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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 4th-ish Annual Sorryless Super Bowl LV Preview?! (Results May Vary)

Myth-busting Patrick Mahomes vs. Tom Brady: The five worst Super Bowl 55 narratives for Chiefs-Buccaneers | Sporting News

In the week leading up to the big game, Tom Brady announces he’s a vampire, after which author Stephenie Meyer offers to write a three-part life story. The Chiefs file suit, claiming European products are superior to American made- thus giving Brady an unfair competitive advantage. The Bucs counter by asking for Mahomes to produce his birth certificate, claiming he is actually a Martian. The Chiefs quickly drop their suit as a result.

League news goes heavy metal throughout the week, with one standout headline after another.

  • Texans QB Deshaun Watson is traded to CBS where he will star in a reboot of a long running series on the network. When he asks which series it will be, his agent replies “It’s Elementary, my dear Watson,”
  • Aaron Rodgers announces he is retiring from football so he can host Jeopardy and drink scotch. Simultaneously.
  • The Jaguars announce they will be moving to London, but are rejected. “We already have football teams that kick the ball around and don’t use their hands,” explains Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
  • The Los Angeles Chargers are bought by the Kardashians for $2.6 billion. Their name is changed to the Vuittons and they are relocated to a more spacious locale: The Kardashians’ backyard.

The game is being billed as the sexiest matchup since Brad Pitt and Angelina’s first date. And the first thirty minutes live up to exactly none of that hype. As the half comes to an end, Tony Romo is shocked by the scoreless tie and remarks “Nobody saw this coming!”. To which Jim Nantz replies, “That’s what she said” and is promptly terminated by CBS which puts out a statement decrying the remark. The network assures its viewers that degrading remarks about women will not be tolerated. The halftime show’s opening act then begins its set with “Bitch goes down for a dollah”, after which the Weekend takes the stage and performs for exactly that long.

When the teams take the field for the second half, it’s Tuesday afternoon and Mahomes is still AWOL. So is the Chiefs offense, which accumulates minus 81 yards and is trailing 2-0 after the referees chip in to buy Tom Brady’s team a safety. Brady promises the officiating crew seats in his cabinet when he becomes President.

In the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay scores twice; first on a twenty eight yard pass from Brady to Julian Edelman. The referees come together to review the play after KC objects to the fact that Edelman does not play for the Bucs and is actually seated two rows up in the north end zone. The call stands and less than a minute later Brady is sacked and loses the football before he can pull it back in. Nonetheless, after another review Brady is awarded a touchdown for pain and suffering in what is deemed the “What the Tuck Rule”.

Kansas City replaces Chad Henne with actor Ryan Reynolds. Andy Reid will later admit he didn’t realize Reynolds was even on the roster. “He’s a great locker room guy and he always brings donuts in, so I wasn’t asking any questions,”. Reynolds then proceeds to throw for 311 yards and three touchdowns before accepting a lucrative offer to become the Green Bay Packers new quarterback.

Tampa Bay storms back and leads 37-21 with thirty five seconds remaining. On the cusp of winning his seventh title, Tom Brady takes the snap and is about to kneel down when he breaks his hip. The Chiefs recover and call a timeout. As Henne runs back onto the field, Mahomes makes an appearance. He explains that someone placed a tire spike in the parking lot of his hotel, blowing all four tires. “It only took AAA eight hours to respond, which is record time for those guys . . .”

Bill Belichick produces tape from a spy-cam he installed in the parking lot that reveals the culprit bears a striking resemblance to Tom Brady. The quarterback denies all charges, claiming he was in his cryogenic chamber at the time of the incident. Commissioner Roger Goodell settles “Deflate-Gate 2” and “Spy-Gate 3” by removing the Chick-fil-A concessions from both the Patriots and the Buccaneers home stadiums. The inimitable Jason Whitlock will later opine, “Brady and his former coach now have more gates than a posh California suburb,”.

