Morning Coffee – 02.02.12

Nota Bene: This poor little space on the World Wide Webs is covered in a LOT of dust. Srsly, there’s dust bunnies in the corner of my screen. We apologize, dear reader, for our absence. It’s possible we’ve lost all of you as devoted and dedicated readers. If that’s the case, #sadface. If not, read on!

It’s time for the 2012 Groundhog Roundup…
We scrub the ‘net for this stuff so you don’t have to! 

Let’s remember: Shadow = More Winter; No Shadow = No More Winter

  • Punxsutawney Phil, the Granddaddy of Groundhog Day, the  Seer of Seers, the Prognosticator of Prognosticators awoke at Gobbler’s Knob AND SAW HIS SHADOW. Stupid Groundhog.
  • Staten Island Chuck, (Charles G. Hogg), whom I’m quickly starting to admire told ol’ Mayor FancyPants in New York no shadow. Good boy, Chuck. Good boy.
  • Chuck’s buddies out on Long Island, Malverne Mel & Holtsville Hal have disagreed. Mel says Shadow; Hal says no shadow.
  • Buckeye Chuck, who by a 1979 legislative proclamation is “Ohio’s Official Weather Prognosticator” saw no shadow.
  • General Beauregard Lee, Ph.D. in Atlanta said no shadow. That’s a good General.
  • Chuckles VII, Queen of the Groundhogs, up in Manchester, Conn. is sleeping in today.
  • Sir Walter Wally will make his appearance in Raleigh around noon.  We’ll update if we remember.
  • Ditto for Woodstock Willie in Woodstock, Ill.
  • French Creek Freddie in West Virginia is running late.
  • Not to be left out, we have a new prognosticator in the club. Potomac Phil (pic courtesy of @dcist_martin) made his debut at Dupont Circle here in DC this morning described as Punxsy Phil’s “long lost cousin.” He didn’t see his shadow.  But then, I’m not sure he could see much of anything considering Potomac Phil is a STUFFED Groundhog.  Turns out the organizers of our little festival on the Po-Tow-Mack couldn’t get a real Groundhog. There’s just something that’s sooo Washington about that.

But wait, there’s more!

If it’s Groundhog Day, it’s Elaine Stritch’s birthday! One of Broadway’s Grand Dame’s turns 87 today.

A Man Named Maurice

I’ve worked in bars and nightclubs on a part-time basis for the last ten years and on any given night, you have a chance to see humanity at its worst.  After watching grown adults revert to their neanderthal roots last night (yup, I tweeted that one) and cursing all of humanity, I returned to the office to burn the 1am oil (not a unique occurrence by any stretch of the imagination.)  Comfortable that the copier was content to hum along, I adjourned to the front steps for a quick smoke and to watch the thunderstorms roll in (aside: I’ve always been a storm junkie.)

Turns out, someone with a far greater perspective on humanity decided I need more than just a quick break from work.

It’s not uncommon late at night to be approached by random strangers.  Some are looking for change; some are looking for a smoke; most are looking for both.  When you see them, you brace yourself, check the location of your cell phone and your keys, and wait for the inevitable question.  As if on cue, about 2 minutes in, here came the random stranger and a companion.  We exchanged hellos and I thought I was out of the woods.  Then he turned and started walking toward me.

Shit. Keys? In my hand.  Cell phone. Upstairs in the office.  Double shit. Get the cigarettes ready.

“Man, you got a place I can charge my phone?”

Huh?  That’s not part of the script.

“I don’t want to come in.  I just need to charge my phone so I can take care of my business in the mornin.”

He doesn’t appear dangerous. God, I hope the copier’s okay up there.  What can it hurt?  Oh, what the hell…

Not knowing what to do (and praying a decent exit strategy would manifest itself in my functioning brain cell), I took the phone (a pretty nice Blackberry) and charger and retreated into the office to find an outlet while my new visitors took shelter from the beginning rain on the front steps.  I plugged in the phone and came back outside very much aware that I was armed with just my keys and a lighter.  Turns out, I’d only need the latter.

