My favorite twit-pic of the day:
Courtesy of @Yogi47951368, via @bluegal.
Sad news: Chuck Berry has died at age 90. That’s a damn good run. Rock on, Chuck.
Some sad news from Debit:
Today I made the appointment to have Walter put to sleep. He’s been increasingly unsteady and slower to get up and move around. My vet upped the dosage on his current pain meds, but it was clear that Walter’s pain was not significantly eased. But he was still happy, still wagging his tail, still getting around okay.
Yesterday when I came home from work, Walter ate his dinner, but with no enthusiasm. When he walked it was slow and halting. I added another half dose to his meds and hoped it was just a muscle twinge, but this morning he had less of a walk and more of a hobble. He ate his breakfast, but slowly and had to sit down midway through it. When he finished, he walked up to me with his tail tucked between his legs and his head down. And so I decided it was time.
The vet will be here around 1:00. Until then, I’m giving him love and treats if he wants them. When it’s time, he’ll go to sleep with his head on my lap and being told he’s a good dog.
I know you’re on vacation and honestly debated about whether or not to send you this. I hope you won’t let this ruin your time with your lady friend. Obviously I’m sad (currently ugly crying as I type) but I knew this was coming and am honestly relieved that Walter will have an end to his pain.
He’s been such a joy to have in my life. Thank you for rescuing him and then trusting me with his care. I wish I could have given him more time.
Here is my absolute favorite picture of Walter:
That toofy smile kills me. He was a good boy, hit a rough patch for a couple months, but had a great ending. A lucky dog, and I think we were all lucky for having met him. Thanks Debit for giving him such a great ending.
I actually met Mary Tyler Moore a couple times a lifetime ago when I worked in a restaurant in Millbrook, NY (circa 1988) called Allyn’s Restaurant. All I really remember of her was that she had these enormous glasses that made her eyes look like half dollar coins (she was farsighted) and that she got really upset if her vegetable orders were prepared any way other than steaming. The chef and owner was a guy named Allan Katz (and his wife Denise). I learned a lot about life from him. I was just a young kid working as a busboy/barback/dishwasher, but he treated me well and I always looked forward to sitting around the patio at night listening to all the cooks and the bartender Marty (he was a character and really knew how to make a drink) and Allan and Denise talk after I sneaked around back and got stoned with some of the cooks.
You should be good to kids who are 16-18 and recognize that while they are still kids in many regards they are also young adults, and they pick up a lot on how you are supposed to treat people and how you are supposed to look at life. I was like a sponge. I was lucky I was around a lot of good people. Here’s a bio on Allan from the CIA (the good one). He seems to be running a not for profit dog treat company called Good Reasons that hires the disabled. That’s not even remotely surprising.
Breaking: Debbie Reynolds, who sang and danced to fame in "Singin’ in the Rain," dies at 84. More details to come.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) December 29, 2016
Normally when someone dies at 84, it is not as much of a tragedy as this, as she had a stroke while planning her daughter’s funeral according to reports I read.
Rock-and-roll lost another one in this terrible year. Via the Beeb:
Greg Lake, who fronted both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died aged 69.
One of the founding fathers of progressive rock, the British musician is known for songs including In the Court of the Crimson King and his solo hit I Believe in Father Christmas.
He died on Wednesday after “a long and stubborn battle with cancer”, said his manager.
The news comes nine months after Lake’s band-mate Keith Emerson died.
Keyboardist Emerson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, coroners in the US said.
Here’s a view of the audience attending Thanksgiving concert featuring King Crimson in 1969:
At the risk of triggering flashbacks for a certain attendee, here’s a soundtrack to go along with that photo:
Circle of life and all that, but 2016 is shaping up to be a banner year in Suck for all kinds of reasons.
It is with extremely heavy hearts that we must share that our dear friend and beloved colleague Gwen Ifill passed away this afternoon following several months of cancer treatment. She was surrounded by loving family and many friends whom we ask that you keep in your thoughts and prayers.