Mahomes enters the game and promptly throws a forty two yard touchdown strike, after which the Chiefs complete a two-point play to close the deficit to eight. The KC wunderkid then recovers the onside kick himself and delivers yet another forty two yard score. He follows this up by running in the two point conversion to tie the game . . . with his eyes closed, while running backwards, and reciting poetry. In Mandarin Chinese.

The Super Bowl goes to overtime and the Chiefs win the toss. Mahomes tosses his third forty two yard score in as many throws and Kansas City becomes the first team to win back to back titles since Brady and the Patriots accomplished the feat in 2004. The Bucs ask for a recount. Brady asks to be driven to a blood bank. Chiefs coach Andy Reid asks for a double cheeseburger with fries and a Coke.

Heroes Of The Week! (Super Bowl Edition)

Patrick Mahomes Is Conquering the NFL - WSJ

Can you believe January is almost gone? It just goes to show, time flies when you settle into a normalized way of doing business. Unless you’re one of those fun bunch investors who didn’t pass go with Game Stop stock until it went Yahtzee. And for their next trick, a Reddit group is going to buy the Green Bay Packers and sell Aaron Rodgers to Fox Sports.

Let’s get to the lineup . . .

We begin with the floor of this week’s episode and it comes out of Seattle. The Seahawks football team has offered yet further proof of just how out of touch the NFL still is when it comes to domestic violence. Their offensive lineman Chad Wheeler was arrested this week and charged with felony assault after strangling his girlfriend to the point where she lost consciousness. When she awoke, he expressed dismay at the fact she was still alive. The Seahawks response on Twitter? Nothing short of sickening.

Image

To be “saddened” rather than disgusted? And later to reference the fact that Wheeler is diagnosed as bi-polar by giving out a phone number? No and hell no. On that second count, his diagnosis has nothing to do with the criminal act he perpetrated on a defenseless woman. So let’s stop taking any team’s word for it when they promise to do right by families and women. They’re a corporate enterprise interested in their bottom line, and so once Wheeler has done his time, he’ll be a free agent. Remember that.

NFL Network's Nate Burleson talks Chad Wheeler arrest on air - Sports Illustrated

Conversely, big props to Nate Burleson of the NFL Network for going off script during a recent telecast and mentioning the Wheeler incident. It wasn’t a part of the show, until Burleson made it a part of the show. This wasn’t a small deal, to break from football talk on the league’s network and tackle a subject the league is still fumbling.

“It was heavy on my heart. As I was going through the show, I thought, ‘We haven’t touched on it and it’s been a couple of days.’ I wanted to make sure we handle every situation like this the same across the board,”

It’s a big deal, and it took a big man to stand up and not be silent. Thank you Mr. Burleson.

Vegan NBA Star Kyrie Irving Buys George Floyd's Family a House | VegNews

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets has made it a three-peat at Heroes, becoming the first individual to make three straight appearances. Only this time, it’s for all the right reasons. He recently bought the family of George Floyd a home. The dude gives a lot of himself to others without advertising it and so of course he downplayed his beautiful deed by calling it his “service” to those in need. I call it a young man’s best self showing up when others need it most.

Reports: Gary Andersen headed back to Utah State

Head coach Gary Andersen was fired by Utah State last November, with $2.7 million remaining on his contract. Which meant coach was looking at a cool nine hundred thousand graham crackers a year for the next three years to not coach the Aggies. He could’ve booked passage on a month long cruise, or taken a European vacation, or even splurged on a couple court-side seats to a Lakers game. Instead, he told the school to keep their money.

“Waiving my contract is the correct decision and enables the young men and the program to move forward and concentrate on the rest of this season,” Andersen said. “Coaching is not about the mighty dollar. It is about teaching and putting young men in a position to succeed on and off the field. Success comes when all parties involved are moving in the same direction.”

Heroic? Probably not. Stoic? Absolutely. And with public institutions feeling the crunch nationwide, Andersen has done his part. (Big thank you to Frank “Beach Walks” Angle for this get).

6-Year-Old Lily Adeleye is the Youngest CEO to Have Products on Target Shelves

Dale over at A Dalectable Life chimed in with this beauty of a story about a CEO who’s got product on the shelves at Target. Oh yeah, and she’s all of six years old.

