd puts the sizzle in sports talk during the week. The girl with a thousand hair styles is an anomaly in her industry in that she practices brevity over bravado. Her narratives are usually spot on, sans the hot take nonsense that too many sports talkers rely on. The little sister of Miami Dolphins Hall of Famer Jason Taylor, Joy is style AND substance and she’s just getting started. Lucky us.

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Lupita Nyong’o- I first discovered this stunner in the 2014 Liam Neeson flick Non-Stop, and well . . can you blame me for wanting more? I can’t decide whether it’s those come hither eyes or that Mona Lisa smile whose brilliant mystery transforms me into a schoolboy, so Imma go with both. She was the hands down best thing about the frustratingly bizarre movie Us and she has a couple of vehicles (One movie and one television series) on the horizon. I’ll follow her anywhere, but not in a creepy stalker kind of way. I learned my lesson after Mr. Farmiga got a restraining order on my ass.

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Nathalie Emmanuel- I was remiss in not including Game of Thrones on my TV show list the other day. Because I went back to drink from the well of this epically fantastic show recently. And so of course I ran into Emmanuel, bringing that Southern heat to my cold February days here in the Northeast. You need look no further than her character Missandei to figure out why GOT was the place to be once upon a time. As if battle scenes, palace intrigue and extraordinary sets weren’t enough . . they dished up sexy on a doctorate level. And since I ain’t watching past Season 6, Missandei will remain that chica who put the mighty in Aphrodite, forever after.

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Normani Kordei- I first came upon this luscious little lady when I read an interview where she talked about having been bullied when she was younger. My first reaction was “gimme five minutes with those punks”, but that sentiment was shushed by her peaceful reconciliation in which she stated that she has moved on, and that she loves everyone. Even the haters. So here you have a young lady who’s got beauty on the outside and the inside? Sold.

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Lianne La Havas- So what if the British didn’t win the Revolutionary War? All I know is, they can lay claim to this beauty, who hails from London England, and so I gotta ask . . . who really won? Lianne’s been on the music scene for nearly a decade as a singer and songwriter whose voice could melt butter and whose lyrical prowess gained the attention of none other than Prince himself. So much so that the legendary rock star called her to talk music. And when she recounts the story in that British accent, I find myself humming God Save The Queen. Let’s umm . . not tell Homeland Security about this, coo?

I hope you enjoyed reading up on the latest in lovelies as much as I enjoyed bringing them to you. And as we head through the final quarter (okay, the final quarter and a half) of sub-freezing temps, remember to always be thinking sizzle. I mean summer.

Okay, both.

Magic Dance

Howard Beach, 1983: Liz fumbled across the night table until her index finger was strumming the snooze option on the alarm clock radio. She lay still as the dead, as if by doing so she might stave off the day that was dripping into her brain like tiny beads of water from a faucet. She rose when the morning news broke through the darkness and switched off the alarm clock before moving into the bathroom.

“Fuck . . ” She said, examining the tiny shadow of a curl on her face. A virgin wrinkle. Her mother had taught her the value of pretty faces and gin martinis; a disharmonious combination that would end up stealing the elasticity of Mary Austin’s youth until she concluded that life was no longer worth living, and promptly moved to Long Island.

The chime of the rotary phone in the living room brought Liz back to present day. She ran to its bleating hum like a lovesick Lizzy Borden, craving that melodic timbre that was silk to her senses, even if she wanted to murder the sweet talking sonofabitch.

“Hey funny face,” Danny said. He lifted the moniker from an Audrey Hepburn flick they’d taken in at the Regent Theater in Soho on the day they fell in love.

“A Saturday, Danny? The fuck . . ”

“Half a day, and then we have a hot date at Don Peppe,”

“I wanted a hot date this morning and I got the fucking cat, okay?”

“Okay, forget Don Peppe. Makeup sex, pizza and beer,”

“Uh, no . . you don’t get to cheap out after standing me up. And morning sex beats makeup sex, every day of the week,”

“Debatable,”

“No, what’s debatable is whether you’re getting any tonight,”

“That’s harsh,”

“It’s why you love me. Get me some cheesecake from Eileen’s on your way home,”

“Done. I’ll be home by three,”

“That’s a half day?”

