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Member since: Sat Nov 30, 2013, 04:06 AM
Number of posts: 18,093

Journal Archives

PBS. Shutdowns, layoffs, virtual tours: How Dutch museums are coping with COVID-19

Reminds me to virtually visit museums. For me, far superior to a real life visit: I'd get lost trying to find where I wanted to go and blisters from walking too much, discover that the museum was closed for renovation, have to pee really bad and order something to drink just to use the facilities in a cafe and then have to pee again soon after leaving anyway, get scared because it's cold and rainy and getting dark early and I have to get back to the hotel -- where is it?

Like Des Esseintes in "Against Nature" who plans a trip to London but before his train leaves France, stops at an English tavern where he sees English people and enjoys English food (oxtail soup, smoked haddock, roast beef and potatoes, a couple of pints of ale, a chunk of Stilton with a rhubarb tart, and some porter). He remembers his visit to Holland and how it had disappointed him, not lived up to his art fantasies: "Holland was just a country like any other."

It was getting late, cold and rainy outside, he didn't want to leave the tavern: "After all, what was the good of moving, when a fellow could travel so magnificently sitting in a chair? Wasn't he already in London, whose smells, weather, citizens, food and even cutlery, were all about him? ... When you come to think of it, I've seen and felt all that I wanted to see and feel ... and it would be madness to risk spoiling such unforgettable experiences by a clumsy change of locality. As it is, I must have been suffering from some mental aberration to have thought of repudiating my old convictions, to have rejected the visions of my obedient imagination and to have believed like any ninny that it was necessary, interesting and useful to travel abroad. He looked at his watch. 'Time to go home,' he said."

Jimmy Fallon: Trump Left Zero Vaccine Plan for Biden (hilarious NORMAL TWEET dance)

Starts at about 4:26:

Katie Couric: Former Cult Follower Describes How President Trump Has Created a Cult Following

"People are typically very susceptible to the appeals of a destructive cult because of deception. ... In my research of over 40 years, people are in vulnerable moments in their life where they'll be more receptive to a recruitment message or recruiter. ... Seriously, the pandemic and the economic problems are huge susceptibility factors for the public going forward."

PBS: What we [three reporters] saw the day the Capitol was attacked, 'America Interrupted' Podcast.

Talking to people who were there: "It was a festival of misinformation."

The anger in their eyes turned into hate and then abandoning any sense of responsibility. They were right, had propriety over the rest of the world and the U.S. government itself. They were heroes. More important than other people. But they didn't have a goal. A lot of them were looking for the bathroom.

The president was doing what he often does, watching television.

We came right up to the brink of seeing our democracy broken.

"There's no-one there. ... I also never thought the House of Representatives would be completely unguarded."

Children: "I've really struggled to explain to them what is going on in this country we call home. ... In all the stories I've done and all the places I've been, I've never, ever, found it as difficult to explain to my girls what's going on."

When I was looking for a place of safety, I didn't know what was going to happen, I heard all of your voices: "At times I almost cried. None of you cried, so I didn't cry."

James Joyce "The Dead."

"A fat brown goose lay at one end of the table and at the other end, on a bed of creased paper strewn with sprigs of parsley, lay a great ham, stripped of its outer skin and peppered over with crust crumbs, a neat paper frill round its shin and beside this was a round of spiced beef. Between these rival ends ran parallel lines of side-dishes: two little minsters of jelly, red and yellow; a shallow dish full of blocks of blancmange and red jam, a large green leaf-shaped dish with a stalk-shaped handle, on which lay bunches of purple raisins and peeled almonds, a companion dish on which lay a solid rectangle of Smyrna figs, a dish of custard topped with grated nutmeg, a small bowl full of chocolates and sweets wrapped in gold and silver papers and a glass vase in which stood some tall celery stalks. In the centre of the table there stood, as sentries to a fruit-stand which upheld a pyramid of of oranges and American apples, two squat old-fashioned decanters of cut glass, one containing port and the other dark sherry. On the closed square piano a pudding in a huge yellow dish lay in waiting and behind it were three squads of bottles of stout and ales and minerals ... .

"A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, fall obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and on the headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly, as he heard the snow falling slowly through the universe and faintly falling, like descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."

New Year tradition: 10,000 people performing Beethoven's 9th symphony Ode to Joy.

I post this almost every year, it makes me weep.

First cold weather of the season, time for Laura Ingalls Wilder's "The Long Winter."

"It was growing chilly. The cold crept under the table, crawling up from Laura's bare feet to her bare knees under her skirts."

That happened to me yesterday, the beginning of several days of cold, steady rain. No more bare feet and legs. Tights and socks. Short-sleeved cotton clothing into the closet, out come long-sleeved clothing made with the help of animals: wool, cashmere, suede; leather bag replaces canvas. Windows closed, heavy curtains hung. Blankets and quilts on the bed, flannel sheets, cozy flannel pajamas. Electric fans retire, heaters report for duty.

Hot coffee and tea, not iced. Heat from the stove and oven is welcome now, and I think about gratins, soups, stews. Roasting, baking, simmering. At the market: grapes, apples, pears, persimmons, mushrooms, squash, beets. Nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves. I want to make an apple pie and baked beans. Every year I plan on making donuts and don't. Will have to read "Farmer Boy" to get in the mood and maybe it'll happen this year. These books are my comfort read from childhood.

Green pumpkin pie:

"'You may cut the pumpkin in slices and peel them while I make the piecrust,' said Ma. ... Ma put the crust in the pie pan and covered the bottom with brown sugar and spices. Then she filled the crust with thin slices of the green pumpkin. She poured half a cup of vinegar over them, put a small piece of butter on top, and laid the top crust over all. 'There,' she said, when she had finished crimping the edges. ... She slipped the pie into the oven and shut the door on it. ... When Ma laid down the shirt that she was making for Pa and opened the oven, the rich smell of baking pie came out. Carrie and Grace stopped to look in while Ma turned the pie so it would brown evenly. ... For an instant, Pa did not see it. Then he said, 'Pie!' ... 'What kind of pie is it?' ... Pa cut off the point with his fork and put it in his mouth. 'Apple pie! Where in the world did you get apples?' Carrie could keep still no longer. She almost shouted, 'It's pumpkin! Ma made it out of green pumpkin!' ... They ate slowly, taking small bites of the sweet spiciness to make it last as long as they could. That was such a happy supper that Laura wanted it never to end."

Bean soup and baked beans:

"'I'm glad I put beans to soak last night,' said Ma. She lifted the lid of the bubbling kettle and quickly popped in a spoonful of soda. The boiling beans roared, foaming up, but did not quite run over. 'There's a little bit of salt pork to put in them too,' Ma said. Now and then she spooned up a few beans and blew on them. When their skins split and curled, she drained the soda water from the kettle and filled it again with hot water. She put in the bit of fat pork. ... The little shanty quivered in the storm. But the steamy smell of boiling beans was good and it seemed to make the air warmer. At noon Ma sliced bread and filled bowls with the hot bean broth and they all ate where they were, close to the stove. They all drank cups of strong, hot tea. ... The hot soup and hot tea warmed them all. They ate the broth from the beans. Then Ma emptied the beans into a milk-pan and set the bit of fat pork in the middle, and laced the top with dribbles of molasses. She set the pan in the oven and shut the oven door. They would have baked beans for supper."

Mitch McConnell's senate hard at work: September 25th declared National Lobster Day.


The Onion, 2012: White Hot Sphere of Pure Rage GOP Early Front Runner For 2016.

Still true, more than ever.

Full Frontal: Tarana Burke on the Connection Between Police Brutality and Sexual Violence

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