Lily Adeleye runs Lily Frilly, a girl’s fashion brand. Being Boss Lady runs in the family, seeing as her mother Courtney runs a haircare company called The Mane Choice. But this adorable young lady didn’t just want to help mom. She wanted to BE mom. And so the dreams of a child have been realized in a way that many adults will never attain. Which just goes to show what happens when you parent your children to follow their dreams.

I’ll wrap this puppy in a shiny bow-tie with a story that provided that light I was talking about just last week on these pages. I’m including the video because I figure it’s best to deliver this kind of story where you can read it and hear it and see it, especially that. And maybe it’s selfish on my part. Maybe I need to cover myself in this kind of good thing because truth be told, my cynical side can behave like a grizzly bear after fasting.

A handful of health-care workers in Oregon were in a bind. They were on their way back from a vaccination clinic when their ride came to a standstill on a snow covered highway. They had six vaccines in tow that were about to expire so they decided to run an impromptu clinic right there. They went from car to car, offering a free vaccination to anyone who wanted it until they had administered the last of their stash, with an ambulance on hand to make sure it all went off without a hitch.

Now, six vaccines may not seem like that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. But I’m sure there are six individuals out there right now who slept a little bit better as a result of this goodwill drive-through. Good is always a work in progress, made up almost entirely of divine patience, brick by beautiful brick, in the quiet of our everyday lives.

That’s how the grand scheme of things gets built.

 

Let’s Have Fun With Words!

16 signs that really shouldn't be spelled wrong · The Daily Edge

Bradyfullitis: A moderate to serious condition that affects the central nervous system. This comes about as the result of extended periods of exposure to Tom Brady. This condition affects more than ninety percent of the American football viewing public, with the exception of Tampa and New England. 

Electoral Dysfunction: A sign of a psychological dysfunction which is the result of acute megalomania. Symptoms include an inability to face reality or deal with its consequences. Those who suffer from this malady will create scenarios in which they imagine they have won an election they actually lost quite handily. Those most susceptible to contracting the sickness are Caucasian, entitled and delusional.

Kardashian-isms: Phrases that have no basis in self-awareness. Some examples (but are definitely not limited to). ” I’ll cry at the end of the day, but not with fresh makeup” and “The bigger the hoop, the bigger the ho”.

Swifteritous: The inability of a pop singer to come up with lyrics that do NOT involve an ex. 

Applebees-wax: Listening in on another person’s conversation while seated at a chain restaurant.  This comes about as a result of having to wait on your order for an hour, after which it’s too late to take your business elsewhere.

Wine-ification: The ability to rationalize your way through an entire bottle of wine. Those who engage in this behavior reason that once the cork is popped, the contents will go to waste unless they are properly imbibed. 

Google-octomy: Removing the urge to consult a search engine for answers. This procedure is oftentimes temporary in nature. 

Twitterology: The language of regret. Said to occur when a high profile personality hits “Send” on a particularly controversial topic. This behavior is immediately followed by a public relations created apology which begins with “If I offended anyone . . .” .

Campbelling: When a head coach plagiarizes “Dawn of the Dead” at his introductory press conference in order to show how tough he is. This will be followed by, you guessed it, more inept football by the Detroit Lions. 

Joe Exotica: Art that is intended to arouse an individual’s desire for trashy, exploitative nonsense. And yes, I watched all eight episodes . . .

 

 

 

 

The Meaning Of Substance

Hank Aaron's Greatness, by the Numbers - The Ringer

From the first time I cradled a Louisville Slugger, I was hooked. There was something immensely captivating about gripping the barrel of that perfectly crafted stick. It was a portal whose ability to transform a gangly eleven year old into one of his heroes was the reason I fell in love with the national pastime across one baseball summer.