I sat down and my companions and I, after they bummed the requisite cigarettes, exchanged pleasantries about the horrendous heat and weather and the storm which was getting closer with each passing minute.

For almost nearly the next two hours, we would sit and talk (well, he would talk and I would mostly listen as his female companion nodded off) while watching the storm pass us by.

My visitor talked about his life, his mother, getting into trouble, going to free concerts on the Mall (“Smokey Robinson’s coming to town!)  He shared his regret at not going into the service and spoke of the horrible treatment GIs received when they returned from Vietnam; the revolving door of the criminal justice system (it was clear he’d had his own experiences with the law); of getting robbed at gunpoint and experiencing the other side of the system.  He literally talked about sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.

“What in the hell am I doing out here?  I need to get back to work!  But, as if taking orders from someone greater than the both of us, he continued on.

Maurice (we exchanged names at the start of the second hour; Kim was his companion) shared his thoughts on Chinese food (“They’re selling rats and pigeons!”) and lit up when he talked about his son and his four grandchildren. As we watched the drunk “youngins” running through the rain to their cars after the nightclub around the corner let out, Maurice provided a running commentary on the dopey looking men and the scantily-dressed women accompanying them (“if my granddaughter ever tried leaving in something like that, I’d take this cane…”)

He didn’t look or seem homeless (and I’m still not sure), but it was clear that he’s known life on the streets – where the overhangs are where you can’t get wet when it rains, which shelters are still open and which ones are said to be closing.

Mother Nature didn’t disappoint and neither did Maurice.  We talked about anything and everything – from current events to the history of race and gentrification in Washington.

When we determined it was probably around 3 o’clock, I had an out to check the phone. It’s charged…bummer.  I returned Maurice’s phone, shook his hand and wished both he and Kim a pleasant evening.

“Thanks man!”

No, Maurice, thank you.

I may spend today a little more sleep deprived than normal, but it was worth it to discover that you can regain your faith in humanity as long as you’re simply willing to charge someone’s cell phone.

Open Letter Re: St. Patrick’s Day, 2011

An Open Letter in Re: Not Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day

Dear Citizens of the United States who use March 17th as an excuse to act like morons,

As a preface, dear citizens, we must remind you that we wrote on this very topic exactly one year ago.  While we could rest on our laurels and hope you found the post before heading out of the house for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, we decided that it was better to update our letter by correcting the whiskey-induced typos of last year, brushing up some details and reposting it for your prompt review.  Your cooperation is appreciated.  Now, where’s the whiskey…?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

On the eve of the Feast of St. Patrick, no doubt, many of you will be venturing out to the nearest watering hole (read: sleazy, hole-in-the-wall, hasn’t been painted in years, bar) where the proprietor has, no doubt, plastered the walls with cardboard shamrocks and a free, and oh-so-tacky poster from their beer and liquor distributor proudly proclaiming “Sant Pady’s Day Here!”  Wearing anything and everything green in your wardrobe: green socks, those quasi-green Dockers, a green t-shirt, that hideous green paisley tie you keep hidden in the back of your closet, and a cheap, plastic, green bowler hat you bought at Target, you’ll leave home with an inflated sense of pride, confident that you’ll “out Irish” everyone at the bar.  At said watering hole, you will raise a bottle of Old Milwaukee (because it’s the special for $1 a bottle and because the proprietor is too cheap to stock Guinness and has never heard of a “proper pint”) and you will drunkenly toast to St. Patrick.  At some point during the day or night, you’ll saunter up to the blonde sitting across the bar wearing a “Kiss Me! I’m Irish!” button and will attempt to get lucky.  Having failed, you will go back to your barstool and introduce yourself to the drunk Chinese man next to you (not before attempting to pinch the old codger at the far end of the bar for not wearing green).  You will introduce yourself as Max “O’Austerlitz.”  At closing time, you will stumble out of the bar (read: the bar manager will escort you from your stool by the scruff of your drunken neck), arm in arm with the even-drunker Han “McChen” singing “Oh Danny Boy” at the top of your lungs.

