Mean Girlz Open Thread: A Dish Served Cold

… ‘Almost as cold as the face on that beeyotch in the WH publicity photos’. [Yes, I am a petty, petty person.] Per TPM, Ivana Trump has a book to sell, and presumably a team of ace legal specialists to vet it, because it sounds like Game of Thrones – NYC:

A new book from Donald Trump’s first wife pulls back the curtain on a tumultuous period of the president’s life, including the messy divorce that was splashed across New York’s tabloids for weeks…

“Raising Trump” is set to be released next week. The Associated Press purchased an early copy.

In the book, Ivana writes glowingly about her marriage to Trump and her prominent role at the Trump Organization. But then she unburdens herself about the heartache that Trump’s affair with Maples caused her and the couple’s three children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric. Donald Jr. didn’t speak to his father for a year after the split…

‘Don’t blame me if the kid’s totally effed up. I did my best, but given Mr. My-Superior-Genes… ‘

…But she and the president have returned to far warmer terms. She writes that they speak about once a week and that she encourages him to keep using Twitter…

I’ll bet she does. What ex-Trump-partner would not?

She said in a CBS News interview this week that she was offered the post of ambassador to the Czech Republic, her native country, but turned it down because she already has “a perfect life.”…

‘And you, Melanja Knause? Those news photos, your expression is not that of a woman whose life is perfect.’

Much of the book is spent recounting Ivana Trump’s childhood in Europe, her burgeoning modeling career in New York and Trump’s courtship. She writes that, at their first meeting, Trump secured her and friends a table at a hot Manhattan restaurant, paid the check and chauffeured her back to her hotel in a giant Cadillac…

‘So much more romantic than having an aging roue hand me a business card at a ‘party’ so we could dicker over terms the next day. But then, I was a legitimate model. And I had friends.’

“Maybe in fifteen years, she could run for president?” she writes about her daughter, Ivanka, before musing about her own possible title. “First Lady? Holds no appeal for me personally…”

‘Your anchor baby Joffrey, or whatever his ridiculous name, will never be President. He’ll be lucky to reach voting age before the old man either strokes out or goes to jail. At least my kids are old enough to fend for themselves when the whole house of cards collapses…’



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: What Happened

I know some of you are already reading your copies of What Happened, because you’re Amazon Prime customers or Kindle readers or just motivated enough to have gotten to a book store already. (My copy, according to Amazon, won’t ship until Monday.)

Question: Is it worth doing a Book Club around this new memoir? The reviews so far — even the most grudging — have been favorable. But I’m half-dreading starting to read it myself, because I’ll get pissed off all over again at all the malign idiots and criminals who gave their collective tiny souls to install Anybody But Her in the White House…

************
Apart from trudging onward & upwards (if Hillary could weather that shitestorm, then by goddess so can we), what’s on the agenda for the day?
.



Open Thread: Palin Wept


.

All of them, Katie!

Yeah, I think Sam Bee is right — the President-Asterisk can’t read, at least not with any fluency. And he’s too spoilt to put in the effort to overcome his deficits.

(I always suspected Dubya was an unacknowledged dyslexic / ADD sufferer, but at least his parents had taught him to fake an interest. Sometimes. “All right, you’ve covered your ass… “)
.



Sunday Morning Garden-Gift Chat


(via)

However one chooses to celebrate the winter solstice, ’tis the season… for buying gifts. For many of us Garden Chat regulars, it’s the season for resting / planning / stocking up for next year’s gardening.

Back in the summer (at the height of garden-photo season), Hillary sent me a Guardian link on the “Top 10 books about gardens“. The choices by Vivian Swift, the author of the article and of Gardens of Awe and Folly: A Traveler’s Journal on the Meaning of Life and Gardening, are a little bit precious for my taste, but then books about gardening do tend to be either overly technical (usually about a very limited subject) or slightly too lyrical. But books are always a ‘safe’ gift, and if you know your gardener presumably you can judge their tolerance for instruction and/or poesy…

What do you give as gifts, to the gardeners in your life?