“Yanno, some day when we’re summering in the Hamptons and you’re drinking gin martinis at noon and having sex on a king sized hammock, you’re going to look back on this time and wonder what all the bitching was about,”

“Well now, that depends on the gardener . . .”

“Cheesecake as per your wish good looking,” Danny said.

“I hate you,” Liz replied.

“Hate you more, see you at three,”

Liz turned to find her black cat, Thin Lizzy, tossing daggers at her.

“I don’t need your shit right now sister, so you go tell it to the old man when he gets home,”

She moved to the kitchen and cranked up her coffee maker before delivering up some Al Green on her turntable as the intercom came to life.

“Yeah?!”

“Buzz me in! Buzz me in!” It was her best friend Maria. Liz unlocked the door and poured two cups of coffee, fixing hers up the way the old Cubans did, with enough sugar to send her into a diabetic coma.

“I hate my fucking life! More later . . I gotta piss!”

Maria was what happened when sound got pregnant with fury’s baby. The two of them had been friends since grade school, and Liz was thankful for the fact every single day. To know there was someone in the world more fucked up than her, it was a priceless thing.

“Coffee . .”

“Kitchen, I didn’t add anything to it since I don’t know what your mood is,”

“Bitch knows me!”

“So why does life suck today?”

“Never mind, but okay. Remember Richie Mancuso from high school?”

“Probably not,”

“Sweet black Riv? We went double dating after ditching the prom? You passed out in the front seat and he banged me in the back seat?”

“Oh shit, the guy I thought was too good looking to be straight!”

“Him. Well, we went out last night. He’s a used car salesman now,”

“God, I am so proud of you for moving on,”

“So we’ve gone out twice, he’s banged me twice,”

“When’s the wedding?”

“That’s just it, the fucking guy’s married!”

“It’s just so strange, Mar. A used car salesman . . . who lies,”

“I know! How did you get so lucky, meeting a handsome guy with money?”

“Easy. His childhood was as messed up as mine, Get this, his mother confessed to me that Danny’s father? Ain’t his father,”

“Get the fuck out!”

“Yeah, she pulled me aside at her birthday party last week to tell me this. She was totally wasted so of course I had to confirm it by calling her a couple days later. Turns out, she was messing with a family friend and the next thing she knew . .”

“Danny,”

“Yep. And it makes sense. They’re blonds, can’t grow facial hair to save their lives. I saw pictures of this guy . . has a Robert Redford thing going on. So no complaints on my end,”

“Do you have any weed?”

“Utensils drawer in the kitchen . . .”

“How’s the painting going by the way?”

“Eh, I sold a couple pieces last month at that art gallery in Brooklyn,”

“That’s awesome!”

“Maybe. But it was to the same guy, and I think he only bought them because he wants to sleep with me, so there’s that,”

“Does he look like Robert Redford?”

“More like Robert Redford’s accountant. Toke, por favor,” Liz said.

“Does Danny know? About his old men?”

“Are you nuts? He still thinks his mom was a virgin when she met his . . . when she met Carl,”

“Well when I have kids, they’re gonna know their mother had a good time when she was younger. Lying about your past bites you in the ass, always,” Maria said.

“I’ll make sure to remind you of this when you’re boring the shit out of them with stories of your time in the convent,” Liz smiled.

“Why does love have to suck so much Liz?”

“Because it knows we’ll keep coming back for more . . .”

Heroes Of The Week!

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Welcome to Friday, better known as Heroes Of The Week in these parts. And this week Imma be covering the good, the not so good and the downright ugly. But as happens every week, I’ll figure out a way to leave you smiling. After all, we’re more than a month removed from 2020 and yet, we’re still feeling the residual effects of that forgettable year. So yanno, smiles work wonders.

Let’s get to this week’s roster . . .