There’s just one problem: your father was German, your mother was Dutch and not only wouldn’t you be able to pick St. Patrick out of a line-up, you have no idea why there’s a day named after him in the first place.

No, Virginia, not everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

For those of us lucky enough to have more than just a “bit o’ the Irish” in our family trees, St. Patrick’s Day has become somewhat of an enigma making us all want to hide in our homes – rosary beads in one hand, a drink in the other – when March 17th comes around.

“But I thought all the Irish were drunks who like to drink!”

It is true that you can’t swing a dead cat at an Irish family reunion and hit someone over the age of 10 who doesn’t have some form of libation in their hand (or in the case of our last reunion, you don’t even have to be 10!).  The difference is, however, that after a bottle of Irish whiskey, we’ll still be standing upright boring each other with long tales and tall tales…and laughing all the way to the confessional at church the next morning.   The average Joe “I’m Irish Cuz It’s St. Paddy’s Day” Smith would be laying on a bar floor in his own puddle of drool after two shots of Jameson.

It’s amateur hour out there on St. Patrick’s Day.

For the Irish in America, St. Patrick’s Day has always been a day when we remember the man who brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle.  It’s about remembering our ancestors who braved wars and famine.  It’s about remembering family and heritage.  And, to be sure, a decent amount of drinking (though we don’t necessarily need a special day for that).  Over the years, however, St. Patrick’s Day has become bastardized by those who do need an excuse to drink and attempt to find one wherever they can.  St. Patrick’s Day has sadly given them the perfect cover because so many others are doing the exact same thing.

Like the Viking invasion of Ireland in the 7th century, these non-Irish amateurs, speaking in the thickest, most hideous brogues ever heard, invade our pubs, drink our liquor, and attempt to get lucky with our significant others all because of the popular misnomer that “everyone’s Irish on St. Paddy’s Day.”

Is everyone German during Oktoberfest?  No. Is everyone black during Black History Month?  No.  So why, in the holy name of St. Brigid would everyone be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day?

But still they come in droves.  Wearing green, singing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” and drinking until they fall flat on their asses.   It’s enough to make a professional drunk hang his head in shame.

So instead of heading out to the pubs where the Guinness is free-flowing and there’s whiskey in the jar, I’ll quietly pull the bottle of Jameson out from underneath my desk and pour myself a drink.  Wearing anything but green, I’ll quietly toast to the Cleary and Hanifin ancestors from County Tipperary and County Kerry while blaring “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” on my iPod.  And I’ll thank God that I was born Irish.

And then I’ll pour myself another drink.


The Random O’Muse

P.S.  And then another drink.

P.P.S. And when the Jameson is gone, I’ll move on to the Tullamore Dew.

Morning Coffee – 11.10.10

The Morning Brew: What the hell…

I remembered this morning, whilst whiling away the minutes staring at headlines, why I loved to bring you, dear reader, the random headlines of the day.  Several have caught my eye…

  • Courtesy of Gawker, some stupid *#$&!(# grandmother was arrested after attempting to SELL her grandchild so the kid’s mom could…wait for it…buy a new car!  While this little story is perfect fodder for an edition of “REALLY?!?! With Seth and Amy,” I doubt it’ll make it…so I’ll say it: REALLY?!?!  You’re that cruel and heartless you old hag, REALLY?!?! And you came down on your asking price of $75K to $30K?? REALLY?!?! Who was it…Mark Twain perhaps…who said, “I love humanity, it’s people I can’t stand.”  Mark, those words are SOOOO apropos here.
  • Keith Olbermann returned to the airwaves last night…anybody watch? [CRICKETS] Right.  Moving on…
  • DC residents rejoice!  Street cleaning season is over!!!  No more playing musical parking spaces in the early morning hours!  All of which is great news had I actually gotten the memo.  But I didn’t.  So, what did I do early in the morning for the first two days of this week?  Yup…went out and moved EddieRue Elaine the Explorer to the appropriate side of the street so DC’s finest parking enforcement wouldn’t have reason to slap me with yet ANOTHER parking ticket.  Turns out, my efforts were in vain because starting this week, they didn’t care where I was parked.  Seriously DC DPW…you tweet everything else under the sun…why not this?