Batting stances, they were my thing. I loved collecting them, like so many trading cards. There were scores of funky batting stances going on in the MLB, and each one facilitated a wholly different experience when you tried it on for size . From Doug DeCinces’ back to the pitcher pose to Brian Downing doing just the opposite. There was Don Baylor’s “Royal Guard” and Mickey Rivers hunched over pose which was always followed with a baton flip of his bat on a swing and miss. And of course, there was the imitable Rod Carew. The legendary batsman didn’t swing a bat so much as wave a magic wand when he stepped into the box. His was the maestro serve to the pitcher’s volley and his talent for readjusting the spin of a pitcher’s meanest choice was nothing short of mystical.

Hank Aaron had retired by the time I started following the game in the spring of 1978. All I had to go on when referencing his mighty swing were black and white photos of his time with the Milwaukee Braves and of course, his record breaking smack against Al Downing of the Los Angeles Dodgers; the night when Vin Scully tucked the great man’s opus into the record books for posterity. The night when Babe Ruth doffed his cap and ceded his crown to a black man from the deep south.

Of course, it was never that easy for Aaron. I didn’t know of the struggles he endured as he made his way through the Negro Leagues and into the minor league system of professional baseball. I had no idea as to the scathing hatred he faced on a daily basis, both in the stands and in his own dugout. And I hadn’t yet learned about the nightmarish proposition he faced in the time before and after breaking the all time MLB home-run record: The letters threatening his life and the lives of his family if he dared break Ruth’s record.

All I knew was that Hank Aaron’s swing was a forever kind of deal, with the way he turned a baseball bat into a hammer sent down from the baseball Gods. His swing was crisp and lean, no fat. It was workmanlike in nature until the barrel hit the gas pedal and formed a chemical compound with that fiery pill, blasting it into the deep blue sky. It could be said that Hank Aaron recruited more astronauts than NASA, because every single fan who watched his orbit was transported to the stars.

Hank Aaron and that mighty swing passed in to the ether last week. It was a swing borne of a great American dream, hard earned and complicated. A swing whose brilliance served as a master’s course for baseball fans everywhere. And it was the swing that produced 755 career home runs, which was the MLB record when he retired from the game.

In my eyes, it still is.

 

Heroes Of The Week!

Justice League: One year on, still an unmitigated disaster | Entertainment News,The Indian Express

Welcome to another brand spanking new episode of Heroes. In this week’s episode, we’ll travel to Montreal, where shelter and love has gone mobile. We’ll read about how a simple note can change everything. There will be unexcused absences and fat suits to ponder on. And we’ll finish things up with a story reminiscent of mice and men.

It’s early afternoon in America. And seriously, why would we ever want to return to the last four years? So let’s get better and smarter. And let’s never imagine ourselves to be greater than the sum of our parts.

Now to our lineup . . .

We have another twin kiss coming to us from the lovely Dale at A Dalectable Life. As if her prize winning photography wasn’t enough, she’s a reporter in the field as well! And first up is the story of a community center in Montreal that is looking out for those most vulnerable this winter season.

michel monette care montreal | News, Videos & Articles

Michel Monette is the founder of CARE Montreal and he ordered twenty make-shift igloo structures- made of foam and insulation that snap together- from the Czech Republic. The igloos provide shelter and warmth to the homeless population that refuse to stay in over-populated shelters, even in the harshest of conditions. Monette says he knew Raphaël André, a homeless man who was found dead in a portable toilet just last week

“I would have really loved if he would have had access to these (igloos),” Monette says, while adding that workers will look to make sure such a tragedy doesn’t happen again by traveling the city, searching for people in need. “It’s kind of us taking the shelter to them, instead of taking them to the shelter,”

Further proof that in an imperfect world, we seek perfection not in absolutes, but in the solace of good deeds.

Who is Flavaine Carvalho? Quick-thinking Orlando waitress saves 11-year-old from his abusive parents | MEAWW

If you want to know what being in the right place at the right time looks like, I give you Flavaine Carvalho. The waitress at Mrs. Potato Restaurant in Orlando, Florida was working her last table of the night when her life intersected with an 11-year old boy. It began when his father forbid him from ordering anything to eat. And then she saw the bruises on the boy’s arms and face.