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I begin with a shout out to Bruce Arians, who became the oldest head coach to win the Super Bowl at the age of sixty-eight. Arians is a football lifer who has paid his dues, first with the Colts and later with the Arizona Cardinals. He’s been able to keep pace in an ever changing sport, while at the same time providing the model for diversity on his coaching staff. In a copy-cat league, maybe the competition should be paying closer attention to how Arians does his business, because it works.

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I tell you what, the more MLB looks to change the game, the more they end up screwing it up even more. All this jazz about pitch clocks and three batter minimums skips class on the plain simple fact that the game has sold its soul to network money. Not to mention, the fundamentals have been pushed aside in favor of exit velocity while starting pitchers are no longer allowed to finish what they started, even when it makes sense for skip to let them be. And now there’s an article out of SI that talks about how the baseball Rob Manfred insisted wasn’t juiced for all these years? Very well might have been juiced. Bud Selig’s predecessor seems content to break what didn’t need fixing in the first place. What a shame.

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Big thank you to Eilene over at Myricopia for this next story. After commenting on last week’s Heroes post, she mentioned Karen Zink, a nurse practitioner friend of hers from Durango, Colorado. The Founder of Southwest Women’s Health Associates, Zink reached out to the San Juan Basin Public Health Department to find out what their game plan was for vaccinating the community. When she was told there wasn’t one, she took action.

As Eilene says, ” . . . she (Zink) stepped up and volunteered. She called on a hundred volunteers she knows and got the whole thing up and running.”

This is why we do Fridays here the way we do them. So that we can learn about special human beings like Karen Zink, whose decades long service to her community has left a positive imprint on so many of her neighbors. Eilene happens to be one of those neighbors, and she inspires me with her ability to cull lessons from history. She’s a genealogist par excellence, who’s got a bead on the past and the present.

When I tell you that Fridays are special because of you peeps? I really mean it.

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From the sublime to the ridiculous we go. And yes, of course I mean Marjorie Taylor Greene. The representative out of Georgia’s 14th congressional district is Exhibit A as to why that middle ground the Boss spoke of in that kitschy Jeep commercial feels like a fairy tale. Since taking office, Greene has gone on an apology tour, well . . sort of. Actually, she comes off sounding like a sixteen year old who just had her phone taken away. Here’s a slice . . .

“I never once said any of the things that I am being accused of today during my campaign. I never said any of these things since I have been elected for Congress. These were words of the past and these things do not represent me. They do not represent my district and they do not represent my values.”

Okay, let’s unpack this shit. She’s being disingenuous by utilizing chronology over accountability. Maybe she didn’t say that the Parkland and Las Vegas shootings were “staged” during her campaign or since she’s been elected to Congress. But it doesn’t change the fact she did say these things. She was front and center when social media chatter moved from vitriolic to dangerous: She was on board with the idea that former President Barack Obama should be hanged. And she was plenty fine with the idea of taking out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a bullet to the head.

Now she wants us to believe it was the evils of social media that made her do it. Amazing how these zealots talk such a good game about accountability . . until it comes time to be accountable. Greene’s ignorance didn’t happen in a vacuum. She’s got plenty of fans who, like her do, not give a blessed fuck about the middle.

Let’s remember this every time we vote.

The antidote to backwards thinking and self serving service comes from the realization that there are more people in this country who are intent on moving forward. They’re not stapled to the past, back inside a time when greatness was defined in a wholly different prism.

That’s where the kids come in.

The AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps is all about giving back. They’ve got teams set up across the country; providing support to testing sites, assisting in the implementation of wildfire management strategies, building houses and distributing food to those in need.

Wilhemina Solley is one of those kids. She says the pride she feels in being able to make a positive difference in the lives of others is what drives her.

“It was so rewarding to talk to homeowners and know that because of the work I was doing, they are going to be safer and more protected from wildfires. I know that this is an experience I will take with me for the rest of my life . . . Being able to step up and help places that really need it has been such a gratifying way to take a year that would otherwise have been staying at home, and make it a life-changing experience,” Solley says.