….and back in the ol’ hometown….

  • One of the State Journal-Register‘s blogs comes out with this WONDERFUL post today about Jesus Toast!  Yup, turns out some over-zealous entrepreneur is selling toasters which sear an image of Jesus The Christ into your whole wheat.  The toaster retails for $39.95.  I think I just found my Christmas present for everyone on my list.
  • Of course, this now begs the debate amongst us Catholics: if the bread is not consecrated as the Body of Christ as the hosts are done during Mass (which, without trying to be offensive, means that we’re literally ingesting Jesus), then, can you even eat the Jesus toast once you’ve toasted it?  I mean at that point, you’re eating Jesus, right?  But it’s not really Jesus because it’s not consecrated (or, for that matter, unleavened) bead.
  • Questions which require a theologian before 9am should be avoided.  So, we’ll move on.

Re Tweet Tweet

  • @jason_mraz Flight Attendant in NY says “See You Soon” while boarding. Does she know something I don’t?
  • @GaylandAnderson I’m on a Valium diet. I take 4 for breakfast & the food keeps falling out of my mouth all day. ~Max Alexander // Perfect.  Must try it!

The Mid-Morning Boost

Speaking of diets…this professor out in Kansas may be my new best friend.  He lost 27 pounds on a diet of Twinkies, Doritios, Little Debbie snack cakes and Oreos.  We’ll set aside, for a moment, the fact that this is pretty much my election season diet, and instead concentrate on the fact that the man lost 27 pounds eating junk food!  This man is either a nut job or a genius…I haven’t decided which yet.  Sure, he’s not encouraging others to try and repeat his results.  Still…I’m glad I didn’t go to the grocery store and stock up on all that healthy food I was going to buy last night.  I’ll just go tonight and clear out the Twinkies!  Yay!!!

The Case of the Missing Ballot

It’s not unusual in Illinois for stacks of ballots to go missing or suddenly materialize.  Election fraud is a time honored tradition in the Land of Lincoln.  Anyone familiar with Cook County and the Daley Political Machine knows as much.  For Illinoisians, cooking the ballot boxes is as American to us as apple pie.  And it’s all fun and games…until your ballot goes missing.

You see, my job requires that I be in Washington on Election Day.  It’s virtually impossible for this son of Illinois to get home to his precinct to cast a ballot.  So, I vote absentee.  Dutifully, my mother requests that an application be sent to me and I dutifully fill it out and return it.  In previous elections, my crisp, unaltered ballot has arrived within a matter of days.  Until this year. 

Said application was returned three weeks ago.  The subsequent ballot has yet to arrive.  With just a little more than 96 hours left until the polls open in the Prairie State, I’m getting a little a nervous. 

A phone call to the Sangamon County Elections Office verified that my ballot was mailed last Friday.  Granted, the USPS is slow even on its best days…and in the District of Columbia, snails move faster than the postal service.   But this slow?  With official mail? 

Call me a conspiracy theorist.  Say I see black helicopters following me daily.  But should said ballot not arrive tomorrow, I *may* just go on the record and say that the card-carrying union members of the USPS are involved in nationwide conspiracy to disenfranchise absentee voters of their God-given right to vote in an attempt to swing an election.


Morning Coffee – 08.20.10

The Morning Brew: Tastes better in France
You can thank my cousin, Jan, for the kick-start to the blog.  Now if I can just find the stamina to keep this up again…