Carvalho knew she had to do something. So she wrote a note to the boy that read simply “Do you need help?” and held it up so only the boy could see it. On the third try, the boy signaled yes. Authorities would later say the abuse suffered by the boy was nothing short of torture. The parents were arrested; the father charged with multiple counts of aggravated child abuse and the mother with two counts of child neglect.

“This could have been a homicide situation if she had not intervened,” Said Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon.

Thing of it is, Flavaine wasn’t even scheduled that night. She’d been called in at the last minute. Since it was the last table of the night, she was able to pay extra attention to what was going on. Add to this the fact that the family was sitting at the only table in the restaurant where she could have held up a sign without the boys parents noticing.

See something, say something . . save someone.

Kyrie Irving is proving once again that he can't be a No. 1 in the NBA

I’ve got a couple return guests to this spot. And they’re on the same team! First up is Kyrie Irving, who decided to return to the Brooklyn Nets this week. That’s nice of him, considering he’s making north of 30 million cheeseburgers to ball when the mood strikes. In his return to the team this week, he dropped a cool thirty seven points . . but his team lost anyways. To the woebegone Cleveland Cavaliers, no less. Maybe it’s just a blip, and maybe it’s the universe telling Brooklyn that this whole “Three Grows in Brooklyn” super-team idea isn’t going to work as smoothly as they envisioned it might.

Do you think James Harden was wearing a fat suit while playing for the Houston Rockets? – RFM | RatchetFridayMedia

And to Kyrie’s new running mate, James Harden, I say thank you. Because this guy provides quality entertainment on and off the court. The above image shows the pre-trade James Harden on the right with the post-trade Harden on the left. The story goes that he wore a fat suit to get out of Houston. Nutri-system called, they want their prop back!

New Video Details Tense Moments as Capitol Mob Sought Out Lawmakers | FlaglerLive

I’ve always been of the opinion that in the darkest of times, there is light. It’s impossible to see in the immediate aftermath, but it’s always there. And so it is with Eugene Goodman, who escorted Kamala Harris to the Presidential inauguration ceremony on Wednesday in his new role as acting Deputy House Sergeant at Arms.

During the capitol riots two weeks earlier, it was Goodman who single-handedly steered an angry mob away from the Senate chamber. In the last days of an administration that talked about greatness while providing little in the way of it, Goodman taught us all how it’s done. He stood in front of rioters and directed them his way. As a member of the Capitol police, the man took the badge he wore to its most literal and courageous outcome.

Image

Making America great doesn’t happen with haughty campaign slogans. A nation will never see its best self if it spends all of its time standing in front of a mirror. And it sure as hell isn’t going to happen by pledging a blind obedience to our past. Democracy isn’t about a single person or party, it’s about the will of a people to stand for something. Together. So maybe this is the time in our nation’s history where we stop crying about all the things we aren’t and start building on the many great things we are.

And when the darkness comes, be the light.

 

 

North vs Mouth

“We are 75 million strong!”

It was the squeal of a Trump supporter, who was fashioned in the clownish ethos of a fat brimmed red hat that has become the new abnormal. He stood outside a federal building spewing words with the bad English of a snub nosed revolver, each participle killing Shakespeare all over again. And while I know his intent was to scare me, us . . . anybody who’s not down with high-jacking the Constitution, I was thoroughly unimpressed. I regard them as parasitical dipping dots with ’70’s haircuts, soulless eyes and a mindset stuck in the turn of the century. The 11th century.

I constructed a profile for the mole rat while considering his facile declaration, and then I came up with a nickname for the treasonous taco lab- Eggs Benedict. He possessed an oversized chassis that was underwritten by restaurants with drive-thru technology, so I figured him to be on four different prescription meds as a result. He was obviously a ladies man who had broken a lot of cousins hearts while working his way through Drivers Ed. A well read gent, he feasted on the classics; from Amazing Spider Man and Captain America to Archie Comics. His favorite quote was probably something like “Wherever I go, I’m home,” and his RV? Proved it.

But really, I didn’t come here today to bury the overgrown sandbag. I simply have a problem with his contention that there are seventy five million Trump Warriors set to do battle if posh gives way to shove it. And while I would love to call him out in real time, I’m sure he would be a tad bemused if I said I had a problem with his math. Especially since he considers math to be the gross smelling stuff his toothless brother cooks up in his double wide.