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They’ll graduate in July after completion of a series of long-term service projects. And when they make their way out into the world, it will be with a perspective that extends far beyond their own backyards. Their constituency just so happens to be anyone and everyone who needs a helping hand. Because they have come to understand that representing people isn’t about narrow minded narratives, it’s about providing the greater good to the greatest many.

All of them.

 

 

 

 

Good Housekeeping: Magic Dancing, Show Lists and Super Sunday’s Best

Imma do something I don’t believe I’ve ever done here on Sorryless and put Tuesday to its proper use with some housekeeping.

As you know, me and Dale had a great deal of fun with our Rushmore Series. And as so often happens, from that idea came others. This past Sunday, I might have hit on one of those others. It was supposed to be a stand alone post about a girl named Liz from Magic Dance. And then Dale asked if perhaps this might become a series. And so of course it got my mind working overtime. And speaking of overtime, with apologies to the re-worked 5-9 side hustle musical spill that made the scene this weekend, it only made me go looking for the first and best original song. Love that Dolly.

Anyways, yeah . . more Rushmore references. Go Dolly!

As for the official title of the Sunday series, I think Imma go with Magic Dance. It has legs to stretch in the form of a weekly jaunt, but please don’t ask me where it leads because the truth is, I’m only halfway through my second installment. But I have plenty of ideas jotted down, so stay tuned.

I’m always happy to take any suggestions you guys throw my way for a Friday shout out on Heroes. You can send them to my email or just put them in the comments. Either way works for me, and I’ll go read up on what you gift me. And as always, mochas gracias to you all for making Fridays such a fun place to be.

So . . Heroes on Fridays and Magic Dance on Sundays. Which leaves my Tuesdays open to whatever I feel like making ’em. And now that my blog housekeeping is out of the way, how’s about a short list of shows I dig on, with a couple that I really don’t? Sure why not . . .

The Wire- I finished this one a short while ago and I miss it every day since. Back in the day, a friend proclaimed this to be the best show on TV. Like ever. I shrugged it off as mere hype . . until now. Let’s just say it’s on my short list of favorite shows I’ve ever watched.

Hollywood- This mini-series on Netflix might be the worst show I’ve ever tuned in to. If given the choice of being water boarded or having to watch a full season (I think we lasted two episodes?), Imma drink up.

Cheers- I went back last year and watched the full series, seeing as how I had dropped the habit after like five seasons back in the day. I find it to be one of the best shows ever made. The setting belies all the many issues it took on, without being preachy in the least.

The Office- If 2020 was good for anything, it was binge watching shows I’d lost touch with back in the day. It’s pure genius, but I doubt it would pass muster in these overly sensitive times.

The Boys- I dug the first season, so I was excited to hear they were coming back. And then I lasted exactly one episode of Season 2. Meh. Maybe I’ll venture back to see if I was wrong about this.

Mr Robot- This one is strange. I loved the first three seasons, but after tuning into the first episode of the fourth and final season, I was less than impressed. As with The Boys, maybe I’ll tune in to see if it was simply a slow start.

Queens Gambit- Anya Taylor-Joy is why I got hooked on this story about a chess prodigy. It’s one thing to play a character who’s off their rocker and it’s a completely different thing to play a character who harnesses that rage, keeping it just below the surface. Taylor-Joy’s performance carries the day. And it got me playing chess again, so there’s that.

Reckoning- Ugh. That’s it . . just ugh.

Flack- My favorite new show of 2021. It joins Dead to MeGoliath and The Politician as the show I look forward to. Smart and fast moving dialogue, scenarios that make you go “Damn that’s wrong!” and a sexy ensemble? What is NOT to love?

