Simon died two weeks ago today and I am still waking up at at 3:30 in the morning.
That was when we took our first walk of the day. We used to start the day at 5:45 when I got up for work, but when Daylight Saving Time ended in 2015, Simon never quite adjusted. Gradually he woke me up earlier and earlier until he settled on 3:30, give or take a half hour. By that time he was over 12 and he had been with me for 11 years.
Simon spent the last year in extra innings. Last spring he developed fluid on his abdomen and the vets found a mass on his liver. The specialist recommended surgery–but we decided against it. The procedure was drastic and the outcome not certain since they could not know ahead of time how advanced the tumor was. I was crushed by the thought of losing him, but could not put him through the pain with so little guarantee that he would be better off for it. The specialist had drained much of the fluid and Simon was more of his old self. Continue reading →
We took Uber from the Trinidad neighborhood near Gallaudet University as close as we could get to the Capitol. We were told to be on the lookout for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, which was opening its doors for marchers who needed a bathroom, some refreshment, or to charge their phones. Our driver was from Baltimore–he’d brought a carload of women down to DC and then decided to work the city since he was already there. He dropped us off across the street from St. Mark’s. He wished us luck on the march and we wished him luck with fares. Continue reading →
Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s newly minted Counselor to the President, has been struggling recently to answer the sorts of double-standard personal questions from interviewers that frequently plague women. Now, granted, she brought some of that questioning on herself. But one of her latest answers opens a new, but not unexpected, can of worms for Team Donald.
Kellyanne appeared on the Trump-friendly “Mornings With Maria” on the Fox Business Network. Maria Bartiromo asked her if she would have enough time to do her job and still be a full-time mother. Kellyanne defended her decision by saying,
“I don’t play golf and I don’t have a mistress so, I have a lot of time that a lot of these other men don’t.”
At first, I was going to let this issue slide. Then Jason Miller, who was just appointed White House Communications Director on December 22, resigned on Christmas Eve, giving the traditional “there’s more to this story” reason: “I want to spend more time with my family.” A Trump advisor, A.J. Delgado, accused Miller of resigning from Team Donald because he’s “The 2016 version of John Edwards.” In other words, A.J. accused Miller of having a baby with his mistress.
And there it is: Mistressgate.
And so, Kellyanne, trusted counselor to Donald, I have a few follow-up questions for you. You may answer them in any order. Continue reading →
On my way out of work this afternoon, wearing my husband’s Indians jacket from 2001, I stopped to shake hands with four Cubs fans and welcome them to Cleveland. One of our teams is going to break a very long losing streak and the other will once again say, “Next year!”
For Clevelanders, we almost don’t know how to behave this fall. Especially today.
By focusing on Bill Clinton’s infidelities and affairs, Donald Trump, his followers and any media who follow his lead, are participating in a classic sexist dismissal of a woman in favor of a male in her life.
About 20 years ago, I had a Harley: a 1995 black Road King. We decided to add an oil cooler to the engine and I went to pick it up. The shop we bought the bike at was all the way on the East Side of town, so I went to the closer store on the West Side of Cleveland. I knew exactly what I needed.
So I popped in and walked up to the parts counter. And proceeded to be ignored. By three parts guys. And they ignored me. And ignored me. I was finally reduced to asking for assistance. I told them what part I needed–by number. They then had the nerve to quiz me about the bike: model, year, other accessories, and a bunch of other questions. Everything but “Does your husband know you’re buying this oil cooler?” Continue reading →
“The Star-Spangled Banner” glorifies violence and war against a historical ally. It’s hard to sing. And that’s just the beginning.
Francis Scott Key
Colin Kaepernick has inspired me to re-evaluate history that I thought I knew. It turns out that I was wrong–and I taught US History for years (including AP US History). So I’m a little embarrassed. But also grateful. By now everyone knows that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the playing of the US National Anthem before the game on Friday against the Green Bay Packers. At a press conference he explained:
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. Continue reading →
Day 2 of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland is beginning peacefully. And, quite frankly, that’s just the way we like it. There are thousands of people who are trying to keep it that way. Because we know that if peace prevails in Cleveland, we win.