So Imma dish here on WordPress, with peeps whose IQ’s are well north of the Mason/Dixon, by calling out this 75 million troops claim as fake news. And here’s why . . .

The total number of people who went in a voting booth and came out dumber wasn’t 75 million, it was 74,222,958 votes. That’s more than three quarters of a million voters less than these Trumpists are claiming. Hey, after the way they tried painting a decisive Biden victory into a Chucky Cheese caricature, I’m not giving these ass-hats a single vote more.

So he’s already wrong, but wait . . there’s less!

Of the 74,222,958 Trump voters, a nice chunk of that gain from his 2016 numbers came as the result of the very same non-traditional voting that he was positing as fraudulent- early voting and absentee ballots. More than 100 million people voted this way, the majority of whom voted for Biden.

Say Trump only scored 25 million of those votes, that brings the “75 Million Trump Warriors!” number down under 50 now. Reason being, these peeps couldn’t even make it to the polls. How they gonna fight a civil war?

But wait, you say. By that reasoning, there are 75 million democrats who wouldn’t fight a civil war either. Welp, here’s the difference. Democrats didn’t show up because of the pandemic, so voting off site made sense. Republicans have assured us they don’t give a fuck about the pandemic, which means they were in no shape to get out to vote in the first place. And not for nothing, but most of the democrats who did vote in the non-traditional manner are young. And they’re going to be mighty pissed off if gaming and social media are taken away from them as the result of a civil war. And they’ll recruit their non-voter friends so they can get this shit over with as quickly as possible.

So now we have 49 million Trump warriors and let’s say 30 million of those voters are male, between the ages of thirty and forty-five. I’ll bet you half of that number look like my pal Eggs Benedict. Sorry, but all the firepower in the world ain’t gonna help if you have to schlep it without fuel and the meds to stave off the heart altering effects of said fuel.

We’re down to 35 million Trump warriors now, and maybe 20 million of those voters are women. Take away half of that number, because those are the Trump ladies who believe that a woman’s place is in the home. Or on target.com. Nope.

So we have 25 million Trump warriors left. And eighty percent of that total is going to fold their cards, lest they lose everything they’ve worked for, because that’s what will happen when society goes buh-bye.

5 million Trump warriors would be left standing in this entirely hypothetical scenario. And before they get the chance to yell “Charge!”, our friends from Mexico will be more than happy to throw down with the Trumpists. As will our friends up in Canada, who weren’t quite so kind in their judgements of the last guy in office here in the states. So yeah, they have five million and well . . we have the rest.

So when all is said and done, you’ll have a couple dozen assholes standing outside the White House with signs and bullhorns, trashing Biden and making plans for lunch. If you happen to be walking by and you spot a portly looking fellow in a red hat, could you do me a solid?

Tell Eggs Benedict I said hi.

 

Heroes Of The Week!

 

Why It's Difficult To Find Full Video Of King's Historic Speech : The Two-Way : NPR

Welcome to our first heroes episode of the new year, kids. This patch of grass is still under construction with new this’s and that’s ready to make themselves known throughout the coming year. But the one thing that won’t change is the love that is shown to this here intersection of Friday and the weekend. So it be that I’ve got a little help coming from my friends, as per. Muchas gracias to them, and to you.

As for the above image, not for nothing but, that’s what a big crowd and a real leader look like. In case there was any confusion (much) about such things over the last four years. And while those clueless cretins might’ve stolen a sacred national spot with their despicable act last week? Well, my friend Martin is taking it back.

Now to the lineup . . .

What Giuliani's past tells us about how he may represent Trump - ABC NewsFirst up are the retrograde republicans (no capital letters for capitol seditionists), who perpetrated a terror attack on our nation’s capital on January 6th. From the aiders and abettors in suits- Trump, Giuliani, et al.-  to the mentally deficient warriors who looted a federal building and committed mayhem and murder. The irony is that these mask-less mutts made it that much easier for authorities to finger them by flouting the public safety standards. They should reconsider a civil war, seeing as how strategy isn’t their strong suit.