As for Super Sunday’s best? My cats Jack and Wednesday got off to a dubious start by picking the Chiefs. Somewhere in the heavens, Mr. Speaker is shaking his head in disgust, seeing as he was 6-1 in Super Bowl picks. Regarding the game itself, we got Brady moving to Florida not to retire but to win another Super Bowl. And maybe it didn’t hurt nearly as much as the other ones because New England was watching right along with us Dolphins fans. But while Mahomes suffered his worst defeat as a pro (which is unbelievable in its own right seeing as he’s been in the league three years), he makes Caravaggio out of broken plays like few others ever could.

I tuned in to the second half with my frosty sidekick and some personal pan nachos, and so I missed the halftime show and most of the commercials. Of the ones I did catch, The Boss won my vote for the time being with his way back Jack Kerouac.

As for next year’s Super Bowl prediction? I have that other Florida team, the Miami Dolphins taking on the Matthew Stafford led Los Angeles Rams, who become the second straight team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. The road team Dolphins pull it out with a field goal at the gun 33-31. After which Robert Kraft moves the Patriots to the Sunshine State in a last ditch attempt to break their Super Bowl-less streak at three.

The News From Someplace Else

The Paisley Park Cafe was that spot every town has. The place where faces got fixed to the names and all manner of business was conducted. Liz Austin was the proprietor of the bookstore/coffee shop/city hall. A runaway bride from New York City who skipped out on her adulterous stockbroker husband for the wide open road. She left the only city she’d ever known with thirty grand in a savings account, a suitcase and a New York Yankees baseball cap. After retrieving her ’66 midnight blue Mustang convertible out of storage, she left behind a Dear John note in the form of divorce papers and went Sally Ride.

She settled in Vegas, working as a dealer at the Bellagio and almost getting married more times than she was comfortable admitting. She made a small fortune by investing in Apple stock and then doubled down on Microsoft. With her first million in the bank, she went looking for peace of mind and found it in the kitschy little town of Magic Dance, Arizona. It had been ten years to the day that she’d bought a two story brick home in the center of town and converted it into a retail space on the first floor with a living area upstairs.

Every bit as frugal as the college girl who’d dined nightly on Ramen, she was cursing herself for it now as she slapped her Goldstar upside its faux wood paneling and muttered her most crude Japanese when the 13″ inch color television didn’t respond positively.

“Kuso . . .”

“What kind of nonsense you fixing that pretty little head on now?”

It was Chantal Du Bois, the comely middle aged widower whose reputation in Magic Dance was the stuff of legend. She’d made the scene five years earlier, circa a small town in St. Anne Jamaica by the name of Moneague. The forty fifth official resident of the town was also the first black resident in its fifty seven year history. No sooner had her heels touched down than she was rumored to be canoodling with the unhappily married Sheriff, making short work of the failing marriage and thus becoming the unofficial deputy.

“Queen Bee!” Liz smiled. Everyone called Chantal by this sugary royal moniker which spoke to her matronly presence.

“I’m trying to wake up this lazy ass thing,” Liz complained.

“Maybe it’s time to upgrade. What year is that old thing anyways?” Asked David Rockfield, between sips of his Cafe con Leche.

“1983 . . . first thing I bought when I moved away. After which I ignored it while collecting broken hearts,”

“Yours or theirs?”

“It was a close call,” Liz replied.

“Well, age doesn’t do us many favors and I’m fairly certain TV sets share this regrettable shortcoming,” David opined.

“You would think it could accommodate me when there’s news being made someplace else, yanno?”

“What does that mean? Kuso?”

“It means shit in Japanese,”

“Excuse you very much, girlfriend. Ya gonna cut ya mouth on all those sharp words,” Chantal said.

“I know mama, but it’s my home remedy for when the fates conspire to go pee pee on my Oui Oui,”

“Pretty young thing like you cursing? It’s like taking a crayon to da Mona Lisa,”

“Uh, what part of Liz have you been willing to overlook all these years?” David laughed.

“She’s too beautiful for that kinda language . . .” Chantal winked.

“Liz, the goddamned paper!” David whined, pointing to the September 10th date on The Arizona Republic.

“Excuse me, young man?” Chantal frowned.

“Sorry baby, but I like my news to be served up with an umbilical cord, thank you very much,” David said before leaning in for a kiss.