The Donald Trump campaign knows that, too. They depend on turmoil as a substitute for substance. And they admitted it on Day 1:
At a breakfast discussion here Monday, Donald Trump’s top campaign adviser suggested that “lawlessness” surrounding the Republican National Convention could benefit Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
“Frankly, that impact will probably help the campaign,” Paul Manafort told his audience, reports Bloomberg Politics, which hosted the session.
Since well before the RNC convened, while the barriers were going up to divide us, people in Northeast Ohio were looking for ways to pull together for our own good and for the good of the country. Continue reading →
Please don’t destroy the city of Cleveland or its people who have opened their doors to a candidate and his followers who we may not vote for, but we will still treat with with respect and decency. Most of us will, anyway. We are, however, wary of your intentions.
In fact a lot of Clevelanders have left town. Entire offices have been abandoned for the week. People are working from home, other offices, or taking vacations. “Working remotely.” We’ve been planning on that for months. We will admit to a fairly high level of caution and fear that has grown over the past year.
At first we were concerned that there would be no candidate with a majority and that the convention would be truly contested, perhaps to the point of violence between the supporters of various candidates. I even had this brief fantasy of settling the candidacy with a cage match at Browns Stadium. That vision somehow fit with the whole unreal reality show that the primary show became. Continue reading →
Please don’t destroy the city of Cleveland or its people in which you could find so much sympathy, support, and common ground. Whatever your cause, someone here will hear you out. Not everyone all the time. But you’ll find people who will listen.
Here’s something to start with: Monday, July 18, 2016–the first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland–is the 50th anniversary of the Hough Riots. The Hough Riots were a violent clash between police, the National Guard and residents of the Hough neighborhood on the East Side of Cleveland.
Hough had been home to people from Eastern Europe and Appalachia during the first half of the twentieth century. Continue reading →
It will be an interesting couple of weeks in the CLE…
Whenever someone mentions the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, which is about every hour if not more often, I can’t help but have Johnny’s Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” play in my head:
I hear the train a comin’
It’s rolling round the bend
And I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when. . . .
The accompanying mental mashup is a combination of the train wreck in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth and any Insane Clown Posse video. On any level, this is not a cheery picture. And every day there is some new wrinkle, some plot twist that keeps this impending disaster from being just a week-long annoyance. It’s mesmerizing enough to make me want to go downtown a couple of times just to witness the disaster first-hand. Yes, I realize that is potentially dangerous – but there it is. Continue reading →
Were there really 1.3 million people at the Cleveland Cavaliers parade today? I have no idea. From my vantage point, it was just a sea of people. Every kind of people you can imagine. More people than I could count and it seemed like the largest crowd I had ever been in.
There’s a story I heard once about a Scandinavian King who was in the habit of wandering his capital city without guards. A reporter asked him why he went out without security. The King held out his arms and said, “I’m surrounded by my people–that’s the best security I could have.”
With the exception of a shooting at the end of the day, a collapsed bus stop (from the weight of fans who climbed on top), and an unexpected gaggle of lost children, the rally was friendly, the fans polite, and the crowd well-behaved.
On Friday, May 13, I was having dinner with friends and the subject turned to superstitions. When my turn came I fessed up: I am a sports jinx. Or at least I feel like one. Tonight is one of the biggest games in recent Cleveland sports history: Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Semi-Finals and I am not watching.
I have gone so far as to check the score: Cleveland is up 37-29 with just under 9 minutes left in the 2nd Quarter.
Now I realize the utter ridiculousness of my feeling. It’s not really me. But it sure feels like it sometimes. Continue reading →
It’s good to be a white domestic terrorist in the United States.