  • It appears that bed bugs aren’t just for home anymore.  *itch*  From USA Today, it appears that the dirty little blood suckers are making their mark in the office buildings of the country. *scratch* I speak from experience when I say: KILL THE BASTARDS.  I’m having traumatic flashbacks already. 
  • We all know that someday soon this will all be someone else’s problem when the Sun goes Red Giant.  Stick with me here…I’m working on a planetary theme.  It seems, however, that before Mr. Sun can engulf us all in a blaze of glory, the Mr. Moon – yes the one made out of green cheese – has decided to shrink like an old man in his 90s.  Sure, the so-called “experts” say that Mr. Man-in-the-Moon’s shrinkage won’t affect us here on Mrs. Earth.  But when have the “experts” EVER been right about ANYTHING?
  • And this is why I blog: a dog WATER park in Los Angeles that features surfing lessons for pooches!  That’s right!  The Paradise Ranch Pet Resort in Sun Valley is giving fido lessons on how to catch a wave.  Mental image in my head: a yorkie hanging ten on a 6′ board. 
  • Several of my Twitterati brethern and sisteran are all atwitter over the Real Housewives of DC and, in particular, that party-crashing blonde that EVERYONE loves, Michaele Salahi.  I still can’t bring myself to care…not that I haven’t tried mind you.  I’d like to be able to keep up in the conversation with Tommy, Emily, and others.  But there’s only so much RAM in my head (#iveleftbraincellsallovertheeastcoast), and unfortunately, there’s no room for the RHDC.

And…back in the ol’ hometown…

I’ve been all atwitter on Twitter about the Illinois State Fair.  It’s possible that I was supposed to make my pilgrimage to see the Butter Cow earlier this week.  And it’s possible that Mother Nature decided to spank DC again and I switched the trip up.  And it’s possible that I’m so close to leaving for Illinois in the morning that I can already taste the Bob Vose corndogs, lemon shake-ups and funnel cakes.  And it’s possible that I’m a bit overly-obsessed with the State Fair and the Butter Cow and the smell of cow patties in the morning.  But when you’ve not missed a single State Fair in all your years on this Earth, you’d be just as excited. (More on why the ISF is so important to me later).  And so, to share in my excitement, I give you key links to keeping up with the State Fair.

  • State Journal-Register‘s In All Fairness blog (be sure to check out the Junior LEGO builders ribbon winners from yesterday!
  • The BUTTER COW CAM!!!!!  If you can’t be in Springfield, it’s the next best thing!  Though, this year, the camera’s less focused on Bossie and more focused on the crowd visiting Bossie.  Oh well.  Tune in tomorrow afternoon and you may see me there gazing longingly at this year’s Buttery Bossie.

Re Tweet Tweet

  • @bobalouie I love Fridays. My co-workers are bigger slackers than I am. I never get any emails after 11 am. // Hell, mine don’t even show up.

The Mid-Morning Boost

So, earlier this week 6 men and 6 women from the Great State of Chicago came out of their hidey-hole and declared that impeached former Illinois Governor Rod “My Hair Doesn’t Move” Blagojevich was only guilty of 1 of 24 federal charges against him.  The other 23 charges, these men and women declared, they could not reach a verdict.  Seriously?  No.  Really.  Seriously?!?!?! 

And I quote, “I have this thing and it’s f*$&ing golden.  I’m not just going to f*$&ing give it away.”  Sounds pretty clear to me that Rod expecting some quid pro quo for a certain president’s former seat in the U.S. Senate.  And yet, 6 unsequestered men and 6 unsequestered women listened to that, and many other quotes like it, and determined that they couldn’t determine if he was guilty.  ONLY IN ILLINOIS, FOLKS!  We’re so used to corruption being the norm that we can actually see it when it’s right in front of our faces!  Morons.  Here’s hoping that Fitzgerald and the federal prosecutorial team (did I just make up a word), bring ol’ Blago back in to court for a retrial.  And, even though we don’t talk politics here at Random Musings, maybe, just maybe, they’ll be able to add insult to injury and drag out a new trial long enough to hang the whole thing around Alexi’s senatorial campaign allowing Mark Kirk to capture the seat formerly held by the current president.  Would serve the whole corrupt Democrat machine of Illinois right.

What?  I can dream can’t it?

Morning Coffee – 07.12.10

The Morning Brew: Getting a Little too Periodic

  • It’s a slow news day at the New York Times.  Two stories, both interesting, actually.  The first on the rebranding of “The Y.” For those who came of age taking their first swimming lessions at “The Y,” we’ll always sing the Village People’s full song no matter what their communications and marketing folks decide to call it.  Dammit.
  • The second is on the death of the cigarette machine – from a bygone era when smoking wasn’t just allowed in bars, it was encouraged, dammit.  And, for the record, we still have one.  And it still works.  And people still use it.  So there.  Take that New York City.
  • P.S.  The headline writer at the Times had way too much fun with his job this weekend based on the above stories.