“Oh Sheriff, ya make my knees do the crazy little thing . .”

Chantal’s laugh filled the room with music. Liz often joked that having Chantal as a regular did more for her business than advertising ever could.

“Alright ladies, I’m off to see the Wizard,”

“When you see him, ask him for a new television set for me, will you?” Liz asked.

“So what is this business about something going on someplace else? Honey, there’s a whole lot of something going on someplace else, no mattah where you standing,”

“It was a plane crash in New York, what a horrible thing. It got me thinking about how long it’s been since I left. Eighteen years . . .”

“Well then, you might have to find ya way back. Don’t let dat man be an excuse for not going back,”

“I don’t think he mattered to me. When I left it was kinda like Thomas Wolfe was riding shotgun in my head. I never looked back.” Liz explained.

“You nevah mind that news from someplace else for now okay?” Chantal said as she turned the set off. “And could you bring me some of that magic nectar of yours, sweetness?”

“On it!”

“Darlin, you are a direct line to the stars,”

“You’re my spiritual poetess, you know that?”

Liz shook off the ominous feeling that was working its way into her bones. She delivered a righteous spill to Chantal, fired up the turntable and laid the needle onto some Queen as the morning sun meandered up the walls. She stepped outside for a smoke, her eyes venturing into the cloudless sky above as her mind wandered back home as if by divined by cosmic wings. She closed her eyes and prayed that the day wasn’t as irretrievable as it seemed. And maybe it was the coffee tap dancing on her synapses and maybe it was the nicotine surfing through her blood stream, but her eyes were carrying her now. She flew across that cloudless sky, shouting at the world below to stop running away from her even though she knew it was hopeless. It was gone from her, the world she once knew.

Stolen by the news from someplace else.

 

Heroes Of The Week!

How HBO's 'Watchmen' Captures the Spirit of the Graphic Novel | The Mary Sue

Welcome to the intersection of Friday and good times, as we get ready to raise the roof with yet another roster full of mostly good, with just a touch of grumble. The former allows us the inspiration that is oftentimes found in the most hard to reach places. The latter provides us the necessary perspective by letting us know that the journey has obstacles, but that they won’t alter our destination. Not one bit.

And now to the lineup . . .

Chick-Fil-A manager speeds up drive-thru vaccine line in South Carolina

First up is yet another front line worker who was called upon to serve, and rose so far above the occasion, the FAA should’ve been called in. A vaccination program being conducted at Seacoast Church in Mount Pleasant, S.C. ran into computer issues, resulting in massive delays to their line. So Mayor Will Haynie called in a guy who knows how to work lines like nobody’s business. His name is Jerry Walkowiak and he’s the manager at the local Chick-fil-A. He was able to cut the wait time from one hour to fifteen minutes.

“He actually got there before I did,” Haynie says. “He was standing there. He was moving people along.”

That’s what’s called thinking outside the Styrofoam box.

Hockey game breaks out after 40-car pileup outside Montreal

Dale from A Dalectable Life has solved the riddle with this next story. You know why Canadians are renowned for their world famous ‘nice’ gene? Because you can’t spell nice without the ice. And so what do a bunch of motorists do when they’re stuck in traffic on Highway 40 outside of Montreal? They start a pickup hockey game, of course!

A 75 car pile-up closed the road for several hours, so rather than sit on their hands and listen to Welcome to the Jungle twenty seven times, they took to the ice and dropped puck. With nowhere to go and all day to get there, these peeps made a stretch of frozen road their own personal Montreal Forum (Sorry, but it’s always going to be the Forum to this American).

Let this be a lesson to you, kids. When life hands you lemons, grab your hockey sticks and play.

Juliana Carlos aka Courtside Karen Calls LeBron a P*ssy, Says She's 25 and Not a Gold Digger Even Though Her Husband is 60+ | BlackSportsOnline

We head back to the Association for this classic, and nope, it’s not Kyrie again. This next story involves Juliana Carlos. You might be asking who? And you’re not alone. I’m STILL wondering who in the hell this woman is and I READ the article. She’s a pseudo-curiosity who appears on Real Housewives of Atlanta, and really, can someone please explain to me what purpose these shows have? I mean, other than keeping P.F. Chang’s in business?

