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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Salmagundi: Politics, Gravy, Madison Avenue, Brian Williams, and Verbal Vexations


On Sundays I wake up, make some coffee, grab The Cleveland Plain Dealer off the front porch, and settle in for over an hour of reading and shopping-by-advert. Then, by 10:30, I hunker down for Meet the Press with Tim Russert and whoever he's got on the hot seat. Most of the time I'm hoping it's not a republican because Sunday is traditionally supposed to be a Day of Rest, and I get way too steamed up and hectic if I have to debate one of Them. They sit there, pretending They cannot hear me, regardless of all the cogent and salient points I make, and I end up irritated and frustrated and all hackled-up for the rest of the day, almost, in my Democratness.
It's just not good.
But I digress.

Today in the PD, Macy's has an ad for their bigass Veterans Day sale. (Macy's is always having a big honking sale, so I never take them seriously. If you ever go there and pay full price for anything, then you are foolish and perhaps stupid. Between their coupons and shopper's cards and sales, there is simply never a reason to.) Anyway, in the ad today, there is some jewelry. A strand of "genuine freshwater 8mm pearls." Now, get this: the original price is 80 bucks. The sale price is 40 bucks. But for Veterans Day, you can pay only 19.99! What does this tell you about Macy's? Does it tell you that: A) they are really honoring those who fought in the service of their country? B) they care deeply about the consumer? C) their jewelry prices are incredibly jacked up to begin with and are not to be taken even remotely seriously? Oh, I think we all know the answer to that one. And that is just one example of the ridiculousness in this ad.
Supposed $320 Liz Claiborne suits are being offered for $59.99. My friend Sue used to work for Macy's and said new shipments arrived with the tags already marked down and stickered with the sale prices. Alrighty then.

How exciting is this: Brian Williams is broadcasting The NBC Nightly News live from Cleveland, Ohio tomorrow night. Sadly--and I wonder if this is directed entirely at me--they are keeping the final location of his remote broadcast site confidential. Sigh. Because, as you know, I would absolutely recruit Rick to drive me there, possibly with tasteful forest green cravat in hand, to witness it. In total silence, of course. I respect his journalistic integrity. I have even given thought to what I would wear, had I gone to see him. Tomorrow's weather is forecast to be overcast with a possibility of showers and a high at 6:30 PM, EST of 56 degrees F. I would wear my black pencil skirt, black sweater with red cami and my tartan pumps. I would have to wear my black leather jacket and possibly employ my red tartan umbrella, which, when not in use, would be at my side, tastefully rolled. Brian, know this: If I knew where you were going to be, there I would be also. Tastefully attired, and giving you quiet and fashionable moral support.

Barack Obama was on Meet the Press today, and I was again struck by the irritating proclivity all politicians have developed lately, republicans and Democrats alike (and believe you me, it pains me tremendously to have to say that), when speaking in interviews or in debates, to use the very rude imperative "look" as a sort of address, absolutely to the point of nastiness. When Tim Russert asks a question, they say, "Look, what we've got to do in Iraq is..." or in a debate, they say, "I'm not saying my opponent is wrong, but, look, the point is...". Not to pick on Obama, but he really beat it up today. I went back and read the transcript and in his 40 minute interview, he used "look" as an imperative a staggering 14 times! I'm sorry, but that's just awful. And it always sounds petulant, rude, and well, bossy!

And while I'm at it, here's another thing Obama's interview got me thinking about: this constant badgering of candidates who say they're anti-war but vote consistently to fund it. Russert got Obama on that one, too, and Hillary's gotten it ad infinitum. Is it just me, or is this The Most Disingenuous Question Ever? Who in his or her right mind is going to sit in a big comfy chair in Washington D.C. and play a game of Political Chicken just to prove a point and leave thousands of soldiers in hostile territory with depleting supplies? Why is this question even a question? Is the person asking it even remotely serious? Why hasn't someone called them on it? Like Joe Biden, who has to be the sanest straight-talking non-PC guy up there in the Dems' row. Am I missing something? Please tell me because I hate being an idiot and not knowing it.