Re Tweet Tweet

  • @dazzophoto George Washington spent about 7% of his annual salary on liquor. // George.  A man after my own heart.
  • @sadironman Roberts Rules of Order motions that make good “that’s what she said” jokes [graph]: // It’s a beautiful thing for anyone who’s studied parliamentary procedure.
  • @RucinskiReetz Here we are sitting in the living room – hubby on one laptop. Movie on TV. Blackberries close by. We’re tech-a-fied!! // No, you’re just nerds. :)
  • @sadironman Ben/Toast/I have been washing our clothes with fabric softener (not detergent) all summer. No wonder they’re very very soft and not clean. // *sigh* College boys.  At least they were doing laundry, right?

Mid-Morning Boost

Twitter headlines last night: Spain wins World Cup.  Now, for someone who doesn’t follow football (at all, really) and who did not get the WC fever that struck most of DC, including my office, I only have one question: is there an actual cup?

Morning Coffee – 06.29.10

The Morning Brew Returns!

Now that Mr. National Convention is over for another year and your Random Muse has been able to sleep the sleep of the dead, and Bloomingdale Manor is no longer functioning as a home for wayward interns, it’s time for Random Musings to begin its normal publishing schedule again. 

  • Carol Woods is returning to Broadway to reassume the role of Matron Mama Morton in Chicago.  Very exciting.  Woods was in the touring production with the thrice-Tony-nominated Kevin Chamberlin when it came through DC last year.  If it’s true that inside all of us is a big black woman trying to get out, Carol Woods is my inner big black woman.
  • Proving once again that he’s got the best job in DC, MIX 107.3’s Tommy McFly spent a few minutes with Adam Lambert yesterday while the latter was in town for his show at the 9:30 Club.
  • And this is what we live for at Random Musings: an ex-cop has been charged with 63 various counts; among them: trying to solicit women to have sex with his Labrador retriever.  No word on how the dog felt about his owner’s attempts to pimp him out.

and back in the ol’ hometown…

  • Normal headline reads: “Dog Bites Man.”  This one reads “Man Bites Girlfriend” because…wait for it…she turned off one of his video games while he was playing.  Even though we’ve been away from the blog for a while it’s good to know that the State Journal-Register will always be there to deliver the most ridiculous headlines and breaking news stories.

Re Tweet Tweet

  • @justinfactpage A woodpecker can peck twenty times a second
  • @tarapalmeri oh god, I can’t stop shopping // you say that like it’s a bad thing…
  • @TommyMcFly This is going to be the kind of storm that drops houses on witches! #WashingtonWeather

The Mid-Morning Boost

That would be me stopping for Starbucks….

Morning Coffee – 06.04.10

The Morning Brew: Exhaustion Never Tasted So Good

  • The 2010 Tony Awards were held last night.  Angela Lansbury was robbed for Best Featured Actress in a Musical and my friend Olivia’s brother-in-law, the thrice-nominated Kevin Chamberlin was robbed for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.  Stupid Tony voters.
  • Who’s sending me to New York?  Speaking of Angela Lansbury… she and Catherine Zeta-Jones are soon to say goodbye to Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. The musical, which gave both actresses Tony nods (and Zeta-Jones a win last night) was set to close this coming Sunday.  But no more.  Two Sondheim vets will take over…Bernadette Peters replaces Catherine Zeta-Jones while grand dame Angela Lansbury will be replaced by….wait for it…Elaine Stritch.  Having worshipped Stritchy for years, I only have one question: who’s buying my ticket to go see the show?