So Ms. Carlos and her husband started hurling obscenities at Lebron James when the Lakers were in town this week and that right there is her claim to fame; being included in the same sentence with Lebron James. To her credit, Carlos has since apologized. Like, a real deal apology where she owned her shit. But since I wasted thirty seconds of my life reading this article, I figure you guys can too.

Stacy Milrany and her Little Free Art Gallery.

Thank God for art, and artists. Without which, the world would be a monochromatic wasteland befitting Orwell’s worst nightmares. Stacy Milrany is proof of God’s existence, in loving color. The Seattle artist has taken to gifting her neighborhood of Queen Anne with a miniature art gallery. Her first “show” was in December, with a painting she titled “Cat Hair”.

The idea was inspired by the Little Free Library, which offers book-sharing boxes. Milrany’s gallery is also an interactive sharing space where people from the neighborhood can connect. She says the idea was born out of a need to fill the void left by a pandemic. Neighbors are encouraged to take art if it speaks to them, which they have done. Others have left art, even though it is not a requirement to do so. In a month’s time, more than 100 works of art have gone on display.

One of Milrany's own pieces, titled "MLK," featured in her mini art gallery on MLK Day.

“It makes me feel like I’m helping in some kind of way, especially at a time when loneliness multiplied in the past year because of the pandemic,” Milrany says. “It’s getting people to go out to see what their neighbors are contributing, and people who put their own artwork that gets claimed know somebody has enjoyed their little masterpiece.”

Van Gogh believed that great things are accomplished when small things are brought together. There’s a neighborhood in Seattle that’s proving him right.

Image result for kariko

I’m icing the top of this too cool for school cake with Katalin Karikó. And if you don’t recognize the name- I didn’t- it might be time to read up. Because it’s in thanks to the dogged persistence of this biochemist that there is a COVID-19 vaccine.

When Karikó arrived in this country, she had $1,200 to her name. As with so many immigrants, she also had a dream. It was the kind of dream that only gets to stepping once you roll up your sleeves and put in the time to achieve it. Brilliance is nothing without persistence, and when you add compassion to that mix, well, that’s where people like Karikó come from.

She spent decades developing mRNA and RNA technologies that have become the foundation for countless life saving treatments. As a result she’s received more than 12,000 academic citations.  But this senior vice-president of  the German pharmaceutical giant BioNTech didn’t get to regale in a cupcake party procession to get to this day.

In the mid-eighties, she transferred to Penn University to continue her research. It should have been the next big step in her journey but instead it became a period fraught with so many obstacles that she began to doubt herself. The research she had made her life’s work was considered too risky, resulting in one failed grant application after another. She spent ten years trying to break through that wall and her reward? She was demoted. Shortly after the demotion she was diagnosed with cancer.

Things began to take a turn when she found a kindred soul in Drew Weissman and she was finally able to receive a patent for her mRNA technology in 2012. After butting heads some more with the suits at Penn, she took a job with BioNTech, For all her brilliance, persistence and compassion, she might have a Nobel Prize waiting for her at the end of all this but she’s not content to celebrate until the pandemic goes rearview. And so this is the part of the story where yours truly is going to editorialize just a tad bit by pointing out that the vaccine for COVID-19 was brought to market by immigrants. Immigrants whose allegiance is not to any one country, but to the world.

What a concept.

 

 

 

 

 

The Trump Interview

How Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Shaped His Presidency | PEOPLE.com

Trump greets me at the entrance of his Mar-a-Lago estate and I am ushered inside by his staff- the men wear black suits, the ladies dress in earth tone ensembles. The main lobby resembles a Byzantine High Limit Room.