Armed self-proclaimed “militia members” have seized control of the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon. Gun-toting individuals from a dozen or more states have been showing up in the small town since November, when two convicted arsonists had their too-lenient sentences revoked in favor of federally-mandated longer minimums.
The patriots terrorists, whose leaders include Ryan and Ammon Bundy, sons of scofflaw Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, and internet media producer Pete Santilli, claim to have 100-150 followers (although that number is heavily disputed and may be only 10% of what is claimed). Continue reading →
With the new year nearly upon us, our thoughts have turned to a bit of end of the year celebrating. I asked my fellow Scrogues for some recipes and recommendations for appropriate libations with which to ring in 2016.
Some of the recipes below are, not surprisingly, a bit–involved–shall we say. Weeks of aging, hours of simmering, days for delivery–all are par for the course for people who have sought the unusual, creative, or just plain tasty. Even if you can’t get immediate gratification with some of the recipes below, you can always plan ahead for next New Year’s Eve. Or for a festive midwinter night when the cabin walls have closed in just a little too tightly.
From all of us, Happy New Year. Cheers, Santé, Prost, Na zdrowie, Salud, Sláinte, L’chaim. Continue reading →
Last night Donald Trump made an interesting proposal: CNN should pay $5 million for Trump to participate in the next GOP debate on December 15. The money would not go to Trump, but to a charity for veterans. Here’s the proposal in his own words:
So maybe, how would you like to do this. Fox, for the first debate, ended up with 24-25 million viewers, maybe the largest show in the history of cable. CNN had 23 million people, it was the biggest show in the history of CNN. This isn’t me, this is from showbiz. Okay? The biggest ratings in the history of CNN.
They cover wars, they cover this, they cover that.
How about, the next debate is with CNN. Now you have to tell me, because I know what they’re going to say. Ohh Trump is chicken, how about I tell CNN (who doesn’t treat me properly, they don’t). Right? They really don’t.
How about I tell CNN that I’m not going to do the next debate. I’ll tell you the problem. This is a nice thing…
How about we do this with CNN, I won’t do the debate unless they pay me $5 million. All of which money goes to the wounded warriors and the veterans. Seriously! I would love to do it.
A couple of weeks ago I got to tour a new residential project that is taking shape a few blocks from where I live. It’s not a new a development or a swanky condo high rise. It’s a campus to house students from the EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute. The students are former prisoners, mostly from correctional institutions in Ohio, who are working to build new lives on the outside by training full-time for careers in the restaurant industry. The campus will provide a safe, convenient living space for people who might otherwise be homeless.
So far, about 89 students have completed their training at EDWINS in 2 years. The placement rate is over 90%. The recidivism rate: 0%. That’s a much better success rate by far than any sports team in Cleveland could ever hope to have–and one that is far more important.
EDWINS restaurant is in the northwest block of the Shaker Square commercial district. The cuisine is classically French and the atmosphere is upscale enough that we often feel not dressed quite right to even stop at the bar for a cocktail (although last winter, on a blustery, snowy night we holed up by the fireplace in jeans, and no one seemed to have a problem with it).
I have been asked many times in my life whether I “believe that Jesus died for your sins?” Well, yes I do.
But I also believe that Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. died for our sins. Hey, I’m a Unitarian-Universalist.
And I believe that people continue to die every day for our sins. For the sins of greed, and
Cleveland’s homicide rate just topped 100 for the year. Up 80% from 2011—although the numbers have been rising every year.
In the past month that number includes 5 year-old Ramon Burnett, 3 year-old Major Howard, and 5 month-old Aaivelle Wakefield who was shot while strapped into her car seat. Five. Month. Old. Continue reading →
In yet another bit of stunning historical revisionism, GOP Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson claimed in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the Holocaust may not have happened if Europe’s Jews had been armed:
“But just clarify, if there had been no gun control laws in Europe at that time, would 6 million Jews have been slaughtered?” Blitzer asked. Continue reading →