My snark level rose a bit yesterday because I had to go shopping in our local "Lifestyle Centre." Which is a snobby way of saying "upper-crust stores that are not housed in a mall, so I had to be cold and walk in the wind even though Rick drove me right up to the front door of Express because he is wonderful like that." I realize that, when I choose (read: have to because no other stores have my size in decent dress pants in NE Ohio) to shop there, I am going to necessarily deal with a much, much, much younger demographic sensibility. To be brief: the music was way loud. So loud, in fact, that Rick waited outside for me to shop for pants. Which took almost an hour. So loud that the salesgirl had to bend down and put her head to my head in order for us to communicate. I felt like crying. Or screaming. Or both. Later, I went to Bath and Body Works to buy another bottle of Lavender Vanilla body mist perfume, which I love.
And, they apparently no longer make. !?!?!?!? I love this scent. It has been my perfume for years. I am constantly told how good I smell. I am serious when I say that students come up to me and just smell me. And now it is no longer available. Oh, they continue to make it in lotion, candles, bubble bath, and something called "pillow mist", but not in perfume. This is unacceptable. I am completely bereft and pissed. I am...berissed. Or...piseft. I'm mad.

Finally, (and thanks for staying with me, whoever you are) let me just give Thanksgiving its due since hardly anyone else (except for the folks at Butterball) does. For many, it has become a stumbling block in the path of the Christmas Juggernaut. But I love this holiday, for which no one has to go mad shopping for gifts, mail out cards, do a ton of decorating, buy special music, or string up lights on every conceivable edifice. Thanksgiving means getting together with family and possibly friends and making and eating comforting food, like turkey gravy. To me, turkey is the best possible flavor of gravy ever. And I am a huge fan of gravy. My dear friend Ann from Florida, who might love gravy more than I do, once said, "As far as I'm concerned, most food is merely a vehicle for gravy." I hear that. I am all about the rest of the dinner, too, though. This year, it's my turn to have the kind of stuffing I want, which means adding cornbread. I don't know why Rick and Sam and Jared even care; they eat massively no matter what.

So, how about all that? And, what's going on in your head this Sunday?

18 comments:

  1. Gosh, I feel bad for you that you don't know where Brian Williams will be. That's just downiright nasty of the NBC producers to not share that information. They must think the people of Cleveland are crazy and like to shoot shit up. Oh wait, the are and they do. Sorry Nance, its probably for the best.

    Maybe we need a bossy president.


    Ohhh...Thanksgiving!! I do like to decorate my house in fall colors and little pumpkins but the food is most definately the high point. I do not care for turkey, I prefer to make a ham. But my favorite part by far is all the yummy side dishes. I like to make an apple walnut french bread stuffing. Soooo tasty!

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  2. In my head this Sunday evening...a) I'm glad I got half the tips myself and my trainer made tonight and happier that next week I'm flying solo, b)it was awfully hard to get up this morning, and c)I'm glad I have no school tomorrow.

    And I'm very excited for Thanksgiving. I love the fact that it's a holiday of food. Yum yum yum! I've never had cornbread stuffing and I'm a little curious as to how it tastes. I'm a huge fan of the stuffing from inside the bird, it tastes much better to me!

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  3. steve m11:41 PM

    You made my day. Not because of the Brain Williams blurb or the bit about Thanksgiving (which is truly an underappreciated holiday, whose purpose nowadays is mainly to kick off the Christmas season and that doesn't even matter since Halloween took on that responsibility), but because you used the word salmagundi.

    I use that word a lot around the house (mostly because it's tremendous fun to say aloud), but no one around here shares that love of crazy words. I don't think my family believes it's a real word, really.

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  4. Victoria's Secret used to make these delicious vanilla infusion perfumes, like Vanilla and Caramel and such and I loved those. Of course, they stopped making them. I try not to get attached because they will just stop making it once I like it.

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  5. I'm so with you on this post! I love Thanksgiving! It's the best holiday. Great food and company with no pressure of gift giving. I love lavender-vanilla scent anything and I saw Brian Williams tonight and thought of you! I'm sure he felt your fashionable moral support! ; )

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  6. Nancy8:07 PM

    Hello Nance,

    My dear Mother always used Yardley English Lavender Cologne Spray .
    Like you, she smelled special and it was her signature. When you got a whiff of lavender, Mom Mom was sure to be nearby.

    She always left a bottle at my house for when she stayed over and when she died there was an almost full bottle here.

    That was in 1984 and I still have that bottle, and every once in a while, just for old times sake, I press the button and spray a mist of lavender around the house and it's like Mom Mom is here with us again.