To my surprise, the typical bluster of the former GOP ringleader is nowhere to be found as we walk the halls of the fifty-eight bedroom castle in silence. And then I realize it’s because he’s scarfing down Chicken McNuggets® from his suit pocket. After which he shows me his 1927 Steinway Baby Grand Piano that he bought on Amazon.

We arrive at his home office on the second story and he dashes behind his desk to minimize the Pornhub screen on his fifty inch computer monitor. Inside this moment, I say a prayer of thanks that Trump frowns on hand shaking. It saves me from having to amputate my hand with a hacksaw, which I’m pretty sure I ain’t covered for.

My goal is to dispense with small talk, and then I remember who I’m interviewing . . .

I must admit, you’ve been true to your Made in American campaign promise. When it comes to fundamentalism, we no longer worry about other countries wreaking havoc on American soil. 

Trump: Thank you.

When it comes to terrorism, we do it ourselves now. 

Trump: Absolutely. And I’m very proud of that fact.

You’re proud of that?

Trump: I’m not sure what the question is, but I can answer it. When I say I’m proud of America and I want us to be first, I’m not criticizing other countries. The media says I’m bashing them but I’m not. All I’m saying is we’re better, significantly better than any other country in the world and that’s a fact. America has been the greatest country in the world since the time of Jesus and if he was alive he would tell you the truth. All the other countries are losers.

How is that not a harsh criticism of other countries? 

Trump: Truth can’t be criticism. Einstein said that. You know, I have people come up to me all the time and tell me, if they made a computer simulated country, the perfect country . . better than any country ever, we would still kick its ass. That wasn’t the case before I took office, but it is now.

What do you think will be your lasting legacy? 

Trump: Greatest President ever. Which, I have news for you, it’s already the case. Newsmax ran a poll and I got ninety one percent of the vote. Lincoln got like, I don’t know, twenty eight and George Washington got seventeen I think.

Your math is remarkable. 

Trump: I’ve always had a thing for numbers. It’s one of my many talents.

Can you tell me a weakness? 

Trump: My weakness is that I’m so good at everything, people are jealous.

When the next Presidential election rolls around, you will be seventy eight years old. Would you consider another run for President at that time? 

Trump: I will run again. I just had a physical and my doctor told me I have the mind of an eight year old. So age doesn’t affect me the way it might affect other people. Plus, the country needs me.

Lemme guess. People come up to you all the time and tell you so. 

Trump: Absolutely, that’s right. They say ‘You did things in your Presidency that a fictional President wouldn’t have dreamed of doing’.

What will you do in the interim? 

Trump: What is that? Interim? (Laughing) I thought this was an American speaking interview.

What will you do with your time until the next election rolls around. 

Trump: Well I have my businesses to run of course. I left them in very capable hands, but their hands were not as big as mine so I’ll get back to that. I might write another book. And I’ll finally be able to play golf more.

As opposed to every day during your Presidency . . . 

Trump: That’s correct.

What about rallies? Are you going to continue to hold rallies? 

Trump: I will be holding rallies across the country. My rallies are attended by so many people, so many great people come to my rallies to hear what I have to say. The media won’t show you how many people came to my rally in Dalton, Georgia but it was in the millions.

Where do you get those numbers?

Trump: My sources tell me there were millions of people who showed up for the rally. Any numbers you hear from the Democrats are false, they’re made up. And the media won’t show you how many people were there because they’re part of the crooked system. Trust me, there were millions of people there.

Why do you think the media is out to get you? 

Trump: Not all of the media is out to get me. There are a couple of networks out there that do excellent reporting like Newsmax and One America News Network. The other guys could learn a lot from watching them, because those outlets love me.

Is that the purpose of a news agency, in your opinion? To love you?

Trump: The news should always be supportive of the President.

Do you still believe that? 

Trump: Absolutely not.

What would you consider your greatest achievement while in office? 

Trump: Getting a vertical pole installed in the Lincoln bedroom. You wouldn’t believe the zoning issues!

And what might you consider one of your many failures? 

Trump: That I didn’t take Kim Jong-un’s advice on elections.

Thank you for the time.