And now for a double kiss of good feeling brought to you by Dale over at A Dalectable Life.

Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen at Rutgers battles student food insecurity | Food ManagementWe flip the script from the clueless to the community minded with news that the ageless rocker Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea just opened their third community restaurant on the campus of Rutgers University. JBJ Soul Kitchen serves up meals free of charge to those patrons who can’t afford it. For those who can, they’re asked for a $20 donation to cover the cost of their meal.

“Hunger doesn’t look like what your mind’s eye might imagine,” Dorothea says. “It’s the people at your church. It’s the kids that go to school with your kids. And I think that was eye-opening for a lot of the community here that said, ‘Oh, there’s no homeless people here.’”

This garden to table eatery has served up more than 100,000 meals so far and they say they’ll keep the hits coming as long as there is a need. Rock on, good man. Rock on.

Theresa Kachindamoto is a Real-Life Black Queen, A True Leader - Hollywood InsiderTheresa Kachindamoto is the kind of leader you don’t hear much about. And it’s because she’s making a profoundly impactful difference on the lives of the young women of Malawi. In a country with one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, Kachindamoto is fighting back. To date, she has annulled more than 3,000 marriages.

In her district of Dedza, where she serves as a senior chief, girls as young as twelve years of age were once forced into marriage by parents who considered it a traditional rite of passage. In 2017, she was an integral part of an amendment which raised the minimum age of marriage from 15 to 18. She also teamed up with UN Women to get these young women an education, which she says is their right. These groundbreaking accomplishments have not come easy. When you combine an entrenched mindset with generational poverty, success is both relative and fleeting. But she forges ahead, one young woman at a time.

It’s the kind of story that doesn’t get told nearly enough because let’s face it, human interest stories are considered more filler than headline. But it makes you wonder what could be more important than an interest in humans?

Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving Big 3 destined to failA shout out to my pal Big Papi for breaking the news to me of James Harden’s beard now residing in Brooklyn. “The Beard” forced his way out of Houston by quitting on the Houston Rockets, and he comes East with the reputation of being a prolific scorer who considers defense optional. He’ll saddle up with Kyrie Irving- when Kyrie decides to return from his hiatus- and Kevin Durant, and not much else since Brooklyn emptied the cupboard to acquire him. Team TMZ in the media hornets nest of NYC? I cannot wait.

Wendy's manager shares the love one drive-thru customer at a time | Whidbey News-TimesImma conclude the day’s programming with a real keeper of a young lady who hails from Oak Harbor, Washington by the name of April DiDonna. Young April works as the fast food manager at a local Wendy’s and she’s serving up way more than hamburgers and fries. Last fall as the world was busy holding on for dear life, she decided to deliver a sentiment that Jackie DeShannon insisted there was much too little of. She told a drive-thru customer that she loved him.

“To know that the little three words could mean so much to so many people, it’s overwhelming my heart with so much more love . . .  I truly believe that if we just love each other, the world would be better.”

In October, she started keeping count of every customer who returned serve with an “I love you” of their own. She’s at over 2,700 and yes, she still counting. Because why not say it? And mean it? And count them? Every single one of the beautiful them?

The mother of three brings this powerful affirmation from a dark place in 2019 when her husband passed away. It turned her life upside down and left her feeling lost and hopeless. As with so many people who find themselves struggling through darkness, she was able to find the light by shining it not on herself, but on the people around her. Paying it forward comes with cosmic receipts and she collected one recently when an elderly customer admitted to DiDonna that she never thought she would hear those words again after losing her husband and then her brother. Of course, such an admission was greeted with a request to drive forward and park so she could receive a hug as well, at no extra charge.

Young April insists the universe is changing and that the stars are aligning for better days ahead, for all of us. And while the cynic in me might wonder aloud as to why anyone would think such a fool thing as this, the realist in me knows better than to argue. Because it’s not crazy or hopeless to believe that things might actually get better.

It’s love, actually.