And back in the ol’ hometown…

  • Once again, we have breaking news that some poor man was robbed of his cell phone.  AND Some other person’s car caught fire.  Remember the papers of old when an event would be held in town, and the paper would list all of the out of town guests who attended (even if they were just from the next town over?)  Yeah.  That’s pretty much where the ol’ State Journal-Register’s at these days, God bless ’em.  But buried in all of the fast-breaking news of lost cell phones and car fires comes this beauty…
  • Some well-intentioned gentleman (read: nimrod) wants to build a 10-foot giant penny in the middle of downtown to attract more tourists to downtown’s core.  Let’s review.  Springfield is the home of the Lincoln family home, the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, the Old State Capitol (home of the Lincoln cot where Lincoln slept as a state rep from New Salem), the Lincoln Pew at the Presbyterian Church, the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Lincoln’s Tomb, and last, but certainly not least, the Lincoln Family outhouse.  Seriously?  We need something more to remind us that we’re the home of Abe Lincoln?  Really?!

Re Tweet Tweet

  • @jonesy77 Best. Email. Ever. “Harry Caray’s Ghost is now following you on Twitter.” @GhostHarryCaray Thanks!!!!
  • @TommyMcFly VEGAS! VEGAS! VEGAS! VEGAS! VEGAS! VEGAS! VEGAS! VEGAS! VEGAS! VEGAS! VEGAS! VEGAS! VEGAS! VEGAS! VEGAS! // Me thinks McFly was just a *little* excited for his 36 hour trip to Vegas.

The Mid-Morning Boost

We talked about the book Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter when it first hit bookstores in February.  However, I didn’t know there was a preview video for it until last night!

Thank you for being a friend…

Maybe it’s because I was raised with the help of my grandmother, but I’ve always had a soft spot for women of a certain age.  When those women of a certain age are bawdy to the point of making a longshoreman blush, I love them even more.  I am the proverbial boy scout helping old ladies cross the street.

It’s for that reason that I had, still have, and always will have a love for The Golden Girls.  For almost every Saturday night during my childhood from 1985-1992, I laid on the living room floor watching the on-screen antics of four old broads living together in Miami.  Obviously, I didn’t understand the jokes or the subtext.  But at age 7, I was drawn to Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia. 

That obsession didn’t end when the show went off the air with Bea Arthur’s departure (the last episode still makes me cry… “You’ll always be my sisters.”)  It continued with the short-lived series on CBS, The Golden Palace.  It continued when the girls went into syndication. And, when Buena Vista Entertainment started released the seven collected seasons of The Golden Girls, I bought every single one on the day of their respective release. 

The Golden Girls became like an extended family for me (and I know I can’t be the only one for whom this is true.)  When I moved to Washington, 800 miles away from my own grandmother, I could always turn on Lifetime or pop in a DVD and have four on-screen surrogates to fill the void until I could get back to Illinois (and this time around, I got the jokes, and the subtexts, and laughed even harder). 

Like my Gram who encouraged me to try new things, the girls, too, encouraged me.  They encouraged me to ask my mother for a slice of cheesecake when I was 8.  (That was a wonderful decision.)  Like my Gram who was constantly teaching me new life lessons, so, too, did the girls – not the least of which was “respect your elders.”

The Golden Girls became part of who I am.  Their wisdom (“Picture it.  Sicily.  1918.”) and humor (“Back in St. Olaf…”) are embedded in my brain.  (Hell, I even name my cars after them: my first Explorer was Maude; my current Explorer is Eddi-Rue).

My Gram died in 2008, not long after Estelle Getty.  When I returned to Washington after Gram’s funeral, I turned to the girls for comfort.  Not much later in 2009 came the announcement that Bea Arthur had died and I quietly mourned the passing of another grandma surrogate.  And now, today, the announcement of Rue McClanahan’s death (at a very young age of 76).

While Estelle, Bea, Rue and Betty brought many wonderfully strong women to life on stage and screen over the years, they will forever be lauded and remembered for the archetypal characters they created with Sophia, Dorothy, Blanche and Rose. 

And for children of the ’80s, they’ll be remembered as the four bawdy broads of Miami (“Miami is nice, so I’ll say it thrice”) that we could only wish were part of our real families.

Rest in peace Eddi-Rue.  Long live Betty!