Insurgent

Rachel Barnhart is a Rochester-area celebrity who ran a primary challenge against another Democrat for a New York State Assembly seat earlier this year.  Barnhart lost, and wrote a book about the experience, Broad-Casted.  Her book contains lessons for anyone thinking about running for office, or even those of us who are looking for Democrats to challenge incumbents in the next elections, because Barnhart was probably a better candidate than the average first-time Democratic candidate, even Democrats running for federal office.

Read more








For a Good Time In Radioland (Short Notice Self Aggrandizement)

ETA: So, we lost the connection to Blog Talk radio.  Jay and I continued the conversation to tape; he’s editing it now and will post the audio as a podcast tomorrow.  I’ll let y’all know when it’s up.  Sorry…

dou_astronomer-by-candlelight

Don’t know if anyone reading this has had their fill of The Hunt For Vulcan, but just in case you haven’t, I’ll be talking soon about that book, missing planets, error in science (and life, perhaps) and more with Jay Ackroyd on his internet radio program, Virtually Speaking.

Time: 9 p.m. Eastern, 6 Pacific (one hour from now!)

Here’s the link.

Tune in, if you’re not absorbed in more down-to-earth matters. (I.e….Go Sox!)

Image:  Gerrit Dou, Astronomer by candlelight1665








Some Stray Reading For When You’ve Finished Your Luke Cage Binge

Hey all,

I’ve got a couple of pieces out in what we might call the mainstream media that might reward your attention.

The first closes the loop on that lovely Royal Society award shortlist we talked about a while back.  The winner was announced a couple of Mondays ago and, alas, it didn’t go to The Hunt for Vulcan (which you should still totally read).

Instead the prize went to Andrea Wulf for her intellectual biography of Alexander von Humboldt, The Invention of Nature.  It’s a very strong book, as were each of the others on the shortlist.  I commend all of them to you.

job_lot_cheap_william_michael_harnett_1878-jpeg

The event itself was great, and the organizers made sure that each of the titles in the finals had a chance to shine, and while I was certainly disappointed, I was also greatly chuffed — and why not?  My work had been recognized as among the class of the year, I got to rub shoulders with some wonderful writers, (including a personal hero, the head judge Bill Bryson), and hey — London! What could be bad.

Nothing — until, as I was getting ready to leave that green and sceptered isle, I came across a piece at The Guardian in which the writer argued that there was something dodgy about Wulf’s win — that she had garnered a feminized prize, one that sought to reward a woman’s interest in people instead of a man’s pursuit of “problem, a mystery or an underexplored scientific field.”

I couldn’t let such arrant nonsense fly unanswered, so I wrote up a response for The Atlantic.  In it I drew both on my experience as one of the competitors in the contest Wulf won, and my prior encounter with prize judging as a Pulitzer juror in 2012.  Check it out, if you’ve a mind.

The other article you might find fun is a book review that I wrote a little while ago that went live yesterday at The Boston Globe — my take on James Gleick’s new book, Time Travel.  The shorter is that the book is great, really fine work, and I commend it to you all.  Here’s a sample:

Mostly, though, Gleick leads us on a thrilling journey of ideas. Augustine talks to Robert Heinlein who talks to Kurt Gödel, all the while someone is trying to connect a call between Marcel Proust and the ever patient Sam Beckett. Alongside the big ideas come the odd facts too delicious to leave out, as when we learn that among the audio selections placed on the Voyager spacecraft is the Bulgarian folk song “Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin’’ or “Delyo the Hajduk Has Gone Outside.” Pity the alien trying to decipher that code!

So, yeah. I’ve been delinquent in my blogging here.  Think of these as peace offerings.

Have a great weekend, all.  I’m going to continue nursing my dread catarrh; nothing like a full 747 to offer a smörgåsbord of viral delights.  Honey-lemon tea (possibly helped by some bourbon) in my future.

Image: William Harnett, Job Lot Cheap, 1878.