And Tom Friedman is healthy as a horse. 2016 is not going to end until it takes everything. EVERYTHING. Nothing is safe.
The world just got a lot less funny:
Rest in peace, good sir. And thanks for the laughs.
Elie Wiesel, the Auschwitz survivor who became an eloquent witness for the six million Jews slaughtered in World War II and who, more than anyone, seared the memory of the Holocaust on the world’s conscience, died on Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 87.
Menachem Rosensaft, a longtime friend and the founding chairman of the International Network of Children of Jewish Survivors, confirmed the death in a phone call.
2016 is deadly.
A real trailblazer:
Pat Summitt, who was at the forefront of a broad ascendance of women’s sports, winning eight national basketball championships at the University of Tennessee and more games than any other Division I college coach, male or female, died on Tuesday. She was 64.
Her death was confirmed on the website of the Pat Summitt Foundation.
Ms. Summitt stepped down after 38 seasons and 1,098 victories at Tennessee in April 2012, at 59, less than a year after she learned she had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Over nearly four decades, Ms. Summitt helped transform women’s college basketball from a sport ignored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association into one that drew national television audiences and paid its most successful coaches more than $1 million a year.
“In modern history, there are two figures that belong on the Mount Rushmore of women’s sports — Billie Jean King and Pat Summitt,” Mary Jo Kane, a sports sociologist at the University of Minnesota, said in 2011. “No one else is close to third.”
There are some people who become type specimens. They’re the folks who define the characteristics of the category of folks to whom they belong. Guy Clark was — or rather, given what remains — continues to be the type specimen of the singer-songwriter.
Charles Pierce has already written his remembrance of this artist, who died today of what sounds like complications of a hard-lived, powerfully felt life:
He was a craftsman in all the best senses of the word–in the way he created his songs, and in the way he told his stories, and in the places the music took you…
That’s exactly right. And yeah, go read the rest, and listen to Charlie’s picks of the Guy Clark songs that resonate for him.
For me? Well, the first number I recall was his biggest mainstream hit, “L. A. Freeway” — which holds up OK, but isn’t what drew me back to Clark when I started listening to him with intent a few years ago. This is the one that got me started, at a time (as I face again this year, dammit) when too many people that mattered in my life were dying on me:
This one got me next, and still does:*
And this is the one I think of on the day Guy Clark left us; he’s taken his place in the room he sings us into:
All of which is to say that Clark couldn’t have a good time. He loved a party** — just ask him:
The list goes on. The Hon. Pierce has it right: Clark was a meticulous song writer and a brilliant one (the two modifiers don’t describe the same quality). Dive in anywhere, and the worst you’ll get is fine fun. At his best….
Dammit — it’s been a crap year for musicians here in these United States.
I’ll leave you with one more favorite, one that captures the heart of what I love most about Clark — the way his music inhabits a story and vice versa:
Rest in peace, Guy Clark.
*And here’s a lagniappe. Check out this tune, the one Clark sends us to in an homage and something of a statement — a recognition of the league in which Guy himself could play.
**In the old days, when it was Clark and Townes Van Zandt and some more bad boys and girls, I don’t think I could have come close to keeping up, had I had the amazing fortune to be in the right bar at the right time. But that’s another story. If you want to read up on Mr. Clark — this is a fine and recent profile.
My brother had to put down his cat, Whisper, whose brother Speak died several years ago.
She had terminal cancer. His cats, though domesticated, were almost feral near anyone but him, so whenever I would watch his cats for him, it was like a UFO spotting if you could get one of them to come near you for a very brief petting. They loved him, though, and she had the entire upstairs to his house as he blocked it off from the dogs. She slept on him every night, and loved him almost as much as he loved her.
If it had not been for Seth getting Speak and Whisper, I probably never would have gotten Tunch or now Steve. She’s buried in my parent’s backyard next to Speak, Mouse, and far too many other good pets.
Wow, this sucks. Among my earliest memories are watching reruns of “The Patty Duke Show” with my mom when I was a kid. Mom was a big fan, and they were around the same age. Gone too soon.