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  7. Yay for Thanksgiving in Vegas! I'll be sure to hit up some buffets :-p

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  8. ih--have fun in vegas! get me something tacky.

    nancy--i love lavender and i used to use plain vanilla extract as my cologne in college! my mom still thinks that's the reason rick fell for me: he was lured in by the promise of baked goods. plain lavender just isn't my scent, though. for you, it's such a strong olfactory memory, and it's nice that you can call up such fondness with just a spritz.

    anali--let me know if you have a lead on any lavender-vanilla cologne under any other label. and wasn't poor brian irked by that rain? we also got a ton of lightning in our town--about 20 minutes west.

    gina--Bath and Body also made a great spray called 'Breathe Comfort' that smelled just like creme brulee. naturally, they stopped making that, too. boy, are they ever going out of their way to piss me off.

    steve m.--isn't that such a fun word? and it is rhythmically pleasant with "sunday." and rhymey, too.

    jenomena--it's got a nice sweetness and heartiness. i just use half cornbread and half bread. the texture is nice, too. finer and a bit crumblier.

    nina--i am hearing more and more people who eat ham rather than turkey on thanksgiving. do you also not like chicken? the two taste so similar to me, but i guess non-turkey people can taste the difference. your stuffing sounds wonderful. but my family would never allow such a huge departure from tradition. no apples or nuts. i'm not even allowed to put sausage in mine. sigh.

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  9. Oh, and nina--i'm surprised you didn't comment on obama at all. did you watch him? is he still your guy?

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  10. V-Grrrl3:51 PM

    Well Nance, this is like someone gave your brain an enema--I don't have a tenth this many thoughts in my head, which has me worried, very worried. I'm an airhead in comparison.

    But this leaves lots of room to tuck away the word "berissed' for an appropriate occasion, which had better not involve a manufacturer discontinuing my favorite perfume. EVER.

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  11. Nance~I do love chicken but I don't think it tastes anything like turkey. I like to make a honely glazed ham for holidays because it yields so much food this is the only time I don't end up throwing out half of it.**my stuffing has sausage in it too**

    I do still like Obama. However, I did not see him on meet the press. I did make one small comment..."that maybe we need a bossy president."

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  12. Deep fried turkey at our house next week. Plus two kinds of dressing...one of which will feature chopped tamales!

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  13. Horray!!! It's Project Runway day...I hope I can stay awake!!!!

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  14. I have claimed Thanksgiving dinner as mine. I am a master turkey gravy maker, and I make a great pumpkin pie. And I am thankful that I have two new words - berissed and piseft. I think I'm inclined toward piseft. It has the right sound.

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  15. nancy in a2--you can have both words and even claim authorship if you like. i encourage theft as long as i am not in the same room. where do you fall in the dressing v. stuffing debate? i maintain that it's dressing unless it's actually made inside the bird, hence the term "stuffing." yet, i use them interchangeably, come to think of it...!

    nina--i have to admit that i found the first show of PJR slightly irksome. too many professional designers for my taste. and the guy who won the challenge...come ON! that dress was boring and easy. and why did they wax all poetic about the ugly black bubble dress with the Reynolds Wrap Rose on the shoulder? HIDEOUSNESS!!! The only part worth watching was Hippie Sound Effects Grass Stain Girl.

    wordgirl--sounds like a tex-mex thing. and i remain probably the only person IN THE WORLD who has not had a taste of deep-fried turkey.

    nina--i cannot believe i missed the bossy president part of your comment. don't hate me.

    v-grrrl--it didn't LOOK this long in the blogger post window. sigh. to think, i could have gotten TWO posts out of this. what a tragic missed opportunity.

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  16. After being out of circulation for a few weeks, I just wrote a huge long response to this post. (Well, relatively wordy.) And now I don't see it, and I am going to cry if it all went into a black hole, because I don't know if I can take it, it took so long to make it... and I'll never have the recipe again. :-(

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  17. Well, crap, O'tizz! I'm so sorry that Blogger is being bitchy. The same thing happened to Rick today. His solution is to always highlight and copy his comment before he hits the Publish button. That way he can automatically Paste it back in if Blogger eats it.

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  18. This is my first Thanksgiving away from the fam...just me and that boys! I guess I have mixed emotions about it.

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